Didn't perform penance before going for Confession again

I didn’t perform my penance since my last Confession and I just went to Confession today. Was the absolution invalid because I didn’t perform the penance from my last Confession yet? Can I still receive communion?

Note: I didn’t forget about the penance. Just procrastinated on it but was intending on doing it sooner or later

Once you’re absolved, you’re absolved. But rather than having this hang over you, why not do your penance right now. It’s a higher priority than checking out CAF.


So my Confession was valid? I intended to perform the first penance, but procrastinated a looooong time

Yes mate it was.

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Not doing the penance might be a sin so you should probably mention it in your next confession.

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I don’t think it is as I did not deliberately refuse to do the penance. I intended to do so, “later”, as I would say

Did you fall into the same sin again? An act of Penance is for your benefit to not only show or make demonstration of contrition. But to generally remedy the affect of the sin, temptation, and habitual tendency you are confronting when falling again. I used to go to Confession daily, at some point. Because I fell a lot. But one priest gave me sound advice, to do some act of penance, and give about a week first. Not to just go right to Confession soon after. Not because it’s not important. He wasn’t saying that I could survive without reconciling with Christ, His mercy, and His love. But that I had to make changes to help myself to develop and grow.

Remember, what most often each sinner must do, is to stop committing the sin. It’s first step of recovery. Just as alcoholic’s anonymous uses. And, even psychologist’s generally tell a patient with a form of addiction, to stop what it is they are doing. Just by stopping is the first form of penance we make as our contrition for our sins.

Consider the Prodigal Son. He makes an Imperfect Act of Contrition. For fear of death ensues him. And being without his father’s love, and living. So he recalls how well his father’s servants are taken care of. How bountiful the harvest and feast is with his father. So to avoid death, he makes his way back home. For out of fear. Well, if you fear Hell, eternal separation from God. That is an Imperfect Act of Contrition.

Now as the Prodigal Son is walking back home, his father see’s him. Waiting and standing there for his son’s return. The immense love his father has for him astonishes his son. His son seeing that love fully reveals, and makes him realize he is not worthy of his father’s affection, because of his sins. The father picks his son up, and gives him new garments, and new life. He makes him new. He was dead, but now he is alive.

Now I could go on about the brother who stayed with his father. But I think that would be the righteous sinner bearing upon judgement. Then again, I’ve been there and have done that. Well, then maybe I should bear upon the older son. He stayed with his father. In fact he was jealous. He even told his father how he stayed with him. And never did his father give a feast for him and his friends as that for his younger brother. The father pleaded that did he not give him everything he had. When the older brother saw this, he soon saw his own sin of pride and arrogance. He soon realized everything that was his father’s, he shared in. His jealousy wasn’t about his father’s love. But about himself. He thought more about his father’s possessions, than his father’s love. Which he had to humble himself as his father pleaded with him. And there the father told him to come and celebrate his younger brother’s return. In other words, the son who stayed with him was valuable too. The father loved them both.

Your Confession was made because you sought penance from the sin you committed. And, you found by going to Confession to Reconcile back to Christ. In love and mercy. The act of Penance is a way for the Sacrament to take hold into our heart. it isn’t the invalidity of the Sacrament if you do not make that Penance.

It is highly unusual not to perform your penance after the Confession. Just unusual. We go for a Confession so that we could go through whatever its processes. Perhaps you have your valid reason to procrastinate. Hope you will do whatever is required of you in the Sacrament, and that you will take your time to do it.

It is not just to confess our sins but also the reconciliation with God, yourself and your neighbors. In other word, it can be a time of healing. There is much we can get from the Sacrament, so why not make full use of its potential?

As for your Confession, I guess its valid. Hope that you will find peace with it.

God bless.

The penitent has an OBLIGATION to perform the penance given. If the penitent forgets that would not invalidate the absolution given but it is not so clear if deliberately not doing it invalidates it. However, at the very least deliberately not performing the penance is a sin, probably a sin of grave matter.
Not doing the penance, whether genuinely forgotten or a deliberate act must be confessed at the next Confession.
I guess some won’t agree with me but in my view “procrastination” is the deliberate act of not performing the penance and just an excuse by implying it is just being delayed. There is absolutely no excuse for not performing a penance.

The absolution is not dependent on the penance. Once you were absolved you were absolved. That can’t be undone. If you don’t do your penance then that would be a separate and new sin. So, if by the next time you went to confession you had not done your penance, then you would need to confess not doing your penance.

It sounds to me like your last confession wasn’t valid because you had not done the penance from the prior confession and you did not mention that in the most recent confession. So, you need to go back to confession and confess everything since the first confession where you did not do the penance. You need to mention you hadn’t done that penance before you confessed again.

Unless the penance was exceptionally difficult then it shouldn’t be that hard to do between confessing. Even ten Aves isn’t that difficult. If you can’t do the penance for some reason you can ask another confessor, or even the same, to give you a different penance.

To be honest, I completely forgot about the penance from my first Confession during today’s Confession, so I did not confess it unfortunately. However, might it have been forgiven with the other ‘‘forgotten mortal sins’’? I had no intentions on not doing the penance. It’s just that I hadn’t done it yet prior to this Confession

That, and because I heard there is no specified time to do the penance, so I thought as long as I accomplished it sometime soon, it would be alright, so I didn’t regard it as a sin

My priest always gives a penance that can be completed immediately after Confession in the sanctuary. It takes maybe 5 minutes. Was there something particularly cumbersome about your penance? Were you in a hurry to leave?

Mine was just a decade of the Rosary, so probably 3 minutes. No hurry, just a terrible habit of procrastination :sweat_smile:

Ah! Then that habit can go into your next confession! :wink:

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True true :stuck_out_tongue:

If you forgot you had not done the penance then that is different. If we forget a sin we can confess it next time. But really you need to do your penance very soon if not immediately after confessing to avoid this problem. In a sense you are playing a bit loose with the sacrament.

This is true. There is no specific time, except that it be before the next confession. It sounds like you’ve misunderstood our obligation. It sounds like you meant well.

My advice is to do all your penances now. Then next confession tell the priest about your misunderstanding and your confessions. Explain this all to him and ask what you need to do. And in the future go on and do your penance straight away. I am a procrastinator too, but you can see the unnecessary anguish it can cause. Treat yourself better!

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Comon! A decade and you had no time?Justdo it! :no_mouth:
I felt someone had to just say it. :smiley:
About receiving communion - why not.ask your priest?

8th scrupulosity type post advice

If you forgot about the penance, but meant to say it, then there is no sin.
If you deliberately did not say the penance, then there is a sin, and you should confess it.
Anyway, whether you forgot or no, you might just want to tell the priest anyway.

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