Confession questions.


Hi, I have several questions about going to confession.

Instead of telling the priest what I did that was a sin can I just tell him what commandment I broke?(example:stealing something and just say “I broke the 7th commandment”)

Do I have to tell the priest how many times I broke a particular commandment?

Can I make a list of my sins and just let the priest read the list?Can I read my sins off a list so I don’t forget anything?

Thanks for any help.

p.s.not sure if I have this in the right place so fell free to move it.


Firstly - welcome to the forums Mike :wave: hope you enjoy the place. This is as good a spot as any for your question.

Obviously you have a particular sin or sins that you’re worried about confessing. Rest assured that priests honestly do pretty much hear it all in the confessional, so please don’t be scared to go into just a little detail about your sins. It really does help them in knowing how best to advise you, if you need advice.

You know that there are grades of sin. If you were just to say ‘I broke the seventh commandment’ or even just ‘I stole something’ … well, that would could mean that stealing five dollars from your mom’s spare change jar or could equally mean that you held up a bank and got away with a few million. There’s a big difference between the types of sin covered by that one commandment, so you need to be just a little more detailed!!!

Doesn’t mean you need to give every last detail either. Just saying ‘I stole five bucks from my mom’s change jar’ or ‘I held up a bank and stole x million dollars’ should be about the right level - if the priest needs more detail he’ll ask questions about it.

And yes, if possible you should say how many times or how often (perhaps just make an educated guess) you committed a particular sin. If you honestly don’t know, say so. This helps the priest in knowing if a particular sin is a real problem for you.

If you find yourself literally having difficulty speaking from nerves or for any other reason then certainly you could probably tell the priest so and have him read a written list.

And if you want to make a list and read from it yourself that’s absolutely fine. In fact it’s a great idea and something a lot of people do (yours truly included). You can even enjoy shredding it or burning it afterwards as a reminder that your sins are all forgiven and forgotten in confession.

But even if you do forget something, remember that it’s forgiven anyway as long as you honestly have simply forgotten.


Thanks a bunch for the info.:slight_smile:



In answer to your questions:

tell the Priest what sin you committed. You don’t have to get graphic just tell him what is relevant ie: I stole 2,000 from my place of employment

Tell him how many times you committed the sin in question ie: I stole from my place of emplyment 5 times totaling 2000.

You can make a list and read it to the Priest, but you tell him the sins or read them to him, I know it is hard but it really makes a difference. Believe me on this one.

Don’t be scared, believe me the Priest has probably heard every type of sin you could ever imagine and some you can’t.

Just be truthful and you will be all right:) : Trust me, I’m an old hand at confession:thumbsup: I make frequent use of the Sacrament due to my many faults and defects.


Welcome idkguy. That is a very common question in the land of CAF. I love what LilyM said about burning or shredding the list. Might have to do that tonight after I go.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit