Absolution, in the Roman Catholic church, the act of the priest in pronouncing the pardon and remission of the sins of a penitent. Absolution in foro interno is a part of the sacrament of penance, in which the guilt of mortal and venial sin is remitted. Absolution in foro externo is the remission of certain ecclesiastical penalties, for example, excommunication. There are also precatory forms of absolution, which are used during the divine service. Short prayers at the end of each nocturn in the office of matins are also called absolution. In the morning and evening prayers of the English and American Episcopal churches, absolution is a formula of publicly praying for or declaring the remission of the sins of the penitent, used only by a priest; also, in the "Office for the Visitation of the Sick" of the church of England, an authoritative declaration of the pardon of sin, pronounced over a penitent after private confession. Similar forms of absolution are used in the Lutheran church.