I made an appointment with a priest (at a different Catholic church that I don’t normally attend), but I really want and should go to confession, however I always procrastinate on going. I had typed out a list of things I want and need to confess, but would it be valid if some of the things (mainly thoughts I’ve had) if the priest just read them on my list, rather than have me say them out loud?
I would ask the priest, but I think if you are able to say them out loud you should. I can’t see anything that would make the confession invalid; you are still confessing, but on paper. I have heard that people unable to confess verbally, i.e. deaf, will do so on paper. I am not certain if that is a valid method for someone who can confess verbally, though.
First I wouldn’t write your sins down on paper because of risk of someone finding and reading it. If you forget to confess something it’s alright, you are forgiven regardless. Also you have to verbally say it. It’s not a "confession " if you’re not verbally confessing and taking blame for your sins. Unless you’re mute.
It is my understanding that, if a person is able to speak, then auricular confession (i.e., confession spoken to the ear of the confessor) is required. I looked at the rite and canon law, though, and couldn’t find a citation to back this up.
The priest will not just read your list of sins, you have to CONFESS them with your mouth. Unless you are mute, you gotta say the words. Out Loud.
Odd I’m curious as to what the answer would be.
I would be moved to say yes, it would be valid (after all, how would confession be done by people who can’t speak?) but then again, I don’t know if it would be licit…it’s one of those situations in which one wonders why one would try to confess in a “special way” :shrug:
Thank you all for your responses! I actually was wondering also that if the priest could just read my list and let me know if any of them are mortal sins or not, and if any of them are, than I could confess those verbally? I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I get nervous and scared, also worried to confess out loud…due to nervousness, embarassed and also because I might not be explaining my sin correctly because of being nervous, and of course for me it is easier to explain things through writing. I will ask the priest about this, but I was hoping that it would be valid because I don’t want to be so nervous when I’m speaking verbally that I mess up my confession.
Don’t worry, the only way you can “mess up” a confession is by deliberately withholding mortal sins or by not being sorry for your sins (and prepared to amend your life if necessary). Forgetting something in the moment, being flustered, etc does not mess up a confession.
Having a list is a good idea and a well-established method (make sure you destroy the list asap though). But you will need to converse verbally with your priest. I see no problem with having a list and even offering it to the priest to help you, but you will need to verbally confess at least any serious sins. Don’t worry, the priest will guide you through it. Tell him you are nervous and let him take you through it.
I pray that you will find peace. It is a wonderful sacrament.
Thank you!! I agree that it is a wonderful sacrament, and after this confession I plan on going every week if I can, that way t will be easier for me to remember everything and also I won’t be as nervous. God Bless!
Do you do face-to-face confession? Have you thought about finding a parish where the priest is behind the screen? (old-school) You might find that less intimidating overall. As for knowing which of your sins are mortal, I suggest doing an examination of conscience, and remember the 3 conditions for a mortal sin are:
Full consent of the will
Full knowledge of the above
So, it has to be serious or grave, you have to have decided to do it, and you have to realize that you are doing something sinful.
If you need some counseling on the particulars, schedule an appointment with the priest outside of confession.