Simple Steps to a Good Confession

  1. Prior to Confession, we complete an Examination of Conscience.
  2. We approach the Priest:
    The priest will say, “In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
    We make the sign of the cross while he says this.
  3. We say:
    “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been ___ weeks since my last confession.”
  4. We continue:
    “These are my sins: ___________”
    We tell the priest those we remember from our Examination of Conscience, or others that we need to tell.
  5. After telling the priest our sins, we say:
    “I am sorry for these and for all of my sins.”
    The priest will say a few words to us. We listen to him.
  6. The priest will give us a penance (usually a prayer or a kind deed).
    We should respond with, “Yes, Father.”
  7. The priest may then ask us to say an Act of Contrition.
    We respond with the Act of Contrition:
    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. Amen.
  8. Then the priest will give us the Lord’s forgiveness, which is called absolution.
    The priest says a prayer laying his hands gently on or just over our head:
    “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.”
    We make the sign of the cross and say, “Amen.”
    The priest dismisses us, often with a sign of peace.
    We say, “Thank you, Father.”
  9. We do the penance the priest assigned,
    and thank God for His mercy and the strength we have received in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
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