After many years of being away from the Church, I intend of finally rejoining and am going to confession today for the first time in more Han 15 years, which was my one and only timeoing as a child. Because it has been so long since my last confession, I have a great deal to confess. I have reflected a great deal on my past and have written my sins down so that I don’t forget anything. Is it ok if I bring this list to confession? Any other advice for me? Prayers are also helpful.
Prayers for you, Jinc.
I think it is ok to bring a list to help you remind yourself. Just tell the priest and inform him you have a loooong list to read…
Anyway, there is a catholic confession app, which I have, and it has an examination of conscience to help you in your reflection of your past transgressions.
Yes and then burn the list after you are done - that they are now behind you - also explain you situation to the Priest and that you want to confess every sin not missing any and that you can’t do it by memory alone so he will understands.
Also remember your act of contrition
Thank you both for your advice. I will definitely adhere to your suggestions.
If you make a list, I just wouldn’t make it so specific that someone could pick it up and find out what you confessed. When I have done this, it was general and sometimes only I would understand it. I destroyed it completely when through also.
Prayers for you.
When I went to confession after a long absence I was so nervous that I went behind the screen, said the Act of Contrition I learned as a child and then proceeded to forget to confess some things. I wish I had looked at the new version of the Act of Contrition and I definitely wish I had taken a list.
Thank you for your advice! I can certainly understand your feelings. I feel very nervous as well. I greatly appreciate your words of encouragement.
Good advice and I appreciate your prayers.
God bless and welcome home:thumbsup:
It’s absolutely fine to bring a list into the confessional. When I had my first confession after 10+ years away from the Church, I brought a two-sided paper with me just to make sure I didn’t forget anything! My knees were literally knocking on my way in, but I was blessed to be able to talk to a wonderful priest who didn’t say much other than “Welcome back” when I told him my situation, and then helped walk me through my confession.
One bit of advice: Tear up the list and throw it away once you’re done—those sins are forgiven and you don’t want Satan enticing you to feel guilty about them after you’ve received absolution.
I’m sending lots of prayers your way. Welcome Home!
The advice and the prayers are very much appreciated!
I do hope you do all right today. I never had any luck with just walking in at confession time. The priest is not usually there and if he is there is a long line, that makes it intimidating. I wanted to suggest making an appointment with the priest but that also doesnt always happen. I finally had a one on one, with list in hand, emptied myself out, was absolved and was good to go. Dont forget to make it a regular thing, if you can find a priest.
Just curious, have you posted yet what made you decide to come home, or is that story coming?
Thanks for posting in…
I actually work in downtown Chicago, and there is a very large church there that has a priest ALWAYS in a confessional booth (at least one) from 7 am (I think) to 6 pm. So, I was quite certain there was going to be a priest there given the situation (thankfully). In many other places, I know this is definitely NOT the case and hasn’t been the case for a long time. Thankfully though, I live in the largest diocese (for now) in America and there are many opportunities for confession as a result.
I also appreciate the advice!
I have not…it’s coming though!
It’s fine to bring your list. The only suggestion I have, is perhaps to make an appointment for confession, rather than go to the 1/2 hour or so on Saturday afternoon (at most parishes). This way you can do a more thorough confession, and give Father plenty of time for spiritual direction after your list of sins. You won’t have 20 people lined up in back of you.
God bless, and welcome home.
Just as an update…
I did go to confession yesterday for the first time in 15 years. I am 26 so the last time I went (which was my first and only time) was so long ago that I really had no idea what I was doing and was quite nervous.
Taking the advice of St. Catherine of Sienna (I think, I could be wrong on the saint since I was paying more attention to the advice than to the attribution), I prayed, prior to going into the confessional booth, that the priest would be patient and wise when speaking to me in confession. I am very happy to say that he was. In fact, he was absolutely perfect and offered tremendous encouragement and advice. I am very thankful, blessed, and grateful for his guidance and prayer.
The experience as a whole, while admittedly very nerve-racking, was tremendous, and all I can do is thank everyone here for their advice prior to confession yesterday evening and to thank God for the wonderful gift of this sacrament-a sacrament I deliberately opposed/rejected/spoke out against for many years. Thanks again to everyone.
As I mentioned to Steve in a previous post, I am going to write about my experience coming back to the Church in coming days. I look forward to all of your thoughts. Thanks again to everyone here.
AND…For those of you who happen to stumble upon this post who are also considering going back to confession after a long break, know that this sacrament is a wonderful tool. Try not to be nervous, and have faith that the experience will be a positive one. It truly is one of those things you just have to do to understand completely.