What would happen if a person died right after going to Confession?


Lets say a person dies within the same day he/she went to Confession, and did not commit any sins since the Confession. Would they go to Heaven? Ideally I would think so since they have no sin on their soul, but how about you? What do you think? :slight_smile:


When one goes to confession and receives absolution, the guilt of sin is removed yet the punishment for sin is not yet fully removed.

Whilst one will not go to Hell, one must still endure Purgatory to cleanse the soul of sin. To skip this process, one could get a Plenary Indulgence which can be received by saying certain prayers on certain days (maybe check the Plenary Indulgence Wikipedia page) as well as not being attached to sin [even venial], receiving Communion, receving Sacramental Absolution (confession) and praying for the Pope’s purposes (an Our Father and a Hail Mary). If one doesn’t sin [even venially] between obtaining a rare Plenary Indulgence and death, one can be assured of the direct passage to Heaven.

All this, however, is subject to God’s will.


It is more probable that the person would go to Purgatory - only perfection in Heaven. Even in a state of grace we would need to be cleansed for entry into Heaven. I would think only the holiest saints would go straight to Heaven. We should, of course, aim for that.


What would happen if a person died right after going to confession…someone should call a funeral home.

As for what would happen to his soul…no one knows.


If a person died right after going to confession, he (or she) would probably be dead; body completely still, heart stopped, brain activity ceased…sheesh, you had to ask this??? :rolleyes: :smiley:

In regards to where the soul would go, I second what tommydude2112 said.


There might also be additional factors which come into play, prayers from others and God’s mercy, for example, which might diminish time in Purgatory, say.


When we sin, we are taking and experiencing temporary “good” and “pleasure” that does not belong to us, that we should not rightfully have had or experienced. And to do this we are turning away from God as our friend in order to be our own provider of “goodness”.
When we repent, turning back to God in contrition, we are again turning to him as our goal of living, rather than that temporal good or pleasure. And He, via the Confessor, absolves us of our sin and remits the eternal punishment of Hell (when you are friends with God, there is no death).

But, there still is the fact of entering into heaven, into the presence of God as he intended you originally to enter (he intended you to enter as one who had not experienced the stolen good and pleasure - in effect, you are in possession of something that does not belong to you, which is unjust). The time in purgatory is for “equalizing yourself to be as one possessing and experiencing what He provides in justice to you” - in purgatory you will be “in want” in such a way to balance or remove the excess “not in want” that you took for yourself. You will suffer a time of being “hungry” for God to balance for the time you thought you satisfied your own “hunger” with the sinful self-provision.

If somehow you have “given back” what you took on earth before you die, then you are suited to stand in the presence of your Father, no “human treasures” brought along with you from your ill-gotten gains, because you gave them back overflowing.

This is what I have learned.

John Martin


Pax Christi!

If I’m the next penitant in line, I might consider going to the church down the street.

Just sayin’.

God bless.


Haha :stuck_out_tongue:


actually, I might cut in line to be next in that case.:eek:


Objectively we do know.

If a person makes a sincere repentance at Confession and receives a valid absolution and dies immediately thereafter that person would be saved (either Purgatory first or straight to Heaven).


Give that your statement starts with an “if”, I’d say we don’t know.


You are wrong. The 'if" is irrelevant. Objectively we know. I’ll rephrase it without the “if”. It makes no difference.

A person who dies in a state of grace is immediately saved (Purgatory first or straight to Heaven)
A person who dies in a state of mortal sin goes immediately to Hell.
These are Church teachings which mean we do know objectively that the person who dies immediately after Confession is covered by the above.

What we don’t know is the state of the soul at death of specific individuals.


Exactly. And we don’t know if the person in question made a sincere repentance, received absolution, and then immediately died. The conditions your “ifs” imply.


Confession does not necessarily forgive all sins (ie venial sins one holds onto and does not want to repent of etc) and does not necessarily remove all temporal punishment for sin or make one entirely ready for heaven…and then the resurrection at the end of time.

So while it is possible that one could “go right to heaven” it is also likely that one would need still some purification by the love of the Good Shepherd - before one enters into glory.


You are still wrong. We objectively DO know what happens to a person when they die in a state of grace or mortal sin.

We cannot say Fred went to Heaven when he died but we can objectively say (and know) that if Fred died in a state of grace he was immediately saved (either Purgatory first or straight to Heaven).


The assumption stemming from the OP is that the person made a valid confession–that is the baseline for this discussion. If the OP meant something else, that would make their post meaningless. We can rewrite the OP’s question to highlight how ridiculous your perspective is: What happens to the soul of a person who intentionally makes an invalid confession and then dies immediately after?

The assumption is the person (exampled in the OP’s post) made a valid confession, and the OP is clearly asking what would happen to that person’s soul if he/she died immediately after the confession.


True. But we don’t know what happened to THIS particular person.
Which was the point.


This actually happens.Many people make confession on their deathbed (along with anointing and reception of eucharist), if they are lucky enough to have a priest in attendance.
We don’t automatically assume they go straight to heaven.


I think the answer has been given: as far as we can tell,*** from an objective POV,*** this person would go to heaven, either directly or via purgatory.

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