The Act of a
Before entering the confessional, how should we prepare ourselves
for a good confession?
Before entering the confessional, we should prepare ourselves for a
good confession by taking sufficient time not only to examine our
conscience but, especially, to excite in our hearts sincere sorrow
for our sins and a firm purpose not to commit them again.
should we begin our confession?
should begin our confession in this manner: Entering the
confessional, we kneel, and making the sign of the cross we say to
the priest: "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned"; and then we tell
how long it has been since our last confession.
After telling the time of our last confession, what do we confess?
After telling the time of our last confession, if we have committed
any mortal sins since that time we must confess them, and also any
that we have forgotten in previous confessions, telling the nature
and number of each; we may also confess any venial sins we wish to
What should we do if we cannot remember the exact number of our
we cannot remember the exact number of our mortal sins, we should
tell the number as nearly as possible, or say how often we have
committed the sins in a day, a week, a month, or a year.
What should we do when we have committed no mortal sin since our
we have committed no mortal sin since our last confession, we should
confess our venial sins or some sin told in a previous confession,
for which we are again sorry, in order that the priest may give us
Remember not the sins of my youth nor my offenses. According to thy
mercy remember thou me, for thy goodness' sake. (Psalm 24:7)
How should we end our confession?
should end our confession by saying: "I am sorry for these and all
the sins of my past life, especially for ..."; and then it is well
to tell one or several of the sins which we have previously
confessed and for which we are particularly sorry.
What should we do after confessing our sins?
After confessing our sins, we should answer truthfully any question
the priest asks, seek advice if we feel that we need any, listen
carefully to the spiritual instruction and counsel of the priest,
and accept the penance he gives us.
What should we do when the priest is giving us absolution?
the priest is giving us absolution, we should say from our heart the
act of contrition in a tone to be heard by him.
What should we do after leaving the confessional?
After leaving the confessional we should return thanks to God for
the sacrament we have received, beg Our Lord to supply for the
imperfections of our confession, and promptly and devoutly perform