Valid Confession?

I really hate to ask this because I feel like I am second guessing the priest but, the other day I went to confession in a different parish and confessed some rather embarrasing sexual sins and opened up about some fears I had. The priest did not ask for an Act of Contrition and gave me a very light penance and seemed a bit disturbed by my confession and that I almost forgot a few things because of my grief and sadness.

Long story short, I didn’t include as many details as I wanted to because I got too nervous and the lack of the Act of Contrition and extremely light penance gave me the feeling that I was not actually forgiven and it was all for nothing.

Was this a valid confession and should I go and confess these sins again?

If Father said the words of absolution your sins are forgiven, including any you did not mention as it sounds to me like you were not intentionally trying to hold anything back.

If it makes you feel better, mention the sins the next time you go to confession as forgotten ones.

A confession is valid if the absolution if valid. Penance is not exactly necessary for a confession to become valid. If you are in a coma, a priest can still give you valid absolution even if you are not able to perform any act of penance. Meditate on how easy it is to obtain forgiveness from the Ever Loving God, and rejoice that you have received the grace of forgiveness. Truly God desires us to be back with Him.

The only thing to add is to change your old ways(repent).

Details are not necessary and at times not wanted. tell the priest the sin and number of times committed. If he wants to ask for context or details - he will.

Mercy triumphs over justice. Severe penance is not always the best medicine. Try being merciful to others.

Texasag7599, I’m sorry that you felt so unsure of yourself after making confession. You must never doubt in the Lord’s mercy though, nor His ability to act through His priests. As far as the priest appearing to be a little upset by what you confessed:

  1. you don’t actually know for certain that he was upset by it, this may just be something you projected onto the priest because of how guilty and embarassed you felt


  1. like some others have said, graphic details are not necessary. If the priest wants to know more he will ask, but it is usually quite acceptable to simply name the sin and how many times you fell into it.

Lastly, I know that not being asked to pray an Act of Contrition can throw a person off a little. I just moved to a different part of the state and so I am now a member of a new parish with a new priest. Not only are confessions said in front of the priest at this parish (no screen, just you, the priest, and Christ) but he did not ask me to pray an Act of Contrition either. My solution to this is to simply pray an Act of Contrition after making confession.

I hope this confusing experience for you will not deter you from receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation in the future. God bless you. :slight_smile:

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