How do you confess your sins?

As far as I know only Catholics and Orthodox Christians embrace auricular confession.

1 John 1:9 (NIV) reads:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Few would argue with the assertion that it’s incumbent upon every Christian to confess his or her sins. There’s no secret about how Catholics and Orthodox Christians tackle this exercise and there’s no shortage of criticism (particularly from the Evangelical camp) as a result. But is the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church so very wrong in their practice of auricular confession? What other way is there of confessing – really confessing – your sins?

How do you confess your sins?

This is an open invitation to everybody. Guide me through the procedure you use when you confess your sins (if you dare).:slight_smile:


In the name of Allah , Most Gracious, Most Merciful

I offer special prayers ( prayer of repentance ) & ask God to forgive me . We are not supposed to confess to any human being but to God Almighty . Repentance means come back — come back from wrong to right.

I confess my sins every morning and evening during my times of prayer as well as throughout the day and immediately when I know I have sinned. This is how I confess all of my sins :thumbsup:

I ask God’s forgiveness every time I think I have offended him in sin. I confess to a priest who acts in the person of Christ about once a month. Either way, I lean on God’s mercy.


God Bless!

If I sin (not when I sin), I do what the Bible tells us to. I confess with my mouth and believe in my heart for true repentance. I’ve already been baptized so no need to do that continuously. lol :slight_smile:

Adding more, because I don’t want to come off self righteous. (not what i do…)
Paul tells us that we have to kill the flesh daily. I pray for God to forgive me for sins done unknowingly but we have to fight temptations. We also read that the flesh still has a part in us and we can either chose to feed the spirit or the flesh. I just choose to feed the spirit. :thumbsup:

Lutherans have a number of forms of corporate confession, as well as private confession.


So do Methodists.

Hi Jon,

I wasn’t aware of that. How interesting. Tell me more.


I’m very surprised. What does confession – corporate and/or private – inside United Methodism entail, exactly?


Example of United Methodist Corporate Confession (as found in Word and Table I):

Pastor: Christ our Lord invites to his table all who love him, who earnestly repent of their sin and seek to live in peace with one another. Therefore, let us confess our sin before God and one another.

People:Merciful God, we confess that we have not loved you with our whole heart. We have failed to be an obedient church. We have not done your will, we have broken your law, we have rebelled against your love, we have not loved our neighbors, and we have not heard the cry of the needy. Forgive us, we pray. Free us for joyful obedience, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

- silence-

Pastor: Hear the good news: Christ died for us while we were yet sinners; that proves God’s love toward us. In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven!

An Example of Individual Confession (as found in The Daily Office)

O Lamb of God, I have forgotten my baptismal profession in my daily life;
I have embraced incompatible loyalties,
I have not linked baptism with martyrdom,
I have let theology and liturgy be diversions rather than calls to faithfulness.

O Christ, renew the love and courage we had at first.
Bring me down from the towers of speculation and out from caves of inwardness
to loyalty in the world where your passion still calls us to resist evil
and share in your victory of love.
Jesus, forgive my sin and heal my will.
- silence for examination of conscience -
In the name of Jesus Christ, forgive me and call me.

I pray a prayer of individual confession every day.


O.S. Luke,

Thanks. I had been supposing that it was like auricular confession as practiced by Catholics and Orthodox Christians but I see now that my thinking was wayward.



Thanks for your helpful post. You’ve used the words, “I confess with my mouth.” Would you care to explain that in more detail?


After the invocation.
P: If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
C: But if we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

All: Almighty God. We confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean, that we have sinned against you in thought, word and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole hearts. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We justly deserve you present and eternal punishment. For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy upon us. Forgive us, reniew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name, Amen.

Followed by the announcement of Holy Absolution by the pastor.

This is typical, but there are other versions.

Private confession is based on Luther’s commentary on Confession in the Small Catechism.



I followed the link because it’s private confession in which I’m interested but after reading the relevant section I’m still not clear about what actually happens in practice in contemporary Lutheranism. Do Lutherans confess their sins audibly and in detail to the Lord in the presence of a minister or pastor in the same way that Catholics and Orthodox Christians confess their sins audibly and in detail to the Lord in the presence of a priest?


When Jesus spoke of the publican, he said that one simple heart felt confession of his state was worth so much. When I was in a backsliden state and made up my heart and mind to turn around, I told God that I was a sinner who has turned away and I want one with His spirit again. Keep me from all sin, knowingly and unknowingly, and equip me with every tool needed to battle the enemy. I die to my will that I may do Your will. Death and life is in the power of the tongue and at this moment, I choose life. :thumbsup:

I confess my sins to a priest in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Of course, I don’t have to confess venial sins but I do confess all of my mortal sins and the venial sins that I can remember at the time. I do this because the Church encourages us to confess our venial sins as well even though it is not required.

However, I do think this question was likely directed at non-Catholics. :wink:

Thanks for providing this information.

Indeed it is but I need Catholics to furnish details for the contrast to become apparent.


Hi, Mick.

What details would you like?

In Christ,

Hi Teri,

Thanks for adopting such a friendly tone.

I’m thinking about the difference between confession in its sacramental form and confession that is completely internal. The latter is relatively easy, so it seems to me. What would likely fill most people with dismay about the sacramental form of confession is that “somebody else will know what I want nobody to know.”

If it’s not too great a thing to ask, I’d like to invite you to comment on how ashamed you feel when you admit your sins and go into detail about them in the presence of another human being. This, of course, is the big obstacle. We Evangelicals have no mechanism for arriving at that state of reality. We can only try to work up vague feelings of regret. I’ve come to the conclusion that the lack of the sacramental form of confession is one of the reasons why my growth as a Christian has come to a halt and that I must leave Evangelical Christianity behind.


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