Mortal sin and 'how soon' to confession


So I committed at least two mortal sin :frowning: My question is is how soon do I need to go to confession. I can go to one near by Church and ask the priest before daily Mass (I don’t know whom this will be but I will likely know the priest). There is another parish offering Confessions, inside a confessional, tonight. My question is am I obliged to go to the nearby parish and seek out a priest (I have done this in the past and was warned off it a few times) or can I simply go to this place actually offering confessions?

All help appreciated…


Hi AquinasFan123,

Simply put - you should go at the next available opportunity. Sometimes I do intercept a priest either before / after daily mass and ask, and they’re always very happy to do so, but I also understand that it means revealing my identity and it can be a minor inconvenience for them. If you choose to do this, just remember to keep it very brief (no more than 30 seconds to rattle off your sins).

However - I do think it’s reasonable to wait until an appointed time where you can ensure anonymity. I wouldn’t say you are obligated to go before a scheduled confession time that you can reasonably make. Scheduling also comes into play - I don’t think it’s necessary to cancel an event or other obligation to make confession.

Notice - a lot of these are “I think” or “you should”, there is no specific criteria or guidelines laid out by the church on this subject. These are just good rules of thumb that I’ve come up with that seem reasonable.

One other thing I do, that you might find helpful - Whenever I find myself in a situation where I feel I need to go to confession, I pray three Hail Marys and ask the Blessed Mother to help me get to confession. I promise her a rosary dedicated solely to thanksgiving for her intercession afterwards. That’s always helped me get to Confession quickly, even if it seemed like it would be impossible.

I hope that helps! Never despair and trust in God’s wondrous mercy!


If you are a Latin Rite Catholic, you are technically only obligated to confess within a year, although you shouldn’t wait that long.

Either of the options you mention is fine, but refrain from communion in the meantime.


Please go to confession in a true spirit of repentance and then go to receive the Eucharist. There’s really no excuse (and I’m pointing the finger at myself, too) to put off confessing sins.

In general, we all need to recall the “call to holiness” in both the Old and New Testaments and realize how important it is to reform our life and develop this constant union with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the Eucharist. This is our purpose, our mission, our goal over anything else.

It is God’s purpose for us.


I once committed a serious sin the day after going to confession for something else, and when I went back to confession the priest told me that he thought I was being scrupulous and didn’t trust in God’s mercy. :confused:


If you have the opportunity to make the scheduled confession time tonight, I would go with that opportunity. If it would be a struggle to make it, then ask the priest either before or after Mass today. Waiting till later in the day to confess is not delaying too long.


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