Guide for Confession

Confession doesn’t have to be scary.

Sometimes getting ready for the Sacrament of Reconciliation can be like staring at a blank wall.  We don’t know where to start.  Plus, you might be freaked out because you don’t remember what to do once your are in the confessional.  Here are two guides that that my family uses.  1. One of the guides is to prepare (we often do this in the car on the way to the church, at the church in the pews or in line for confession).  2. The other guide is a cheat sheet to bring in to the confessional so we remember the steps.  Priests way of conducting Reconciliation vary quiet a bit so, this can make any guide a bit ridged at times.

You can use this word document or read below.

Confession Steps and Prep



You can write down your ideas for any of the following questions, if you wish.  You don’t need to get to all of them.  In a calm, prayerful time, ask yourself:

What are the things I wish I could tell God about and hear Him say, “I forgive you completely.”

What are the things that I wish I hadn’t done?

If nothing comes to mind, don’t worry.  Say a quick prayer that God will help you to know yourself well and be honest.  Then, ask yourself a few more questions:

Whom have I hurt?  What was it that I did that was bad?

When have I been not so good to Jesus?

When have I been untrue to myself?

Listen to Jesus

Think about your love for Jesus and his love for you.

Look at a crucifix and pray.

As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. – Psalm 103:12



1. Make the Sign of the Cross

Say “Bless me, Father, I have sinned.  It has been _____ months since my last confession.”

Priest will say something like:

May the Lord bless you and help you to make a good confession.

2. Tell Jesus and the priest your sins.

“I’m sorry that I _______

“I didn’t ________ 

3.  Listen to advice.  He will say something like:

“Very good.  Try to remember that Jesus is always with you, that…”

Remember your Penance.  Priest will say something like:

“For your penance, say one Hail Mary and …”

Now, make your act of contrition.

4.  Pray the Act of Contrition:

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 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.  Amen.

5. Priest absolves you of your sins:

God the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of your son, you have reconciled the world to yourself … And I absolve you of your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

6.  Make the sign of the cross when the priest says “in the name of the Father…”

7.  Leave and do your penance.


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