When is my first confession?

Hello all. I am in RCIA and we were told that confirmation would be sometime in February. The whole process is rather unclear to me. I have also been told that my first communion would be during Easter vigil. When do I go to confession? I don't want to go to my home Parish Priest because I have a lot of years of sins built up, some mortal. I want to clear them up with God out of town. My RCIA teacher doesn't seem to know either. I want to get it over with asap and clear my soul.

First off, you have no need to be afraid to confess even a huge list of mortal sins to your parish priest. It would make him very happy to absolve you, and I'm sure it won't be the worst confession he's ever heard. I've heard priests say before that after confession, it's like God (or hearing so many confessions!) makes them forget the gory details; all they remember is the courage of people to come and their joy to get free of sin.

But if you are nervous about it, and if the RCIA person doesn't know the schedule, you can always ask at the rectory or church office about going to your first confession somewhere else. I'm sure you won't be the first person to be shy about this, either. If the parish priest asks you to go with him anyway, it's probably because he wants to know if you're ready for coming into the church. You can always ask if you can meet with him and still go to Confession somewhere else. But honestly, you don't need to feel fear either way.

It sounds like you were already baptized somewhere. (If you hadn't been, getting baptized would wash away all your sins without need for going to Confession before your First Communion and Confirmation.)

Anyway... about the schedule, it's probably just that the priest and the various parish folks involved with RCIA and scheduling haven't made final decisions yet about the wheres and whens. Either that, or your RCIA teacher lost the memo. :) Just keep reminding people that you'd like to know this stuff.

[quote="Mintaka, post:2, topic:182603"]
First off, you have no need to be afraid to confess even a huge list of mortal sins to your parish priest. It would make him very happy to absolve you, and I'm sure it won't be the worst confession he's ever heard. I've heard priests say before that after confession, it's like God (or hearing so many confessions!) makes them forget the gory details; all they remember is the courage of people to come and their joy to get free of sin.

But if you are nervous about it, and if the RCIA person doesn't know the schedule, you can always ask at the rectory or church office about going to your first confession somewhere else. I'm sure you won't be the first person to be shy about this, either.

It sounds like you were already baptized somewhere. (If you hadn't been, getting baptized would wash away all your sins without need for going to Confession before your First Communion and Confirmation.)

[/quote]

My baptism was 3 decades ago and I have built up an impressive file since then. Thanks for the response.

Thank you for being so persevering about coming in! You’re a good example to me.

[quote="Mintaka, post:2, topic:182603"]
If the parish priest asks you to go with him anyway, it's probably because he wants to know if you're ready for coming into the church.

[/quote]

This cannot ever happen. It would be a gross violation of the seal of confession. A priest may NEVER use anything he learns in confession about you outside of confession. EVER. For any reason. Have no fear - whatever you confess is gone forever.

Betsy

Why not go to a confession in January, some where of your chosing? Then simply go again with your class. Typically a confession is required by the ordinary(priest) before any other sacrament is given. So it would seem you will go in Feburary and April as a class, simply go 3 times not twice.

[quote="Texas_Roofer, post:6, topic:182603"]
Why not go to a confession in January, some where of your chosing? Then simply go again with your class. Typically a confession is required by the ordinary(priest) before any other sacrament is given. So it would seem you will go in Feburary and April as a class, simply go 3 times not twice.

[/quote]

I was told I could go to confession all I wanted but I could not receive absolution until after conformation.

I thought adults, either as converts or those who were baptized Catholic but not brought up in the faith, were always supposed to be confirmed and receive First Communion at the same time. Am I missing something here?

[quote="Corki, post:8, topic:182603"]
I thought adults, either as converts or those who were baptized Catholic but not brought up in the faith, were always supposed to be confirmed and receive First Communion at the same time. Am I missing something here?

[/quote]

Well, I don't think I can receive communion until after first confession. So, obviously, I need to confess between confirmation and communion. Is that right?

[quote="Justin_Mee, post:7, topic:182603"]
I was told I could go to confession all I wanted but I could not receive absolution until after conformation.

[/quote]

That is after baptism. Most ordinaries require confession and absolution immediately before confirmation

[quote="Corki, post:8, topic:182603"]
I thought adults, either as converts or those who were baptized Catholic but not brought up in the faith, were always supposed to be confirmed and receive First Communion at the same time. Am I missing something here?

[/quote]

I think you are correct, i know you cannot have first eucharist for an adult without confirmation at the same time.

You will need to go along with the schedule of RCIA.

More than likely, your confession will take place a couple of weeks before Easter Vigil. Then at Easter Vigil, you will be confirmed and receive your first Eucharist.

The only reason that I say you need to go along with your RCIA program is because, at my parish, my priest had a one on one conversation with me before my first confession. Asking and making sure that I was not being forced into converting. If I remember correctly, I even signed something.

You sins can not be any worse than mine was .... I didn't make a first confession until the age of 35. And I've done it all! (with the exception of Abortion, however, I helped someone out after her abortion)...

So don't let pride get in the way of a good confession with this priest. Start preparing spiritually for this confession right now.

[quote="baltobetsy, post:5, topic:182603"]
This cannot ever happen. It would be a gross violation of the seal of confession. A priest may NEVER use anything he learns in confession about you outside of confession. EVER. For any reason. Have no fear - whatever you confess is gone forever.

Betsy

[/quote]

I don't think that's what she meant at all. I believe she meant that the parish priest may want to talk to Justin around the time of his first confession or before his first confession. I really don't think she meant the the priest will use his confession to see if he's ready to become a Catholic.

But yes, you are right.

[quote="DJgang, post:11, topic:182603"]
You will need to go along with the schedule of RCIA.
More than likely, your confession will take place a couple of weeks before Easter Vigil. Then at Easter Vigil, you will be confirmed and receive your first Eucharist.
The only reason that I say you need to go along with your RCIA program is because, at my parish, my priest had a one on one conversation with me before my first confession. Asking and making sure that I was not being forced into converting. If I remember correctly, I even signed something.
You sins can not be any worse than mine was .... I didn't make a first confession until the age of 35. And I've done it all! (with the exception of Abortion, however, I helped someone out after her abortion)...
So don't let pride get in the way of a good confession with this priest. Start preparing spiritually for this confession right now.

[/quote]

What on earth did you sign? There is no church document for an RCIA person to sign. Catechumens do sign the book of the Elect which is unrelated to confession. BTW you know the penitent must be in a state of grace to receive a sacrament so any mortal sin (common to cohabitation) would make the penitent invalid, thus the confession is usually very close to the sacrament.

[quote="DJgang, post:12, topic:182603"]
I don't think that's what she meant at all. I believe she meant that the parish priest may want to talk to Justin around the time of his first confession or before his first confession. I really don't think she meant the priest will use his confession to see if he's ready to become a Catholic.

But yes, you are right.

[/quote]

It is very common for some to choose to repent with priest whom they do not see weekly, it is not a problem and perfectly valid and licit. An, example might be when the sin involved other members of the church who will not confess the sin, or simply the penitent fears any type of leak even accidental.

hope that helps

Thanks for your replies. It has helped sort some things out. I am not shy about confessing, however, after reading the Examination of Conscience pamplet, I was shocked as just how much baggage I've accumulated. It is sort of a laundry list of my life (except the illegal stuff). Right now, my biggest concern is that I step in front of a bus before this happens. Pray for me please.

[quote="Justin_Mee, post:9, topic:182603"]
Well, I don't think I can receive communion until after first confession. So, obviously, I need to confess between confirmation and communion. Is that right?

[/quote]

Confirmation and First Communion will be at the same Mass. There won't be time for confession in between.

I know that first confessions are hard, but so do the priests hearing them. They're going to help you as much as they can to ease the process. Keep in mind that the sacrament is for you....it's a chance for you to experience God's love and mercy. All those time in Scripture when Jesus said to someone that they were forgiven...well now he's saying it to YOU.

[quote="Texas_Roofer, post:13, topic:182603"]
What on earth did you sign? There is no church document for an RCIA person to sign. Catechumens do sign the book of the Elect which is unrelated to confession. BTW you know the penitent must be in a state of grace to receive a sacrament so any mortal sin (common to cohabitation) would make the penitent invalid, thus the confession is usually very close to the sacrament.

It is very common for some to choose to repent with priest whom they do not see weekly, it is not a problem and perfectly valid and licit. An, example might be when the sin involved other members of the church who will not confess the sin, or simply the penitent fears any type of leak even accidental.

hope that helps

[/quote]

I think that I signed something saying that I wasn't being forced into converting. Really...it was really just my initials.

If you look at my previous post, I told the OP that his confession will probably take place a week or two before Easter Vigil. I KNOW that one must be in a state of grace...I studied the Catholic faith four years before my conversion.

If he goes outside of his RCIA class on his own to make a first confession, then looks at the RCIA teacher and tell him or her that he's already made his first confession :o will that not cause some problems....he really just needs to hang on and go with the group on this and see what's going to happen...

Justin - You do NOT have to make a list of details for the priest. Just state the sin and number of times. If you don't know how many, just say "too many times to count"....that was my favorite line during my first confession. :p ha!

[quote="DJgang, post:16, topic:182603"]

Justin - You do NOT have to make a list of details for the priest. Just state the sin and number of times. If you don't know how many, just say "too many times to count"....that was my favorite line during my first confession. :p ha!

[/quote]

Thanks....I may just say "thirty years worth" and hope that is sufficient.

Grace and Peace,

Went to Confession this weekend after about 4 weeks and boy do I feel the weights lifted! Confession is truly a Grace, nothing to fear. :o

I think you and the RCIA director need to go to the Pastor together and get the dates, times, and places correct for the various rites and sacramental celebrations of Lent and Easter, because it would be unusual to have Confirmation for adults before First Communion. It may be they told you that you would have confession for the first time in February or March (Lent), so I’d ask again and keep asking until they answer properly.

If you are already baptized and well on your way to preparing for Confirmation and First Communion, you may make your confession of all sins of your past life to any Catholic priest in any parish. If you have questions about how-to, what to do, what to say, that should be covered in the next few weeks of your RCIA class. All you really need to know is what sins you are confessing, tell the priest your situation that it is your first time and you are preparing for sacraments, and he will guide you. If you search on how to go to confession you will get some good guidance here, but they will no doubt cover this in your class and have some type of penance service for you.

But you don’t have to wait for that if you are ready now.

If you are not baptized, all sins will be forgiven and taken away in that sacrament, so your first confession will be some time after Easter.

[quote="Justin_Mee, post:7, topic:182603"]
I was told I could go to confession all I wanted but I could not receive absolution until after conformation.

[/quote]

you were told wrong. ask a priest, not your RCIA instructor, because there may be some aspects of your personal situation that have to be addressed before Confirmation (marriage issues are one common problem). In fact, if you are already baptized, you must confess all mortal sins that you are aware of before you are properly disposed for that sacrament.

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