How to go to Confession?
You should prepare for Confession by examining your conscience. Click here for a thorough examination of conscience.
- Go to the Priest, kneel down or sit.
- Say “In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
- Wait for the Priest to speak to you.
- Say something to indicate you are prepared to confess your sins, common words used are: “Bless me Father for I have sinned, it has been ___ (how long?) since my last confession:”
- Tell the Priest the sins that you know you have committed. (You need to confess mortal sins of which you are aware and are commended, but not commanded, to confess venial sins.)
- Then say these or similar words: “I am sorry for these and for all of my sins.”
- The Priest will speak to you briefly and give you a penance (usually prayers)
- The Priest will then ask you to make an Act of Contrition, you can say one you know already, or you can say this: “O My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy.”
- The Priest will then absolve you of your sins, by saying: "God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church, may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." (often the Priest will say only the words underlined)
- You say “Amen”
- The Priest will dismiss you (possibly he will say, “Go in peace”), to which you say “Thanks be to God”. Or you may simply thank the Priest and leave.
- After you leave the confessional, and, as soon as it is possible, do the penance you were assigned.