Confession Guide

the Sacrament of Penance 


The ConfessionalPrior to Confession

Reflect that this confession may be the last of your life. Therefore, prepare yourself for it as if you were lying sick upon your deathbed, and already at the brink of the grave. Ask God to give you the grace to make a good examination of conscience, the light to see your sins clearly, and the strength to make a sincere confession and to amend your life.

Preparatory Prayer

O Holy Ghost, come in Thy mercy, enlighten my mind and strengthen my will, that I may know my sins, be sincerely sorry for them, humbly confess them, and sincerely amend my life.  Mary, my mother, refuge of sinners, assist me in Thy intercession, Holy Angels and Saints of God, pray for me.

(Roman Missal)

My Last Confession

Examination of Conscience

1. I am the Lord thy God: thou shalt not have strange gods before Me.  2. Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain. 3. Remember thou keep holy the Sabbath Day. 4. Honor thy father and thy mother. 5. Thou shalt not kill. 6. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.   7. Thou shalt not steal.
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods. 8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

Commandments of the Church

1. To hear Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of obligation.

2. To fast and abstain on the days appointed.

3. To confess at least once a year.

4. To receive Holy Eucharist during the Easter time.

5. To contribute to the support of our pastors.

6. Not to marry persons who are not Catholics, nor who are related to us within the third degree of kindred, nor privately without witnesses, nor to solemnize marriage at forbidden times.

Seven Capital Sins & the Opposite Virtues

  1. Pride...................Humility

  2. Covetousness............Liberality

  3. Lust....................Chastity

  4. Anger...................Meekness

  5. Gluttony................Temperance

  6. Envy....................Brotherly Love

  7. Sloth...................Diligence

The Fours Sins which Cry to Heaven for Vengence

The Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy

  1. To admonish sinners
  2. To instruct the ignorant
  3. To councel the doubtful
  4. To comfort the sorrowful
  5. To bear wrongs patiently
  6. To forgive all injuries
  7. To pray for the living and the dead

The Seven Corporal Works of Mercy

  1. To feed the hungry
  2. To give drink to the thirsty
  3. To clothe the naked
  4. To visit and ransom the captives
  5. To harbor the harborless
  6. To visit the sick
  7. To bury the dead

Responsible for Sins of Another

One can contribute to the sins of another by:

The Sacrament of PenanceGoing to Confession

Approach the confessional with the same recollectedness and reverence as would fill your heart if Our Lord Jesus Christ were seated there in person ready to hear your confession. The priest is really the representative of Christ. The priest has received the power to forgive sin by virtue of his Holy Orders, and from the words of Christ to His priests: “Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them. And whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.”

When you kneel down in the confessional, make the sign of the cross and say:

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been (specify what period of time) since my last confession.

Then begin the avowal of your sins. Confess all your sins with a contrite and humble heart, and conclude thus:

For these and all the sins of my past life, especially my sins of (naming some previously confessed and forgiven grievous sin), I am heartily sorry, beg pardon of God, and absolution of you, Father.

Listen then with humility and docility to the instruction of your confessor, and during this time avoid all recurrence as to the confession itself, remembering that sins forgotten after a serious examination of conscience are really comprised in the absolution. Accept with submission the penance imposed, and if any obstacle that you foresee will prevent your accomplishing it, state this respectfully. While the priest pronounces the words of absolution, make an Act of Perfect Contrition. Should your spiritual Father deem it proper to defer absolution, acknowledge your unworthiness, and do not murmur. Leave the confessional resolved to use every effort, by an amendment of life and sincere repentance, to obtain God's pardon. which His priest will ratify.

Act of Contrition

Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend Thee my God Who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen.