Once you arrive at the door of the confessional, follow this step-by-step guide to make your confession:
- Remember, you have the option of going to confession anonymously behind a screen or face-to-face.
- After being greeted by the priest, make the sign of the cross and say:
"Bless me Father for I have sinned. It has been (state how long) since my last confession."
- Now, list your sins simply and honestly to the priest. Remember, the priest is strictly forbidden from discusses your sins outside the confessional, and he has heard many, many sins before yours. He is acting in the person of Christ to bring you healing.
- After listing all of your sins you have the opportunity to ask for advice or direction.
- After the priest offers any direction, he will assign you penance.
- You will then be asked to make an Act of Contrition. There are many different versions of the Act of Contrition, but here is one example you may wish to use:
"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."
- The priest will then give you absolution and dismiss you, your sins forgiven.
- The final step is to give thanks to God for his mercy and do any penance you were assigned.