Didn´t make it to confession

I went to church today and hoped to get to confession, but Father was not there, and thus we were only offered a service by our local deacon. I´m currently in a state of mortal sin, and I need to get to confession quite soon.

I struggle with habitual sexual sins, and I feel so hypocritical whenever I do pray. So I wanted to ask for any suggestions of prayers/devotions I could do meanwhile as I wait to go to confession. I will most likely be going at some point through this week.

Blessings to all of you!

Well, I believe an act of perfect contrition would be the first order of business. :smiley:

I would have to admit that my contrition is the bare minimum required. May I still make the act of perfect contrition or is that only for those who fullfills the definition of perfect contrition?

Act of perfect contrition, I believe.

Also found this on the web: https://owensborodiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/Confession-and-Indulgences.pdf

Thank you!

Some more information on Perfect Contrition:




Sorrow for sin arising from perfect love. In perfect contrition the sinner detests sin more than any other evil, because it offends God, who is supremely good and deserving of all human love. Its motive is founded on God’s own personal goodness and not merely his goodness to the sinner or to humanity. This motive, not the intensity of the act and less still the feelings experienced, is what essentially constitutes perfect sorrow. A perfect love of God, which motivates perfect contrition, does not necessarily exclude attachment to venial sin. Venial sin conflicts with a high degree of perfect love of God, but not with the substance of that love. Moreover, in the act of perfect contrition other motives can coexist with the perfect love required. There can be fear or gratitude, or even lesser motives such as self-respect and self-interest, along with the dominant reason for sorrow, which is love for God. Perfect contrition removes the guilt and eternal punishment due to grave sin, even before sacramental absolution. However, a Catholic is obliged to confess his or her grave sins at the earliest opportunity and may not, in norma circumstances, receive Communion before he or she has been absolved by a priest in the sacrament of penance.

Modern Catholic Dictionary, Perfect Contrition.


Your prayers are still heard despite the guilt you feel. Personally, aside from the standard Act of Contrition, I like praying Psalm 51.


I’m not Catholic, but if a habit is compulsive (meaning you don’t fully will it, like for example an addiction) I think they’d say it becomes venial sin. From an article that a Catholic priest wrote:

When we have developed habits of sin – whether or not we may be fully responsible for the development of that habit – we sometimes get to a point where we commit sinful actions under the influence of compulsions. At times, this compulsive behavior pattern impedes the full exercise of our freedom, which can diminish our moral responsibility for the particular action (even when we have been fully responsible for having formed the habit in the first place). In that case, “full consent” may be lacking, and even though grave matter and full knowledge is involved, the sin may be venial instead of mortal. Here is how the Catechism puts it in #2352:

To form an equitable judgment about the subjects’ moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety or other psychological or social factors that lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability.

How do the Orthodox think of it? I’m just curious.

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The bare minimum is called attrition – the contrition of fear. The prompting of grace refers to actual grace – “temporary supernatural intervention by God to enlighten the mind or strengthen the will” (Modern Catholic Dictionary)

Catechism of the Catholic Church

1453 The contrition called “imperfect” (or “attrition”) is also a gift of God, a prompting of the Holy Spirit. It is born of the consideration of sin’s ugliness or the fear of eternal damnation and the other penalties threatening the sinner (contrition of fear). Such a stirring of conscience can initiate an interior process which, under the prompting of grace, will be brought to completion by sacramental absolution. By itself however, imperfect contrition cannot obtain the forgiveness of grave sins, but it disposes one to obtain forgiveness in the sacrament of Penance.52

52 Cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1678; 1705.

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Saint Paisios used to tell the story of an addict (of alcoholism) that he knew who became a monk - after a year of prostrations and prayers he reduced the glasses he drank from 20 a day to 19. The next year he got to18, then 17, etc. until he got down to 3, but he still got drunk from those 3. Apparently he scandalized a bunch of pilgrims but God knew he was a fighter who fought an extended struggle to decrease his addiction, and He saved him in the end.

The Orthodox don’t break sins down into venial and mortal, right? So the analysis about reduced culpability wouldn’t really factor in at all?

“Mortal” and “venial” aren’t terms we use, that’s right - so anything following that point wouldn’t factor in.

Sorry to use you as my personal Orthodox Whisperer. Just curious. I’ve found surprisingly few books on Eastern Christianity on Amazon when I’ve looked. Anything you recommend?

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I’ll PM you :+1:

Serious sins are those which prevent one from worthily receiving the Eucharist.

American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese website states:

As noted, the purpose of the Sacrament of Penance in the early Church was to deal with members of the Church who had committed serious sins, usually murder or abortion, apostasy (i.e. abandoning the Christian Faith), or adultery. The “daily sins” that we commit were held by the early Christians to be forgiven through prayer, charity and the frequent reception of the Holy Eucharist, which then, as now, was given " for the remission of sins. "


Thank you all!

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