AN EXAMPLE OF THE SYRIAC TRADITION (from the 12th century)
“… confession [should] be heard while seated at the door of the church. The penitent should present himself with head uncovered, hands joined, eyes downcast, and kneel at the priest’s right for the confession. After having heard the confession, the priest says: ‘Keep yourself from repeating these deeds. I pardon you here as does God in heaven, and the deed that you have revealed will not be made manifest again on the day of Judgment, nor will you be condemned on its account.’
“Then the priest recites psalms and the Gloria, a number of ancient prayers, readings, and hymns, adding to them prayers relative to each sin, and lays on hands. When the confession has to do with the sins of the flesh or lies, there is found at this point a reminder of the promise of Christ to the apostles: ‘What you bind on earth… ‘ Finally, he imposes the canonical penance. After the penitent has completed the penance that had been imposed, he must once again present himself to the confessor. The confessor places his hands on the penitent’s head, breathes three times into his face, and says: ‘May this sin be wiped away from your soul and body, in the name of the Father. May you be purified and made holy in the name of the Son. May you be pardoned and reconciled in the name of the Holy Spirit'” (Chapungco, 108).
But for most of the Syrian Eastern Catholics– for example, the Chaldeans, the Malabarese, the Maronites– they “have been inspired by the Roman Ritual” and use an indicative formula (eg: “I absolve you…”)