How Often

How often do you all go to Confession? I go every few months, usually two or three times a year, up from once a year.

I go maybe once a week on average, sometimes a bit more often. Part of that has to do with the fact that I fall into mortal sin and part has to do with the fact that I’m a little scrupulous. But also, I think it’s a good help in rooting out one’s vices, and so I would go weekly even if I didn’t have to.

Why would you go if you didn’t have to? That’s abusing the sacrament.

What constitutes “have to?”

IMINWHO, and only IMINWHO, if you habitually wait until you are in mortal sin to go to Confession, you will not progress beyond the point of endlessly fighting mortal sin. You need more to achieve a genuinely admirable “life of the spirit.”

Saint JP2 was said to confess once a week. I wouldn’t say that one should necessarily do that, but that suggests just the kind of determination that is required to fight all sin in one’s life.

Again only IMINWHO!


I usually go once a week. For Lent last year, I decided to do weekly confession to help make me more aware of my venial sins (mortal sins are easy to remember). I find that I think more about my actions and how they affect others. I’m nowhere near perfect, but I have definitely noticed an improvement. I’m also more aware of venial sins that keep popping up every week, so it gives me something to work on. My parish offers confession before Mass, so it’s just part of what I do.

No it is not… “Have to” means having mortal sin… We can go with just venial sins. Frequent Confession is encouraged.

Most people I know go once every two weeks or once a month. Some go weekly or even more often. Its a good practice that helps to advance in holiness :slight_smile: we receive graces from it to avoid sin more.

I agree… The Saints went often.

What is “IMINWHO”? :wink:

In My In-No-Way Humble Opinion.



That is a personal question. It may be better not to know people’s religious practices

Many may disagree but confession can be abused.

Yes I understand what you mean. That is factually correct, but please look again at the posters comments.

He admits to being scrupulous and then proceeds to state he goes to confession when he doesn’t need to go. That sounds like abuse rather than spiritual growth.

My spiritual director recommends confession at least monthly.

I go weekly; more if needed. I feel that I constantly fall short in one way or another. We are faced with choices daily and if the choices I make are not pleasing to God, I go to confession. This doesn’t mean I steal cars, kill people, or cheat on my husband! :eek: :thumbsup: It means perhaps I was judgmental when I should have been compassionate or I was impatient when I should have been patient, etc.

For those of us who fall into the scupulous category, a good confessor will tell us if we confess something that is not a sin. For example, I was told, “Temptation is not a sin.” :blush:

I don’t think it’s an abuse of the sacrament to confess frequently. I think an abuse would be if someone decides to sin and justifies it by reasoning that they will just go to confession tomorrow. (Taking advantage of God’s mercy and forgiveness) and to deliberately fail to confess sins or withold sins in the confessional. (The sin of sacrilege).
Sometimes, there are people who need more time than what can be given during confession; I guess that would require an appointment.
What abuses were y’all referring to?

Amen to this wisdom… and with the vast variety of characters, locations, cultures here, Each to his to her ways and wisdom,within the teachings and provision of Holy Mother Church with her wide and compassionate embrace of all her children.

One can indeed abuse a sacrament by over-frequenting it.

It would contravene the law for a layperson to receive the sacrament of the Eucharist beyond what is specified in Canon 917.

Similarly, over approaching the Sacrament of the Sick would be wrong.

There, given the directives provided in the norms and in the Code of Canon Law as well as taking account of the theology of the sacrament, the priest or bishop administering the anointing, himself being conversant with the norms, the canons and the theology, would be best positioned – and bears the responsibility – for determining what would or would not be appropriate in terms of the time interval for any given patient and situation.

Each particular case could result in a different pastoral decision. I have anointed in circumstances beyond what the norms would strictly indicate (but certainly within the latitude that the norms provide to my own judgment as the one administering the sacrament) and the patient died during a routine and relatively simple medical procedure from an unknown underlying condition. Obviously, I am grateful I anointed in those circumstances.

To the topic at hand…weekly confession would not normally be approaching it too frequently. I can envision circumstance in which it would be. To confess more frequently than that, especially regularly, one should engage the counsel of one’s regular confessor. The sacrament of penance is not the only resolution for venial sin.

I would advise the original poster to discuss the matter with her parish priest. Depending upon where original poster is in her spiritual journey, I would imagine the parish priest will have a concrete suggestion for her.

For example, laity who belong to a third order secular will often have in their rule/constitutions a provision for monthly confession. Others might confess monthly in connection with some private devotion, such as in connection to the First Saturday devotions regarding Our Lady of Fatima. Others would find monthly confession too frequent to suit them or their needs. Certainly, the sick and the shut-in are but one example.

The original poster’s parish priest is better positioned to offer meaningful guidance, because of knowing her, than anonymous people commenting about the sacramental practices of a similarly anonymous person in unknown conditions.

Less often than I should, but more often than I used to. :wink:

For each of us it will vary by our state in life and spiritual growth. Just like a growing child will go through growth spurts and eat more during certain periods, I find confession frequency follows a similar cycle. When I am growing/out growing certain spiritual stages or challenges I tend to receive the sacrament more frequently.

While I try to keep from going too long between confessions, I do not let it bother me if I’m a few days or weeks “past due”. Rather than focus on how often I try to make sure I stay on an even keel spiritually as much as possible. This is where a good spiritual director can provide guidance.

Though I have stated my frequency of confession on the board in past threads, how often I go to confession has no relevance for anyone but me. I once went more frequently but found it to do more harm than good, so I increased the interval until I found an appropriate balance. Since my knee operation in the spring I have been going less often than that, and I’ve not found this to be ideal, but it is what I can do right now. But again, none of this is relevant for the OP or anyone else, especially the scrupulous, who should be under the guidance of a regular confessor and obedient to his instructions.

I guess that is about my frequency as well or probably less. I found out that once my life is stabilized, there are less sins to be confessed, so that affects the frequency which has become less too. It is then a matter of maintaining the equilibrium. If one’s life is not active anymore in the secular business trying to earn a living or bringing up the family, one can more or less maintain a serene disposition to be more conducive to have a spirit-filled life.

Confession has become very routine with nothing very spectacular unlike when I was younger and life was an adventure, competitive and a struggle. Now I could go on very long without Confession as the need is seldom there.

That was my willed philosophy when disability ruled out work, I had no family and was for my simple needs, adequately provided for and that is how i am aiming to see old age . Working now to find a grassy field (metaphorically) to rest and graze in… Parting with more of the outside world than i have done yet.

Away from the battlefield it gets easier.

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