Remember how Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony begins?
Do you remember how Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony begins?
Beethoven’s Fifth begins with just four notes. But he repeats it over and over, because anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
The same thing happens in the Confiteor when we repeat just four syllables: mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, which is the Latin original for, “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault!”
We say that three times because important truths need to be repeated over and over again or we just don’t get it. Much like a mother who shouts “Do not touch it!!” three times – and each time louder! — as her little boy runs to touch the whistling teapot. “Don’t touch it!”