New member with couple questions

First I am a husband of 20+ years & and father of 2 boys.

The first question is, I have never been confirmed, can you still be married in the church?

I ask the first question, because I would like to get married in the church, I don’t want to be living in mortal sin.

Also, I am making an effort to get back with the church, haven’t confessed my sins in a long long time, what if I can’t remember all of my past sins, how can they be forgiven.

I know I might sound like a bad Christian, and I have been, I just want to get in good graces with the Lord.

Welcome, Jeff! It can seem like a daunting task to come back to the Church after many years away; I felt that way when I returned after 20+ years away. My suggestion would be to call the pastor of your local parish and ask for a meeting. He can guide you through all the steps that are necessary for your full return. He can tell you what you need to do to be married in the Church as well as what you need to do to prepare for Confirmation. You can also schedule a time for confession with him. Don’t worry if you cannot remember every single sin. If you approach confession with a contrite heart and are sorry for the sins you have committed (including the ones you don’t remember), you will be forgiven (even of the ones you have forgotten).

juno gave an excellent reply. Contact your priest. You’ll likely make his day by wanting to come home and get things right.

Just as a suggestion on the confession…I returned after 35 years…trying to remember individual sins was impossible…besides, I was not so much bothered by the individual acts as I was by the underlying faults and decisions on my part that led me to do those things…

As a result - instead of using the 10 commandments for my examination of conscience, I went more for a “root cause analysis”. I used the “Seven deadly sins”.
It didn’t take long meditating on these to make me see how one led to another and that contained in each were a multitude of acts and beliefs etc that led me further and further from God.

I wrote up a confession based on what God had revealed to me about my past life - based on the seven deadly sins (or faults) and read this to my confessor. I then received absolution and later burned the confession - - burning just seemed right.

That said - whatever method you use for your examination of conscience - don’t worry about remembering exact numbers. I would just say “multiple times”…Father will understand and recognize your sincerity.


Judy’s advice is very good.

In addition, to help prepare for confession, you might look online for an examination of conscience, for example there are several here:

There are lots of others online as well. You can just poke around and see what helps you most.

Of course, as Judy says, if you forget stuff, your confession is still valid and the forgotten sins are still forgiven. However, a good examination of conscience can help you prepare to avoid committing those sins again in the future.

When I came back to the Church after several years away, I was worried that confession was going to be difficult, but it really wasn’t as bad as I feared. Given that I don’t usually like face-to-face confession (I mean it makes me uncomfortable, NOT that I think there’s anything wrong with it) and that my first confession coming back to the Church was face-to-face, and of course I had years’ worth of sins to confess because even before I left the Church I was sort of behind on Confession, I was scared about going to Confession for the first time. But it really wasn’t bad at all. It was just such a relief to be home again. :extrahappy:

God bless you in your return!


I came back in 2013 after many years away (I tried to come back in 2005 but it was short lived and my pride got the better of me). I went through as many sins as I could in my first confession since 2005 but after that I began to learn more about my sins and past sins and now whenever I pray and they come to me, I go ahead and confess those as well. I always go to the same priest and he is very understanding and loving when I tell him this is a past sin I recalled. I now go to confession every couple of weeks and I just love it. Welcome back and may God bless you. Coming back has been crazy for me. In one year I have gone from as anti catholic as you could be to about as devout I can become right now.

I haven’t been totally away from church, I have gone to mass from time to time, made sure my sins went to church, just haven’t gone nearly as much as I should. I want to be married in eyes of church, be confirmed, and live a better christian life. Thanks, everyone, for your quick and helpful responses. Father might have to put a day aside for my confessional.

Do your best with remembering sins. Try to estimate the number of times you committed any mortal sins. Here’s a review of conscience to guide you on confession.

I don’t get into details…I’ll say first commandment…number of times…second…number of times.

I can normally confess in about 5 minutes, a little longer if it’s been years, but nonetheless, I bring a paper with it all written down so I don’t forget. Some people now bring cell phones into confession and delete when they’re done!

I’'ll echo the referral to a priest.

The best advice is to see a priest. He will best direct you back home to the church. Welcome home brother.

As to confession make the best examine of conscience you can. Ask for forgiveness of all the sins you cant remember. I cant imagine a God of mercy who offers the sacrament of reconciliation would hold a bad memory against but we must be fearless in our examination. We cant hide anything from God. He will forgive you.

I came back to the Church two years ago, and went to confession after being away for more than 30 years.

I called the priest at the neighborhood parish, explained my situation and made an appointment to make my confession in the evening the following week. This have me time to prepare. I did as the others have said - making a very thorough examination of conscience. I wrote down everything that I could remember, plus I wrote out the act of contrition, because I knew I would be very nervous.

The meeting lasted about an hour; it was confession, but I also asked questions and he was very patient in answering me. It was a tremendous experience.

reconcilliation is one of the most beautiful sacraments. Welcome home

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