[quote=Paris Blues]If I do convert, I heard that you have to have your first confession and tell a priest EVERY SINGLE thing that you did that you can remember!!! :bigyikes: I mean, just the thought of this is a little scary in a way 'cause there are some things that you just don’t want to tell another person…it’s between God and you only! :tsktsk: There are some things you don’t want another person to know about!!! :o If that’s the case, I just hope it’s not in front of a billion people! :eek:
I heard that you have to go once a week. Let’s pretend you didn’t do anything bad in that week…still have to go?
Also, why do people say you have to go at least once a year? I thought it was every week!!!
I converted at 25, so I can relate to your fears about first confession and the many sins that have been added up over a lifetime! However, the priest will help you. We went at a special time set aside for the RCIA candidates to go to confession, so the priest knew it was our first and helped us through it. If you go on your own, just tell the priest it’s your first confession and he’ll help you. You don’t have to list every single sin you ever committed. The big ones I would tell individually, the others you can put together into areas of sinfulness (like, impatience, anger, jealousy, etc). Get a book that shows you how to make confessions and do an examination of conscience so that you will be prepared and know what to expect. You can take it into the confessional and follow it.
As for regular confession, yes it is a good idea. Even if you haven’t committed any “big ones” you have committed small ones, like yelling at someone in traffic, thinking bad thoughts, being uncharitable, etc. Once a week, once a month, something like that. The more frequent the better-- so the Saints tell us.
There is no set timeframe for confession or when one must go. However, all Catholics are obligated to receive Holy Communion once per year (at a minimum of course) during the Easter season. One cannot receive the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin, therefore one must go to confession prior to receiving the Eucharist if one is aware of mortal sin. So, that is where the once a year thing comes from. It’s not that you have to go to confession once a year, but that you must receive the Eucharist once a year, and to do so it must be preceded by confession if you are aware of mortal sin.
Does that make sense?