Is It True that People under 18 Cannot go to Mass or Confession on their own?

I am a 16 year old Catholic and I have heard somewhere that since I am under 18 I cannot go to Mass or Confession on my own? Is this true since I was planning to go to Confession this Saturday at my local parish and try to go to Mass as often as possible.

From my understanding, that is not the case. That would be detrimental to a teenager especially, because around 16 and 17, most teenagers are driving on their own, and if you want to attend Confession without your parents (because, say, they are busy), then an “age restriction” prevents one from receiving grace and forgiveness in Confession.

So, all in all, from what I know, no. But check with your parish and/or diocese to clarify 100% if you insist.

Ad Jesum per Mariam,


Thank you! I’ve heard this rumor and I just wanted to make sure this was not the case!

Around here I believe younger people go on their own to Mass and probably Confession as well.

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From my personal understanding acquired through practice the Church permits confession to any one that has completed his first communion.
Which for me was when I was 8 years old.
It was in the church of a Franciscan run elementary school.
Did not have to drive since it was next to it. Very convenient. In fact I don’t remember ever having my parents with me when Ii went for confession. This was not in the USA so it might not apply here.

Perhaps what you heard had to do with minors converting to Catholicism - I believe I am correct that the parish/diocese would want parental permission.

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Is that so? Sounds like it has good intentions, but also risky. A child can convert, but what if their parents do not want them to?

The Church expects minors to obey their parents, so any conversions, first sacraments etc require parental permission.

If the parents won’t give permission, then the person must wait till they are a legal adult (18 in USA, might be different age in other countries) and then they no longer need parental permission.

Regarding minors going to church or confession alone, many parishes and dioceses nowadays have safety guidelines for the protection of both the minors and also to protect the clergy and parish staff from false accusations. This might include a minimum age for kids to be at Mass or confession without an older family member accompanying them. In most places, teens on their own are usually allowed to be at Mass or confession as long as there are some other people around, like it’s not okay for the teen to be alone in church with just one priest or just one staff member but if there’s at least a few other people in the church, waiting in line to confess etc I’ve not seen a problem.

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This is not true. Seven-year -olds can do this provided they have made their First Communions.

Alright, my parents after convincing them (they are not active in Catholicism) have given me permission to go to Mass. And I have recieved all my Sacraments of Initiation.


To me, it’s understandable, but I dislike it, almost disagreeing with it. Of course, conversion of the heart is a baptism, so if the kid dies before 18 yet converted and was in a state of grace, he shall be saved. But that shouldn’t happen. A full rite of Baptism, IMO, is better.



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