St. John's Church

Living stones, loving God, serving others

How to make a confession


   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

       too long on this. We need to focus on God and not ourselves. It

       does not take long to know what is wrong with our lives

   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 t

       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


Ω    "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..."

Ω    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!

Ω      Don't mention anyone else by name 

Ω      When you have finished say some words similar to 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



Ω     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.”

        These are the most heartbreaking and beautiful 

        words we can hear

Ω    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.


A Rite of Penance


Penitent        In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of

                    the Holy Spirit

Priest            May the grace of the Holy Spirit fill your heart with  

                    light, that you may confess your sins with loving

                    trust, and come to know that God is merciful.

Penitent         Amen

The priest may read a short text of Scripture

He. will then ask you to confess your sins

Penitent           I confess to almighty God, and to you, my Father,

                    that I have sinned through my own fault in my

                    thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and

                    in what I have failed to; and I ask Blessed Mary,

                    ever-Vrigin, all the angels and saints, and you my

                    Father, to pray for me to the Lord our God.

Tell the priest when you made your last confession.

Recount all the sins you can remember since your last confession.

The priest offers counsel and pronounces an act of penance.

The priest will then ask you to express words of sorrow.

one of the following may be said - or any other words which express sorrow for past sins.

Penitent        Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner


                    My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.

                    In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I

                    have sinned against you, whom I should love above 

                    all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do

                    penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever

                    leads me to sin. Our Saviour Jesus Christ suffered

                    and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy.

Priest            God the Father of mercies, through the death

                    and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the

                    world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit

                    among us for the forgiveness of sins; through

                    the ministry of the Church may God give you

                    pardon and peace and I absolve you from

                    your sins in the name of the Father, and of

                    the Son and of the Holy Spirit. 

Penitent         Amen

Priest            May the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the

                    prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of all the

                    Saints, whatever good you do or evil your endure,

                    heal your sins, help you grow in holiness and

                    reward you with eternal life.   

Penitent         Amen

Priest             Go in peace. The Lord has put away your sins. And

                     pray for me, a sinner too. Amen          

Download a printable copy of 

the Rite of Penance here

How to Make Your Confession