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MAKING A CONFESSION

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How to Make Your Confession

 

The basic requirement for a good confession is to have the intention of returning to God like the "prodigal son" and to acknowledge our sins with true sorrow before the priest.

 

Sin in my Life

The Gospels show how the forgiveness of our sins is so important. The lives of the saints often reveal that the person who grows in holiness has a much stronger sense of sin, sorrow for sins, and the need of God’s forgiveness.

 

Remember

If you need help - especially if you have never made your Confession before – please tell the priest, who will be very happy to help you by "walking" you through the steps.

 

Before Confession

Be truly sorry for your sins. The essential act is contrition - a clear rejection of the sin committed and a resolution not to commit it again. This is a sure sign that your sorrow is truly meant. It does not mean that you will never sin again – we are all human – but seeking forgiveness helps us to face up to the reality of when we go wrong.

 

Examination of Conscience

Preparing for Confession is important. Many people write lists, to help them remember what they intend to say. The clergy are always keen to offer confidential advice.

 

During Confession

You can either kneel or sit alongside the priest, face-to-face. Most people find it useful to follow the words on a printed card. If it is the first time for you, tell the priest.

 

Say the sins that you remember. Start with the one that is most difficult to say.

 

After confessing all the sins you remember, you may conclude by saying, “I am truly sorry for these and all the sins I cannot now remember.”

 

Listen to the words of the priest. They will assign you some penance. Doing the penance helps us to reflect on the loving generosity of God. When invited, read the prayer of sorrow printed on the card.

 

At the End of Confession

Listen to the words of absolution, the sacramental forgiveness of the Church through the ordained priest. As you listen to the words of forgiveness you may make the sign of the cross with the priest. They will finish by saying, "Go in peace, the Lord has put away your sins. And pray for me, a sinner too.” It is important to remember that the priest is a penitent too – like Jesus, they are not judging you, and want you to be free.

 

After Confession

Do your assigned Penance. Resolve to return to the Sacrament of Confession again. It is the ordinary way for us to have our sins forgiven. This sacrament is a powerful help to get rid of our weaknesses, grow in holiness, and lead a balanced and holy life.

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