Frequency of Confession.

I’ve been a lapsed Catholic for about a year.

Up until that time I went to Mass every week but stopped receiving Communion about 10 years ago for reasons that then and now seemed perfectly valid.
That is a whole other issue and is something I hope to deal with soon.

My wife is a convert to Catholicism and we were chatting last night and she told me she hadn’t been to Confession since her confirmation years ago.

I was shocked!

As a child and in to my adult years I always went to Confession and then received,the next day.
I wouldn’t dream of receiving unless I had been to Confession.

What’s changed?

Why is something so ingrained in my Catholic psyche now of so little importance.


As I understand it, following Vatican II, most Priests stopped giving advice that one should go to confession every week prior to receiving. As confirmed at Trent I believe, one must go to confession if they are conscience of committing a mortal sin. However, one of the Precepts of the Church is to confess once a year. Plus, as Trent also said, it is a good practice to confess venial sins as well. The Pastor who did our RCIA recommended we go twice a year if we are not conscience of mortal sin. The Priest who did my marriage prep recommended once a month. I’m going to try to stick with once a month.


“The sin of the century is the loss of the sense of sin.” (Pope Pius XII, 1946) These words were uttered over 60 years ago! Surely they are more relevant today than ever. Moral relativism and a host of other corrosive beliefs have pervaded society, and they sadly find their way into the Christian home, seminaries, and other “sacred” places with relative ease. Dangerous notions, such as “once saved, always saved” and “fundamental option theory” abound, to the extent that there are few who will listen to what the Church teaches regarding these things.

If there were ever a time when the Truth needs to be defended, preached and lived, it is today.

Jesus to Sr. Gertrude Mary: “The more fiercely persecution shall rage, the nearer I shall approach to My faithful friends, the more I shall ask of them to suffer with Me and for Me.”

We live in an age where everyone wants to celebrate everything and nothing is ever wrong. Pope Benedict the XVI called it the “dictatorship of Relativism”. Great phrase to use.

I can’t speak for your specific situation, but usually people buy into this lie and then they never really think they’ve done anything wrong. The end result is one of pain as they can’t seem to even address what’s making them unhappy because they can’t discern good and evil.

Confession is the best way to fight that temptation. It is a holy sacrament and a unique way to experience Christ in His mercy. There’s also the added benefit of the psychological reinforcement that what you did was wrong.

You should go to confession. Look up the next time a church near you has one:

Then go and explain your situation honestly to the priest. Just be honest, and the priest will help you.

God bless you! I will say a prayer for you! :slight_smile:

One should go right to confession if one commits a mortal sin.

Frequent confession of venial sins is an age old and very good practice. Different persons can decide differently as to how frequent. It could be say weekly, or monthly or every other week …*(some have gone even daily --and not out of any scrupulosity).

It is a wonderful and great Sacrament.


1458 Without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults (venial sins) is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church. Indeed the regular confession of our venial sins helps us form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit. By receiving more frequently through this sacrament the gift of the Father’s mercy, we are spurred to be merciful as he is merciful (

Also let us all remember both the great good of frequent confession - and also that venial sins need not wait til confession to be forgiven:

And could you provide some evidence to confirm your understanding ?

I advise my classes that confession is like going to the dentist.

I only have to go to the dentist when I have a rotten tooth to be dug out. However, I find it best to go for regular checkups to get minor problems corrected. Hopefully that will prevent me having any rotten teeth to be dug out.

Similarly, I only have to go to confession when I have a mortal sin to be forgiven. However, I find it best to go regularly with my venial sins. This helps me avoid degenerating into mortal sins.

Thank you everyone.

The replies have answered a question I have puzzled about for years.

All I have to do now is get myself back in to the Confessional Box.

Thanks again.



Just go! Tell the priest it’s been a long time. He will help you.

This may be an overreaching statement, but I do not believe the Church has ever taught that you had to go to confession each time before receiving the Eucharist. If that was the case, all the daily mass goers would have to confess every day!

It is very likely that your parents, teachers, and priests simply ingrained in you a very good habit of going to weekly confession. It sounds like they insisted on it and may have even told you that it was strictly necessary, but this was only their opinion and not Church teaching.

True, sort of. One must not receive the Eucharist if one is conscious of mortal sin. So, the Church doesn’t necessarily teach you MUST go to confession before every Eucharist reception, but only when conscious of grave sin, which COULD be before every Eucharistic reception.

I think it was St. Padre Pio who recommended going to confession at least every 8 days, a worthy habit.

:thumbsup: Not overreaching at all. Simply but very well said

I agree!

That’s probably pretty much it.

I’m learning.

Hi Michael,

Yeah it can be a lot to take in. And especially if you’ve been away for a while, sometimes it can be a little daunting thinking about coming back.

If it helps to clarify: You are obligated to go to Confession once a year. If you commit a mortal sin, you have to go to Confession before you receive Communion again. That’s the Church teaching in a nutshell.

However, going to Confession often is a good idea and really does help us to grow in your spiritual life. But you should do it out of love and not fear.

Hope that helps!

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