First confession


I am 58 years old and male. I have always been an active member of my Anglican Church and a lay Minister and am now in the process of converting to Roman Catholocism.

I am under instruction and I know soon I will have to make my first confession. Can anybody indicate what form this might take. I am 58 for goodness sake !! I will be in the confessional for a month and that will only be for the things I can remember. Will I have to make a list ? and how much detail will I need to go into?


I would suggest looking at this guide, sir.


Thank you Discerning, this is extremely helpful


I was a born and brought up Methodist before converting at the age of 44. My first Confession was about an hour. Just remember what you can. The priest will guide you. Genuinely forgotten sins are forgiven at the same time. I was not asked to go into details for any of my sins.


Hi Thistle. My goodness it must have been nerve racking. Does the priest say anything as you are going through it? I mean an hours is a fair bit of time. If for example you say you have used bad language in the last 50 years do you need to give examples? ( not of what you have said of course ) ! but the occasions and reasons you did so?


I think this article might help-


Thank you Discerning. I did not appreciate how much of a sinful person I was until I started to look into this and I do wonder if I will be welcome after I have made my confession.I truly feel unworthy


It was basically a conversation with the priest. Depending on what I said he would offer advice so the hour seemed to fly by. Confessions since my conversion in 1992 have only lasted a few minutes.

With a first Confession for older adults like us the priest does not expect perfect recall of what we did and how often we did it over decades.
In my experience I would say over the past 50 years I have used bad language on many occasions.
In subsequent Confessions when it is likely only a few weeks from your previous one it should be easy to recall and say I used bad language on three occasions.
The priest normally would not want details because there is a queue of people waiting to get in to see him.


Many thanks for this, it helps a lot and I can understand why this way of doing things would work. Obviously the first time is going to be different than all subsequent times for all kinds of reasons, so this has part my mind more at rest :slight_smile: Thanks again


Also, you are allowed to have notes with you if you want so things you remember you can jot down on paper and take that to Confession with you.
Another thing to remember is not to be embarrassed about saying anything. There is nothing you can tell the priest that he has not heard thousands of times before.


Thanks Thistle, I have already started my list. I do have some weighty issues to deal with !


Also, for a later in life first confession it’s more polite to the people waiting in line to make an appointment with the priest for confession.


The first confession will probably be a scheduled event. For converts, the parish usually schedules a special event with extra priests.


That was not my experience at all. My first confession covered a couple of VERY sinful decades since my baptism. The event we had during RCIA was great. We had prayers, sang some hymns, and the pastor spoke for a few minutes about the sacrament and the mercy of Christ. And then we went into lines for the multiple priests available.

My confession did not take too long, under 5 minutes. I had gone through an examination of conscience pretty thoroughly a couple times,so I was prepared. My particular sins were confessed along the lines of “I have take the Lord’s name in vain many, many times. I have lusted many many times. I have…” etc etc etc. With my list in hand, it did not take very long to list them off. At the end I mentioned to the priest also there were undoubtably many more sins that I had forgotten, but for these I was also very sorrowful and ashamed of, and was penitent over them.

The priest didn’t need to know the exact number of sins, since beginning with the confession, I mentioned at the beginning “Father, forgive me for I have sinned. This is my first confession, and it has been over 2 decades since my baptism.” He will understand what you mean by too many to count.

My confessions since are very quick. Number and kind, and get to the point. It’s not a counseling session, but instead a confession. The priest will give some words of encouragement and assistance, but it’s not meant to take very long.

Welcome home! I hope your experiences are similar to mine. The feeling you get coming out of the confessional is pure joy! KNOWING your sins are forgiven by God through the sacrament He created is awesome. And it means so much more to me since for the majority of my life I did not have it available to me in my denomination.

God bless!


We had an event last March for RCIA and that’s when I had my first confession. I just sat in the confessional with the Priest (no point doing it through the screen as he knew who it was anyway!). It was very easy, Father stepped me through everything and I was on cloud 9 when it was all done. You won’t have to do anything difficult, just let your Priest do all the driving. There’s nothing to be worried about and everything to gain. A lot of those outside the Catholic Church make fun of or dismiss the Sacrament of Reconciliation, but as with so many things about the Church, they don’t know what they are missing!


@ zz912 & brigit 12 & ARCH Angelese

Thanks for all your words of wisdom and to ArchAngelese, yes I feel it must be very liberating, and to be honest I am taking the prospect very seriously indeed, as I am taking the whole conversion very seriously In a way I suspect it is probably a good thing that I am a bit wound up about it, if only that it is making me think about all the sins I have committed and there seem to be so many it makes me feel very ashamed, and already it is making me think twice about all I say and do.I guess there should be an element of suffering and shame to make it worthwhile. Very easy to confess directly to God in your head, but a different kettle of fish confessing g to God through a priest. I am beginning to see how good it mist feel after you have done it


It’s almost like God knew what was best for us when He set up the sacraments. :):D:thumbsup:

And yes, it is a VERY good thing the feelings you are having about all this, and your past sin. It is eye-opening to say the least when you REALLY begin to understand all the sin you’ve committed. It makes the Cross and His Passion that much more immense when you realize each one of your venial sins is a thorn pressed into His scalp drawing blood, and each mortal sin is a whip from the scourging, or a nail hammered into His hands/feet.


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