Need Confession script


I am planning a retreat for First Communion students in preparation for their first reconciliation. One of the activities we’d like to have them do is a practice confession where they will draw a “sin” out of a hat to “confess.” One of the instructors will pretend to be the priest. To that end, I am trying to find a script for the words that the priest uses during the course of an ordinary confession. I hoped I could just find one online, but that’s not posted anywhere. Would anyone who has access to such a script be willing to supply me with one?



In my experience, which caused the most anxiety for myself as a kid, the priests never followed the Rite as it was written, so such should be taken into consideration when practicing.

Sure, and we’ll tell the kids that. But mainly I (or the other instructor) need something to go on for pretending to be the priest. Do you have a script?

PS. I’m not really asking for advice about how to do this–I just would like someone who has access to the words the priests normally say to share it with me, either on this thread or in a PM. Thanks!

Have you considered how confusing it is to kids when adults “pretend to be the priest”?
It might be much better to ask your priest to come lead that part and have you adults be the ones playing the part of the penitent child instead of the actual children.

I’ve also known of kids who got very confused because their teacher told them. "When you go to confession, Fr. John takes your sins . . . " Then they saw Fr. John talking with their mothers afterwards and wondered if Fr. .John gave their sins back to their moms and told them everything. Oh these kids were terrified of that possibility!

Hope this helps . . . .

Penitent: Start by making the sign of the cross and saying, “Bless me father for I have sinned…” Then state how long it’s been since your last confession: “It has been (so long) since my last confession.” Or, tell him it is your first confession.

Priest: Will offer some kind of welcome. Could be “Hello Timmy!” or could be, “May God the Father of all mercies help you make a good Confession.” (It really depends on the priest!)

Penitent: Begin to confess the sins. Be specific so the priest can offer help. Also, give him the number of times like, “I hit my brother three time this month. I disobeyed my mom once or twice.” When finished, say, “I am sorry for these and all of my sins.”

Priest: With this information, the priest may counsel us. He also assigns a penance for the healing of the hurt caused by sin and the strengthening of our soul against future temptation. He then asks us to say an act of contrition,

Penitent:: “Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee. I detest all of my sins because of Thy just punishments, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who are all good and deserving of all of my love. I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to sin no more and to avoid the near occasions of sin. Amen.”

Finally, the priest imparts absolution. “God the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of His son, has reconciled the world to Himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

Penitent:: “amen”

The priest then dismisses us, saying, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good,” to which we respond, “His mercy endures forever.” (Many priests may simply say, “May God bless you.”)

Then leave the confessional to do the assigned penance.

Check with your Parish. They should have a handout called; “The Sacrament of Reconciliation”.

Have you considered how confusing it is to kids when adults “pretend to be the priest”?
It might be much better to ask your priest to come lead that part and have you adults be the ones playing the part of the penitent child instead of the actual children.

As a mother of three children who are always playing pretend, I do not think me pretending to be a priest just so they can practice going through the steps is going to be confusing in the slightest :slight_smile: We will make it very clear that we are only pretending to practice. It would be great to have the priest play pretend but he does have other things he needs to be spending his time doing. Thanks for the script. I think that will help.

Your pretend priest shouldn’t actually use the words of Absolution in the pretend event.

He or she should just say, 'Now the priest says the words that make you free from your sins."

Perhaps you are right. I know my child wouldn’t have had an issue with it either because she’s been around the parish every day of her life. But of the kids I taught, the majority never came to Mass on Sundays so each experience left strong impressions. A kid who doesn’t actually know the priests from the parish could get confused. But it sounds like you already have that handled - that is GREAT news! I do hope the issues I encountered working with the children is limited to my parish and not a bigger problem. I had 1st graders who didn’t know how to make the Sign of the Cross! So you can only imagine how confusing things got for them from there . . . . .

All the best! Easter Blessings!!!

We have those issues too–Church isn’t as much a priority for entire families as one would like, and there are definitely some very good long term solutions to alleviate this. But that’s a totally different conversation. Anyway, that does raise a good point in that I don’t want to make too many assumptions about what the children may or may not take for granted about how things work. I’m thinking rather than do a complete role play, it will be more along the lines of “OK, you will say this, and the priest will say something like this, then you will say your Act of Contrition, then the priest will say something like this to absolve you of your sins…”

Anyway, thanks everyone for your help!

Why not ask your priest which form he will follow, so the kids can become familiar with what he will say?

Good suggestion. If I get a chance I will. He’s out of town most of this week, though :slight_smile:

I personally hate roll play

I am not so sure it a good idea to roll play the confessional because the priest response is often very different and gentler than our responses are to situations. Sometimes too they muddle advice but are able to put you at ease when it transpires that something confusing has gone off in the confessional. I will share mine in example to what I mean. I am being assessed for aspergers which adds to my difficulty. We were discussing something in the confession and I thought he had said it not about me but about where he is if he don’t say hello that ‘morning’ He could have said at that moment for all I know. I have my own way of communicating with him but not before crying all the way home and not serving that Sunday morning and sang in the choir instead though should have been serving if going by my own scheme of things. It was only a few emails later I said what I said to him and he then spent the next six weeks pointedly saying ‘hello’ each time he saw me no matter if he had only just said it almost. I heard and responded back. Please don’t forget that am Aspergers so something minor does become major for me… (plus am anglican so our confessions are still sins but a different outlook to you guys) But I could have cried all the way home and not spoken to him at all and he wouldn’t have known why etc… But got sorted as there was no pretend there.

but in roll play and something happend and although it all pretend it mayn’t be for one person who may be put off the confession and be even more scared to go. The only real way to deal with confession is have a priest there and they have a go for real rather than for pretend. There is no pretend about sin. There is no pretend about the darkness of sin for whatever age. There is no pretend when priest and sinners muddles their way through until it gets sorted.

for something like confessional the only way is to just do it. No one can be priest because each priest has their own style and bring us closer to God with their skill which is what confession is properly about. About reconciling us and helping to stay close to God. Or at least that is what I think the Anglican and the Roman Catholic confession is about. Being able to share something that we wouldn’t tell our best friend in confidence so it don’t eat at us and stop us being with God.

So much can go wrong in ‘lets pretend’. No I think you either do it or you don’t

Sorry that you experience this painful confusion! Its sweet that he made a point of saying “Hello” afterwards. :cool:

To the OP, were you planning to explain to the children what the “clicky” thing is? I learned how to make a Confession by googling the internet, and nothing that I read warned me about the “clicky”. Kind of sounds like a rifle being readied. It was unsettling. :smiley: (I figured out that it’s the switch that turns the light outside the confessional from green to red, by the way.)

Also, it took me many Confessions to figure out that the priest is not supposed to say anything in between me entering, and me saying “Bless me Father…etc.” The regular priest always gave some variant of “God bless you” as soon as I came in, and I didn’t realize that this wasn’t customary until a visiting priest came. The guest priest remained eerily silent, and I hesitated too long; finally he said, “Were you planning to say something?” :smiley: