How to make a confession
Prior to your confession you should recite the
Come Holy Spirit into my soul. Enlighten my mind that I may know the sins I ought to confess, and grant me your grace to confess them fully, humbly, and with a contrite heart. Help me to firmly resolve not to commit them again. O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of my God, intercede for me through the Passion of your Son, that I may obtain the grace to make a good confession. All you blessed Archangels, Angels and Saints of God, pray for me, a sinner, that I may repent from my sins, and that my heart may be forever united with yours in eternal love. Amen.
After entering the
confessional, something similar to the following should occur:
Priest: In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Penitent: Bless me Father, for I have sinned. My last confession was (how long ago?). <Recite your sins.>
Priest: The priest will listen. He may ask questions or counsel you. He will generally give you a penance to perform and then ask you to make an Act of Contrition.
Penitent: Say an Act of Contrition. (There are a number of versions of this prayer. I have included a few examples.)
Oh, my God, I am heartily sorry for 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 avoid the near occasions of sin. Amen.
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because of Thy just punishments, 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 sin no more and to avoid the near occasions of sin. Amen.
My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy. Amen.
O my God, I am sorry for my sins because I have offended you. I know I should love you above all things. Help me to do penance, to do better, and to avoid anything that might lead me to sin. Amen.
Priest: Gives you absolution. He will generally offer you the sign of peace and then dismiss you. You should then perform your penance as soon as possible or else at the Priest's discretion.
Penitent: Thank you, Father.
It is important to remember not to be embarrassed
to make your confession, nor should you be embarrassed as to how long it may
have been since your last confession.