Then shall the confessor say:
God be merciful to thee and strengthen thy faith! Amen.
Furthermore: Dost thou believe that my forgiveness is God's forgiveness?
Answer. Yes, dear sir.
Then let him say: As thou believest, so be it done unto thee. And by the command of our Lord Jesus Christ, I forgive thee thy sins, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. Depart in peace.
Absolution comes from the verb “absolve,” to “loose” and “set free”. Absolution means to declare loose and free from sin, to forgive. Absolution from the pastor does not mean that he does the actual forgiving. This only God can do.
Absolution presupposes that Christ has atoned for all your sins, and that God has forgiven them. It means that this forgiveness, which is the Gospel, is proclaimed as an accomplished fact. All the pastor does is offer, apply and assure you that your sin is gone!
Almighty God, through the resurrection of Your Son You have secured peace for our troubled consciences. Grant us this peace evermore that trusting in the merit of Your Son we may come at last to the perfect peace of heaven; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Collect for Easter Tuesday, Lutheran Service Book © 2008 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
Artwork by Ed Rojas, © Higher Things