I was received into the church when I was 23. I was baptised, confirmed and had my first communion all at once. The RCIA class that I was in had a communal penance service but no one (to my knowledge) confessed personally to the priest. I have thought that such a communal penance service was acceptable for all these past 20 years, and so have never been to a ‘real’ confession. Now, from listening to programs like Catholic Answers I have found this is not the case. Now what do I do? Have my sins been forgiven? Have I been receiving communion unworthily? I don’t even know the proper way to go about this, I mean, what do I do or say when I enter the confessional? This is really embarrasing to me. Can someone there help me out.
The fact that you didn’t know the teaching on this means that you have not sinned in not going more often. But you do need to confess the sins you are guilty of.
You need to go to a priest and tell him your situation. It would be appropriate to make a general confession. It is not daunting. Ask him to help you. He will show you what you need to do.
From then on, you would do well to go to Confession about once a month.
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.