How To Go To Confession
1. The Priest will often begin with the Sign of the Cross or a greeting and blessing.
2. The Penitent begins by saying “Bless me Father for I have sinned, it has been ____ (number of days, weeks, months, etc.) since my last confession. These are my sins”.
3. Confess all mortal sins committed since your last confession by kind and number (this is important). Hold NOTHING back. You may also confess any venial sins.
4. At the end of your confession say these or similar words: “For these and all the sins of my life I am sorry.” By this you tell the priest that you are finished. Otherwise, he might think you are still thinking or even trying to summon the courage to tell him "the big one".
5. The Priest may ask questions for clarification or give you some counsel on a point from your confession. Answer briefly.
6. The Priest will give you a penance. Listen to it carefully and remember it. You can refuse a penance if it is too vague or impossible to do in a reasonable time.
7. The Penitent makes an act of contrition in these or similar words: O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all of my sins because of Thy just punishments. But most of all because they offend Thee my God, who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more, and to avoid the near occasions of sin. Amen. Memorize a good act of contrition.
8. The Priest will give you absolution in Latin or in your common language. (The words necessary in English for forgiveness are “I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”). Do not leave until the priest has given you absolution. He will not refuse you absolution unless it is clear that you are not sorry for your sins or you have no intention of amending your life.