Confession - specific and how many times

I am a little scrupulous, which makes it hard for me to go to confession I think. I want to go back from a previous confession, but have other sins I would like to confess after that confession. I don’t believe any of them are mortal, but I want to be sure. Most of them are lies, and they are ‘little’ lies and some are probably not even lies but from being scrupulous I want to confess. My question is, do I need to be specific in every lie and so I need to say how many times? Bc I wouldn’t be exactly sure on how many times unless I just count all the sins I wanted to confess from my list and just say that number. Can I just say I lied or do I need to be specific in each lie?


You only need to do one confession, not another confession after the first one. Include all sins in the same confession. If you don’t remember the number of times you lied, just make a rough estimate and say “I lied 40 or 50 times” or “I lied many times”.

That is really all you need to do. Of course, you should talk to the priest as well. He could always give you better advise.

We are only obligated to confess mortal sins (though it is a good practice to confess venial sins. And we are only obligated to confess those mortal sins in number and kind.

In general, I would only add details that are pertinent to the gravity of the sin. For example, lying to a coworker would be different than lying to one’s parents (because that also touches on the 4th Commandment). But there is not usually a need to recount every detail of every lie.

I would encourage you to talk to a Confessor about this question and about scrupulosity. He is going to help you a lot more than anyone on this forum will be able to do.

Maybe best to tell the confessor that you are scrupulous and where you are unsure ask him if you need to be more specific about circumstances or numbers.

Try not to think about numbering your sins. If you have committed mortal sins than yes give this numbering but it is not necessary to bring to light every venial sin. You are going to tire the priest and yourself. Be more concerned to say that yes I have lied and have done it many times. If the priest wants to ask you more about this than be obliged to give him more information but if the priest does not ask than it is not necessary for you to give more. Since you are conscious of what you do commit than by acknowledging it is sufficient for the Lord.

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