Guide to Confession

Confession Prayers

Begin with the Sign of the Cross, using these or similar words:
Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. My last confession was ____ ago. These are my sins: _____________.

Finish confessing your sins with these or similar words: 
I am sorry for these sins and all the sins of my life, especially for the sin of _________.

After receiving your Penance, make an Act of Contrition, using these or similar words of sincere repentance: 
O my God, I am sorry and repent with all my heart
for all the wrong I have done and for the good I have failed to do,
because by sinning I have offended you, who are all good and worthy to be loved above all things.
I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid the occasions of sin.
Through the merits of the Passion of our Savior Jesus Christ, Lord, have mercy.

When the Priest says the prayer of Absolution, make the Sign of the Cross as he blesses you. Go in peace! Thanks be to God!

Examination of Conscience

The Ten Commandments
I am the LORD your God.  You shall not have other gods before me.
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
Remember to keep holy the Lord’s day.
Honor your father and your mother.
You shall not kill.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.

Special Scripture Verses
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; and your neighbor as yourself.”
“Love one another as I have loved you.” “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” “If you love me, keep my commandments.”

The Precepts of the Church
Attend Mass on Sundays and Holydays.
Fast and abstain on the days appointed.
Go to Confession at least once a year.
Receive the Eucharist during Easter time.
Contribute to the support of the Church.
Follow the marriage laws of the Church.

The Seven Virtues of Holy Living
Prudence – Justice – Temperance – Fortitude
Faith – Hope – Love

Preparation for Holy Communion
Be free from all serious sin through sacramental Confession.
Fast for at least one hour from all food and drink except water and medicine.

Common Penance Prayers

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  Amen.

Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Please click here to download a helpful pamphlet with these Confession prayers.

Please click here for information about the Jesus Prayer.  Please click here for information about God’s Mercy.
The best way to prepare for Confession is by making a daily Examination of Conscience, asking the following questions:
What did I do right today? What did I do wrong today? What can I do better tomorrow with God’s grace and assistance?

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, 
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Fill me with your Spirit, so that I may live a new life.

Help me to know you, to love you, and to serve you in this world,
so that I may be happy with you, both now and for all eternity.

Thank you, Lord. Amen.

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