In your opinion how do you make a good confession?

does a good confession include number of sins?

does it include mentioning your state in life?

any other things you think makes a good confession.

I use this guide, it’s self explanatory and Fr. Alteir’s explanation helped me to raise my awareness toward actions against God and against my neighbor.

He lists the mortal sins on the first 4 pages and the venial sins begin at the bottom of page 4 and end on page 8.

There are other guides online, Google search:

catholic adult examination of conscience

There’s an Iphone app available (as of yesterday) to assist Catholics prior to Reconciliation:

I have been going to the same confessor for over 10 years. I never say how many times, neither does he ask. He knows my status in life and probably knows my sins before I even mention them.

If I were going to a new confessor (and thank God I’m not in that situation now), I would indicate my approximate age and state in life, tell how long it has been since the last confession, tell my mortal sins by kind and number and any venial sins that I’m really sorry for and struggling to overcome. I might include a sentence about what I see as the cause of the sins, if I understand it myself, in order to give the priest an idea how to help me.

Like Joannm, I now have a regular confessor who knows me pretty well (it hasn’t been that long with him), so I just say, “Hi, Father, it’s Betsy.”

The most important thing for a good confession, however, is none of this stuff, but sincere contrition and purpose of amendment. Those aren’t part of the “script,” but in the heart and absolutely essential.

The priest may need to know your personal situation to give an appropriate pennance. Also:

Good confession:

Can. 987 In order that the faithful may receive the saving remedy of the sacrament of penance, they must be so disposed that, repudiating the sins they have committed and having the purpose of amending their lives, they turn back to God.

Kind and number:

Can. 988
§1 The faithful are bound to confess, in kind and in number, all grave sins committed after baptism, of which after careful examination of conscience they are aware, which have not yet been directly pardoned by the keys of the Church, and which have not been confessed in an individual confession.
§2 The faithful are recommended to confess also venial sins.

I have never mentioned my state in life, and have never been asked. Nor have I ever mentioned numbers or ever been asked.

At this point, I have a regular confessor and he knows me, sees me at church with hubby and kids and so my state in life is pretty obvious.

Insofar as numbers go, I may include descriptors like “sometimes”, “occasionally”, “once” (that’s a number, I guess) or “often”.

To echo what Betsy (?) said, what makes a confession a good confession is sincerity, honesty, contrition, and the resolve to do better.

For something minor, it’s not necessary to mention the number. However, I suppose it would make a difference if it’s something that happens a lot (e.g. I lie to my friends all the time) vs. a minor one time incident.

It’s not necessary to mention state of life, although sometimes priests will ask questions regarding if you are married, single, etc. or even how old you are. However, some cultures do ask the penitent to provide information on state of life. For Poland, for example, their instructions on how to confess tells the penitent to provide information on age and whether they married, single, widowed, divorced, a child, an older student etc.

Good confession is honest and complete and sincerely wanting to improve.

Concentrate and just clear your mind and make a honest and sincere confession. Take in every prayer you say and the priest says and take in the full meaning of why you are there.
And yes be prepared for questions from the priest.
Depending, some priests will really lay the questions on you…

mine doesn’t I say my confession he gives some reactions or suggestions or something after I finish

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