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How to go to Confession

  1. The Priest will greet you.
  2. The penitent says: “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.” You then say how long it has been since your last Confession.
  3. The penitent tell the priest this sins and briefly answers any relevant questions.
  4. The priest will give you some advice and will assign you a penance.
  5. The penitent will next pray the Act of Contrition (See prayer below).
  6. The priest then gives the penitent absolution.

1st Commandment

You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.

(The first commandment teaches us to put God first in our lives.)

  • Did I deny God’s existence?
  • Did I refuse to believe God’s revelation as taught by Scripture or the teaching office of the Church?
  • Did I believe in or use horoscopes, fortune telling, good luck charms, tarot cards, Ouija boards or reincarnation?
  • Did I deny I was a Catholic? Did I abandon the Catholic Faith for any period of time?
  • Did I despair of or presume on God’s mercy?
  • Did I neglect prayer for a long time? Did I fail to pray daily?

2nd Commandment

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

(The second commandment teaches us to speak carefully, to respect the power of our words, and to say only what we mean to say.)

  • Did I blaspheme God or take God’s Name in vain, curse or break an oath or vow?
  • Do I joke crudely about the Church, God, Mary, the saints, or other holy things?
  • Have I talked about others with respect and reverence?

3rd Commandment

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

(The third commandment teaches us to take time to worship God regularly and frequently.)

  • Did I miss Mass on Sunday or on a Holy Day of Obligation through my own fault?
  • Am I always reverent in the presence of the Most Blessed Sacrament?
  • Was I purposefully inattentive at Mass? Did I carelessly arrive late to Mass? Did I unnecessarily leave Mass early?
  • Did I do unnecessary work on Sunday?
  • Did I fail to contribute to the support of the Church?
  • Have I failed to educate myself concerning the teachings of the Church?
  • Did I fast as required on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday? (Ages 18 – 59) Did I abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays of Lent? (Ages 14 and up)
  • Did I fail to receive Holy Communion during the Easter Season? Did I fail to confess my sins at least once a year?
  • Did I receive Holy Communion in the state of mortal sin?
  • Did I receive Holy Communion without fasting for one hour or more from food and Drink? (Water and medicine are permitted)
  • Did I make a bad Confession by deliberately not telling all the mortal sins I had committed?

4th Commandment

Honor your father and your mother.

(The fourth commandment teaches us to appreciate and respect our parents and those in authority.)

  • Did I disobey or disrespect my parents or legitimate superiors (i.e. boss)?
  • Did I neglect my duties to my husband, wife, children or parents?
  • Did I fail to actively take an interest in the religious education and formation of my children?
  • Did I give a full day’s work in return for a full day’s pay?
  • Did I give a fair wage to my employee?
  • Did I give scandal by what I said or did especially in the presence of the young?

5th Commandment

You shall not kill.

(The fifth commandment teaches us to appreciate and respect the gift of life.)

  • Did I contribute to anyone’s abandoning to the Catholic Faith?
  • Was I impatient, angry, envious, unkind, proud, jealous, revengeful, hateful towards others or lazy?
  • Did I give bad example, abuse drugs, drink alcohol to excess, fight or quarrel?
  • Did I gossip or speak badly about others?
  • Did I physically injure or kill anyone?
  • Have I had an abortion, advised, or supported an abortion?
  • Did I participate in or approve of the grave evil known as “mercy killing” or euthanasia?
  • Did I attempt suicide or physically harm myself?

6th Commandment

You shall not commit adultery

(The sixth commandment teaches us to respect the gift of our sexuality and the gift of marriage.)

  • Was I unfaithful in my marriage vows? Did I commit adultery?
  • Did I practice contraception or was I or my spouse permanently sterilized (tubal ligation or vasectomy)?
  • Did I perform impure acts by myself (masturbation) or with another (adultery, fornication, or sodomy)?
  • Did I marry or advise another to marry outside of the church?
  • Did I deliberately look at impure television, internet, plays, pictures, or movies so as to incite lust? Did I look at pornography?
  • Did I dress immodestly or provocatively?
  • Did I use impure or suggestive words? Did I tell impure stories or listen to them?
  • Have I intentionally fantasized?

7th Commandment

You shall not steal.

(The seventh commandment teaches us to respect private property and the rights of others.)

  • Did I steal, cheat, help or encourage others to steal, cheat or keep stolen goods? Have I made a restitution for stolen goods?
  • Did I deliberately fail to fulfill my contracts or to pay my bills? Did I give or accept bribes?
  • Did I rashly gamble, speculate, or deprive my family of the necessities of life?
  • Did I cut corners in my job, not return supplies, waste time needlessly?

8th Commandment

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor

(The eighth commandment teaches us always to speak the truth and never to say more than is necessary.)

  • Did I tell lies? Deliberately in order to deceive or injure others? Did I commit perjury?
  • Did I vote in accordance with a properly informed conscience, in a ways consistent with the teachings of the Church, in regard to the sanctity of marriage and of human life issues?
  • Did I gossip or reveal the faults or sins of others? Did I fail to keep secrets that should have been kept?

9th Commandment

You shall not covet your neighbor's wife.

(The ninth commandment teaches us to appreciate the relationships God has given us and to avoid inappropriate relationships.)

  • Did I willfully entertain impure thoughts or desires?
  • Was I uncharitable in thought, word, or deed?

10th Commandment

You shall not covet your neighbor's things.

(The tenth commandment teaches us to find happiness where we are and to be grateful for what we do have.)

  • Have I forgiven those who have hurt or harmed my loved ones or me?
  • Am I envious of others? Do I wish that others be deprived of the goods or talents that they have? Am I jealous of others?

Act of Contrition

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of hell. 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 confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen.

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