Did I get a valid confession?


I’m getting confirmed tonight. I went to confession yesterday. I stated the sins I remembered, but I didn’t use any type of structure to state these sins (no crossing myself, didn’t say the act of contrition, etc).

I was simply asked “Is there anything you want to lay at the feet of Jesus”, or something along those lines.

Like I said, I stated what I could remember, but I don’t think I stated numbers or went into details (for example, I confessed watching impure things in videos and images, but some of these have been female and male, but I didn’t remember to say that or how often).

Then I was prayed over for a blessing and absolved of sins.


Are you Catholic and was it a Catholic priest, and if so, did he give you absolution and a penance?


I’m coming into full communion with the Church through confirmation tonight. It was a Catholic priest. He gave me absolution and a penance to hug my fiancee, but make sure she doesn’t see it coming and doesn’t know it’s my penance. :slight_smile:


Hi Congratulations
It sounds like a valid confession–a little unconventional but valid. If you were sincerely sorry, didn’t hold anything back and received absolution you are forgiven. You might want to look at some confession resources for your next confession in case you have different priest who is acccustomed to a more traditional format. If you follow a routine it it a little easier each time. If you have a smart phone or an iphone try Confession: A Roman Catholic App. It’s really helpful.
Welcome and Happy Easter
PS I once got almost that same penance :slight_smile:


You can say an Act of Contrition, now.

For next time, you can prepare for it using an “Examination of Conscience”. Here’s an example of just one website, but there are more.


As to numbers of mortal sins, what I do is try to estimate…one time…10 times…100 …1,000…thousands.

I round off, estimate, since we often won’t remember an exact number.

Giving an estimate helps the priest to know if this was just a one-time thing or is chronic and the intensity/frequency.


Related to this topic, what if the priest doesn’t understand you or misunderstands? E.g. you are confessing something you did multiple times but the priest thinks you only did it once, therefore gives you a lighter penance. Is the priest’s full understanding of yout sins necessary?


If the priest has not communicated a misunderstanding to you after you have made your confession, then you have no way of knowing. In cases of physical or moral impossibility the confession is called formally integral even though not materially integral, and it is not invalidated.


Don’t assume that because the priest gave you a light or lighter penance, that he misunderstood you. The priest may have made a prudential judgment to give a light penance to encourage you to keep coming to Confession. The penance is there to draw you closer to Christ. And sometimes the priest will give a light penance, and then he will perform additional penance for you in your stead, without ever telling you about it.

Just be clear when you confess, don’t muddy the water too much, and get to the point. As others noted, it doesn’t have to be an exact number. Saying “I committed XXX sin between 5-10 times” or something like that is fine. It gives the priest the info he needs without you worrying if you might have forgotten an extra time you sinned. If the priest needs extra info, he’ll ask. And then do the Penance happily. :thumbsup:


It was a valid Confession. And as others noted, you can always say the Act of Contrition now, and then familiarize yourself with Confession and what we do in there, so that you are more comfortable. God bless and welcome home!


To make it clear, it was a confession I had more than a year ago, and it was pretty big for me because my faith has grown a lot since then partially because of that confession . And I felt like I a hard burden fell down from my heart after it. Anyway, I was really excited during the confession (it was hard for me at the time) and only after some time a thought occurred to me that perhaps the priest didn’t understand me correctly because of one thing he said to me, not because of a light penance, it was not that light. But when I think of it better now, I have made myself pretty clear, so there should have been no misunderstandings.
Anyway, my doubts have been cleared, thank you guys!


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