How To Do A General Confession


I thinking the other day that I was unsure if I had confessed one of my previous sins or not. It was awhile ago so my actual memory of the confession is a bit lapsed.
I’ve heard of general confessions and honestly I think it sounds great and can humble a person by saying again everything someone has done.
But I wasn’t sure how someone would prepare for a general confession. I’m not even sure how to set one up.
Would you email a priest about it?
Can you still use the screen if you do so?
Do you distinguish around the time/age the sins happened?

I would also appreciate any other tips! Thank you!

Thank you for your help!
I do have one sin I’m not sure I confessed or not. It was witholding a sin in confession (which I was so dumb for doing since I’ll take embarrassment any day over giving up salvation). It randomly popped in my head this week. I think I confessed it but just in case I figured I could confess it as well as the sins I had confessed during that confession. Do you happen to know if I could just tell my priest that? Still interested in a general confession too.
Thank you!

Why not at your next confession mention there is a past sin you are not sure if you confessed it or not, but wish to mention it now. Just remember to confess your current sins first, then any past sins.

My understanding is that a general confession is meant for someone who has been away from the Church for a long time, not someone who goes to confession regularly. I also understand that a general confession is made before entering religious life, and prior to ordination.

“Ask a Priest: Is a General Confession Just for a Select Few?

I suggest making an appointment as it can take some time. Do a thorough examination of conscience going back to the time you committed the first mortal sin, or from the age of reason until the present.

I can’t see why not. But you may be kneeling for some time.

I wouldn’t think so.

CA - When is it appropriate to make a general confession

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Thank you for such a detailed reply!
I might just do as you mentioned and confess it in my next confession ( of course after my other sins) and just mention to him that I don’t remember if confessed it or not. If I did it intentionally I should also confess the other sins I said during that confession. I guess I just didn’t think I could do that since it could make it look like I’m re-confessing stuff.

Do you suffer from scrupulosity?

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Um, i’m not sure. I know what scrupulosity is, but i’ve never really talked about it with a priest or anyone so I can’t say for sure.

It seems as though this is at the root of your desire to make a general confession. Talk to your priest.


General confession has two purposes from what I recall, one is for people who have been away from the church and another as a sign of devotion. Unless you have problems with scrupulousity then there is nothing wrong with confessing a past sin again. The priest will set you right, especially if you have a regular confessor. People who go to confession for devotion purely ie. Those who no longer commit even venial sins would have to give the priest a past sin in order to receive absolution, though theyd say it’s a past sin. The saints no doubt did this, most of us are probably not there yet, though we should all be striving to be there. Saying that, speak to your priest about general confession youd need extra time for it.
Pray about it and your reasons for it. Let God lead you. The others have given you advice about adding this incident in a normal confession which may well suffice. Remember you should be honest and humble before the priest so saying you are not sure about something and concisely why is quite acceptable. I have had some of my best spiritual advice when saying Father I’m not sure if this is a sin but I am doing x. God bless you.

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Agreed. I’d advise you to discuss your desire to make a general Confession with your priest.

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