Lent and reconciliation

I was once told that in order to stay in communion with the Church one must go to confession durring Lent. Is this true and if it is were do I find this information. The religious education director at my parish says this is not necessary.

The Precepts of the Catholic Church as printed in *A Treasury of Prayer IV *by The Leaflet Missal Company.

  1. Assist at Mass in Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation

  2. Fast and abstain on the days appointed.

  3. Confess you sins at least once a year.

  4. Receive Holy Communion during Easter time

  5. Contribute to the support of th eChurch.

  6. Observe the laws of of the Church concerning marriage.

So confessing once per year is required. I do not believe it must be during Lent. We must receive Holy Communion during the Easter season (between Easter Sunday & Pentecost), and to do that we must be in a state of Grace & free from mortal sin.

The requirement is just once a year - it doesn’t have to be in Lent.

This is often confused because there is also a requirement to receive Communion once a year but Communion has to be during the Easter season which goes from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost Sunday. I have even heard priests put the two together and say that both must be done during Lent or the Easter season.

Of course, it makes sense that if you are only receiving Communion once a year that you time your once-a-year Confession to be closely beforehand. :slight_smile:

These two canons together state we must (a) receive the Eucharist at least once per year during the Easter season and (b) confess our grave sins at least once per year. Therefore, many people go to confession during Lent and priests typically make extra confession times available.

Can. 989 After having reached the age of discretion, each member of the faithful is ob-liged to confess faithfully his or her grave sins at least once a year.

Can. 920 §1. After being initiated into the Most Holy Eucharist, each of the faithful is obliged to receive holy communion at least once a year.

§2. This precept must be fulfilled during the Easter season unless it is fulfilled for a just cause at another time during the year.

Thank you for the answer sorry it took so long for me to reply back but I have been in training for my job since I posted and had not checked my personal e-mail again thank you

It is a precept of the Church that one must confess mortal sins at least once a year. That is at least, not a recommendation that we only need confession once a year. Lent is a good time since it is a penitential seasons, but certainly not the only time. When should you go to confession? When you need it. If we (most adults) fall into the trap of thinking we have no mortal sins it is usually an indication that we need to do a much better job examining our conscience in light of the commandments.

It’s unfortunate that so many Catholics look upon both obligations and recommendations (by the Church) in a legalistic fashion. I am not criticizing the OP, as he or she may not be such a person. :slight_smile: But it helps all of us if we can look upon Lent in general as an opportunity, and the sacraments as a particular opportunity during the season. Whatever my work situation, I try to make more time during Lent for prayer and sacraments, on a regular basis. Keep in mind that frequent confession for “mere” venial sins is strengthening and beneficial in our spiritual battles. :slight_smile:

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