It’s been a long time since I went to confession. How do I begin, once inside the confessional? As a child, we began by saying, Bless me Father, for I have sinned, it’s been ( however long) since my last confession. Is this still the proper beginning?

That’s what I say!

Compared to 20 years ago, it seems to me there is a more fomral prayer of contrition you say after the Priest speaks, but in most Churches they have a little contrition prayer printed on cards in the back of the church or near the confessional if you need one. You could find one on the Internet too I am sure - the Priest will ask you to say one at the end (at least they do at my Church).

It’s a little more informal at my church. Our priest is great at putting you at ease. Usually, (I do the face-to-face instead of the screen), he’ll greet me with a smile and a ‘hello’ and ‘gets the ball rolling’ by asking, ‘what would you like to confess’. He likes us to tell him how long since our last confession, but doesn’t ask.

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