Can I go to confession?

I am in the process of having my marriage convalidated, I already do not receive communion. However with Easter fast approaching the opportunity to go to confession presents itself. But can I receive this sacrament as I know I am on the outs with the Church?


I believe the short answer is “no”. I don’t believe you can receive the sacraments until you get your marriage convalidated, which you are obviously working on. Once that is complete, then make your confession and begin receiving communion.

Anyone want to correct me here?

If you are a Catholic that has already received first communion you can go to confession. However, you must make sure that you are sorry for all the sins that you have committed, you confess all of them, and that you truly propose not to commit any of them anymore. That includes irregular marital status. If you just need convalidation of your marriage and you are not having spousal relationships until the marriage is considered valid then you are fine. If there is more to it (e.g. waiting for an annulment) then you are not fine. Just talk to a priest and share the details with him, you can do that in confession and if the basis for a valid confession are not there he will not absolve you and he will explain the reason to you.

I strongly encourage you to read the following examination of conscience before talking to a priest.

Maybe I’m missing something here.

By the fact that she’s having to get the marriage convalidated tells me that the marriage is currently invalid. I didn’t think you could receive the sacraments while in an invalid marriage? I don’t see where it matters if there’s an annulment involved or if she just married outside the church, which violated Canon Law.

You are correct when you say that a person living an invalid marriage should refrain from approaching the sacraments. However, if right now she is not living the invalid marriage, then she is not sinning. That it is why I suggested to talk to a priest, her status is borderline and only an open conversation with a priest can clarify the situation.

I tried to go to this link and it says it is “forbidden” … I guess to mean I don’t have access…is there another way… I’ve been looking for a good guide to Confession for a while…

Thanks…besides physics, did you study theology?:wink:

She presumably is living in the invalid marriage if she is going to the trouble of getting it convalidated. So long as she is prepared to live as brother and sister with her (as of yet) civil husband, confession is open to her, right?

Even a non-catholic can go to confession. As long as one is baptized, which is why in RCIA, a baptized convert goes to confession prior to receiving the rest of the sacraments.

Last year when my marriage was convalidated prior to my conversion, I was asked by my very orthodox priest to give a good confession prior to the convalidation. This in the same essence would be the OP’s issue.

Look to this thread for more information:

Now receiving communion? That’s another issue, which the OP acknowledges she cannot receive at this time.

To remove all doubt, ask your priest. :thumbsup:

As kids, we make our first confession before our first communion. Why is it different with adults?

CAF is not really a good place to get advice on this topic. Call your parish, they’ll have the right answer for you.

That said, here’s my speculation: if you are validly baptized, they will tell you that you can make a confession. Indeed, all Catholics are required to receive Holy Communion at least once a year-- and ideally, it’s at Easter! But if you are living in mortal sin precludes this. You will probably have to live as “brother and sister” until your marriage is accepted by the Church so as to not commit that particular sin. And mention to Father in confession that you are in process of convalidation, he’ll know what to do.

Good for you to desire confession! I’ve found that my confessions have gotten better and deeper the more often that I avail myself of the sacrament. I am not very good at examining my conscience-- and guides like the one posted above help, but are no substitute for practice.

Even if you have to wait, the opportunity for confession presents itself ***every Saturday ***in most parishes. There’s no need to wait for Advent, Lent or Easter when you are eligible.


Try this link it is the source of the PDF file I was linking to.

I just like to study different things, theology and philosophy are interesting topics.:wink:

For the most part, non-Catholics cannot go to Confession, unless they are in the process of becoming Catholics AND have understanding of the Sacrament.
I believe that under certain circumstances, Eastern Orthodox may, but not others, as they also have the same understanding and practice of this Sacrament.
Those baptized under a Protestant denomination, for example, with no intention to become Catholic, and without this Sacramental practice in their faith nor understanding of the Sacrament, cannot.

Ask your priest for guidance.

As has already been stated, you can approach the Sacrament of Confession if you meet the criteria for a good confession-- contrition, confession, firm ammendment of purpose, and satisfaction.

If you are sorry for marrying outside the church and are in the process of correcting the situation via convalidation then you have contrition. If you live as brother and sister until convalidation you have firm ammendment of purpose. If you do you penance, you have satisfaction.

Your priest will be the one to guide you on this matter. So, while the forum can give you general guidelines, only your priest can give you *specific *guidance in the confessional. If there is some element which you lack and the priest cannot give you absolution, he will tell you why and what must be done. He will also guide you on whether or not you should receive the Eucharist after your confession.

The traditional advice is that the couple would have to separate, not live as brother and sister in order to avoid the possibility of scandal. The exception would be if there are minor children involved.

My advice would be that the OP should talk with her priest and follow his advice.

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