Is the contrition said at mass as good as going to confession


Is the contrition said at mass as good as going to confession?
So it clears any sin to not receiving the Eucharist?



Contrition during mass is for venial sins only, mortal sins must be dealt with via the sacrament of confession only.



No because the penitential rite (“Lord have mercy”) only deals with venial sins. An act of perfect contrition is sufficient to enable you to receive the Eucharist but this should really only be seen as something to tide you over until you can next get to confession rather than being “as good as”



No, the Penitential Rite at the beginning of Mass is not a substitute for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.



Not even. Perfect contrition can restore someone to the state of grace, but it does NOT render one eligible to receive Communion except for a serious reason and within a specified set of conditions (Canon Law 916). One should ordinarily return to Communion only after being absolved in Confession.

Just being at Mass is NOT sufficient reason to receive Communion in this state, and neither is embarrassment.



Embarrassment could be a “grave reason”- e.g. if a person might lose his or her good name by not receiving communion in certain circumstances (and it’s easy enough to think of a few scenarios) although the intention to receive sacramental confession as soon as possible is always required, as is the inability to do so prior to the mass.



The forgiveness of mortal sins is obviously the key difference.

In the particular case of only having venial sins, is there an advantage to confession over the penitential rite at mass?



Not specifically but it is good to get into the habit of going to Confession.



That is not embarrassment, and yes, the loss of a good name is a possibly valid reason. However, the gravity requirement is not always met, and most people do not lose their good name by abstaining from Communion.

Merely feeling embarrassed about remaining in the pew is not sufficient reason to receive Communion in such a state.



I absolutely agree.



I agree, but feel it very understandable that there is embarrassment nowadays. Abstaining from the eucharist is a rarity. Everybody seems to line up every week. Most have likely not been to Confession in quite some time. They can’t all be free of mortal sin. Now some of this could be poor catechesis. When I was a child preparing for First Communion, mortal sin was explained to us as “if you murdered somebody”. While this would be an example, it doesn’t cover it all. Of course, that’s a hard topic for a child to grasp beyond that. Futher training should have occurred in older years, perhaps in HS youth group. My Newman Club in college is the first time I heard more about it, but of course, how many people are doing anything besides Mass (if that) by then?

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You have to be absolved of mortal sin in Confession before receiving.

It isn’t important what other people are doing. You’re not there for them. You’re there for Jesus, and he is there for you.




I do not think so, on the contrary take communion for the reason of human respect is considered a sin by some theologian.
One of the reasons that can justify communion through perfect contrition is for example when a priest is not in a state of grace and is obliged to do Mass when he can not confess

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That’s why I said “possibly.” The right to one’s good name is a basic right recognized by the Church (which is also why detraction is a sin, and can even be a grave sin).

However, it is hardly the case that someone loses his good name merely by abstaining from Communion, so it’s not even a case of “human respect.” Realistically, no one really cares. No huge scandal erupts when Joe Blow in the pew stays there any given Sunday.

Not to say that it can’t happen, but one would be hard-pressed to find such a reason.



I agree. There are times I have not gone for Communion. I have never felt embarrassed. I would consider it a sin on the part of others for them to make a judgement about why I stayed in the pew.



We are called to live a sacramental life as they strengthen & transform us. It should not be an either or thing.

As far as the forgiveness of venial sin, yes the penitential rite suffices. But don’t wait until there is mortal sin on your soul to go to confession. Go to confession regularly to stay free of mortal sin.

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I second this. I don’t receive at every Mass and have no qualms whatsoever about remaining seated. Who cares what anyone else thinks. As a matter of fact, I may not receive tonight because I have some sort of viral infection going on right now and I’m not sure if it’s worth risking getting the priest, or anyone else, sick if he should accidentally touch my tongue. People should mind their own business.



Concerning this alleged right to reputation. This right (like all human rights) for the Christian is a relative right and not an absolute right. In absolute terms, the human has no right to anything (since actually, the human is nothingness and sinner) or more precisely he has the right to hell. In absolute terms only God is entitled to all honors. That said, a Christian must be willing to sacrifice his alleged right to his reputation, for the honor of God.

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Yes, confession has advice and penance. Our sins are forgiven either way but sins also have temporal damage that must be atoned for, the reason for penance. Either we serve penance here or we serve it in Purgatory. At least this is my understanding of the sacrament



We do enjoy a right to a good reputation and this arises from our human nature (cf. Gaudium et Spes 26, the Code of Canon Law c.220, the Eastern code c. 23 and a good commentary on canon law, e.g. Beal et al.)


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