I’m not sure on this one,could someone set me straight.
When confessing sins, does one confess the actual sin or the commandment that was broken?

You need to confess the actual sin. Simply mentioning the commandment that was broken is not enough. For example, if you say I broke the 6th commandment, what does that mean? That is way too vague for confession. Each commandment covers several infractions. To say that you broke the sixth commandment and not give the priest an indication of how you exactly did it is not really coming forth with the truth.

Confess the the sin. The commandments cover a lot of sins so by confessing the specific sin the priest has a better idea what you are confessing. With that knowledge he can give you possible suggestions on how to avoid them as well as assign you a fitting penance.

God Bless,

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