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The Prayer of Manasseh

The Prayer of Manasseh, though not a part of the Canon of Scripture proper, was included by Jerome in his Vulgate and the Council of Trent placed it in the Vulgate's Appendix as a part of the Apocrypha. Written sometime in the first 2 centuries BC, the Prayer of Manasseh is a classic of penitential devotion. It is associated with the wicked king of Judah, Manasseh, who composed a prayer in exile asking for forgiveness of his many sins (2Chr 33:13) and makes a fitting meditation for Confession.

DOMINE Deus omnipotens patrum nostrorum Abraham et Isaac et Iacob et semini eorum iusto; O LORD Almighty, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and of all their righteous seed;
Domine qui fecisti caelum et terram cum omni ornatu eorum; O Lord Thou who hast made heaven and earth with all their adornments;
qui signasti mare verbo praecepti tui, qui conclusisti abyssum et signasti eam terribili et laudabili nomine tuo; Thou who hast marked the sea with Thy word of command, Thou who hast confined the deep and marked it with Thy terrible and glorious name;
quem omnia pavent et tremunt a vultu virtutis tuae, at Whom all things quake and tremble before the face of Thy power,
quia importabilis est magnificentia gloriae tuae et insustentabilis ira super peccatores comminationis tuae; for unbearable is the majesty of Thy glory and overwhelming is the threat of Thy wrath upon sinners;
inmensa vero et investigabilis misericordia promissionis tuae, yet truly immeasurable and unsearchable is the promise of Thy mercy,
quoniam Tu es Dominus altissimus super omnem terram benignus longanimis et multum misericors et paenitens super malitias hominum. for Thou art the Lord, the Most High over all the earth, compassionate, long-suffering, full of mercy, and lamenting over the evils of men.
Tu, autem, Domine, secundum bonitatem tuam promisisti paenitentiam et remissionem iis qui peccaverunt tibi; et multitudine miserationum tuarum decrevisti paenitentiam peccatoribus in salutem. But Thou, O Lord, according to Thy goodness, hast promised repentance and forgiveness for those who have sinned against Thee; and in the multitude of Thy mercies Thou hast appointed repentance for salvation of sinners.
Et, tu, igitur, Domine, Deus iustorum, non posuisti paenitentiam iustis Abraham et Isaac et Iacob his qui tibi non peccaverunt, sed posuisti paenitentiam propter me peccatorem. Therefore, Thou, O Lord, God of the just, hast not appointed repentance for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who did not sin against Thee, but Thou hast appointed penance for me on account of my sins.
Quoniam peccavi super numerum harenae maris, multiplicatae sunt iniquitates meae, Domine, multiplicatae sunt iniquitates meae! Et non sum dignus intueri et aspicere altitudinem caeli prae multitudine iniquitatum mearum. For my sins number more than the grains of sand in the sea, my sins I have multiplied, O Lord, my sins I have multiplied! I am not worthy to gaze upon and behold heaven above because of the multitude of my sins.
Incurvatus sum multo vinculo ferro, ut non possim attollere caput meum et non est respiratio mihi, quia excitavi iracundiam tuam et malum coram te feci statuens abominationes et multiplicans offensiones. I am bowed down by many fetters of iron, so that I cannot lift my head nor can I breathe, for I have provoked Thy wrath and done evil in Thy sight, setting up abominations and multiplying my offenses.
Et nunc flecto genua cordis mei, precans ad te bonitatem Domine. And now I bend my knee and humble my heart, beseeching Thy goodness, O Lord.
Peccavi, Domine, peccavi, et iniquitatem meam agnosco. I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned, and I acknowledge my transgressions.
Quare peto rogans te, Domine, remitte mihi, remitte mihi! Ne simul perdas me cum iniquitatibus meis neque in aeternum iratus reserves mala mihi neque damnes me in infima terrae loca. Quia tu es, Deus, Deus inquam paenitentium, For this reason I beg to ask Thee, O Lord, forgive me, forgive me! Do not destroy me with my transgressions nor be angry forever with me nor condemn me to the depths of the inferno. For I say Thou art, O God, the God of the repentant,
et in me ostendes omnem bonitatem tuam! Quia indignum salvabis me secundum magnam misericordiam tuam, and in me Thou wilt show Thy great goodness! For, unworthy as I am, Thou wilt save me according to Thy great mercy,
et laudabo te semper omnibus diebus vitae meae. Quoniam te laudat omnis virtus caelorum et tibi est gloria in saecula saeculorum. Amen. and I will praise Thee always for all of the days of my life. For all the host of the heavens praise Thee and to Thee be glory forever. Amen.

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