Confiteor is the form of general confession of sins made in the offices of the Church, so called from its first word. This is prescribed:
1. At the beginning of the mass, when the priest says it standing at the steps of the altar, "bowing very low."
2. At the administration of the holy communion at other times.
3. At the administration of extreme unction.
4. Previous to the absolution "in articulo mortis."
5. In the daily office at compline; and at prime, when the office is not double.
Sacramental confession is also directed to begin with the opening words of the "Confiteor." It is prefaced by the versicle "Deus in adjutorium," etc., and is said alternately by the priest and congregation, who each respond with a prayer for the forgiveness of the other; in addition to which the priest pronounces a short formula of absolution over the people. There have been various forms in former ages, but since the publication of the missal of Pius V there has been complete uniformity in this respect throughout the Roman Church. SEE CONFESSION.