Question about Confession

I went to Confession today, and while I was telling the priest a specific, kind of embarrassing sin, I altered a detail (which I believe to be miniscule) to make saying the sin less embarrassing.
Just to give a little bit of background (as it’s quite personal), the thing that happened happens very frequently - only when it happened a few days ago, it happened in a specific circumstance which I believed to be sinful. While providing background for the sin, instead of saying “frequently”, I instead said “often” to make it sound not as bad. I guess my mind just worked too quickly for me to realize what I was doing - I knew I was altering the word to make myself sound better, but I didn’t realize that it may be lying. Also, I was deliberately a little bit vague explaining the thing that happens to me frequently and what had happened which I believed to be sinful (I believe that the priest understood what I meant, though (also, I don’t think it was a mortal sin either, but I have been known to be wrong on many occasions)), but didn’t realize it might be lying either.
Would either of these invalidate my Confession, despite the fact I didn’t know what I was doing? Edit: Whoops, I just realized this may fit better in Liturgy and Sacraments… Sorry. Could someone tell me if I should repost there, or will a moderator just move it there, if it belongs there?

If you’re confessing a sin and not specifying how many times you most likely committed it, it sounds like it wasn’t a mortal sin you were confessing. So it doesn’t really matter if you say “frequently” or “often.” Besides, both words mean the same thing. You said yourself that your mind was working too quickly for you to think about what you were saying, so it hardly appears you’ve given a great deal of reflection to it in the moment, even if it mattered.

Be at peace, and maybe talk to a good solid priest about things like this. This is a scrupulous way of thinking and it won’t be helped by disparate opinions of strangers online.


What’s the purpose of the sacrament do you think?
Is the purpose to say the exact correct things or to pronounce the act of contrition flawlessly?

I’m pretty sure the answer to my above question is no.
I think the legalism you seem to suffer from or at least struggle with is the core of what pope Francis tries to alter.

So many people especially here at CAF seem to do so and so just to be afraid that the sacraments are invalid.
If you sincerely had a desire to confess your sins went into the confessional to do so, but for some reason ended up missing something on sugarcoated your sins undeliberately don’t you think God look to your heart?

Are the confession rite made to help us make a good confession or to hoggtie us ?

Lastly we should keep in mind that often the priest know pretty well what we’re confessing and more often than not we can spear him the details of our sins.
What is it you’ve come to confess, how often have turned to this sin instead of God, do you feel truly sorry?

Those are the important things to keep in mind when one are about to recieve God’s mercy in his wonderful sacrament IMHO.

God bless.

Good advice above.

I’ll play Thomas a Kempis though and say try not to do that again. When you have some particularly embarrassing sin (especially sexual), make it the first thing you say and have absolutely no “padding,” unless you are trying to be delicate out of consideration for poor Father’s soul, avoiding certain words and images. (And never exaggerate, just be straight about it. If you have a habit of exaggerating or excessive worry over details, then that’s a different issue.) We go to confession to accuse ourselves, not to excuse ourselves. We will often try to sneak in our super-embarrassing sins in the middle and word them ever so gently so that we have strong hope that Father might not notice as much. This is spiritually counterproductive… part of the value of this sacrament is the humiliation we have when announcing our sins. It puts us in our place. Father will forget about your good (or bad) confession, God will not.

Alright, so would you guys say I’m okay to receive Communion? I assume I am from your responses.

Your confession take so many different forms too. I wouldn’t worry about the difference between “often” and “frequently.” In common usage their meanings are close enough that Father probably has a good sense as to what is going on.

I would think that in your telling you should be as open and honest as possible. As long as your slight change of wording doesn’t obfuscate an important detail or change its meaning that should be fine. Remember the priest has heard it all many times over and almost nothing you say could shock him.

I think too often people worry overly about what the priest will think about the penitent’s sins. From everything I’ve heard from priests they often don’t remember specific sins and if you are behind a screen the priest may be less likely to remember you specifically.


If you were absolved you were absolved.
You confessed, right?
When you doubt the priest in the confessional you doubt that the Lord can and will forgive you. He already knew what you did. And believe me, priests have hear it ALL.

If you continue to have serious doubts, go to confession and tell the priest that you struggle with this.
You should feel better when you leave the confessional, not wondering…

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