Tuesday, March 13, 2012

During Confession

  • You can begin your confession by making the Sign of the Cross and greeting the priest: "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned."

  • The priest gives you a blessing. One response you might give is these words St. Peter said to Christ: “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you" (Jn 21:17).

  • One then continues with the time since one's last confession: "My last good confession was... (approximately how many weeks, months or years)."

  • Say the sins that you remember. Start with the one that is most difficult to say; after this it will be easier to mention the rest. If you received general absolution, tell this to the priest and mention the sins forgiven then.

  • If you do not know how to confess, or you feel uneasy or ashamed, simply ask the priest to assist you. Be assured that he will help you to make a good confession. Simply answer his questions without hiding anything out of shame or fear. Place your trust in God: he is your merciful Father and wants to forgive you.

  • If you do not remember any serious sins, be sure to confess at least some of your venial sins, adding at the end:
    • "I am sorry for these and all the sins of my past life, especially for..."(mention in general any past sin for which you are particularly sorry; for example, all my sins against charity).

  • The priest will assign you some penance and give you some advice to help you to be a better Christian.

  • Listen to the words of absolution attentively. At the end answer: "Amen."

  • Be willing to do the penance as soon as possible. This penance will diminish the temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven.
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