Sacrament of Confession


I have always said, "Father forgive me, for I have sinned and these are my sins…

Upon reading, I have come across, "Bless me Father, for I have sinned and these are my sins…

Which is the correct way to open in the confessional? I have never been corrected so I assume either way is correct?


I don’t think it matters which form you use. Personally, I use the form “Forgive me Father for I have sinned… It has been xxxx days/weeks/etc. since my last confession.” What is important is that you go into as many sins as you can remember in kind AND NUMBER. I will also mention that I struggle with certain sins (as I confess them)… That way the priest can understand a little of what’s going on.


“number” is only needed for mortal sins.

(as to the beginning there are a couple options as I recall…one would have to look at the rite)


Thank you.


Ive personally always liked the soud of "Bless me father for i have sinned


Yes, your right, it does sound beautiful and humble. Were asking to be blessed yet here we come, sinful and unworthy of such a blessing. Thank you for your post. It made me look at those words in a different point of view.


Traditionally,the priest would bless the penitent saying (in Latin), “May your mouth be opened and may you confess your sins in trueness of heart”, which is where the “Bless me Father, I have sinned” part comes in. My former confessor used to do this as the penitent entered the confessional, as well as I had a retired priest do the same thing, only in English.

In the post-Vatican II reform of the sacrament, this was removed, which is why people are sometimes instructed now to say “Forgive me Father, I have sinned.”


A Byzantine Catholic style is: once you have completed your examination of conscience, locate the priest and tell him you want to make a confession. The location may vary, sometimes near an icon or some in a room with a door.

Kneel (or stand) before the icon of Jesus Christ and begin with the sign of the cross:

  1. “I confess to Almighty God, One in the Holy Trinity, to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, to all the Saints, and to you, Father, all my sins.”

Say how long it has been, and your sins, in a conversational style. Then, when any counciling is complete, say:

  1. “For these and all my other sins which I remember or cannot call to mind, I am very sorry. I have offended God and have angered Him against me. I am sincerely repentant and promise with the help fo God to better my life. For this, I humbly ask of you, Father, salutary penance and absolution.”

He puts the epitrachelion (a long cloth) on your head and gives absolution, and then says “Go in peace, sin no more.”

Go out and do you penance.


I also use “Bless me father, for I have sinned. Its been ---------- weeks since my last confession and I accuse myself of the following sins.” Then I list kind and number of times.

God Bless


I just start saying my sins and don't say anything before to start. Then again I usually don't go to confession in a confessional. While that greeting is traditional it is not in the Rite of Penance.


Thats really nice! Im not sure i could remember all that though!



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