Prayers during penance

I’m curious - do any of you have routine prayers that you say before or after you do your penance after confession? Or do you just say your “five Hail Marys” - or whatever - and you are done?

I sometimes feel like I need to do more than just whatever small penance the priest has given me, not that I’m questioning his actions, but that I feel like my penance needs more context. Does that make sense??

Are there any formal prayers for before and after penance? I’ve never seen any.


I’ve seen prayers for before and after Confession - do a google search and you’ll see a fair few of 'em.

Normally I say my own off-the-cuff prayer after I’ve confessed and done penance - just thanking God for the sacrament and resolving again not to sin in future, asking for his help to do so.

One prayer before Confession:

My Lord and God, I have sinned. I am guilty before You.
Grant me strength to say to Your minister what I say to You in the secret of my heart.
Increase my repentance. Make it more genuine. May it really be a sorrow for having offended You and my neighbour rather than a wounded love of self.
Help me to atone for my sin. May the sufferings of my life and my little mortifications be joined with the sufferings of Jesus, Your Son, and cooperate in rooting out sin from the world.

One thanksgiving prayer after Confession:

My dearest Jesus, I have told all my sins as well as I could. I have tried hard to make a good confession. I feel sure that You have forgiven me. I thank You. It is only because of all Your sufferings that I can go to Confession and free myself from my sins.Your Heart is full of love and mercy for poor sinners. I love You because You are so good to me.
My loving Saviour, I shall try to keep from sin and to love You more each day. My dear Mother Mary, pray for me and help me to keep my promises. Protect me and do not let me fall back into sin

Thank you, thistle, those are lovely!


You’re welcome. I got them in the Catholic Book of Prayers which I use daily.

I don’t really do much formally, but I always thank God for bringing me back home. I was an atheist for 25 years. At my first confession, part of my penance was to spend some time in eucharistic adoration thanking God for his grace. He said that so few people do that. I was also to do that after the next Mass I attended.

I’ve been doing it ever since…

I enjoy reading Psalm 51 before and after reconciliation. David seems so contrite and I can really feel his awareness of the mercy of God.:slight_smile:

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