The guide to confession is an act of extreme importance for the faithful who are preparing to receive the Body of the Lord. In fact, before communion, the faithful must be free from all sin to receive the Body and Blood of God in the right way. This is why confessing sins and absolution with an austere penance is the first step to getting closer to God during mass.
It may seem like a simple act, but in reality, a confession is an act that puts fears and perplexities in the faithful. What are the actions I must confess? How can I be sure to tell everything without forgetting anything? Will I be forgiven for my actions? These are just some of the questions that arise in the mind of the faithful before confession.
From the first confessions, the priest’s task is to help the Christian find the security he needs to manage the interview correctly. Here is a guide to confession that can help him identify sins to confess and be ready to receive the Lord. Keep reading!
What is penance?
The guide to confession of sins, also known as penance or reconciliation, is a sacrament that unites two Christian churches, such as the Catholic and the Orthodox. Thanks to the sacrament of penance, the sincerely repentant believer can obtain the remission of sins from God, which a bishop or a presbyter administers.
It is considered one of the two sacraments called “healing” together with the anointing of the sick since their purpose is to alleviate the suffering of the believer, understood both as physical suffering, with the blessing of the sick, and spiritual using reconciliation of the sinner.
As we have said, the faithful are absorbed in many questions in penance. The most crucial gesture in these cases is to provide reassurance to allow him to face this step serenely.
One of the most common questions is: Will I always be forgiven for my sins? The answer is straightforward. If the believer proves sincerely repentant for the sins he has committed and wishes to change his way of life, God is always ready to forgive, whatever the sin.
Many faithful, especially those facing the process of the guide to confession for the first time, may encounter doubts about how the sacrament is carried out. It is essential to make what will be done clear and transparent. In this way, the faithful will be more serene and can concentrate on the only important thing: asking the Lord for forgiveness.
The guide to confession takes place in the presence of a man of God, and no case has sacramental value if the penitent receives absolution from a layman. In exceptional cases, the sacrament can take place in any place, even if the place is inside ide the house of the Lord, in the confessional.
The examination of conscience for confession
The examination of conscience is a path that allows the faithful to understand which sins he has committed and must be communicated to the priest.
It all starts with some simple preliminary questions, such as:
- How long has it been since the last confession?
- How long have I not received the Eucharist?
- Have I ever deliberately hidden any mortal sin in the past?
- Have I ever received Communion with the conscience of mortal sins never confessed?
This first step can be followed by other small steps guided by the commandments to which the faithful must refer to have good conduct.
Representation of confession
The first commandment
It says, “You shall have no other God but me.”. The Christian should ask himself about the following:
- Have I always put God first among the values of life?
- Do I believe in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit?
- Do I devote enough time to prayer?
The second commandment
It reads, “Do not take God’s name in vain.” In this regard, the faithful may ask themselves questions such as:
- Did I swear?
- Have I made false claims about God?
- Did I make vows or promises to God that I didn’t keep?
- Did I swear false?
The third commandment
It says, “Remember to keep the holidays holy.” The Christian will be able to ask himself questions such as:
- Did I skip Holy Mass on Sunday or on the occasion of other holidays of obligation?
- Have I hindered other people dear to me from attending mass?
The fourth commandment
It reminds us to “Honor your father and mother.” Before confession, the faithful may ask themselves:
- Have I loved, obeyed, respected, and helped my parents with all my strength?
- Have I given my spouse and children the time and attention they deserve? Did I respect my wife/husband, also and above all, in front of the children?
- Do I act like a good citizen?
- Do I give my children an example of the true Christian life?
The fifth commandment
It says, “Thou shalt not kill.” Despite the revolutionary concept, the fifth commandment can help the faithful to question themselves about serious acts performed with or without a will, such as:
- Do I respect life with moderate food, alcohol, and smoking? Am I careful when driving so as not to endanger my life and others?
- Do I harbor grudges? Did I get mad at someone?
- Have I voluntarily done something that has harmed my neighbor’s moral, physical, or spiritual life?
The sixth commandment
It reminds us to “Do not commit unclean acts.” Thus the faithful may ask:
- Did I indulge in lust and sexual perversions of any kind?
- Have I committed adultery?
- Do I have premarital relations?
- Do I think of the partner as an object of pleasure?
- Have I read or watched magazines, books, or obscene shows?
- Did I voluntarily dwell on impure thoughts?
The seventh commandment
It says, “Thou shalt not steal.” In this case, the questions can be:
- As an employer, do I pay the right salary to employees? And as a worker, do I work loyally to earn my salary?
- Did I steal other people’s items or money? If so, was I able to return what I improperly stole?
- Am I too attached to money?
- Am I honest in my work, business, and clients?
- What do I own? Did I earn it, honestly?
- Have I asked for recommendations to obtain benefits and privileges in exchange?
The eighth commandment
It says, “Do not give false testimony.” Falling into this sin is very easy. In preparation for the guide to confession, we must ask ourselves in this way:
- Have I been a liar, disloyal and deceitful to others?
- Did I express suspicions or rash judgments?
- Did I speak ill of others?
- Did I cover up criminal facts with my guilty silence?
- Did I set a bad example by teaching my children or others to lie?
The ninth commandment
It reminds us to “Do not desire the woman/man of others”:
- Have I kept my modesty?
- Did I arouse unclean desires in other people with my behavior and dress?
- Have I looked at other people with malice and desire?
The tenth commandment
It says, “Do not desire the things of others.” The faithful must ask themselves questions such as:
- Am I envious of what others have?
- Do I complain about what I have?
Examining conscience takes work. What matters is to be a guide to confession that is always available and ready to give the necessary support. Are you looking for new kneelers for your church? You will find numerous solutions on Amazon based on the material and size. Visit the page dedicated to kneelers and choose the right ones for your parish!