How to do Reconciliation after 15 years of sins?


#1

I hope I’m in the right place. I’m new at posting here. I have been trying to search the internet for this. I have only had one confession and it was weak only because then I still did not know how to go about it. Do you have to say every single thing your sorry for…down to stealing a piece of candy from a store when you were 5? I will be with the priest for hours. I feel like I need to write a list before I go so I don’t forget anything. What about things I do forget and think about later then I have to come back? I don’t know where to draw the line.

Advice please…I feel I need to do this but I am giving myself a serious headache over it.


#2

Do not be afraid! :slight_smile: You need to confess all mortal sins (that you can remember) first. These are 1) sins that are of a grave or serious nature such as sexual sins (not stealing candy), 2)actions that you knew to be wrong at the time you did them and 3) then actually going through with it and doing it anyway. Committing the same venial sins (of a less serious nature) multiple times ( like many times a day) should come next. The best way to go to confession after so many years is to call the parish office and make an appointment with a priest. Then you will have plenty time and he will be able to focus on just you. A list is a good idea, it will help you focus. Welcome (back) Home! :tiphat:


#3

I made a list for when I was out of the Church for about 12 years. It took me about a week to develop the list.

During Confession, I was nervous so I missed a couple/few, which I covered later in another Confession.

I pray to St. Joseph to help you.


#4

I'll be making my First Confession in the future. I got 38 years to cover. I asked the same question and got some wonderful answers in this thread:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=808343


#5

Welcome to CAF! :wave: That's great that you are coming back to the celebration of this wonderful Sacrament. It is truly a source of great grace and many blessings. :thumbsup:

My first bit of advice would be to relax. :) Making an appointment with a priest is a good suggestion as it will make the occassion much less rushed.

Don't be afraid to ask the priest for guidance. That's what he's there for! Just be upfront and let him know how long it's been and ask for his help guiding you through.

As Catholic1954, you are only obligated to confess mortal sins, and we want to confess the number and kind of mortal sins committed. But don't put undue pressure on yourself to get exact counts. God is a God of mercy and He wants you to come to Him for forgiveness. He wants to give you the grace of the Sacrament. He's not trying to trip you up or revoke the grace of the Sacrament if you forget one little detail. Do the best you can. If it helps you to make a list, then make a list (and be sure to shred it afterwards! :p). Again, the priest will be very helpful for this part, too.

If you honestly forget a sin (which is understandable when covering a long period of time), you are still forgiven for them all. If it's a mortal sin that you forgot to mention, the usual practice is to just mention it the next time you go to Confession.

God bless you as you prepare to receive this wonderful sacrament!


#6

[quote="Joe_5859, post:5, topic:335681"]
Welcome to CAF! :wave: That's great that you are coming back to the celebration of this wonderful Sacrament. It is truly a source of great grace and many blessings. :thumbsup:

My first bit of advice would be to relax. :) Making an appointment with a priest is a good suggestion as it will make the occassion much less rushed.

Don't be afraid to ask the priest for guidance. That's what he's there for! Just be upfront and let him know how long it's been and ask for his help guiding you through.

As Catholic1954, you are only obligated to confess mortal sins, and we want to confess the number and kind of mortal sins committed. But don't put undue pressure on yourself to get exact counts. God is a God of mercy and He wants you to come to Him for forgiveness. He wants to give you the grace of the Sacrament. He's not trying to trip you up or revoke the grace of the Sacrament if you forget one little detail. Do the best you can. If it helps you to make a list, then make a list (and be sure to shred it afterwards! :p). Again, the priest will be very helpful for this part, too.

If you honestly forget a sin (which is understandable when covering a long period of time), you are still forgiven for them all. If it's a mortal sin that you forgot to mention, the usual practice is to just mention it the next time you go to Confession.

God bless you as you prepare to receive this wonderful sacrament!

[/quote]

I really like this answer! Again, WELCOME HOME! Please let us know how it goes. I bet the graces you receive when you walk out of confession will make you feel like you are walking on air. Peace ;)


#7

Welcome home!

Meditating, make a list and get an appointment (be sure to destroy the list afterward)

[quote="bsroufek, post:3, topic:335681"]
I made a list for when I was out of the Church for about 12 years. It took me about a week to develop the list.

During Confession, I was nervous so I missed a couple/few, which I covered later in another Confession.

I pray to St. Joseph to help you.

[/quote]

As bsroufek wrote, if you accidentally forget or miss some sins in your first confession, you can bring them up in a later confession to express contrition. However, the absolution the priest gives does cover accidentally omitted sins.

If someone intentionally omits sins, that is a sacrilege and the whole confession would have to be repeated.

Personally, I do think it is advantageous to confess "stealing gum at 5 y.o.", especially if it is part of a pattern.

The grace of confession is great so it is advantageous to confess venial sins. ;)


#8

Fifteen years can be summarized and confessed pretty quickly. No doubt someone has confessed something like this: fornication, about 4 times per week over 15 years, drunk, once a day over the same time, angry outbursts, twice a day, etc..

No reason it can't be covered without being unduly drawn out.


#9

I made my first confession covering 25 years (and a few were kind of crazy) when I converted. It's really no problem. Just do the examination of conscience exercise and just go to confession. When you tell the priest how long it's been he will be very understanding. Be ready to have a weight lifted off your shoulders! :)


#10

:thumbsup:

I confessed 18 years of sins.

When I told the priest how long it had been, he went through a list of questions for me.

Have you? Did you? When did it start/end?

At the end of his questions, he asked, “is there anything else you remember that you need to tell me?”

We went from there. :shrug:

I was terrified when I walked in. But honestly? It was pretty easy once I got started.


#11

When I converted I was 44 years old. I would reckon I spent about 30 minutes with the priest. Its not possible to remember everything.


#12

How do you go?

Just go. :wink:

But you can summarize: for instance, if you’ve stolen little things over the years, say just that. No need to go into detail about whether it was a pen, cookie, etc. if you never returned your neighbor’s lawnmower or you pawned it, confess that separately. Try to separate the big things from the little things.

You can search for an examination of conscience to guide you. If you have an apple device there is a free app called Mea Culpa that allows you to go through a checklist of common mortal and venial sins. It keeps them in a list for you for when you go to confession. Just be sure to delete the list when you’re done. Or you can write them on a little slip of paper. I never go into a confessional without a list of some sort. Guess I just don’t want to forget anything.

If you’re having trouble or think you may take longer than 5 minutes to confess it all, just make an appointment with the priest. He, along with all of your friends here, will be so glad you came! :slight_smile:


#13

JimG Re: How to do Reconciliation after 15 years of sins?
"Fifteen years can be summarized and confessed pretty quickly. No doubt someone has confessed something like this: fornication, about 4 times per week over 15 years, drunk, once a day over the same time, angry outbursts, twice a day, etc..

No reason it can't be covered without being unduly drawn out. "

JimG were you listening to my confession when I joined the church? I think the Priest's jaw dropped open.

It's not difficult. The Priest talked about some over arching types of sins and some specific types that I may have done and asked me about them. And then it was time for confession.


#14

No, I wasn’t listening in! I do recall a priest at a retreat give some of the same types of examples once, because there were quite a few people who were afraid of just going to confession after 15 or 20 years.


#15

[quote="maryjk, post:10, topic:335681"]
:thumbsup:

I confessed 18 years of sins.

When I told the priest how long it had been, he went through a list of questions for me.

Have you? Did you? When did it start/end?

At the end of his questions, he asked, "is there anything else you remember that you need to tell me?"

We went from there. :shrug:

I was terrified when I walked in. But honestly? It was pretty easy once I got started.

[/quote]

Same here after 15 years. I had the opportunity to go to Confession at a conference, which made it easier since there were 3 or 4 priests and it wasn't so obvious that this was taking longer than usual.:rolleyes: A retreat center would be good too, I think.


#16

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