Would you please tell me how to go about making a decent confesstion. From walking into the confessional to the end? It has been many many years and I really want to go tomorrow but can’t remember everything I need to do and say. Thank you so much!
Sure. First of all, thank God for the graces that got you to go back to this most wonderful sacrament.
The priest will most likely help you through but I will give you what it is that I do.
Enter the confessional. Some have face to face and some are behind the screen. You choose and do what’s most comfortable.
Say while making the Sign of the Cross: Bless me Father for I have sinned… It’s been (How long) since my last confession. If you can’t remember precisely then say over twenty years or whatever most fits.
Then say your sins. It’s best to mention the most difficult ones first. Mention all mortal sins as these must all be accounted for for a valid confession. Make sure that you do not intentionally leave out any mortal sins. Again, the priest should guide you through the gravity of your sins.
After you are finished confessing, depending on the priest, he will give you some guidance and counseling. Then he may ask you to pray the Act of Contrition. If you do not have that memorized he will probably have a printed prayer for you or you can bring one in with you.
Then the priest will give you your penance. This can vary from a few prayers to an act of kindness or any other form of restitution for your sins.
The priest will then pray the Prayer of Absolution over you and your sins are then forgiven.
After your absolution then the priest may say something to leave you with and that’s pretty much it.
May God bless you and I do know what it is like going back to confession for me after over 25 years. It is awesome and there are no words to describe what you will feel afterwards.
It helps me to use plain language, short sentences, get the worst sins up first.
I’ve found Fr Socias guide to be helpful.
Thank you all for your help. I am off to confession this morning.
Regarding “what to confess”
We are required to confess all mortal sins… in number and kind (murder 3 times etc)
and we would add any circumstances that would change the nature of the sin …such as one murdered one person…and that was actually ones sister! or one stole an expensive gold cup…and it was the Chalice from Church! (thus also sacriledge)
One can not of course hide any mortal sins …that would make the confession invalid and add a further mortal sin…so of course do not do that …
but if one forgets one…no problem…it can be forgiven with that absolution indirectly…but one needs to still confess it the next confession…
this may help:
Remember Jesus loves you and is waiting for you ! it will be wonderful…
This is to late to help you today, but may be of use to others.
A couple of years ago I encountered a young lady in Church frantically looking for guides to Confession. It had been several years since she had been to confession. I advised her to just go in, tell the priest how long it had been, tell him she didn’t know what to do, and let him take it from there.