February 24, 2021 | Updated July 19, 2023
How to Go to Reconciliation
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is one of the seven sacraments instituted by Jesus as an act of love and mercy for us. God gave us the gift of Reconciliation to repair our relationship with Him and His Church. Unwrap this healing gift and seek forgiveness.
Step 1 | Prepare for Reconciliation
Pray and ask for God’s help in remembering your sins. Then reflect on any sins you have committed. If you need help, use the Examination of Conscience on the back as a guide. One Examination of Conscience looks like this:
Examination of Conscience
- Do I put other things, activities, or people before God?
- Do I accept all of God’s teachings or just the parts I find convenient?
- Have I denied my faith in any way?
- Have I used God’s name a curse, out of anger, or in a careless way?
- Have I deliberately missed Mass on a Sunday or a Holy day of obligation without just cause?
- Have I carelessly arrived late or left early from Mass without a serious reason?
- Do I respect and obey others who have a legitimate role of authority in my life?
- Am I harming myself by taking drugs, abusing alcohol, or self-mutilation?
- Did I have an abortion or did I participated in someone else’s abortion?
- Have I easily lost my temper or shown anger towards someone?
- Have I fostered a grudge or failed to forgive another?
- Do I treat the body as a temple of the Holy Spirit, respecting the sexual dignity of others and myself?
- Have I willfully engaged in impure thoughts or desires?
- Have I committed impure acts with another or led others to commit impure acts?
- Have I practiced any form of contraception?
- Have I stolen anything or helped or encouraged anyone else to steal?
- Have I carelessly wasted time at home, at school, or at work?
- Have I lied?
- Have I gossiped about others?
Step 2 | Receive the Sacrament
- Begin with the sign of the cross
- Go inside the confessional. Once inside you have the option to confess behind the screen anonymously or face-to-face in a chair across from the Priest
You can greet the priest, and then he will begin with the Sign of the Cross and perhaps he will say a little prayer to invite the Holy Spirit into your confession.
- Then say, “Bless me Father for I have sinned. It has been _______ days/weeks/months/years since my last confession.”
- Confess (say out loud) your sins and how many times you committed each sin to the best of your knowledge, starting with any mortal sins and then venial sins you are struggling with. When finished, you can say something like “I am sorry for these and all of my sins.” or “Those are all my sins.”
- The priest will give you some advice to help you be a better Catholic and will give you a penance.
- Recite Act of Contrition
- The Priest, acting in persona Christi (person of Christ) will give absolution and make the Sign of the Cross.
- If the Priest says, “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His mercy endures forever.” Your response is, “Blessed be God forever.”
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