Five Steps for a Good Confession

  1. Examine your conscience.
  2. Be sincerely sorry for your sins.
  3. Confess your sins.
  4. Resolve to amend your life.
  5. After your confession, do the penance the priest assigns.


Begin by saying:

"Bless me Father, in this confession. It is a - week, or a month (state the length of time) - since my last confession. I accuse myself of the following sins." Then tell your mortal sins and the number of times committed. If you have no mortal sins to confess, then confess two or three venial sins you have committed since your last confession. When you have finished telling your sins, you should say: "For these and all the sins of my past life, for any sins I may have forgotten and especially for my sins of ______, I am truly sorry."

The priest now gives the necessary advice, assigns your penance and asks you to say the Act of Contrition (in some form).


"0 my God, I am heartily sorry for offending 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 sins. Amen."

Then wait and listen as the priest gives the absolution.

Then say THANK YOU, FATHER, and leave the Confessional and perform the penance assigned by the priest.


Many of these sins are mortal and the Eucharist is forbidden until a good confession is made to a priest very loyal to the Holy Father and Rome's teachings. A mortal sin involves a serious matter, there is sufficient reflection and is committed with Ml conscience of the will.


Did I deny or doubt God's existence?
Did I refuse to believe God's revelation?
Did I believe in horoscopes, fortune telling, dreams, good luck charms or reincarnation?
Did I deny that I was a Catholic?
Did I leave the Catholic Faith?
Did I despair or presume on God's mercy?
Did I neglect prayer for a long time?
Did I fail to pray daily?
Have I failed to educate myself on the true teachings of the church?
Was I the cause of anyone leaving the church?


Did I blaspheme God or take God's name in vain, curse or break an oath or vow?
Did I use profane language?
Have I insulted a sacred person (i.e. a Priest, a Nun or a Brother)?


Did I miss Mass on Sunday or Holyday of Obligation through my own fault?
Did I allow my children to miss Mass?
Am I always reverent in the presence of the most Blessed Sacrament?
Was I inattentive at Mass? Did I come late to Mass?
Did I leave Mass early?
Did I omit my Easter Duty or my yearly Confession Duty?
Did I do unnecessary physical work on Sunday?


Did I disobey or disrespect my parents or legitimate supervisors?
Did I neglect my duties to my husband, wife, children or parents?
Did I fail to actively take interest in the religious education and formation of my children?
Did I fail to help at home?
Did I fail to spend time with my family?
Am I divorced and remarried without having sought an annulment from the Church?


Was I impatient, angry, envious, unkind, proud, jealous, revengeful, hateful toward others or lazy?
Did I give bad example, abuse drugs, drink alcohol to excess, fight or quarrel?
Did I physically injure or kill anyone?
Did I have an abortion?
Did I assist, or in any way encourage another to have all abortion?
Regarding abortion, check with your priest to see if you were automatically excommunicated and this has to be lifted first.
Did I participate in or approve of the grave evil known as "mercy killing"?
Did I attempt suicide?
Did I give scandal by what I said or did, especially to the young?


Note: In the area of sexual sins, all are mortal if there is sufficient reflection and full consent of the will.
Did I willfully entertain impure thoughts and desires?
Did I dress immodestly?
Did I use impure or suggestive words? Tell impure stories or listen to them?
Did I deliberately look at impure TV, plays, pictures or movies? Or deliberately read impure material?
Did I perform impure acts by myself or with, others?

Which one?

Did I marry or advise another to marry outside the church?
Did I abuse my marriage rights? Was I unfaithful to my marriage vows?
Have I kept company with someone else's spouse?
Did I practice artificial birth control or was my spouse sterilized?


Did I steal, cheat, help or encourage others to steal, or keep stolen goods? Have I made restitution for stolen goods?
Did I fulfill my contracts; give or accept bribes; pay my bills; rashly gamble or speculate; deprive my family of necessities of life?
Did I give a full day's work in return for a full day's pay?
Did I give a full wage to my employee?
Did I waste time at work, in school or at home?
Did I live in poverty of spirit and detachment?


Did I tell lies? Deliberately to deceive; or injure others by lies?
Did I commit perjury? Was I uncharitable in word or deed, gossip or reveal others' faults and sins? Fail to keep secrets I should have?


Have I consented to unpure thoughts or caused them by stares, bad reading, curiosity or impure conversation?
Did I neglect to control my imagination?
Did I pray to banish such bad thoughts and temptations?


Was I greedy?
Was I jealous or envious of another?
Was I more concerned about earthly possessions than on the treasure of heaven?
Did I work, study and keep busy to counter idle thoughts?


Did I eat meat on Fridays of Lent or Ash Wednesday?
Did I fast as required on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday?
Did I fail to receive Holy Communion during the Easter time?
Did I fail to confess at least once a year?
Did I go to Holy Communion in the state of mortal sin? Without fasting (water and medicine permitted) for one hour from food and drink?
Did I make a bad confession?

Christi Fideles
143 East 43rd Street
New York, NY 10017
(212) 682-1336