The Sacrament of Confession is one of the sacraments recognized by the Catholic Church. Also known as the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Penance, it provides an opportunity for the faithful to reconcile with God. The need to reconcile becomes necessary when a person is in a state of sin and is therefore deprived of God’s grace. A penitent or a person who confesses his or her sins to a priest can gain forgiveness of sins through the absolution.
There are three basic requirements in making a good confession. A penitent has to be truly sorry for sins committed. He or she must also fully confess the nature and frequency of sin. Lastly, he or she must be willing to do penance or make amends for the sins.
Preparing for confession is as important as the act of confession itself. It starts with the thorough examination of one’s conscience in relation to the commandments of God. There is no limit to the number of times a person can go to confession and frequency in performing it is even encouraged by the Church to ensure the continued state of grace.
Penitent: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Bless me Father for I have sinned. My last confession was ______________.
These are the sins I committed since my last confession. (Confess your sins with openness and sincerity. You need not mention all your sins. Focus must be given to big or serious sins, and on the resolutions made. You can ask the priest if you have any doubts or questions.)
For these and all the other sins I may have forgotten, I ask the Lord’s mercy and forgiveness. (Listen to the words of the priest , and make the sign of the cross while he recites the prayer of absolution.)
Priest: God the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins. Through the ministry of the Church, may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins, (+) in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
(The priest may ask you to recite the Act of Contrition before the absolution. Otherwise you may recite it by yourself after your confession.)
Priest: The Lord has freed you from sin. Go and proclaim to the world the wonderful works of God.
Act of Contrition
Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you. I detest all my sins because I fear the loss of heaven and pains of hell. But most of all because I offended you my God, who are all good and worthy of my love. I firmly resolve with the help of your grace to do penance and to amend my life. Amen.
Prayers After Confession
(Spend some time in prayer. If you have not done so, recite the Act of Contrition. Thank God for the gift of forgiveness, and decide on one or two resolutions for the coming month.)
Thanksgiving After Confession
Dear Jesus, you have washed away all my sins and made me your friend once again. I thank you for showering me with your goodness and love. You know that I am not very strong especially in moments of temptation. I place all my trust in you, and ask that you heal me and renew me completely.
Oh Mary Immaculate and full of grace, be always at my side and intercede for me , Amen.