Was my confession valid?


Having become Catholic about 10 days ago, I went to Confession the second time yesterday at the cathedral of my Archdiocese after work. I was really just going there to receive absolution after I checked the website to see when there was someone available. But the surprise was that I had unintentionally gate crashed the Archbishop’s 75th birthday Mass with 25 other Bishops and a Cardinal in attendance, so I stayed for Mass after confession.

Back to confession: After I left the confessional to do the assigned penance, I noticed I hadn’t confessed the number of any sin I confessed. From what I understand, we must confess kind and number of mortal sins. The priest didn’t ask how often I did something, so I assume he understood it as “once”. There was nothing that was more than twice, I think, but I still wonder whether the absolution was valid if I forgot to mention the number.

One extra question: What if I am not sure if I forgot a mortal sin? Would that be forgiven too? I received Communion right afterwards at Mass, therefore, if it wasn’t forgiven, I would have committed another mortal sin, right?

Thanks. :slight_smile:


As long as you did not intentionally withhold information from the priest, you are fine. We all forget things from time to time. Be sure to bring it up at your next confession. Relax, and welcome home to the faith!


Any sin(s) genuinely forgotten at Confession are forgiven and absolution is valid and you may receive Communion.
If you later remember the sins you have to mention them at the next Confession, even though they have already been forgiven.


OK, even it was only the number I forgot, not the kind? It would have been “I did XY” rather than “I did XY twice”, never more than that. Do the missing numbers have to be mentioned next time?


You say the number if you remember. If you don’t remember the number of times you have committed a particular sin you can say “a few times”, “several times” “many times” to at least convey if it was often or not.


I did know the number. None of the sins was more than twice. I merely forgot to mention the number during confession. So, would I have to mention them again, simply because I forgot to mention the number?


Yes for mortal sins.


Even though the sin itself was confessed and forgiven? I assume I could go to Communion though, since absolution was valid, right?


If I say committed murder 2x and in my nervousness I forgot to confess the number --I am still obliged to confess it in the next confession. Even though since I meant to confess all my mortal sins and was contrite etc -they were absolved “indirectly”. I have only confessed directly one murder. I have the other yet to confess.

Now it is different if say Sam returns to the Church and examines his conscience and does not know exactly how many of Y mortal sin -he then confess the number according to what he knows (around 3x) --which may even need to be “several times” or “many times”.

We are discussing mortal sins not venial sin.


Of course, makes sense. :slight_smile:


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