Question about confession validity


HI all,

I have a question regarding the validity of my confession (and absolution). I will have to provide a brief background about myself before I go on.

I was born into a very nominal Catholic family. At age 16 I was finally baptised and confirmed into the Church, but after that I quickly fell away and eventually became a Protestant, for about 7+ years. Fast forward to about 4 months ago, realised I was (very) wrong about the Catholic faith and so I came back to the Church. Since I had already been baptised and confirmed in the Church I believe that all I had to do to re-enter was to go to confession, which I did. Please correct me if I’m wrong on this point as well.

I cannot remember if the priest used the correct formula of absolution for this, which was pretty much a first confession for me. I confessed everything, including many mortal sins that I was very ashamed of.

He may well have used the correct formula for absolution but I just simply cannot remember. I did not realise the necessity of this at the time and was also unsure about the formalities as I don’t think I had ever been to confession before that.

My question is this, would this count as a valid absolution? I don’t have a real reason to doubt that he used the correct formula I just can’t remember as I was not really familiar with the whole procedure at the time. He did also give me very light penance, he told me to light a candle for my penance, I lit 10!

Note: I have been going to confession fairly regularly since then (every 1-2 weeks) and the correct formula has been used, although this is at a different parish (closer to my work).

Thanks for your help! :slight_smile:


yes your confession and absolution were valid. Please, do not dwell on this any longer.


Yes, the absolution is 1000% valid.


The prior two respondants are 100% + correct.
However, I strongly suggest that you go to your Parish Rectory and ask to see a priest. If one is not available, make an appointment to meet with one. When you do meet with a priest, explain your situation to him, just as you have done here. After presenting him with your information, inquire as to how you can become properly catechized (spelling?); That is, should you attend instruction classes or could you do it by reading about the Church, and what books would he recommend. The reason for this is, the more you learn about your Church, the less likely you would be to “back-slide” and imperil your immortal soul.
The Holy Spirit led you back to the Church, please let him finish the job.


Hi all,

I’d like your opinion on whether you would consider this absolution formula valid:

“May our Lord Jesus absolve you, and I with his authority do absolve you of all your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”

Would that be valid?

Thanks :slight_smile:


Please stop the scrupulosity. Talk with an experienced priest about this problem if you cannot control it.


I admit that I can be scrupulous at times, but I have been advised by my local parish priest in the past that certain absolution formulas were invalid.

I just wanted to check on this one because this is what the priest said. I don’t understand why they have to deviate from the standard formula, it just causes confusion.


No I would not put that in the invalid arena.

(it actually is basically like the form used in the extraordinary rite - as I have seen it described).

Now if he said - “May God bless you” now that would be invalid. Or “May God help you and heal you” that would also not be absolution…or “I hope God will forgive you” …


Welcome to the church of nice where its like burger king…except for when you want a traditional hamburger that follows the rubrics.


It’s valid. Don’t worry. The essential part is “I absolve you.”


Thanks for the confirmation everyone. I will lay it to rest. Thanks again.


Whatever he says if he speaks what I have highlighted then you are absolved.


Confirmation? I thought we were talking about Reconciliation.


It’s valid. Don’t worry


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