How to confess

This will sound like an extremely dumb question, but I have not been to confession for many years…and I really don’t know the correct protocol.

I know that I begin with “Bless me father for I have sinned…it has been _____ since my last confession…” Then I don’t know where to go from there. It has been probably 20 years :frowning: since my last confession. I haven’t done anything, that in the eyes of the law would be considered terrible like murder or theft or anything major.

But like many people I have committed a multitude of other sins that are not considered grave in the eyes of the law…but are not looked upon so kindly in the eyes of god such as…lust…envy…greed…fornification…adultery (in my younger pre-married days)…self gratification (don’t want to say it the other way)…lied (not major ones…but many of the variety that we call “white” lies…but then again a lie is a lie right).

In all honesty, I wouldn’t be able to remember a quarter of the things I’ve done especially the things that I have done over and over. But I want to make a complete confession. How do I do this if I can’t remember every thing. I am sincere in my repentence…so I want to do it right. And also, how often do you or should you go to confession…at set intervals…or do you go as often as you sin?

Sorry for all the questions…but its been a while.

Thank You.

Hi and welcome back. I just went to confession (first time in 25-30 yrs) & had the same problems as yourself. What I did was in the week or so prior, i did a real good examination of conscience & wrote my sins down–as I remembered more, I added to the list. i Brought the list into the confessional with me & put it thru the shredder when I went home.

As far as procedure–you pretty much have it. After I did the “bless me father…” as you described above, I told the priest my sins, we chatted for a few minutes, he told me what my penance was and gave me absolution. I also had a copy of the the Act of Contrition with me just in case. here’s something else I found on the 'net that should also help you.

Guide to Confession
(from the Knights of Columbus)


When I made my first confession in years, after only making a few before, I just asked the priest what to do. He was very kind and helpful.

This one is pretty good, too:

Go deeper than the first few lines. The page in question is really for adults, with links for kids and teenagers.

Don’t let your fears get the best of you. if you do a search on this site, you’ll find your not hte first to put off confession and won’t be the last.

And welcome back!

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