I am talking to someone on another site who had questions about confession. He asked if one must confess before being received into the Church.
This led to a question in my mind as to the order of the process for those coming inot the Church. For adults, does one make “first confession” before baptism? Or are they baptized first and then make First confession before receiving First communion.
baptism remits all sin, original sin inherited from our first parents, and actual sin one may have committed up to that time. The newly baptized are instructed on the sacrament of confession and prepared for it after Easter so that they will be ready to confess mortal sins should the need arise (as it will for most of us) in the future.
Those who are already baptized must make a sacramental confession of all mortal sins before reception of Confirmation and/or Eucharist. They also will be instructed as part of their preparation.
So if I read this right, those who are not yet baptized are baptized first and then first confession. Theoretically at least, does this mean that one could be baptized, confirmed and receive First Holy communion before actually making their first confession?
Those who are already baptized make confession before first communon and confirmation.
For those not-baptised, they are baptised and then immediately receive Confirmation and First Communion. There’s no need for confession before Communion, because the baptism takes the place of confession. Remember that all of this happens within a space of less than an hour. Their first confession will be some time later.
For the previously-baptised, they need to go to Confession just before being formally received into the Church (which includes Confirmation and Communion–usually).
It’s not theoretical at all. At the Easter Vigil adults are baptized, confirmed, and receive their First Communion. It all happens within a short space of time at the same Mass.
After Easter the newly baptized will start going to confession like the rest of us to deal with the sins they commit after being baptized.
And yes, candidates who are already baptized go to confession before they receive their First Communion. They confess the mortal sins they have committed since their baptism. After that they need to deal only with what has happened since their last confession.