Confession question


I’ve always found it VERY hard to actually confess most of my mortal sins in a voice loud and clear enough so that the priest can understand me…It’s not because of a physical disability though; it’s just SO HARD for me to force the words from my mouth. Because of this I used to never go to confession even though I really needed to, but then when I was seventeen, I thought of writing down sin lists and handing them to the priests. Because most priests except this, I thought it was just a personal preference of some priests to not except it, but now I’ve just read in the CCC that a penitent is supposed to “confess with the lips.” Of course there are some people who literally can’t do that and are excempt, but am I? When and if forced to read my lists, the priest can’t understand me anyway so what’s the point? I guess maybe I should confess my sins out loud because the CCC says I should and then hand the priest the list so he’ll actually know what I said?

Also, what about the times I simply handed my lists to the priests and they granted me absolution? Are they considered invalid?


You received absolution, you are fine. Pray to God for you say your sins without fear and to say them clearly for this is the way of doing it. Always try saying them if the priest asks you to repeat show him the list. Most priests are understanding but always try. You owe it to God.

May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Ps don’t be scared GO to confession


First, my suggestion. Why not make two copies of your sin list? You can say one with your lips, and the priest can read along with the other. (Ask the priest to hand your list back when you’re done, and don’t forget to destroy both lists.)

My other suggestion is that you explain your problem to a priest, and find out his suggestions.

Confessions are usually supposed to be oral for several reasons.

  1. Bible passages.

  2. Most people in the world aren’t literate, even now.

  3. Written confessions lend themselves to blackmail, police search and seizure, and other bad things.

  4. Priests find out a lot from one’s tone of voice.

I hope this helped! Please keep trying to go to Confession. God is pleased with your resolution and determination.


I find it is almost an art, when the confessionals aren’t completely soundproof, to modulate my voice just enough so my confessor can hear, but not so loud that anyone who happens to be nearby OVERhears…


I was thinking about this topic the other day (giving a written list to the priest). I am relatively new to all of this, but, my thoughts on it were that it is far better to confess them out loud. I know for me, it is so humbling to say it, to accuse yourself; no matter how vile, no matter how embarrassing the sin may be. It is good for the soul. A written list wouldn’t be the same.

I am sure if you were absolved that your confession was valid. But I would really encourage you to confess aloud.


Well, would there possibly be an exception for someone with a neurological disability?

Also, if someone is able and willing to confess this in written form and is careful about destroying it afterwards, than how exactly is embarrassment getting in the way of them confessing it? To me it doesn’t feel like embarrassment getting in the way, but an irrational nervousness about actually saying the sins out loud to a priest and my voice box ABSOLUTELY refuses to cooperate in a well enough way.


Well, I suppose that there could be some sort of disability causing it. As far as what you said about embarrassment; I would find it far less embarrassing or humiliating handing someone a pre-written note than verbally accusing myself - Far less.

Pax Domini

*Edit: You really should probably speak to a priest and get his advice as to how to handle this issue in the future; he would be able to say whether you can or should continue with the notes and might have some insight into how you might.could overcome the issue you posted about.


No one here can provide you with an exception from the norm of verbal confession. I suggest you raise this with your regular confessor.

Sins are embarrassing. Confessing them ought to be embarrassing, and make us want to do better at avoiding them.

Also, as another poster raised, the penitent’s voice can reveal a lot to the confessor regarding their disposition/contrition. Plus, a verbal confession is more conducive to discussion, so the priest can offer suitable and specific advice.


Well said. :thumbsup:


I wasn’t asking if I could get a special excemption just for me, but if a neurological disability is a probable cause of the problem, would that excempt someone?

Also, as to the tone of my voice, it would reveal merely nervousness, as well as my words being practically unintelligible–in other words hardly conducive to conversation and certainly not more so than when I write my lists and hand them to the priests.


If you think you have a neurological disorder, you should see a psychologist/psychiatrist.

But it sounds like simple embarrassment. Your regular confessor can work with you on this, and advise about the use of lists, non-verbal confession, etc. He is the one to ask - not us.


It’s nothing all that serious. I was diagnosed many years ago as a child. If it’s just simple embarrassment than why can’t I force my voice box to work properly at those times and why doesn’t it feel like embarrassment?


Just talk to your regular confessor.


Okay. My regular confessors have been accepting the lists. I’ll tell them what it says in the CCC and ask about my specific situation.


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