- 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.
From the Handbook of Prayers. Edited by Fr. Jim Socias
Printed with permission from eCatholicHub.