First Confession Advice Please

I will be coming into the Church at Easter Vigil and will have my first confession tomorrow. I am nervous and anxious but have been reading several books on confession and just finished an excellent one “7 Secrets of Confession”. I have looked over several websites on the examination of conscious. I have also reached out to a friend from this forum who gave me a wonderful step-by-step guide, but i still need a little advice:

I was baptized over 30 years ago as a baptist and have spent 25-28 years in a completely worldly realm. I have prayed for the Holy Spirit to show me my sins and had an overwhelming response. I dont see the priest staying with me all day to go over all the sins i can think of over the past 30 years, but i dont want to leave anything out.

What do i do with a long list without sounding like i am just reading off a long "grocery’ list of items. How in depth do i need to go with these past 30 years? again, i dont want to leave anything out, i want to open myself fully to God’s mercy.

Lots of people make a list. I do too. As it is your first Confession the priest will know you could have many sins to confess. If you think something is a sin then write it down! Be honest, however long your list is as if you leave out something you know is a sin you will feel bad afterwards.

Just mention to the priest that you have quite a list.

The feeling you get when you come out of the confessional is amazing! God wants you to confess your sins. He wants to welcome you with open arms. He is all forgiving and all loving. This is the beginning of a fantastic journey.

God bless you

My wife is around your age and is also coming into the Church this Easter Vigil (welcome home, BTW). I asked my confessor this same question on her behalf and his advice was to confess ALL the mortal sins you’ve committed and ANY venial sins that are currently major issues for you. His recommendation was to leave venial sins that are not currently a problem out of the confession (these need not be confessed and are forgiven when you receive absolution or the Eucharist). So if you are currently gossiping all the time, confess that. If you were a gossip in Middle School but have since stopped, leave it be.

Tell the priest you have a long list and let him guide you.

I always have liked the little prayer at the end of confession:
“For these and all the sins of my past life, I am heartily sorry.”

It always comforted me. I knew that if I honestly forgot something, it was okay. I was forgiven! (Remember venial sins will be forgiven without having to go to a priest. Don’t worry about forgetting these.)

Congratulations on this wonderful new opportunity for grace!

Making a list is strongly encouraged. My wife will also be entering the Church at Easter, and last weekend made her first confession, complete with list. Just tell the priest you are making your first confession and he’ll guide you. It’s actually something all Christians should do, make a ‘general confession’ once a year or so - I think it was St. Francis de Sales that recommended the practice. You don’t need to be worried - the priest is there to help and encourage you in your spiritual journey, not condemn you. God bless!

This was helpful, thanks

Welcome to the Catholic Church!

And don’t worry - if there is a serious sin you’ve forgotten and remember later, just confess it at your next opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Forgetting something does not invalidate the Sacrament.

Hi dee burk,

The real power and beauty of Confession doesn’t come from one perfect Confession, but rather, going frequently. There’s no need to confess every tiny little sin. Just confess all the mortal sins you are consciously aware of, perhaps a few venial sins that represent areas of the spiritual life you are struggling with, and be done.

Then, keep going to confession regularly. THAT’s how you beat sin! :thumbsup:

Hello all subscribing to this thread. The wisdom and knowledge on this forum is absolutely refreshing. I learn so much from you Catholic guys and hope in several years i will be able to help someone as well as you helped me.
Everyone was right, my priest was more interested in what do i struggle with now. yeah, but i had already made this long list and so i sat there for a minute trying to break down my list into whats NOW my biggest sins, finally i just started at the top of the list. He just smiled and listened patiently. I love the Catholic Church…:slight_smile:
Thanks everyone…


The priest will also help guide you. At least mine did. You will feel much better afterwards. :slight_smile:

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