Confessed venial sins and made a minor mistake


Hello everyone. Starting a few months ago, I returned to the Church after about 8 years of living in sin. I’ve been going to confession regularly, as I have been remembering past sins. I’ve also taken to the habit of confessing venial sins that have been bothering me.

Anyway, I went to confession today and confessed all the mortal and venial sins that came to mind. One of the past venial sins I mentioned involved laziness with respect to completing school assignments. Since I couldn’t remember the exact number, I simply said “occasionally,” which seemed to satisfy the priest. However, after mentioning it, I thought about it, and decided that saying “often” probably would’ve been more accurate. But as I had already begun mentioning another venial sin, I decided not to correct myself.

I understand that we are only required to mention mortal sins in confession. However, would my failure to correct myself with respect to the number of times I committed a venial sin, constitute the mortal sin of lying in the confessional? I think I may be slightly scrupulous about this, so I felt it wise to ask here.

Thank you for any advice you can offer!


Hi Naga!

Welcome to CAF!

Yes, it sounds like you’re being to scrupulous about this. There’s nothing wrong with fine tuning the details, but don’t get so bogged down with them that you find yourself worrying about things like this.

A good rule of thumb is to spend a few minutes examining your conscience, and then go to confession and confess your sins. If during the process of Confession you remember sins, or feel it should be different, don’t worry about it. The time to determine what you’re going to confess is done prior to Confession when you examine your conscience. Of course our memories are not perfect, and we may even discover inaccuracies while we’re reciting sins. That’s to be expected but in no way invalidates the Confession nor is it sacrilege.

Hope that helps!


NB: Note well

Venial sins do not need to be confessed (they can be forgiven in many ways) but it is good to confess from ones venial sins frequently (see Catechism).

When one confesses venial sins - no number is needed. And if one gives a number it can be rather general.

Sounds like you judged there and then that you where* fine* and moved on. But then *later *the thought and fear came - oh no was that a lie or even a serious lie? Where as a the time you judged it fine.


If you remember a mortal sin…of course confess that. (though if one remembers when the Priest is giving absolution -save it for next confession).


It seems like an honest mistake or oversight. If it really bothers you just tell the priest you have taken a better look at your issues with laziness and have decided they where a bit more serious than you thought. (No mater if it was homework, housework, the job.) I think simply being honest like this should cover your concerns.

I have forgotten entire sins out of nervousness, and later gone back and mentioned them. The Priest has always indicated that I was fine as long as I was not intentionally leaving things out to appear better than I was or to avoid embarrassment. Sometimes stress can make us forget things we have no intention of forgetting. Just keep it in mind and mention it again. Of course prayer until then is good.


Since you don’t even have to mention venial sins in confession and as they are absolved in a number of ways outside of confession (including receiving the Eucharist) I don’t think you need to worry about this and it will only add to your scrupulous tendencies. Your worry may be brought to the attention of your spiritual director, if you’ve one so that he can help you with your scrupulosity


Not something to worry much about. Since it bothers you, you can mention it your next confession.


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