Making a good Confession

The Sacrament of Confession is that of great importance. The Law of the Church states that a person who is conscious of grave sin is not to receive the body of the Lord without previous sacramental confession unless there is a grave reason and there is no opportunity to confess (Canon 916).


1. A careful and sincere examination of conscience since your last confession;

2. Contrition (repentance), which includes the determination to avoid the occasions of sin;

3. Confession of sins to the priest, with humility and honesty;

4. Satisfaction - carrying out the penance prescribed to repair the damage caused by sin.

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The relationship with God:

Do I exclude God from my life?
Do I neglect my daily prayers or say them badly?
Have I used God's name in anger or carelessly?
Have I missed Mass on a Sunday or Holyday of Obligation?
Have I received Holy Communion in a state of mortal sin?
Do I observe the one hour fast before receiving Communion?
Do I abstain from meat or perform some other act of penance on Fridays?

The relationship with other people:

Have I been impatient, angry or jealous?
Have I taken part in, or encouraged, an abortion?
Have I physically harmed anyone?
Have I been drunk, used drugs, or given a bad example to others?
Have I driven carelessly so as to endanger my life or that of other people?
Have I placed myself in danger of sin by reading or looking at what was indecent or pornographic?
Have I sinned against the virtue of purity by myself (masturbation)?
Have I sinned against the virtue of purity with others (fornication, adultery, homosexual acts)?
Have I been dishonest by stealing or cheating?
Have I been lazy at my work or at home?
Have I been uncharitable or unkind in thought, word, or deed?
Have I told lies?
Am I greedy or selfish?
Do I judge others?

For adults:

Do I pray for my husband or wife?
Have I been faithful to my marriage vows in thought and action?
Am I critical of my spouse, putting them down in public or in private?
Do I make an effort to foster and show my love and affection for my spouse?
Am I too proud to say 'Sorry' whenever there has been disagreement?
Do I mistreat my spouse?
Have we used artificial means of birth control in order to prevent having children?
Have I neglected to teach my children their prayers?
Have I set my children a bad example by not bringing them to Mass?
Do I watch over the books they read and the television and videos they watch?
Am I over strict or over negligent with my children?
Do I help my children grow to maturity?

For youths:

Have I been disobedient or rude to my parents or teachers?
Do I treat my parents with affection and respect?
If I live away from home, do I keep in touch with my parents?
Do I quarrel with my brothers or sisters or other members of my family?
Do I forgive them?
Do I study hard at school or college?
Am I grateful for the sacrifices my parents have made for me?
Am I careful to set my friends a good example, especially in matters of moral issues?

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  • reconciliation with God and therefore the forgiveness of sins;
  • reconciliation with the Church;
  • recovery, if it has been lost, of the state of grace;
  • remission of the eternal punishment merited by mortal sins;
  • remission, at least in part, of the temporal punishment which is the consequence of sin;
  • peace, serenity of conscience and spiritual consolation;
  • an increase of spiritual strength for the struggle of Christian living. 

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Come Holy Spirit into my soul,
Enlighten my mind that I may know the sins I ought to confess,
and grant me Your grace to confess them fully,
humbly and with contrite heart.
Help me to firmly resolve not to commit them again.

O Blessed Virgin, Mother of my Redeemer,
mirror of innocence and sanctity,
and refuge of penitent sinners,
intercede for me through the Passion of Your Son,
that I may obtain the grace to make a good confession.

All you blessed Angels and Saints of God,
pray for me, a most miserable sinner,
that I may repent from my evil ways,
that my heart may henceforth
be forever united with yours in eternal love. Amen.

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