General Confession vs Typical Confession

I was wondering when you should make an appointment with a priest to have a general confession vs making a confession during scheduled times. Is there a limit on the # of general confessions someone should make? The last general confession I’ve made was probably about 5-10 years ago. And should you do a general confession at the church you attend regularly or can you go to any Catholic Church? In other words, is it likely that a priest or secretary will not see you for a general confession if you attend another Catholic church in another diocese. My regular church is not in the same diocese of where I live.

I usually go to confession every 2-4 weeks, though sometimes I have gone each week and sometimes I’ve gone a little bit more than monthly. I think I get thru my mortal sins during the typical confession and most of my venial sins, but I typically feel rushed and so I am not sure if I really am confessing all my mortal sins, especially those of which are thought and/or covet ones. I also would like to confess somethings like struggles in faith, certain proclivity / temptations to sin, or things I may not have confessed. I also need to confess lacking a proper prayer life with my wife and me.

Am I overthinking this or is it normal to want to do a general confession? Is a general confession inappropriate if you make regular confessions? Do some people go to confession for holiness not simply to confess venial/mortal sins?

Thanks so much!

Why not just list your sins and add the other things you want to confess onto the list and confess them?

1 Like

True. I probably should do that. Thanks so much. Hugs.

I usually go into confession with my thoughts in head, not with a list.

I used to do that, but for a few years now I have been making a list. I try to update so its ready by the time I go to Confession. I think it makes Confession quicker and sometimes if I want to particularly focus on one of the sins, I’ll ask the priest about it after I’ve confessed my list of sins. It might not suit everybody, but it works for me. Destroy the list afterwards.

1 Like

I use a confession app on my iphone to help me organize my thoughts and sins.

The app I use is below and was blessed by the a Bishop, then the USCCB and finally the Vatican

http://www.littleiapps.com/confession/

1 Like

I was taught in RCIA that those already baptised make a General confession before they are received into the Catholic Church. Also those entering into marriage, ordination or religious life are asked to make a General confession before vows. Before receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation, making a GC could also be recommended especially if the person is “older” as in teenage years or adult.

Then there are those making the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola who make a General confession after the first? week of the Exercises.

Talk to your confessor regarding making a General confession and ask if he would recommend that you do one. If you are going regularly, like every month, then it is likely that he will say what I wrote above. If you are not a “regular” then it would probably be good to dig deeper into how you live your life.

1 Like

I think Brendan64 resolved your issue with his suggestion, which you seemed to accept.

I personally can’t imagine somebody who goes to confession every 2-4 weeks needing to make a “general confession”. I always thought general confessions were for people who were making their first confession as adults, or had been away from confession for a long time, or had somehow not made very good confessions for years because of poor catechesis or being lukewarm or something.

As for going to confession “for holiness”, you need to have at least one sin to confess if you want to get absolution and grace. Since the just man sins 7 times a day, so we’re told, it shouldn’t be hard for us to come up with at least 1 sin we committed since the last confession. We don’t go there just to “get holy” without having a sin to confess.

Regarding what you want to confess, from what you’ve written I’m a little concerned you are becoming overscrupulous. Your best bet is to mention some of these things you think are sins to the priest and see what he says.

1 Like

I would just like to add that past sins are valid matter for confession. Confession of venial sins are sometimes called confessions of devotion . There is no need to confess temptations - because that is all they are as the will did not consent, so there is no sin to confess. Confessing imperfections used to be done, but not much nowadays as far as I am aware.

1 Like

A general confession is appropriate if you’ve been away for a long time; it’s not appropriate if you’re a regular penitent. Confesion (or, more appropriately, the sacrament) is all about holiness - acknowledging our sins before the Lord, and seeking his pardon and peace in order to return to a right relationship with Him through the grace of the sacrament. At the same time, the sacrament is a relational one (as are all sacraments of course) - it’s not just about a mechanical exercise of listing our sins and receiving penance at the end like some sort of warped shopping trip!

1 Like

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 www.catholic.com.