Before going to Confession, do a good examination of your conscience. See below to get started. You can also click here for the PDF copy of this guide.
1. Say, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.”
2. Say, “Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It has been ________ (state how long it has been) since my last confession.” If it is your first, state that it is your first confession.. Say, “These are my sins:”
List and be honest about all your sins. Start with the most difficult ones. He may ask questions to better understand your intention and prescribe the best prayers. After listing your sins, say, “I am sorry for these and all my sins.” The priest will then give you instructions about your penance.
3 After the priest invites you to say an Act of Contrition, say:
O my God,
I am heartily sorry for having offended You.
And I detest all my sins because of Your just punishments.
But most of all, because they offend You, my God
Who are all good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace,
To sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin.
4. The Priest will absolve you from your sins and say a special prayer.
5. The priest says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good,”
Respond with, “His mercy endures forever.”
6. Go to the pew and immediately say your penance.
Examination of Conscience
It is important to do an examination of your conscience before going to Confession. This helps you to remember your sins that you may have forgotten. The best examination of conscience compares your daily actions with the Ten Commandments. The Commandments are based on how we love God and how we love others. Go through each commandment and ask yourself if or how you have gone against it. Listed below are some examples of the questions to ask yourself.
Have I put God first by:
¨ Praying everyday
¨ Going to church every Sunday
¨ Asking for guidance from the Holy Spirit
¨ Considering if God would be happy with my actions
¨ Using the name of God in only respectful, loving ways
¨ Avoiding superstitions and the occult
Have I shown love for others by:
¨ Being honest and not lying to parents, teachers or others
¨ Being kind to others, even if it made me unpopular
¨ Helping someone in need
¨ Listening to my parents and guardians (following rules, doing chores, showing respect and kindness
¨ Following rules at school
¨ Accepting responsibilities for my actions and not blame others
¨ Doing my own work and avoid cheating
¨ Including others
¨ Speaking up for others
¨ Not fighting with my sister or brother
¨ Remembering my manners (Saying “Please” and “Thank you”, holding the door for others, etc.)
¨ Avoiding gossip
¨ Returning things to their owner and not stealing money, toys, clothing or other objects