1. Examine your conscience.
2. Be sincerely sorry for
3. Confess your sins.
4. Resolve to amend your
5. After your confession,
do the penance the priest assigns.
Prayer Said in Confessional
“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.”
Memorize the above
Act of Contrition
in the Confessional
The priest may begin
with a Scripture reading. After he finishes, you say:
“Bless me, Father, in
this confession. It is— a week, or a month (state the
length of time)— since my last confession. I accuse
myself of the following sins.”
Then tell your mortal sins
and the number of times committed. If you have no mortal
sins to confess, then confess two or three venial sins you
have committed since your last confession. When you have
finished telling your sins, you should say:
“For these and all the
sins of my past life, especially for my sins of—lam
The priest now gives the
necessary advice, assigns your penance and asks you to say
the Act of Contrition (in some form). Then wait and listen
as the priest gives the absolution in English.
Then say THANK YOU, FATHER,
and leave the Confessional and perform the penance
assigned by the priest.
Don’t be hasty
Many of these sins are
mortal and the Eucharist is forbidden until a good
confession is made to a priest. If in doubt whether a sin
is mortal or venial, confess it and consult a good
catechism or priest very loyal to the Holy Father and
Rome’s teachings. A mortal sin involves a serious
matter, there is sufficient reflection and it is committed
with full consent of the will.
Did I deny or doubt God’s existence?
Did I refuse to believe God’s
Did I believe in horoscopes, fortune
telling, dreams, good luck charms or reincarnation?
Did I deny that I was a Catholic?
Did I leave the Catholic faith?
Did I despair of or presume on God’s
Did I neglect prayer for a long time?
Did I blaspheme God or take God’s name
in vain, curse or break an oath or vow?
Did I miss Mass on Sunday or Holyday of
Obligation through my own fault?
Am I always reverent in the presence of
Jesus in the most Blessed Sacrament?
Was I inattentive at Mass?
Did I come to Mass late? How late?
Did I leave Mass early?
Did I do unnecessary physical work on
Did I disobey or disrespect my parents or
Did I neglect my duties to my husband,
wife, children, or parents?
Did I fail to actively take an interest
in the religious education and formation of my children?
Have I failed to educate myself on the true teachings of
Did I give a full day’s work in return
for my full day’s pay?
Did I give a fair wage to my employee?
Did! give scandal by what! said or did,
especially to the young?
Was I the cause of anyone leaving the
Was I impatient, angry, envious, unkind,
proud, jealous, revengeful, hateful toward
Did I give bad example, abuse drugs,
drink alcohol to excess, fight or quarrel?
Did I abuse my marriage rights?
Was I unfaithful to my marriage vows?
Have I kept company with someone else’s
Did I practice artificial birth control
or was I or my spouse sterilized?
Did I steal, cheat, help or encourage
others to steal, or keep stolen goods? Have I
made restitution for stolen goods?
Did I fulfill my contracts; give or
accept bribes; pay my bills; rashly gamble or
speculate; deprive my family of
necessities of life?
Did I tell lies? Deliberately to deceive?
Or injure others by lies?
Did I commit perjury?
Was I uncharitable in word or deed,
gossip or reveal others’ faults and sins? Fail to
keep secrets I should have?
Did I eat meat on Fridays of Lent or Ash
Did I fast as required on Ash Wednesday
and Good Friday?
Did I fail to receive Holy Communion
during Easter time? Fail to confess at least once
Did I go to Holy Communion in the state
of mortal sin? Without fasting (water and
medicine permitted) for one hour
from food and drink?
Did I make a bad confession?
Did I fail to contribute to the support
of the Church?
Did I physically injure or kill anyone?
Have or advise for an abortion? Regarding abortion, check
with your priest to see if you were automatically
excommunicated (Canon 1398 states that a person who
successfully procures an abortion is automatically
excommunicated; also excommunicated are all persons
involved in a deliberate and successful effort to bring
about an abortion.) An excommunication has to be lifted
first, before receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Did I participate in or approve of the
grave evil known as “mercy killing"? Did I
NOTE: In the area of deliberate sexual
sins listed below, all are mortal if there is sufficient