June 3, 2010

Making a Good Confession, Part 3

This is the third in our series of posts on how to go to confession.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

How to Make a Good Confession

Begin by asking the Holy Spirit to help you make a good confession. Make an examination of conscience by asking yourself what sins you have committed since your last good confession. Tell God you are sorry for your sins.

Once in the confessional, kneel, make the sigh of the cross, and say, “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned; it has been (however long) since my last confession.” Name your sins and how many times you committed each one. Then say, “I am sorry for these sins and all the sins of my past life”.

The priest will then give you a penance (usually some prayers), and perhaps advise you. While the priest is saying the words of absolution (forgiveness), pray the Act of Contrition or say a prayer expressing your contrition in your own words. The priest will then say, “God bless you,” or “Go in peace,” or something similar. You say, “Thank you, Father,” make the Sign of the Cross, leave the confessional, and complete your penance.

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