A Guide to Going to Confession

Communications • Fri, Mar 13 2015 at 10:14am

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As the Vatican begins a 24 hour period during which the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be made available at all times, let us all take advantage of this outpouring of grace in our world! Visit http://www.archdiocese-no.org/parishes/search to find out confession times at a Catholic Church near you this weekend. 

Plus, if it has been awhile since you have been or even if the sacrament is routine, take some time to review "How to Go to Confession" with this handy guide (also available in your parish).

How to Go to Confession

Prepare - Before going to confession, you should prayerfully compare your life to the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes and the example of Christ. Using an Examination of Conscience can be helpful.

Go to Confession - After the priest welcomes you, both of you make the Sign of the Cross. Then you may want to talk about yourself, your situation and the difficulties you face living a Christian life. Tell the priest the last time you went to confession.

The Word of God (optional) - You or the priest may read one of the suggested scriptural passages.

Confession of Sins and Act of Penance - Confess your sins. The priest the offers suitable advice and gives you an act of penance, which may include prayer, self-denial or works of mercy.

Prayer of the Penitent - Pray a prayer, such as the Act of Contrition, expressing sorrow for your sins and a desire not to sin again.

Absolution - The priest extends his hads over your head and pronounces a formula of absolution, making the Sign of the Cross over your head during the final words. You respond, "Amen".

Dismissal - The priest sends you forth to go in peace. Continue to express your conversion thruogh a life renewed according to the Gospel and the love of God.