Preparation for the Sacrament of Confession

God does not desire the death of a sinner, but rather that the sinner turn away from their sins and life. In the Holy Sacrament of Penance we have the means to obtain forgiveness of our sins, and be restored to the favor of God, our Heavenly Father.

In order to make a good confession, it is necessary  to prepare yourself carefully. Ask God to give you the grace to make a thorough examination of your conscience, and the courage to make a sincere and complete confession. Ask Him for the strength to amend your way of life in the days to come.

Begin your examination with the time of your last confession; try to recall whether you omitted anything through carelessness or lapse of memory, or from fear of embarrassment. Examine yourself with the assistance of the form of Self Examination according to the Ten Commandments of God which follows.

It is most necessary that you be truly sorry for the sins which you have committed, and that you truly are determined to amend your way of life. Accordingly, when you have finished your self-examination, say the Prayer of Repentance, and recite Psalm 50.


First Commandment

"I am the LORD Thy God, I have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shall have no other gods before me."

Second Commandment

"Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shall not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments."

Third Commandment

"Thou shall not take the Name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes His Name in vain."

Fourth Commandment

"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shall thou labor, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shall not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it."

Fifth Commandment

"Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God gives thee."

Sixth Commandment

"Thou shall not kill."

Seventh Commandment

"Thou shall not commit adultery."

Eighth Commandment

"Thou shall not steal."

Ninth Commandment

"Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor."

Tenth Commandment

"Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shall not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his servants, nor thy neighborís property."

The self-examination (above) and the prayers (below) should be done at home prior to coming to Church:

The Order of Confession

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

O Heavenly King, O Comforter, the Spirit of truth, Who art in all places, and fills all things; Treasury of good things, and Giver of Life, come dwell in us and cleanse us from our every stain, and save our souls, O gracious Lord.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen

All Holy Trinity, have mercy on us, Lord, cleanse us from our sins. Master, pardon our iniquities. Holy God, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy Name's sake.

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen

Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name; Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power and the glory of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Prayer of Repentance

O Lord our God, good and merciful, I acknowledge all of the sins which I have committed every day of my life, in thought, word, and deed; in body and soul alike. I am heartily sorry that I have ever offended You, and I sincerely repent. With tears I humbly pray to You, O Lord, of Your mercy forgive me all of my past transgressions and absolve me from them. I firmly resolve with the help of Your Grace to amend my way of life and to sin no more, that I may walk in the way of righteousness and offer praise and glory to the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Psalm 51

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done evil in Thy sight: that Thou might be justified when Thou speakest, and be clear when Thou judgest. Behold, I was shaped in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, Thou desire truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part Thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which Thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide Thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors Thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Deliver me from blood guiltiness, O God, Thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of Thy righteousness. O Lord, open Thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth Thy praise. For Thou desire not sacrifice; else would I give it: Thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise. Do good in Thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. Then shalt Thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon Thine altar.


The penitent comes to the front of the Church and meets the Priest in the Soleas.


I have sinned, O Lord, forgive me. O God, be gracious to me a sinner.

Penitent now kneels.


O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, I confess to Thee all the hidden and open sins of my heart and mind, which I have committed unto this present day. Wherefore I beg of Thee, the righteous and compassionate Judge, remission of my sins and the grace to sin no more.

The Priest now places his stole over the penitentís head and says the prayers of absolution.