Confessing venial sins


My question is about confessing venial sins with mortal sins.

Are you supposed to distinguish between mortal and venial sins when it comes to the same action? For example, say person X committed murder 6 times, but only 4 of those times were mortal. If X wanted to confess his venial sins as well, would it be ok for him to just say, “I have committed murder 6 times…”? Or would he have to say, “I’ve murdered 4 times, but also 2 more times venially,”?

In my horrible way of explaining things, I’m basically trying to ask whether or not you are supposed to “separate” your mortal and venial sins when you list the number of times you sin.


I don’t know how to deal with it either.

What really gets me are the sins of omission.

How can one deal with that?

Still, we can only do the best we can do because it is not something anyone can really teach us.


Mortal or venial?
Just confess what you’ve done.
The priest knows the difference.

Just confess it.


How on earth could anyone murder someone “venially”? Murder is a mortal sin. If you committed 6 murders, confess to 6 murders. No you do not have to separate mortal sins from venial ones when you are confessing, but you should confess the mortal ones first, and then the venial ones. If you do it the other way around you might fail to confess the mortal ones, out of fear, or human respect (afraid of being thought to be horrible).

You need to know which of your sins are mortal, since you need to say how many times you committed these, since your last good confession. You do not need to say how many times you committed the venial sins.


It wasn’t meant to be taken literally, since I don’t know how either. :shrug:

No you do not have to separate mortal sins from venial ones when you are confessing, but you should confess the mortal ones first, and then the venial ones.

That seems contradictory. What I meant in the OP is if you commit the same sin multiple times, but some of those times it is mortal and some venial and you want to confess the venial as well, should you separate the mortal from the venial when numbering your sins?


It’s mandatory to confess all remembered mortal sins not already told in individual confession, where is it not physically or morally impossible. Venial is optional.


As far as I know, the only way a sin could be venial sometimes and mortal sometimes would be if it were mortal, but you didn’t know it was mortal the first X number of times you did it. Then you found out it was mortal and continued to do it anyway. I would just say “I have murdered X number of times” and let the priest then ask whatever questions he needs to ask. I wouldn’t separate out whether I thought the first 4 times I murdered were venial and the last 2 times mortal. I’d just say 6 times and be done with it.


First off, I cannot imagine a situation where murder can be a venial sin (unless you’re a psychopathic serial killer).

Second, you need to confess all mortal sins first, then move on to the venial sins.

For example, let’s say you were struggling with masturbation. You wouldn’t say, “4 of those times were mortal, and 2 were venial.” You would just say, “Father, I am been addicted to masturbation for a while, and I am not sure whether I mortally sinned.” You tell him the conditions that were present at the time of the sin. The priest will give you counsel.


I just confess all my sins, mortal (if any) and venial with numbers for both if applicable. I do try to start with the more serious sins if I can. I confess weekly so I usually only have 6-10 sins to confess, though. Not that I’m that good a person, I just try not to be scrupulous about my examen.


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