Crying during confession?


I could not find a thread on this although there was one on crying during mass (I often do). However, I’m a fairly new convert and I cry during confession and after. Sometimes I have to sit in my car until I can gather my composure. The problem is I haven’t seen ANYONE else come out crying from the confessional. Am I the only one with really bad sins to confess? :frowning: Am I just emotional? Is it because confession is all new to me? I’d love to hear from others on this.


There was a recent thread on crying during confession. You can access it here:


Some people don’t have as much control over their emotions as others. There’s no way of knowing what sins other people are confessioning, because the confessional is sealed.


Aw; don’t feel bad, pmoo. I just went yesterday, and, try as I might, I just can’t seem to keep the tears from welling up, even thought I didn’t confess anything terrible. But they are tears of gratitude.

I don’t think that it’s that unusual. And tears are cathartic (or CAN be). It is just so awesome to know you are receiving Grace in that special way.

God bless you on your journey, and Welcome to the Catholic Church!

God bless,


Thanks, Mimi

My tears ARE cathartic. It’s just embarassing to leave the confessional with tears streaming down my face or it was. Now that I know it affects others the same way, I will just let them flow. I must say my priest is great about it. When I said I was crying again, he said it’s a good sign. Anyway, Thanks!:thumbsup:


Here;s another crier… of the teary kind, not the town crier kind… and the reason it bothers me is, often the confessor hurries to comfort me and give me absolution. Maybe he just can’t stand to see a woman cry? And so I worry that my confessions so shortened are not really valid, and I need to confess those sins I didn’t get to.

Could someone give me feedback on this?


Luke 23: 28 [Jesus turned to them and said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me: weep instead for yourselves and for your children.] So I do not see a problem. It sounds like a good thing actually. It shows your true sorrow and contrition for your sins.


pmoo, I am a 49 yo Cradle Catholic who made her first Confession some 41 years ago. I cried then and I cry now. I don’t on the other hand have that feeling as if a weight has been lifted off of me and have come to accept that as okay - I don’t need that for my confession to be valid and a good one.

Like you I can cry at Mass too so… I have been told I have the “gift of tears” and it can be so embarrassing :o at times.

Brenda V.


I have seen quite a few women come out of Confession, crying…drying their eyes. I have cried too during Confession…I think the sanctity of what I’m doing…the journey towards holiness is a very emotional one, I think. I don’t think that others don’t have ‘bad’ sins to confess…for me, for example…I confessed an argument I had with my husband. Is that a mortal sin? No. But, I felt truly sorry for arguing…and when I finally got those feelings out to the priest (who is acting in the persona of Christ) it just became overwhelming…in a good way.

Some people are also not emotional…maybe they cry at other times?


Nothing wrong with being blessed with the gift of tears - though I’m not, I do feel intense relief and joy after each confession, even for minor sins, and I can easily imagine some being prone to tears at such a moment.

I know that in confessionals in most of the churches here, they make sure to have a box of tissues available for the penitent, so obviously plenty of people do! Maybe politely suggest it to your pastor.


Don’t worry what others do or look like after confession. I have come out of confession feeling such overwhelming joy and relief that the tears are on the way up and then I face others coming out of the confessional and I turn on my stiff upper lip (I’m a guy so crying in public is a tough thing to let myself do. It’s just a guy thing and I’m working on “liberating” myself). I also well up during mass.

You don’t know what’s going on inside others coming out of confession. They could be just barely containing themselves from yelling at the top of their lungs with joy or keeping themselves from falling to the floor in uncontrollable sobs of relief and contrition, and you can’t even tell.


Don’t worry, your confession is valid if your priest gave you an absolution. :slight_smile:
There is no prescribed length of time for confession and so even if the priest absolves you from your sins TIGHT after he hears them then, you have no need to worry about the validity of the sacrament.


My priest is so kind and understanding when I cry. I never feel rushed, so I’m lucky there. Maybe if he rushed me, I wouldn’t have as much time for tears? I’m just so relieved to hear I’m not the only one who cries. When I’ve had general conversations with others about confession, they sound as if they took it lightly. In fact, not only do I cry durng and after, I also get butterflies before going to confession. I do feel such relief after though, so I’m doing something right.

I always forget to confess something (venial ones) but I read here in the forum that you only have to confess mortal ones to the priest and can confess venial sins to God. In fact, one of the reasons for my anguish is that in RCIA, our teacher said that technically, we could confess any sins directly to God. However, when I asked my priest yesterday, he said that was wrong and that I did need to confess mortal sins to a pirest.I had to admit I’d received communion without having confessed a mortal sin to him, which brought on more tears. He was so nice and said I could still receive communion and could even wait until my next confession to make my full confession if I wanted

However, I’ve only been to confession three times, so I don’t know about being rushed. I do notice some stay in a long time and others are very quick, so I think it’s really up to you. Maybe you can confess you are upset when you feel rushed in the confessional?:smiley: .


I just cried today in mass; I received communion and spent some quiet time in prayer directly afterwards and the tears came again. Who knew I had so much water in me???


Well said. I guess if I’d been a Catholic for longer, I wouldn’t worry, but with it all so new, I am still learning and adjusting. :rolleyes:


For that matter, even if you forget to confess a mortal sin (as long as you genuinely forgot and didn’t intentionally not confess) your confession is still valid. God isn’t out to punish us for having a bad memory or anything!


Well, there are tissues in our confessional, so I’m guessing enough people cry to have prompted this addition. :slight_smile:

I have cried at Mass (try to hide it…I’m a man after all! :wink: ) and in the confessional…it’s usually less related to whether I am sorry for my sins - I am whether I cry or not. It seems to do more with my state of mind and/or a feeling of complete lowliness.


In June I did a St Ignatius Retreat with 30 other men. On the 5th day was the “General” confession.

I didnt see one dry eye coming out of the confession box… and I was no exception.

It was tears of contrition for me, Gratitude came later…


I have teared up after Confession…like when I came back to the Church after 32 years away…what a blessing. Plus sometimes, I am just filled with so much emotion at what I have just gone through and the relief…it all bottles up and sometimes a tear will fall. That is why my church has Kleenex in the confessional.:wink:



I have wept numerous times during confession, and I’m a 46-year old male.

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