confession question

Hey everybody,

This is my first post here at CA and I am hoping to get a clear answer. I did search previous posts on this same topic before posting, so please forgive me if you’re tired of yet another confession question :wink: I didn’t find the answer I was looking for. What I mean to say is I did not find my particular question answered.

Here is my dilemma: I am already baptized and have just begun RCIA to come into full communion with the Catholic Church next Easter. I have a great need to confess mortal sins but will not be allowed to make my first confession until next Easter. And I am terrified of dying in a state or mortal sin between now and then!

What hope is there for those of us in this situation? I know the CCC is clear that persons dying in a state of mortal sin go to hell.

Is this normal? That Candidates in RCIA are not allowed to participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation until the Easter Vigil? I am terrified of my sins and want nothing more than to confess them and receive forgiveness. Do i really have to wait? And then what happens if I die before Easter?!

I did speak with my Pastor who encouraged me not to worry about my past mistakes, look forward to a new life in Christ, and take it day by day. :confused: He said I would be required to wait until Easter for my first confession.


If you were in danger of death, the priest could absolve you.

Though, about the not being able to go to confession until the Easter Vigil isn’t correct. Because you were already baptized, and it is a sacrilege to receive any of the sacraments in mortal sin (aside from baptism and confession) you would be required to go to Confession BEFORE Easter Vigil. Otherwise you couldn’t be confirmed or receive communion.

thanks for your reply :slight_smile:

We will complete our first confession the week of Easter 2013. I understand it is necessary before receiving the sacraments, my question, I guess, is dealing more with if then, why not now? I am terrified of my sins and want to confess them! Can I really not do it NOW? Must it be the week before Easter? And what happens if I die before then?

Thanks for helping me be more clear. I hope. :shrug:

It would be “prior” to their reception at Easter

(often I imagine such takes place not long before full reception at Easter…or before another time they are received)

One can discuss the matter further with ones Priest.

Grace and an act of perfect contrition can restore one to a state of grace…

1452 When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called “perfect” (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible.51

It is also to be noted that such contrition out of love can co-exist with lesser forms of contrition out of fear of say hell.

The “prior” part though to my understanding is not particularly specified as to how much prior it ought to be. Though certain custom may be known from place to place.

The RCIA is chiefly for those who are not yet Christian. Are not yet Baptized. Many places like to have all those who are being received into the Church go through the RCIA with the catechumens. Such need not be the case per se.

Of course one would be prepared to receive the Sacrament of Penance usually before they receive it and would ordinarily undergo other instruction to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church.

Again discuss your particular desire etc a Priest.

You’re already Baptized. But did you have your First Holy Communion when you were 7 or 8, and they just lumped everyone together in RCIA?

If you’ve already made your First Confession, and you’re worried, go again. If not, then you’ll have to be sufficiently prepared for it, just like the 7 year olds, before you go.

The way I understand it, you are not yet in full communion with the catholic church, since your going through RCIA. Baptized in another christian denomination? Correct?

Don´t worry. Confession is normally the only way to get mortal sins forgiven, but God can forgive them outside of the confessional. God loves you, and he is calling you to his church. You are not yet able to recieve the sacrament, God knows this. He also knows that you want to confess them. If you would die before being able to confess them, trust in God. He loves you, and he don´t want you to go to hell. He knows you´re heart, and he is not bound by church rules. You will die with the intention of confessing the, and God knows this.

Yes, the church says that we must confess our mortal sins, otherwise hell awaits us. But this applies to those who are able to go to confession. God has instituted this sacrament, but he is not bound by it.

The priest told you not to worry, and to look forward to a new life in christ. Do it!
Go to confession when the church lets you. For now, pray, and tell God all that is on your mind.

Best wishes, and I will pray for you.

Also, I believe it is also a Church position, maybe not necessarily doctrine, but common belief, that if someone who is in a state of mortal sin, but for some reason cannot make it to confession (like in your situation) and dies having wanted to go to confession, that he/she would be forgiven of all sins because of their desire. This is similar to the idea of baptism by desire.

This idea comes from a question I’ve seen answered before about what if someone who is in a state of mortal sin dies on the way to confession. This is why I feel it would apply to you, even if you are currently not physically on your way to confession, you are moving towards confession in time (on your way, so to speak).

Every human being, Catholic or not, has hope in God’s mercy. Indeed, he should hope in God’s mercy.

That’s great that you are using the CCC at this early stage in your Catholic life.

I’ve looked through the relevant section and it does not say that sacramental confession is always required for forgiveness of mortal sin.

The following are, I believe, all of the relevant paras…

*1856 Mortal sin, by attacking the vital principle within us - that is, charity - necessitates a new initiative of God’s mercy and a conversion of heart which is **normally **accomplished within the setting of the sacrament of reconciliation:
*1861 Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God’s forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ’s kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back. However, although we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God.
*1864 "Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven."136 There are no limits to the mercy of God, but anyone who deliberately refuses to accept his mercy by repenting, rejects the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy Spirit.137 Such hardness of heart can lead to final impenitence and eternal loss.
*1874 To choose deliberately - that is, both knowing it and willing it - something gravely contrary to the divine law and to the ultimate end of man is to commit a mortal sin. This destroys in us the charity without which eternal beatitude is impossible. Unrepented, it brings eternal death.
Note: In all the above “repentance” is required for forgiveness, but not, specifically, sacramental confession.

That does sound like good advice, and I agree with it. Unfortunately, some Catholic priests forget that many people, particularly those new to the faith, want clear answers derived from Catholic authorities, rather than general reassurance. I’ve been there myself (as the one new to the faith) :slight_smile:

Thanks for your responses…They have been truly helpful. I appreciate the time y’all took for such careful answers and I am thankful for your prayers :smiley:

God bless you

I would urge you to go back to your priest and explain that your soul is greatly troubled by your sins, and could he talk to you for a while about them. If he will not take this seriously, I think if it were me, I’d go to another priest and ask him if there was anything I could do. I know it freaks me out if I sin at the start of the week and have to wait until that following Saturday to confess - I can’t imagine having to wait MONTHS!!


Welcome Home!!!

Welcome Home!!! :thumbsup: :D:D:D:grouphug::grouphug::blessyou::blessyou::blessyou:

I agree with the OP’s opinions…

Talk to your Priest and see if He can do something…

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