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How to make a good Confession

May 17, 2024

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In this new series presented by Unleash the Gospel, discover how to engage in various practices of the Catholic faith! In this video, Fr. Dave Tomaszycki offers some pointers on how to make a good Confession. Check it out and keep these tips in mind as you prepare for your next opportunity to go to Confession.


I don’t want to make a bad Confession. How do I make a good one? Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to make a good Confession, let me just say us priests hear thousands of Confessions. We get pretty good at it. If you step into the confessional with zero preparation, I could walk you through step by step and you’d end up making a pretty good Confession. An inspiration to go to Confession is probably not from the devil. I’m guessing it’s from God. Go with it. Just walk in and the priest will take it from there. To make a good Confession, this is what you do. Start by taking about 5 minutes to make a thorough examination of conscience. You can find a number of good examinations online. Most walk you through the Ten Commandments. Once you are ready, step into the confessional. The priest will greet you with the Sign of the Cross and maybe a few other words. Tell the priest how long it has been since your last Confession and your state in life. Next, tell the priest your sins, particularly the number and kind. There’s no background information needed unless the priest asks for it. A good Confession is when you hand everything over to the Lord. A not-so-good one is when you don’t. Don’t hold back. What isn’t handed over to the Lord does not get forgiven. You are not really talking to the priest. You are talking to God, through the ears of the priest, but to God. Be brutally honest. Once you have handed over your sins, the priest will say a few words, he will give you a penance, and then he will ask you to say your Act of Contrition. After you have said the Act of Contrition, the priest will pronounce the words of Absolution, at which time Jesus Christ Himself washes your soul clean. After you leave the confessional, perform your penance, and please say a Hail Mary for the priest too.

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