Is it wrong to write down the sins you've comitted on a piece of paper

…and then bring them to the confessional? If I’m going to confess I want to confess everything. Even though I know that the act of absolution will forgive the sins I did and did not mention, I would rather not forget any sin.

So would it be wrong or would it make the confession less sincere to write down my sins on paper? There are so many sins I’m guilty of that need to come into the light.

I do it when ever I go! Unless I just need to confess one or two things.

I also write mine down. It’s too easy to forget things there in the heat of the moment, and it’s such a let down when I’ve forgotten something (even though I know the sin is still forgiven).

Just remember the story Fulton Sheen told of the lady who came to Confession, opened her list, and said “Oh dear. I must have left my sins at the Safeway.” That’s the only reason you might want to be cautious about what you write down.

Daegus, of course not. For many our nerves are affected and it helps the memory.:)Peace,Carlan

No, it’s actually a good idea.

It’s also a good idea to 1) not sign your name and 2) burn the paper after your done! :wink:

If anything it would make your confession more sincre, by wanting everything to be known. Doing this may help your confessor give you more complete advice on avoiding these sins.

Myself i don’t normally right them down,usually they are the same ones as last time :frowning:

Been there, done that. Thankfully our God is patient with us!!! :slight_smile:

One thing to remember if you do write your sins down, don’t go to the priest with the intention of saying a laundry list of sins. Try to engage in more of a conversation rather than a one sided monologue. That way, Father will be better able to offer any advice you may need. :slight_smile:

Less of, “I’ve committed the sins of gluttony, pride, envy,” etc…
More of, “Father, I can’t seem to stop coming back to these lustful or angry thoughts because of these reasons…”

       This sounds like a way to make a great confession:thumbsup:

IMHO, anyone who says, “write down your sins and bring it to the confessional!” is wrong, wrong, WRONG.

Why? Let me explain.

Let’s look at the forest, not the trees. Catholicism is about a relationship with a loving God. It is not merely a list of rules, or a list of “dos and don’ts.”

And what is confession? It is unique sacrament wherein God’s grace touches us, and we are absolved of our sins. It is a chance to become purer, and more Christlike.

That said, let’s look at where “write your sins on paper!” leads us?

For starters, it leads to scrupulosity, taken to an almost insane degree. What if we forget to write something? What if we lose the paper? Is confession somehow “less valid” if we forget something on our list? Is losing the paper itself a sin? A mortal sin? What if the paper is seen by others? Is failing to safeguard the paper a sin? What if our list this month is longer than our list last month? What if we’re not sure whether to list something or not? In short, it makes us obsessed with SIN, when what we should be obsessed with is LOVE, namely, the love Christ has for us, and for all.

Sin-obsession, however, that is NOT what Catholicism is about, and it is not what confession is about.

Before we confess, we are to examine our consciences. Such examinations are to be in depth, and insightful…how have we failed God? How have we failed in our relationships with others? How can we be more like Christ? This provides fertile ground for self-reflection, and for the Holy Spirit to whisper guidance and insight to us. Yet when we write our sins down, we replace this examination, and this openness to the Holy Spirit, with mindlessly reading our list.

Furthermore, it leads us to miss the forest for the trees. Writing down what we did become more important that the relationships we have with God and with others. We begin to carry paper around to write down sins…instead of living life as Christians should, and serving God.

So forget the list…and instead, just live as a Christian - period.


We still need to quantify our sins if we can remember them during the Confession. It is a matter of admitting what we had wrong after our last Confession; recount them and confess them. “For these sins and all the other sins that I cannot now remember, I am truly sorry”.

Writing those sins down is showing sincerity in really want to confess them lest we forget about them. Quite a lot of penitents are uptight about going into the confessional and by the time they reach there, a number of things may simply fade out from their memory. Writing our sins down helps though one does not have to do it if one is confident that one will not miss any of the sins that one wants to confess.

I think what you need to do right now is get some help for your scrupulosity.

You and everyone else, buddy.:wink:

Yeah, that’s a great idea. Don’t worry, you ain’t being scrupulous - it’s easy to forget things, especially if you are nervous. No different from someone taking a notecard to help them concentrate during a speech or presentation.

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