Examples of Mortal Sins? Preparing for Confession

Hello everybody,

I am new to the faith (going through RCIA right now) and soon I will be giving my first confession. What exactly is a Mortal sin? I know they are sins we are conscious of doing and are of a grave matter but what exactly is a sin of grave matter? Giving me some examples of mortal sins would definitely help out a lot. Thanks and God bless.


Fornication, adultery, masturbation,:eek: theft of something of value, DELIBERATELY missing Mass on Sundays and Holy days of Obligation without good reason, rape, child abuse, elder abuse, spousal abuse, receiving Holy Communion unworthily, ie: not in a state of grace,:tsktsk: lying, being uncharitable, having sinful lustful thoughts, idolatry, divination, magic, sacrilege, atheism, blasphemy, perjury and false statements, murder (intentional homicide)BIGGIE abortion:eek: :eek: :eek:

All Catholics who procure a completed abortion or participate in execution of an abortion are automatically excommunicated from the Catholic Church (CCC 2272 and CIC Canon 1314).

euthanasia, suicide, scandal, drug abuse, gluttony ,alcohol abuse, extreme anger, hatred, divorce, pornography, prostitution homosexual acts and sodomy BIGGIE, yes that nice gay couple down the block,:thumbsup:

incest, cheating, defrauding a worker of his wages BIGGIE, paying unfair wages, taking advantage of the poor, bearing false witness, perjury, adulation, lust avarice, envy, voluntary doubt of faith, incredulity, heresy, apostasy, schism, despair in hope, presumption and Hatred of God:bigyikes: .

Partial list but you get the picture.

Actually, I disagree - all we know for a given person is that these are GRAVE sins (and should be confessed). For a sin to be mortal, it must satisfy 3 conditions: (a) be grave (b) person knows they are grave (c) person commits the sin willingly and without duress. Only God knows truly what is mortal, we certainly do not unless it is about ourselves ( we can honestly judge this for ourselves). Since you are new to the faith, you may not have realized some of these sins were mortal, in which case they would be grave. From the Catechism:

1857 For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: “Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.” 131 1858 Grave matter is specified by the Ten Commandments, corresponding to the answer of Jesus to the rich young man: “Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother.” 132 The gravity of sins is more or less great: murder is graver than theft. One must also take into account who is wronged: violence against parents is in itself graver than violence against a stranger. 1859 Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God’s law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart 133 do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin. 1860 Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man. The promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest. 1861 Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God’s forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ’s kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back. However, although we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God.

Here are a couple of helpful lists.


Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, under the section for the 10 Commandments. This will adequately explain each and will be eye opening for most people.
Deacon Ed B

I beleive the OP considered the other two conditions.

Thank you all for your help! You gave me a great starting point to start examining myself…Just afraid I might have a list longer than some books when all is said and done though lol

I believe (from what I remember of last year) that for new Catholics coming in via RCIA, it is also possible to make a general confession… (ie: a habbit of a sin) because in 30 years, a person can wrack up a lot of sins - enough so as it is impossible, 30 years later at a First Confession, to remember them all.

We were told to look at the seven capital sins (Pride, Wrath, Greed, Gluttony, Envy, Sloth, Lust) and at the virtues (Prudence, Justice, Temperance, Fortitude, Faith, Hope, Love)… and see where we fell short of virtue, where we slipped into sin, and what general attitudes prevaded our lives…

Pax Christi,
Esther Rose