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Catholic Dictionary

Term

PENITENTIAL ACT

Definition

The invitation by the priest at Mass, after the opening salutation, to have the congregation acknowledge their sinfulness. This is followed by the Appeal for Mercy, the Kyrie, unless the pleas for forgiveness was already included in the penitential act. Normally each invocation is sung (or said) twice, but there may be further repetitions and also brief text insertions (tropes) if the circumstances warrant such additions.