While in Reconciliation, do you have to confess all your venial sins or can you wait till you go to communion?

If you go to Reconciliation to confess a mortal sin or mortal sins, do you have to try to confess all of your known venial sins as well, or can you wait to have them forgiven at Holy Communion?

Confess all known sins to your confessor. Yes, while the Eucharist does remit venial sins, the Priest cannot give you advice and counsel regarding avoiding those venial sins if he does not know about them. What is so big about venial sins? Well, if your life should be required of you this day, all of your sinfulness will be purged from you by the fire of purgatory. Every Priest I have discussed this with is clear that we are much better off purifying our souls in this life through our own efforts, than simply waiting for the Lord to do so in the next. He will be merciful, but His justice will not be denied. His justice? Think of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Also, consider that we, as Catholics, have the wonderful grace of Reconciliation. Through the Priest, we hear “I absolve you of your sins”, just as Jesus always told those around Him that their sins were forgiven. We are supposed to hear, authoritatively, that our sins are forgiven. Do you hear that by simply receiving the Eucharist? No. Your venial sins are forgiven, but Jesus intends for you to actually hear the words. To quietly wait for the Eucharist to remit your venial sins is a rather protestant idea - passively letting God do all for you. Our faith calls us to be active participants, actively seeking to perfect ourselves. God rewards our efforts and punishes our failures.

Your choice. It should be easy to make.

May Christ’s peace and mercy be with you.

I confess what I can remember, but you do not have to confess venial sins to receive sanctifying grace, only the mortal ones.

We are highly encouraged, but not required, to confess venial sins. If you don’t, its fine. The priest would normally ask you to pray the Act of Contrition and you should be able to obtain forgiveness for your venial sins through the prayer.

Can. 5.

If anyone says that the principal fruit of the most Holy Eucharist is the remission of sins, or that other effects do not result from it, let him be anathema.

Council of Trent

Source: acatholiclife.blogspot.com/search/label/Council%20of%20Trent

As such, you must confess all sins that you remember in Confession. Do not wait until you receive Holy Communion with our Savior.

Hmmm…there seems to be some disagreement here.

That was quite a leap there. Trent said that the principle effect of the Eucharist is not the remission of sins, but they never said it’s not one of the fruits (the principle fruit is grace I believe). Trent never said that you must confess all sins.

Does anyone think it might make a difference if the person confessing his or her sins has scrupulosity? A scrupulous person might have a lot of venial sins to confess.

A scrupulous person should have one and only one confessor, of whom he should ask this question. Each person is different, and your own priest can answer best for you.


But, scrupulosity can become the sin. It can literally paralyze one, and prevent them from accomplishing God’s will - through fear of failure or anxiety over sin. To submit to scrupulosity is to reduce God to nothing more than a nit-picking critic. If that is the case, we are all doomed! This is a great topic to discuss with your Priest outside of confession, so as to be properly disposed toward your next confession.

Heck, even a non-scrupulous person would have a lot of venial sins to confess. Some venial sins are more venial than others.

A priest once told me that hearing the confessions of nuns was like being pelted with cotton balls. That doesn’t mean the nuns had no sins, it just means their venial sins were less serious than mine.

That’s why confession of venial sins is not required. If everyone tried to confess every venial sin, the confession lines would freeze up like an overloaded computer.

I believe Seminarian Matt said to confess all sins you remember, not all sins.:wink:
God Bless,

You are still not required to confess venial sins at all though.

As with a judge in a courtroom, the Lord likely prefers that you are prepared for communion ahead of time. Relying on communion to absolve you of venial sins is, in one sense, a refusal to ask Christ - through the Priest - for counsel regarding avoiding those sins in the first place.

trying to think of a good reason not to confess all your remembered sins. Even if there is a long line and you broke every commandment you could say so in 60-90 seconds.

this person should already have resolved to stay with one trusted reliable confessor who knows of her burden, and obey his injunction on what to confess, and not risk confusion by consulting third parties. the questions here should be general ones. Specific questions from a specific individual should be addressed to that person’s own confessor as we are not priests and not qualified to give such specific advice, especially for someone in special circumstances. If 10 of us respond to such a question, each with our own personal slant from our personal experience the result will be confusion and even doubt, and anything but helpful.

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