Help! valid confession?


I scheduled a confession with a priest following another confession of a serious sin I have been trouble forgiving myself for. As I prepared for this confession I also thought of many sins from my past that hadn’t been confessed. Before going I thought of details to one sin and knew it would be hard to say (as some of the other sins would be too), I don’t know if I committed to saying the details like some other sins I said. I think I was afraid to, but really thought that they should be said. Anyhow, during the confession I got nervous during that part and rushed through that part. I was in the confession for over an hour and a half and now I am afraid that my confession was not valid! I have had trouble in the past with wondering if I had not be upfront and honest enough in confession. Father even gave me some time to make sure I had said everything. I thought of a couple things to add at that point, but didn’t think of this one. But I am worried that I didn’t really intend on saying everything about that sin before I walked in and then during the actual confession I got nervous during that part and rushed through it, and then didn’t think of it later in the confession! Would the whole confession really be invalid? I don’t know if I could repeat it without leaving something out.


If you make a mistake in confessing, yet are properly contrite for all remembered sins, then they are forgiven when you were given absolution. If there are any more mortal sins you forgot to tell, just tell those at your next confession, even though it is already forgiven. That makes it complete and gives the priest an opportunity to give you council and a penance for them.

You said “I am worried that I didn’t really intend on saying everything about that sin”. But you do not need to tell *everything *about it, rather “each and every mortal sin and the circumstances that alter the species of sins that are remembered after a careful examination of conscience”.


Thank you Vico for your reply! I am ashamed of the details here, but not sure if this “alters the species”. I was babysitting and confessed that I spanked a child. I am pretty sure I said that the child was young or too young. And that I didn’t know if the parents spanked and didn’t tell them I had done so because I thought they would be mad. I said I had felt so bad. The details I left out was that I was frustrated, I think she was around one year old, trying to change her diaper that she wouldn’t stay still for. I spanked her bare bottom 2 or 3 times quite firmly. I didn’t mean for it to be so firm. Maybe I was trying to get her attention to stop moving around. I don’t think I was trying to “punish” her. But my frustration was the problem. It has been years ago now. I think I was frustrated too that her parents had wanted me to put her down for a nap, but she hadn’t wanted anything to do with that. I was also a mom of two kids at the time. Mine were a bit older and spanking was something a did on occasion with my own children.


Remember to be simple in Confession, as a child would with its parent. If one were to confess punching someone, for example, God knows that the person is confessing their anger. If we had to confess the sinful intention behind every sin we would always have to add, “I did this out of pride.”

If you can find it (it isn’t particularly cheap), you should read ‘Comfort for the Faint-Hearted’ by Louis de Blois (Blosius). It will give you some excellent and comforting advice for confession.

God bless.


I really appreciate the reply! I feel I need to ask for patience to those of you who have replied already as I am still struggling with this. I guess I got a little wordy with my details. The details I thought I should have included were that she was only around one year old and that I had done it quite firmly. I feel like I was struggling with saying these things before I went into the confessional. And then during the confession I nervously rushed through that part. Overall, I wanted a good complete confession as I spent a lot of time and was so wanting to be forgiven. I felt so much joy for about half an hour after the confession until I realized that before hand I had been scared to admit those details and then had not included those details which I thought were important.


I love this thread about confession.
The good and righteous may tell you otherwise.
Do you really think God separates the valid from the invalid?
He sees what you’ll do tomorrow before you can remember what you did yesterday.
If you told him at the foot of the Cross, your sins, and you were sorry, while He hung there because of your behavior, he’d read your soul and forgive them all.
I don’t think this was your last confession.
Keep going. What the problem is?
It’s a sacrament we need to frequent.
Bring it up again with your holy priest. If you connect, ask him to be your spiritual director and screw your head on straight.
Us poor sinners need a serious kick in the ***** sometimes and we are very blessed (not lucky) to have priests of Jesus and Mary. Alleluia.


Unless you purposefully actually decided not to say something that was a mortal sin, and assuming contrition, then you didn’t mess up the validity of confession. Thinking that you might have subconsciously been afraid and not given as many details as you maybe should have does not count.

It sounds like you’re in the second case and are fine, though since you say this is sort of feeling is a recurring problem, this may be evidence of scrupulosity. If so, you may want to mention this to your priest so that he can help you ease this feeling of uncertainty.


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