Preparation for Holy Confession

Preparation for Holy Confession is taken from the Devotional Prayerbook ‘Beneath The Mantel Of Your Mercy’, printed by the Basilian Press, Toronto, ON, M8Z 3A5  (Printed July 24th, 2001)


Preparation for Holy Confession

  1. Prayer
  2. Examination of Conscience
  3. Sorrow for Sin and Desire to Change
  4. Confession of Sins
  5. Penance


To make a good and sincere confession, we begin our preparation with prayer.

Beginning Prayers

+In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen. (3x)

+ Glory be to You, our God, glory be to You.
Heavenly King, Advocate, Spirit of Truth, Who are everywhere present and fill all things, Treasury of Blessings, Bestower of Life, come and dwell within us; cleanse us of all that defiles us, and, O Good One, save our souls.
+ Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy and Immortal, have mercy on us. (3x)

+ Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever.  Amen.

Trinity most holy, have mercy on us.  Cleanse us of our sins, O Lord; pardon our transgressions, O Master; look upon our weaknesses and heal them, O Holy One; for the sake of Your name.

Lord, have mercy. (3x)

+ Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever.  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.  Amen.



Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us.  We sinners bring this appeal to Your, O Master, for we have no defense.  Have mercy on us.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

Lord have mercy on us, for we have put our trust in You.  Be not exceedingly angry with us and do not remember our transgressions, but look upon us now with compassion.  Redeem us from our enemies, for You are our God, and we are Your people.  We are all the work of Your hands, and we call upon Your name.
Now and for ever and ever.  Amen.

Open the doors of mercy to us, O blessed Mother of God, that we who hope in you may not perish but be delivered by you from danger, for you are the salvation of the Christian people.


Silent Prayer

In your own words, ask God to give you the grace to make a good examination of conscience, the courage to make a sincere and complete confession, and the strength to amend your way of life in the days to come.


Examination of Conscience
With the help of the self-examination provided, call to mind all the sins you have committed since your last confession.
The Ten Commandments

  1. Putting God First:  I am the Lord your God; you shall not have other gods before me.
  2. Respect for God:  You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
  3. Respect for the Lord’s Day:  Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.
  4. Respect for Parents and Authority:  Honour your father and mother.
  5. Respect for Human Life:  You shall not kill.
  6. (and 9). Respect for  Marriage:  You shall not commit adultery.  You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife.
  7. (and 10)  Respect for Private Property:  You shall not steal.  You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbour.
  8. Respect for Truth:  You shall not bear false witness.
  9. See 6
  10. See 7


The Beatitudes  (See Mt. 5:1-11)

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Belessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they revile you and persecute you on my account; rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.


Sorrow for Sin & Desire to Change
It is very important that you be truly sorry for the sins which you have committed, and that you firmly resolve to amend your manner of living.


Confession of Sins
Once you are ready, approach the confessional and make the sign of the cross while saying:

+ In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Glory to Jesus Christ!

I confess to Almighty God, one in the Holy Trinity, to Mary, the Mother of God, to all the Saints, and to you, father, all my sins.

Next mention how long it has been since your last confession:

It has been (…) since my last confession.  These are my sins …

Confess your sins.  When you have said everything, complete your confession with the following:

These are all the sins that I remember.  For these and all my sins I am truly sorry.

The priest may give some spiritual counsel and will assign to you a penance.  Then, say the following act of contrition:

+O God, be merciful to me a sinner.
+O God, cleanse me of my sins and have mercy on me.
+I have sinned without number, forgive me O Lord.

The priest will say the prayer of forgiveness and dismiss you with a blessing.


Return to your place and give thanks to God for His goodness.

Fulfill the penance which has been assigned to you.

Doing penance is a way of showing God our gratitude for His mercy and forgiveness, our willingness to change our life, and our desire to atone for our sins.

Scripture Reading: (see your Bible)
Seven Psalms of Repentance
1. Psalm 6:  Prayer in time of distress
2. Psalm  31:  The joy of being forgiven
3. Psalm 37:  Acknowledgement of guilt
4. Psalm 50:  Prayer of contrition
5. Psalm 101:  Prayer for renewal
6. Psalm 129:  Prayer of repentance and trust
7. Psalm 142:  Confidence in the Lord