Fr. Z’s 20 tips for making a good Confession

We should…

1) … examine our consciences regularly and thoroughly;
2) …. wait our turn in line patiently;
3) …. come at the time confessions are scheduled, not a few minutes before they are to end;
4) …. speak distinctly but never so loudly that we might be overheard;
5) …. state our sins clearly and briefly without rambling;
6) …. confess all mortal sins in number and kind;
7) …. listen carefully to the advice the priest gives;
8) …. confess our own sins and not someone else’s;
9) …. carefully listen to and remember the penance and be sure to understand it;
10) … use a regular formula for confession so that it is familiar and comfortable;
11) … never be afraid to say something “embarrassing”… just say it;
12) … never worry that the priest thinks we are jerks…. he is usually impressed by our courage;
13) … never fear that the priest will not keep our confession secret… he is bound by the Seal;
14) … never confess “tendencies” or “struggles”… just sins;
15) … never leave the confessional before the priest has finished giving absolution;
16) … memorize an Act of Contrition;
17) … answer the priest’s questions briefly if he asks for a clarification;
18) … ask questions if we can’t understand what he means when he tells us something;
19) … keep in mind that sometimes priests can have bad days just like we do;
20) … remember that priests must go to confession too … they know what we are going through.

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