Sin, Confession, Communion


I have been reading many posts discussing the different types of sin (venial vs. mortal), when/why/how to confess, and when to partake in Communion. I’ve read the catechism’s description of the types of sins, but I’m still very confused.

Any sin that you do consciously is considered a mortal sin? Can you partake in Communion if you have not gone to confession for venial sins? (Let’s say you pray for forgiveness in mass prior to Communion. Does this count even if you are truly sorry?)

I appreciate your help!

God Bless!


only those in a state of mortal sin, should not receive Holy Communion.

You can receive Communion with venial sins, but should get to confession at the first opportunity.



I went to mass this morning, but I did not receive Holy Communion. I want to go to confession, and I had every intention of doing so on Saturday. However, I did not go. I also managed to arrange my schedule so that I missed mass yesterday. I knowingly did this even though I really did want to go so I feel that these are mortal sins because it was a conscious decision to put my own selfish priorities above God. I haven’t been to confession in 2 years mostly because (at least until recently) I didn’t think that my minor sins were worth confessing to a Priest. ( I didn’t want to waste his time.) However, I have been doing a lot of research on the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and I now realize how important it is. I do want to go to confession. My real concern is that if I haven’t gone, and I have been receiving Holy Communion, then I’ve been committing a mortal sin.



You didn’t explain this in your original post. Yes, go to confession ASAP.

There are three conditions that must be met for committing a mortal sin;

one, the sin must be grave

two, it must be committed with full knowledge

three, it must be done with full consent.

So, examine yourself against these three conditions.

Also, Catholics are obligated to go to confession at least once a year.

That all being said, there is grace to be received in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Why miss out on it?



hi can question i jump in with a question as i’m still in the process of understanding this sacrament

what would a grave matter be?
and aren’t our venial sins forgiven during the penitential rite during mass or do you still need to go to confession?


There is no obligation to confess venial sins in The Sacrament of Reconciliation, only mortal sins MUST be confessed. Be that as it may, it is an excellent good habit - the very best of habits - to get into to confess venial sins - while we are never bound to do so in any way.



Confession or Reconciliation is the BEST way to put a spring in your step and loose a quick 10 pounds! The self examination and relection before-hand can be a bit daunting and painful - let’s face it - no-one wants to admit to being prideful or selfish or unkind - especially to themselves, let alone their God; but the relief of absolution is wonderful!:smiley:



what would a grave matter be?

Breaking one of the ten commandments, or teachings of the Church, i.e. obtaining or assisting in an abortion.

and aren’t our venial sins forgiven during the penitential rite during mass or do you still need to go to confession?

All sins are forgiven, the moment you repent with a contrite heart and ask God for forgiveness.

Confession is receiving reconciliation with the Church, which has been harmed(whether you realize it or not) by your sins.




This examination of conscience breaks sins down into those that may be mortal because they are grave, and those that are generally venial. You may find it helpful:

Examination of Conscience

Also, we are only required to confess grave sins, but even if you think you only have venial sins, you need to go at least once a year per the Precepts of the Church.

It is a good practice to confess venial sins regularly. I go once a month no matter what.


The Sacrament of Reconciliation also reconciles the person with God, as well as The Church:

This whole procedure is usually called, from one of its parts, “confession”, and it is said to take place in the “tribunal of penance”, because it is a judicial process in which the penitent is at once the accuser, the person accused, and the witness, while the priest pronounces judgment and sentence.

[quote] The grace conferred is deliverance from the guilt of


and, in the case of mortal sin, from its eternal punishment; hence also reconciliation with God, justification.

Catholic Catechism #1424

It is called the sacrament of Reconciliation, because it

[quote]imparts to the sinner the live of God who reconciles: "Be reconciled to God."7

He who lives by God’s merciful love is ready to respond to the Lord’s call: "Go; first be reconciled to your brother."8


Hey Melinda,

“Grave matter” covers a lot of things! First off is the 10 Commandments. Also, things that Jesus said while among us, for instance. “If you look at a woman with lust you have already committed adultery with her in your heart”. So, looking at porn is grave matter and a mortal sin. Same for masturbation.

Other nowaday grave matter/mortal sins according to Scripture and Church teaching (just a sampling):

Getting an abortion, helping someone else get an abortion or supporting abortion rights. This feeds right into using contraceptives, abortifacients, and other birth prevention methods.

Engaging in a homosexual relationship.

Adultery (physical or mental)

Doing illicit drugs or taking prescription drugs for fun.

Getting so drunk you lose control of yourself. This can cause other sins to occur.

Skipping Mass! (you don’t want to go)

Receiving Holy Communion with unconfessed mortal sin staining you.

These are just a quick sampling of some mortal sins people tend to commit nowadays.

Most priests and these forums are a great place to get a quick check on whether an action/thought constitutes grave matter/mortal sin. The Catechism too!

Peace in Christ!



If you aren’t sure if your sins are venial or mortal, if you are in doubt, then take them to confession anyways. It won’t hurt to confess venial sins in confession, and you’re covered. And if you’re not sure, then don’t go to communion until you have confessed. I have a good priest and I regularly discuss problems I"m having as well as my sins in confession, and always get good advise and insight.

IMO, sitting out a communion if you are in doubt of your state of grace is a wise thing to do. It’s hard to do, but it’s wise. And I think if more people did that, instead of just getting in line no matter what, we’d all be better off.


thanks now i understand looks like i’ll be going to confession come our penance service on monday night


…Good sound advice!:thumbsup:


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