GUIDE FOR A GOOD CONFESSION
Guide to confession
“To those who have been far away from the sacrament of Reconciliation and forgiving love I make this appeal: come back to this source of grace; do not be afraid! Christ himself is waiting for you. He will heal you, and you will be at peace with God!”1
The basic requirement for a good Confession is to have the intention of returning to God like the prodigal son and to acknowledge our sins with true sorrow before his representative, the priest.
Examination of Conscience
Examine your conscience. Recall your sins. Calmly ask yourself what you have done with full knowledge and full consent against God’s Commandments.
The First Commandment
• Have I performed my duties towards God reluctantly or grudgingly?
• Did I recite my usual prayers?
• Did I receive Holy Communion in the state of mortal sin or without the necessary preparation?
• Did I miss the one-hour Eucharistic fast?
• Did I fail to mention some grave sin in my previous confessions?
• Did I seriously believe in superstition or engage in superstitious practices (palm-reading, fortune telling, etc.)?
• Did I seriously doubt in matters of Faith?
• Did I put my Faith in danger by reading books, pamphlets, or magazines which contain errors or are contrary to Catholic faith and morals?
• Did I endanger my Faith by joining or attending meetings and activities of organizations contrary to the Church or to the Catholic faith (Protestant services, non-Catholic prayermeetings, the Communist Party, Freemasonry, “weird” cults and other religions)?
• Have I committed the sin of sacrilege (profanation of a sacred person, place or thing)?
The Second Commandment
• Did I try my best to fulfill the promises and resolutions which I made to God?
• Did I take the name of God in vain? Did I make use of God’s name mockingly, jokingly, angrily or in any other irreverent manner?
• Did I make use of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s name or the saints’ names mockingly, jokingly, angrily or in any other irreverent manner?
• Have I been a sponsor in baptism and ceremonies outside the Catholic Church?
• Did I tell a lie under oath?
• Did I break (private or public) vows?
The Third Commandment
• Did I miss Mass on Sundays or Holy days of obligation?