For many laypeople, going to confession is daunting: what do you say? what will the priest think? what's a sin? do you have to remember all the times you sinned since your last confession? YIKES!
Confession is actually a very straightforward process, with a standard procedure in th confessional:
You say: “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been - (state the length of time) – since my last confession. These are my sins.” Then tell your mortal sins and the number of times committed. If you have no mortal sin to confess, then confess the venial sins you have committed since your last confession.
When you have finished telling your sins, you should say: “For these and all the sins of my past, I am truly sorry.”
The priest now gives the necessary advice, assigns your penance and asks you to say the Act of Contrition: “O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven, and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all good and deserving of all My love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasions of sin. Amen.”
Wait and listen as the priest gives the absolution. Say “Thank you, Father”, leave the confessional, and then perform the penance assigned by the priest.
For more information on having a good Confession, please click on the link to the Confession Guide, below. Feel free to print and take along with you the next time you go to Confession!