Haven’t Been to Confession in a While? Here’s How to Go in 6 Simple Steps

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When was the last time you went to Confession?

Lent is the perfect time to return to the sacrament of confession.

Here is a helpful guide to use and share with others!

Caroline Perkins, ChurchPOP

The above graphic reads:

1) Make a thorough examination of conscience by reflecting on sin in your life.

2) Begin with the sign of the cross & by saying, “Bless me father for I have sinned. It has been [time] since my last confession…These are my sins..” and begin stating your sins.

3) The priest will give you your penance (something to do or pray after your Confession). This is an act of repentance in response to God’s Mercy in the confessional.

4) The priest will ask you to pray the Act of Contrition out loud as to proclaim your sorrow for your sins.

5) The priest will extend his hands and pray the Prayer of Absolution. Your response is: ‘AMEN’.

6) The priest will then likely give a final blessing like: “God has freed you from your sins. Go in peace.”

Here’s a helpful graphic to save with the Act of Contrition:

Caroline Perkins, ChurchPOP

Act of Contrition

My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.
In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good,
I have sinned against you,
whom I should love above all things.
I firmly intend, with your help,
to do penance, to sin no more,
and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.
Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us.
In his name, my God, have mercy.


Below are a few other prayers the USCCB suggests:

Pick one that resonates most with your heart. Remember, an Act of Contrition is a prayer of gratitude for the mercy of God.

Traditional Version of Act of Contrition:

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee,
and I detest all my sins because of thy just punishments,
but most of all because they offend Thee,
my God, who art all good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace
to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin.


Act of Contrition from the Rite of Penance:

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

In conclusion, Lent is the perfect time to return to God in all areas life. Staying close to the sacraments and starting this Lenten journey with a clean spirit is the best way to do this.

Will you return to the sacrament of confession this Lent?

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[See also: Your Lenten Guide for Fasting & Abstinence, According to Catholic Teaching]

[See also: Ready for Lent? Here’s 5 Inspiring Tips to Help You Live Liturgically This Season]

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Caroline Perkins is the Brand Content Editor at Church POP. She lives in Denver with her husband and three children. She is also founder and designer of Be Still By Caroline and the author of "ABC Get to Know the Saints with Me!".



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