Rite of confession

When ready to begin, you say:             

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The priest will then say these or similar words:      

May God, who has enlightened every heart, help you to know your sins and trust in His mercy.

Then you say these or similar words:    

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been _____ (weeks, months, years) since my last confession. These are my sins:

Briefly declare your sins and how often you committed them. Only essential details are necessary.

When finished declaring your sins, you say:

I am sorry for these and all of my sins.

The priest will then give you counsel and assign you a penance.

Then you pray the Prayer of the Penitent (Act of Contrition), such as this:

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.

Then the priest will pray the Prayer of Absolution, absolving you from your sins.

Then the priest will end the confession with an acclamation of praise to God and a dismissal, such as this:

Priest: Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.

You: His mercy endures forever.

Priest: The Lord has freed you from your sins. Go in peace.

After leaving the confessional, be sure to complete your assigned penance as soon as possible.

Prayer of the Penitent.jpg