How to make your confession….
1. Find a quiet time and place to prepare. Ask God’s help to see yourself as he sees you.
Ask how have I offended or failed God in what I have thought, said, done or failed to do.
Don’t spend ages on this. We need to focus on God and not ourselves. It does not take long to know what is wrong with our lives.
2. Go to church when the priest is hearing confessions. It does not need to be your own church or priest.
When it is your turn go to the priest. Sit or kneel as is easiest for you. The priest will give you a blessing.
Make your confession. There may be a set formula for you to follow. You may start with some such words as these….
I confess to Almighty God, and to you father, that I have sinned through my own fault. Since my last confession I remember these sins…………
Say briefly and clearly what your sins have been. Don’t leave out anything important – your confession is to God ” to whom all hearts are open” ….in the presence of his priest…who has heard it all before and who goes to confession himself….
Don’t mention other people by name….
When you have finished say some such words as these.
For these and all sins I cannot now remember I am very sorry and mean to do better. I ask pardon of God and of you father, penance, advice and absolution. Should a confessed sin involve a criminal offence then forgiveness is withheld until the authorities are informed by the penitent.
3. Listen to what the priest says. You may have a conversation. He will give you a penance… Usually a prayer, a psalm, a hymn to say. (after the confession). Then he will tell you in Christ’s name that your sins are forgiven.
“I absolve you from all of your sins, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
The most heartbreaking and beautiful words we can hear
4. Leave the confessional. Say your penance (if you can in front of the Blessed Sacrament) Thank God for his love for YOU. Remember God loves you to bits. He is the Father always awaiting the return of sons and daughters.
[ lifted from St Alphage Burnt Oak magazine…..with additions]