[quote="Mary_Ellen, post:4, topic:329292"]
Yes, a "General Confession" is one where a person recounts all one's sins from the age of reason to the present. It is NOT necessary to do this and is definitely not recommended for the scrupulous. St. Francis de Sales recommended it in his "Introduction to the Devout Life" (Ch 6). It is recommended for those entering into a new phase of their spiritual lives, such as just before marriage or ordination, or upon the advice of their spiritual director. I made a general confession just before I was received into the Lay Order of Carmelites.
Yes, to do a general confession you'll want to make an appointment with a priest because it should take an hour or so. This is not something to do at the regular Saturday afternoon confessions. Also, as you can imagine, it is not to be undertaken lightly and involves a great deal of prayerful preparation.
It has really made a difference for me. First of all, I confessed some sins I had forgotten (some because I had been so ashamed of I had buried them) and now I know ALL my sins have been forgiven. Second, I approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation with much more reverence and respect now, knowing how deep and wide is the ocean of God's Mercy.
This was almost exactly what I would have written. I have only done two General Confessions, once when I was brought into the Church, and once when I got a new spiritual advisor. Though not necessary, it is definitely helpful when getting a new spiritual advisor so he can assist you with some of the habitual sins you have fallen into.
But as others have said, please please make an appointment if you plan on doing this. Otherwise, you will add one more sin to the people lined up behind you waiting to get into the Confessional. :D