Do children need to go to confession?


My daughter does altar see service. She gets the body of Christ every Sunday. It made me think, since I am RCIA, do children need to go to confession since that probably do not commit mortal sins? I am understanding that venial sins are forgiven in mass. If any more serious sins they commit are probably not honoring their father and mother, most parents would probably agree. Can anyone fill me in here?


Normally kids make confession about the same time as their first communion. Yes they should go to confession regularly. They may not have mortal sins but it’s a good habit to get into.


I believe if the church admits someone to communion then she believes the person to be capable of mortal sin. It all comes together at the age of reason.

I’m probably a ways off from having kids if it’s even in the cards for me. But I think that even at a young age parents should be helping kids form their conscience. Be open about it, listen, offer to take her whenever she needs etc.

I’ve heard the following story way too many times:

“I gave my first confession in 2nd grade and then got away from the sacrament until [some college retreat] and my life turned around.”

I have to wonder why they were never taught about confession/encouraged to go. If I have kids, I plan on doing my best to not have this be my kids.


I had First Confession before First Holy Communion. My parents always made sure that we went to confession and not just before holy days.

When I was little, there was a blind priest who lived near us. He was former pastor of my dad’s old parish and we loved him. He was in a wheelchair and we would go to his room for confession. He’d say: “Are you sorry for your sins?” “Do you promise to amend your life?” “For your penance, say…” He was so nice. May his memory be eternal!


Yes, children should go to confession, after using an examination of conscience appropriate for children.


It never hurts to start good habits early


I agree that it never huts to start that good habit early. I am the head server for the EF Mass in my area. Often I will notice children in line for confession. Sometimes one of the altar boys will tell me he wants to serve that day but he needs to go to confession first. I am not sure how it is for children who attend the OF in my area.


Confession is the most beautiful sacrament.
A lot of Catholics don’t like it, because who likes admitting their faults? I find it as an unburdening. And it’s like a start over. When you walk out you almost feel like a new person. And in a certain way of thinking in Church teaching; you are!

Unfortunately catechsis needs an overhaul in America. I think it should be less about getting kids through the sacraments and more apologetics and emphasis on why the church says what it does.


All who sin should go to Confession to receive the Graces that pour from it.

Children sin.

Therefore, children should go to confession.


In my opinion kids should go fairly regularly.

Foremost because of the spiritual benefits of the Sacrament, but also because of the mental/psychological benefits. If a kid goes to Confession once in 2nd or 3rd grade and then never goes again, by the time they’re a teenager they’ve probably unwittingly adopted the stereotypical perception of the Confessional being scary, instead of a place for strength and healing. So, if at some point later in their life their conscience prompts them that they should or must go to Confession, they might hide away from it.


My grandmother always took me to confession every week after my First Communion. It’s a good habit to get into.


It’s best imho to teach children to go to confession regularly, as thier sins may weigh heavily on them.


Kids should absolutely go to confession. Even if their sins are “only” venial, taking them to confession helps develop a solid foundation for later in life.


As others have said, it’s a good habit to establish young.

And while we are not obliged to confess venial sins, it is a good idea to confess them from time to time, to avail ourselves of the grace from the sacrament but also to prevent us from becoming blasé about sin.


I think that it would be a good idea that when the children do something wrong, that part of their correction should be taking them to confession.
I think you also have an obligation to periodically make available the opportunity (without forcing anyone) for the children to go to confession.


I have to admit that I was rather lax with my own children, as for the longest time I was relying on general absolution a couple of times a year. OTOH, my own parents made sure we went to confession once a month from the time we made our First Communion at age 6.

While I attended my village school we usually went with our class since the church was next door, but I well remember that for several years summertime Saturday drives often included a stop at a neighbouring parish to go to confession.


yes indeed, children need to to regularly to confession ,not because of that they commit mortal sins but because its a time of faith formation, the evil desires and inclination would diminish and the power of the evil spirits would be less, the bad habits and love of god would increase ,this is a time of evil don’t you think.
717. Some of the principal demons gave their answers to this dreadful proposal, encouraging Lucifer by suggesting diverse schemes for hindering the fruit of the Redemption among men. They all agreed that it was not possible to injure the person of Christ, to diminish the immense value of his merits, to destroy the efficacy of the Sacraments, to falsify or abolish the doctrine which Christ had preached; yet they resolved that, in accordance with the new order of assistance and favor established by God for the salvation of men, they should now seek new ways of hindering and preventing the work of God by so much the greater deceits and temptations. In reference to these plans some of the astute and malicious demons said: “It is true, that men now have at their disposal a new and very powerful doctrine and law, new and efficacious Sacraments. a new Model and Instructor of virtues, a powerful Intercessor and Advocate in this Woman; yet the natural inclinations and passions of the flesh remain just the same, and the sensible and delectable creatures have not changed their nature.

  1. Acting upon this counsel they redistributed the spheres of work among themselves, in order that each squadron of demons might, with a specialized astuteness, tempt men to different vices. They resolved to continue to propagate idolatry in the world, so that men might not come to the knowledge of the true God and the Redemption.

719. Some of the devils charged themselves with perverting the inclinations of children at their conception and birth; others to induce parents to be negligent in the education and instruction of their children, either through an inordinate love or aversion, and to cause a hatred of parents among the children. Some offered to create hatred between husbands and wives, to place them in the way of adultery, or to think little of the fidelity promised to their conjugal partners. All agreed to sow among men the seeds of discord, hatred and vengeance, proud and sensual thoughts, desire of riches or honors, and by suggesting sophistical reasons against all the virtues Christ has taught; above all they intended to weaken the remembrance of his Passion and Death, of the means of salvation, and of the eternal pains of hell. By these means the demons hoped to burden all the powers and the faculties of men with solicitude for earthly affairs and sensual pleasures, leaving them little time for spiritual thoughts and their own salvation.


This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit