Example of Good/Valid Confession

Their seem to be a lot of questions on the different Forums about Confession and how to make a good and valid Confession(especially when it comes to embarrassing and tricky subjects like impurity and chastity).

Put this together from my own Catholic Education and the sites below. This is only one EXAMPLE of a good and valid Confession. I like to go to different Priest for Confession from time to time and use this format for myself. These are not necessary my sins, the sins of the station owner or the sins of any of it’s sponsors. Blah, Blah, Blah.

  • As you make the Sign of the Cross, say: Bless me Father for I have sinned it has been, XX weeks, months, years since my last confession. Since then:

  • I have been impure with myself in self gratification, XX times or many, many times in the last 1 1/2yrs.(or several dozen times).

  • I have been impure with a women/man and not yet married, XX times(or several/many times over the last 2yrs.

  • I have received the Eucharist during this time of sinfulness also.

  • I have been selfish and not given to my wife/husband and our marriage, as fully as I should, XX times(or several/many times over the last 1 1/2yrs.

  • I have been neglectful of my children and not set a good example for them XX times in the past year.

  • I have disobeyed my parents and been disrespectful to them XX times in the past year.

  • I have abused drinking to much, XX times in the past year.

  • I missed Sunday/Holy Day Mass XX in the past year.

  • Etc.

  • Etc.

(From Our Savior Church, NYC):

When you have finished confessing all the sins that you remember, say:
“For these sins and all the sins of my past life, especially the sins against…(mention the most important virtues, like Purity, Chastity, Honesty, Charity, Humility, etc.) I ask absolution and penance from you, Father.”

This is a great way to end your confessing and ask God’s forgiveness and mercy, for all your past sins weather you remember them at this time or not.

Act of Contrition
O my God, I am heartily sorry
for having offended you.
I detest all my sins,
because I dread the loss of heaven
and the pains of hell;
but most of all because they offend you,
my God, who are all good
and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace,
to sin no more, to do penance,
and to amend my life. Amen.

(From Confessions101):
"Q: How does one confess to very embarrassing personal sins of a sexual nature without telling the priest what he or she has done. Won’t Jesus forgive those kinds of sins anyway if one confesses to him personally?:

“A: It is embarrassing to confess personal sins of a sexual nature. You will not be telling the priest anything he has not heard already. In moral theology, he has covered all possible sins of a sexual nature and has heard it all long before he even sits in a confessional.”

“The embarrassment can be minimized by simply stating the category of sin and the approximate number of times it was committed. There is no need to go into details; in fact, we are dissuaded from going into specific details. The Church bends over backwards to make confession as easy as possible by allowing the penitent to go anywhere and to any priest he or she wants to, and also to go anonymously by entering the confessional where the priest cannot see the penitent.
Finally, keep in mind that the priest also has to go to confession if he is foolish enough to commit sin. He understands your situation and your embarrassment, and he will be compassionate.”


Please let know if any thoughts, comments, critique you may have. Especially, from the clergy. I think this would be helpful to many of us.

This is actually pretty good. I still follow the formula the nuns gave us back in 1976, when I made my first confession. In fact, what you posted pretty much follows the path the nuns showed us.

I met a priest who said to say “forgive me Father for I have sinned” He didn’t like “bless me”. I say forgive me but I honestly don’t think it matters.

Slightly nitpicky - but how many times did you recieve the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin? Mortal sins should be confessed by number as well as kind :slight_smile:

Having said that, as a kid I wasn’t taught to confess by number, and still forget sometimes :frowning:

Glad you chimed in B. This what I learned on too. I do like the ending “For these sins and all the sins of …”, because it asks for those past sins in forgiveness without harping on the past.

The difference between a good confession and a “bad confession” does not lie in which particular sins we mention, but lies in whether we **deliberately conceal or omit **any serious sin which we are aware of at the time of the confession. (If you accidentally forget to confess a serious sin, and remember it later, it is still forgiven, though it is a good idea to mention it at your next Confession.) .

Peter, do you know the proper name for a Bad Confession? Is it in the CCC?

I think it’s called a sacreligious confession, and, pardon the misspelling.

Fr. Corapi is hosting a show soon on EWTN “How to make a good confession.”


B, Do you know if this is spelled out in the CCC?

Yep in late December, just in time for the Calender New Year. Wonder why he did not do Reconciliation for the new Liturgical Year at Advent?

Lily, “These are not necessarily my sins, the sins of the station owner or the sins of any of it’s sponsors.”:stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue:

We were taught in Elementary School by the Sisters to make sure we new number of times we committed a sin. In High-School we were taught if we could not remember a close enough number count to give a range like many, many times or 1 dozen, 2 dozen. I guess even in Catholic High-School they new the numbers would go up.:dts:

I just hope God still has some Mercy left for this, unworthy servant.:gopray2:

As far as I can see the CCC doesn’t give a specific name to it, but “a bad confession” seems appropriate to me. I guess you could say “an invalid confession”.
CCC1493 “One who desires to obtain reconciliation with God and the Church, must confess to a priest all the unconfessed grave sins he remembers after having carefully examined his conscience. The confession of venial faults, without being necessary in itself, is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church.”

Thanks, Peter.

Anamchara, I have heard that beginning too, but only a few times. Not sure their is a difference either. Does the CA in your location stand for Canada or California?