I was away from the sacrament of confession for a long time, and committed a number of pretty serious sins during that time. A few months ago, I felt compelled to repent for everything and go to confession. I did so and experienced God’s forgiveness and grace. Since then, though, I have been delving deeper into my faith. I have a habit of taking the Lord’s name in vain, and i have discovered this is more serious than I realized. When I went to confession, I didn’t confess doing this, NOT because I was deliberately withholding it (trust me, I confessed to things that are MUCH more difficult to confess to than that!), simply because I was concentrating on the more major things, and I more or less wrote it off as venial–something said in anger that wasn’t absolutely required to be confessed. Now, though, some of the things i have read have implied that swearing/taking the Lord’s name in vain can be a mortal sin, depending on circumstances, although I’ve not received much in the way of hard specifics here. I am much more mindful of my speech and am doing my best to sin no more in this way. But do I need to return to confession to confess taking the Lord’s name in vain before I can receive the Eucharist? Or is this something I should be mindful of going forward, and bring it up at my next confession?
I would say be mindful of it and mention it at your next confession. That's the advice my priest gives.
What helps me is to go through the Ten Commandments beforehand so that I can be sure of covering everything, especially if it has been a long time between confessions.
Even sins you forget to confess are forgiven. At your next Confession just mention the sins you forgot, just so the priest can make an accurate assessment. But the sin is already forgiven.
As a side note, it is good practice to regularly go to Confession, even if you haven’t committed a serious/mortal sin. Confession is a sacrament, and confers grace, and helps us with avoiding venial sins. (In a talk I heard, the speaker noted that we make sure to get the oil changed and our car washed at least every three months. Shouldn’t we be more diligent with our eternal soul?) It is also great practice for us to confess our venial sins as well, as it makes us more diligent, and more attentive so that we don’t commit them as frequently.
Be at peace.
Sometimes when you uproot a serious sin, the smaller sins become more apparent to you. I heard an analogy using a farmer who couldn’t plow his field because there was a huge boulder right in the middle of it. It was difficult for him to move the boulder, but once he did, he was also able to dig out all those smaller rocks that got in the way of a fruitful harvest.
Now that you know better, you can do better. From what you wrote it doesn’t sound like you need to make an emergency appointment with the priest or anything, but it does seem prudent to bring it up at your next confession.
As long as one does not deliberately withhold a mortal sin, the confession is valid. However, one must mention the forgotten mortal sins at one’s next confession.
This happens to the best of us. Your sins were absolved by the priest. Mention taking the Lord’s name in vain at your next confession. Talk to your priest about this. He can tell you whether or not you actions were mortal or venial.
For a sin to be mortal then:
- it must be grave
- you must have had knowledge of its gravity
- you must have consented to it
If you took the Lord's name in vain before you knew that it was a grave sin then it was not a mortal sin.