Confessions are available 30 minutes before all Masses.
Examination of Conscience
The Examination of Conscience was commanded by the Apostle St. Paul to be performed by the faithful each time they received Holy Communion: "Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgement against themselves...if we judged ourselves, we would not be judged." - 1 Corinthians 11:28-31
Doing a good Examination of Conscience before the Sacrament of Confession helps us to be honest with ourselves and honest with God. It is not meant to be a burden. It helps us to examine our lives, so that we can be at peace with Christ and with one another. Frequent, well-ordered, Confession ultimately aids us in growing in perfection so we can know, love and serve God to the fullest of our capacity and one day become saints!
Why and How we go to Confession
The Holy Sacrament of Reconciliation through God's immense mercy offers the opportunity for forgiveness of sins and a fresh start. While this Sacrament may begin when a child reaches the age of reason (usually 7 years old), for the Christian, it only grows in its value as we strive to follow Christ as adults and struggle with our fallen humanity.
How to Go to Confession: A Step by Step Guide
Enter the confessional and greet the priest.
Begin by making the sign of the cross and say “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It’s been [however many days/months/years] since my last confession.”
List your sins.
Mention venial (everyday) sins and mortal sins, which are more serious. Try to be thorough, but it’s OK if you don’t remember every single sin. It may be more of a conversation, as the priest may ask questions or comment. It doesn’t have to be a non-stop laundry list of sins. When you’re done, conclude by saying “I’m sorry for these and all my sins.”
Listen to the priest.
When you’re done confessing your sins, the priest may offer some guidance and suggest ways to avoid sins in the future. He’ll then give you a penance, which could be a form of prayer, a service or some work of mercy.
Pray the Act of Contrition.
This prayer is short and simple: "My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against You whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with Your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy."
Receive absolution from God, via the priest.
The priest will say the following prayer to absolve you of your sins: "God, the Father of mercies, through the death and the resurrection of His Son has reconciled the world to Himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." Make the sign of the cross and close with "Amen".
Depart and fulfill your act of penance.