I had a confession this previous week I was afraid wasn’t valid because during my act of contrition, I remembered a sin that I hadn’t confessed but did not stop the act of contrition out of fear of annoying or angering the priest. I went today to confess this and the previous weeks sins and a similar thing happened this week. I said the sins I remembered and after saying them I believe it might have been while the priest was talking, I remembered that I failed to trust in God but did not stop the priest from talking when he said he would forgive me for the sins I said and forgot but not the ones that I kept hidden.
Also, I rushed through saying a detail in the confessional out of embarrassment.
Sorry if this wasn’t very clear but I am very bothered by this as I am a very scrupulous person. Was my absolution valid or did I negate it?
A simple search on Confession, Sins, Forgotten key words turned up over 1000 threads concerning this very topic.
It usuall boils down to **intent ** and type of sin.
The CCC1458 states that “venial sins” or “everyday faults” are not strictly necessay to confess; however, strongly recommends doing so helps us to form our conscience, strengthen our resolve against the evil one and evil tendencies, and lets us be healed by Christ.
CCC1456 states that “All mortal sins of which penitient after a diligent self-examinatio are conscious must be recounted by them in confession…” and then goes on:
"When Christ’s faithful strive to confess all the sins that they can remember, they undoubtedly** place all of them** before the divine mercy for pardon. But those who fail to do so and **knowingly withhold **some, *place nothing before the divine goodness for remission *through the mediation of the priest, “for if the sick person is too ashamed to show his wound to the doctor, the medicine cannot heal what is does not know.”
That is pretty clear… :shrug:
So let’s get the take from someone that has a lot of respect, and better understanding than I, Jimmy Akin:
(A) It’s actually a bit stronger than that. If you remember a mortal sin that your forgot to confess then you have an obligation to confess it, even though it has already been forgiven.
In the case of scrupulous individuals, though, standard moral and pastoral theology holds that they should only confess such sins if the following conditions obtain: (1) they know for a fact it was a mortal sin and (2) they know for a fact that they have not already confessed it. If they aren’t sure about either of these two conditions then a person with a scrupulous conscience should not confess the sin because it will foster further scrupulosity if they get in the habit of confessing sins that they aren’t sure were mortal or aren’t sure if they haven’t already been confessed.(…)[/INDENT]
So, taken from 1456 and JA comments: It appears that if you had INTENDED to omit the sin during confession, you need to go back and do so as soon as reasonably possible; however, if you forgot something during confession and had INTENEDED to confess it then you can wait until your next confession being carefull not to foster a scrupulous conscience.
I am a very scrupulous person.
Take very carefull note of the conditions in the paragraph and the warning about fostering an overly scrupulous conscience.
I always end my profession of sins with “For these and all of the sins of my past life…” thus covering anything that I may have forgotten - for if I remembered then I would have confessed them… ofcourse, I came in to the Church, unbaptised in my 40’s; thus, my past life of sin was given a clean slate so I don’t have to remember back very far!
Here’s my advice: do a peaceful examination of conscience before confession - possibly the night before - and if you have trouble keeping the sins you intend to confess in mind, write them on a piece of paper (don’t make it a diary, though…just jot down keywords to remember what you need to remember) and discard it after Confession. Don’t read off it as a list either…confess spontaneously and use the list as a memory refresher to make sure you didn’t miss anything. You need not be too detailed: just try your best to confess your mortal sins in kind and number, and remember that no matter what, he probably has heard much, much worse, and regardless he knows we are all sinners in need of mercy. At the end of confession, remember to conclude with a phrase similar to the following: “for this, and for all sins I may not recall, and for all the sins of my life, I repent and ask for God’s pardon.”
After all, it is only bad if we voluntarily withhold a sin from the confessor. If we truly forget a mortal sin, or if we wish to confess a sin we are unsure of whether it is mortal or venial, we can do it next time, being assured that the good Lord, the Mighty to Save, already forgave.
Now, here’s how the spirit against Christ works: he loves to make us doubt and to move us to servile fear. He knows our sins better than we do, and he will bring some things to mind, depicting them as if they were tragic offenses that cry to heaven, and making us feel miserable because we withhold them from the priest…he may even succeed in making us believe we deceived the confessor! Of course, his goal is very, very simple: he wants to stop us from receiving Communion.
Communion with Christ is the greatest thing that there could be in Creation, and therefore we must be properly disposed. However, if we repented of our sins, confessed to the best of our ability, received absolution, and respected the Eucharistic fast, then nothing in this world should prevent us from receiving the Lord of all hopefulness. Nothing!
Remember that the priest is your friend. He doesn’t get annoyed too easily because he is there to serve you. If your will is to repent and be reconciled with Christ, if you sincerely seek communion with God, then relax, for it is not you who go out there seeking Him, but rather it is Him who goes out there, finds you, takes you on His shoulders and carries you back within the safety of the flock
I can’t say, I think the church does say confession is still valid if you forgot sins. But I’m not sure if that only means “remembered after you left”, I’m not sure what if any difference remembering during the act of contrition would make. Sounds like you need to do the same thing I desperatly need to do. Exorcise our abilities at examining our continences.
I know sadly many times I wait until I’m in line to launch the app to find out what other misc sins I might have. That doesn’t work. I should be doing what my priest told me, daily examination.
You know, I should have mentioned that too!
When I take my children to confession we have a worksheet that I have them use that covers the basic sins that child might commit with room to write down any “context” like, “I hit my brother twice, but he hit me first”
I have only three rules with this paper as I consider it part of the confessional:
if I or my wife see it, nothing on there is punishable. I hope that as a teenager (not too far away for the oldest, ) this might also serve as a communication tool for those things that should be talked about but they are too afraid to come out and talk, ofcourse, they have to go to confession if they use this! )
if it’s not yours and you see it, nothing on there may be disclosed to anyone else and doing so is punishable and considered a serious act
it is to go into the shreader as soon as possible. I like this act. The children do their penance and then we take that paper and put it thru a cross-cut… adds that physical, material finality to the act that I think many of us need.