Confessional Prayer Before God
Prayers for Confession
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For Catholics, the sacrament of Confession (also known as Reconciliation or Penance) is a wonderful opportunity to encounter the mercy of God through the ministry of the priest. God always offers grace and forgiveness through Confession, but you can increase your openness to this grace by making Confession a prayerful experience before, during, and after confessing.
Sometimes the hardest part of Confession comes before we even receive the sacrament! It is common to feel anxious about going to Confession and to be ashamed of our sins. What is important to remember, however, is that going to Confession is going to see a doctor.
The more honest we are about what is wrong (whether it is being honest about our sins in confession or being honest about our symptoms with a doctor), the easier it will be for us to experience healing.
Preparing well to go to Confession can help you not only make a good Confession, but also feel less anxious about going to Confession.
Preparation for Confession can be broken down into three steps:
- Invite the Holy Spirit into your preparations
- Do an Examination of Conscience
- Write down your sins (this is optional but can be very helpful)
Invite the Holy Spirit
In the spiritual life, we are always guided by the Holy Spirit, so the first step to spiritual preparation for Confession is to invite the Holy Spirit into your heart. Ask him to show you your sins and to inspire in you a proper spirit of repentance. This can be a simple prayer, as simple as saying,
“Holy Spirit, come into my heart and show me my sins. Give me a proper spirit of repentance and the grace to make a good confession. Give me your peace that I might not be anxious but rather trust in your abundant mercies.”
Examination of Conscience
Once you have invited the Holy Spirit into your preparations, it is time to make an examination of conscience, searching your conscience to discern where you have fallen short through actions, thoughts, words, and even inaction.
Fortunately, there are many resources to help with your examination of conscience. Sometimes your church will have pamphlets that contain an examination of conscience. You can also find several examinations of conscience online.
Today, there are even phone apps for Confession that include examinations of conscience.If you are not sure what prayers to say during Confession or how to respond to the priest, or if you don’t have an Act of Contrition memorized, these resources often also have guides to Confession that will walk you through the process of receiving the sacrament. Here’s one we have put together.
Many examinations of conscience are organized along the themes of the Ten Commandments, listing specific sins that violate each commandment. Some of them also include the precepts of the Church as part of the examination.
You should also try to be aware of other ways you may have fallen short not mentioned in these guides. The more frequently you examine your conscience, the more you will be aware of sins you have committed.
It is a good idea, although not required, to examine your sins on a regular basis even when you are not going to Confession immediately afterwards.
Write Down Your Sins
It may help to write down your sins as you examine your conscience. This way you will not have to worry about forgetting your sins when you walk into the confessional. This will help the process of confessing your sins because you will know exactly what to confess.
It can also help the final stages of preparation for Confession, because instead of trying to make sure you remember all of your sins you can spend the last moments before you enter the Confessional saying a final prayer that you may make a good Confession.
You might have to wait in line, and this can be a helpful time to say some final prayers of preparation.
You might pray along these lines:
God, thank you for showing me the things that wound my relationship with you. Calm my nerves and give me the grace to make a good Confession, not holding anything back due to shame or anxiety. Thank you for the gift of this Sacrament.
Depending on where you go to confession, you will usually have a choice of going face-to-face with the priest or behind a screen. Either way is fine; it’s just a matter of what you prefer.
The priest is not allowed to tell anyone your sins, so don’t worry about the priest knowing who you are if you go face-to-face.
The priest will keep your confession a secret whether or not he knows who you are.When you enter the confessional, the priest will begin by making the Sign of the Cross. Make the Sign of the Cross along with him and say, “Amen.”
Then, say, “Bless me Father, for I have sinned. My last confession was [then tell him how long ago your last confession was].”
Now it is time to confess your sins. You should begin by saying, “These are my sins.” Then list your sins. It is not necessary to go into great detail as long as you confess your sins fully and honestly.
For example, if you lied to a friend, you don’t need to talk about all of the circumstances surrounding the lie. You can just confess that you lied, and if the priest thinks he needs to know the circumstances, he can ask you when you are done confessing your sins.
You must confess any mortal sins you have committed. It is also a good idea, although not required, to confess your venial sins. When you have confessed your sins, finish with, “For these and all my sins I am heartily sorry.
” This will cover confessing any sins you may have forgotten about or are not aware of committing, as well as letting the priest know that you are done confessing your sins.
The priest may offer you some advice or ask further questions about what you have confessed, but this is not essential to the sacrament.
Next, the priest will ask you to make an Act of Contrition. Although you are not required to say any particular Act of Contrition, and you can even make up your own, most people to have an Act of Contrition memorized or written down.
If you don’t have one memorized, the same places you can get an examination of conscience (a pamphlet about confession, a phone app, or the internet) will often provide you with an act of contrition.
If you do not have it written down or forget the words of the Act of Contrition when you are in the confessional, you can also ask the priest to guide you through an Act of Contrition.
One common Act of Contrition is:
Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended thee. I detest my sins because of thy just punishment, but most of all because they offend thee, my Lord, who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of thy grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin. Amen.
After you have gone to Confession, there are several steps you can take to integrate the graces of this great sacrament into your life as you leave the confessional and head back into the world.
- Do Your Penance (this is required)
- Pray in thanksgiving for God’s mercy
- Resolve to avoid sin in the future
How to Do Your Penance
When you confess your sins, the priest will give you a penance. Usually your penance will involve saying certain prayers. Sometimes the priest may ask you to do a good work in addition to or instead of saying a particular prayer or prayers. Often you can pray these prayers before you even leave the church building and go out into the world again.
Thank God for His Mercy
In addition to your penance, there are other ways you can prayerfully respond to the experience of Confession. Thank God for the grace of a good Confession and for his forgiveness and mercy in the sacrament. You may want to pray a prayer this:
God, I thank you for your abundant mercies. No sin of mine is beyond your power to forgive, and your forgiveness has restored my soul to friendship with you. Thank you for never ceasing to love me even when my actions show that I do not love you fully. Thank you for seeking me out as the shepherd seeks the lost sheep.
You may also want to pray for the priest who heard your confession.
Resolve to Avoid Sin
If you have written down your sins, it can be very satisfying to rip up the paper on which you wrote your sins and throw it away as a gesture expressing your freedom from the sins you have confessed and your resolve not to sin again. Whether you do this or not, you should ask God for the grace to sin no more, to avoid the near occasion of sin, and to resist the temptation to sin.
God, I always want to live in friendship with you. I ask that you give me strength to resist and reject sin in all of its forms as I continue to grow in love of you and in my understanding of your immense love for me.
One wonderful thing about the sacrament of Confession is that it provides you with the grace to resist sin in the future. That means that in addition to absolving you of your past sins, Confession also helps your future growth in holiness.Image by Alexandre Eggert from Blumenau, Brazil – esperança – hope, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7211444
What Is a Confession Prayer and How Do You Pray It?
When I heard the conference coordinator’s request, I nearly dropped the phone: “I want one of your messages to focus on confession and provide an opportunity for people to confess in prayer afterwards.
I knew one thing for sure: speaking on confession would either set the stage for a mighty work of God or be the backdrop for the most awkward moment of my speaking career.
After all, confession doesn’t usually make Christians’ top 10 list of “favorite spiritual habits.”
I’m convinced, though, that if believers fully understood the life-transforming benefits of confession prayer, it would.
Confession prayer will change you and your relationship with God forever. If this is true (and I believe it is), shouldn’t we know how to do it?
What Is Confession?
In the New Testament, “confess” means to “agree or say the same thing as.” So, when we say the same thing about any subject as God says about it (our behavior, our sin, or the Lordship of Jesus, for example), that’s confession.
Romans 10:9 says, “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;” The point, of course, is that salvation comes to those who confess (agree) that Jesus is Lord, and that His death and resurrection paid the price for our freedom and forgiveness of sin. The “Sinners Prayer” some of us have grown up hearing is really a confession prayer.
In its simplest terms, confession prayer is the acknowledgement of our sin, or the affirmation of God’s truth, or both.
Why Is Confession Important?
1. Confession is God’s mechanism to restore a broken relationship between Him and us.
Confession allows us to experience the forgiveness of God, which was purchased by the death of Christ on the cross.
1 John 1:8-9 explains the significance of confession: “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Many people assume confession adds to the weight of guilt; in reality, confession relieves it. Confession to God leads to peace with God and leaves us with the assurance that we are forgiven, cleansed, and free!
2. Confession increases our love for Jesus.
If we forget to confess our sins, we forget why we need a Savior. On the other hand, the more we confess our sins, the more we’ll appreciate the provision of our Savior. The goodness and mercy of God is real; through confession, I come to know it is real for me.
3. Confession is necessary for our spiritual growth.
Without confession, we stay stuck in our same old patterns of sin. Many Christians mistakenly believe that the more mature one is spiritually, the less one will need to confess.
In reality, the opposite is true. The more mature we are in our faith, the more sensitive we become to the Holy Spirit’s nudging regarding sin in our lives. We see sin in areas we’ve never noticed before. And because we can see it, we can address it and grow.
How Do I Confess in Prayer?
The Bible gives us several notable examples of confession prayers. Daniel, Nehemiah, and David’s prayers of confession are recorded in Scripture.
Though the circumstances surrounding their prayers of confession differ, the elements of their prayers are remarkably similar.
“I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed:
‘Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land.
The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; we have not obeyed the Lord our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets.” (Daniel 9:4-6; 9-10)
Nehemiah prayed this prayer of confession:
“Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel.I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.” (Nehemiah 1:5-7)
After David’s affair with Bathsheba, he confessed:
“Have mercy on me, O God,according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassionblot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight;” (Psalm 51:1-4)
Each of these three biblical prayer confessions include:
- A humble, contrite heart
- Acknowledgement of specific sin
- Affirmation of God’s character
- Assurance of forgiveness
These same elements should be part of our confession prayers.
It’s worth noting that these prayers were written down for others to read. David, Nehemiah and Daniel didn’t just feel sorrow over their sin in their hearts and their heads; their private sins became a matter of public record.
Confession brings darkness into the light. We don’t need to tell everyone our sins, but we do need to tell God—and, on occasion, others. Secret sin becomes serial sin.
How Does God Respond When I Confess?
In our justice system, when a guilty party confesses, punishment ensues. Sadly, many believers live God treats our confessions this way, too. As a result, we neglect confession, at best, and avoid it at worst.
But how does God actually respond when we confess?
1. God Cleanses Us
“If we confess our sins, he will cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
2. God Heals Us
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)
3. God Forgives Us
“Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.’ And you forgave the guilt of my sin.” (Psalm 32:5)
4. God Has Mercy on Us
“People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13-14)
5. God Restores Our Joy and Makes Us Usable
“For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight;
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.” (Psalm 51:3-4; 12-13)
How Can I Integrate Confession into My Prayers?
If confession has never been a part of your prayer life, here’s an easy way to start:
- Begin with a blank sheet of paper. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any areas of sin in your life—any thought, any deed, any way you’ve ignored doing what God wanted you to do. As the Spirit brings areas of sin to mind, write them down. Don’t rush this. Allow God to speak to you, about you.
- At the bottom of your list, write out the words of 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
- Thank God for Christ’s death and resurrection, which provided the way for your forgiveness. Thank God that since you have confessed your sin, He has been faithful to cleanse you of your sin.
- Tear up the piece of paper with your list of sins. Confess (agree with God) that your sins are forgiven, you are clean before God, and you are free.
As you move forward in your walk with God, practice confession the moment you become aware of any attitude or action that is displeasing to God. Don’t wait. Don’t allow sin to become a barrier in your fellowship with Christ. Our relationship with God is our human relationships; fellowship is better restored sooner, rather than later.
A Helpful Confession Prayer to Model
If confession prayer is new to you, you might want to pray something this:
Lord, you are merciful and loving. You are holy and just. You sent your one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for my sins. God, I have not listened to your word, or obeyed your commands, and I am sorry. I have______________________________(name your personal, specific sins). But you, Lord, are gracious and compassionate on all you have made—including me.
God, I confess my sins, and I confess the truth of your Word. You said that if I confess my sins, you will cleanse me from all unrighteousness.
I come before you with a humble heart, asking for your forgiveness. I repent of my sin. Cleanse me Lord, and I will be clean. Restore to me the joy of my salvation and renew a right spirit in me.
I need you, Jesus. And I love you. Thank you for loving me first. Amen.
The words you pray aren’t nearly as important as the heart behind your prayers. Jesus told an eye-opening story about two men who went to the temple to pray. One man went away justified, the other man did not.
What did the man pray who went home clean in God’s sight? An utterly sincere, one-sentence prayer of confession:
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’” (Luke 18:13)
As it was then, it is now. The path to God is paved with confession.
Donna Jones is more than a Bible teacher; she is a Bible explainer, who has shared God’s wisdom with folks in 20 states and on four continents. She’s a pastor’s wife and mom to three wildly funny, young-adult kids who frequently sit on her kitchen counter, just to chat.
Donna is the author of several books including Seek: A Woman’s Guide to Meeting God, Taming Your Family Zoo, and the Bible Study series, Get Healthy: Family, Friendship, Confidence and Contentment. Find her books and resources at www.donnajones.
org, on @donnajonesspeak, or on Instagram @donnaajones.
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How to make a good confession
Returning to the Sacrament of Reconciliation
Reconciliation (also known as Confession or Penance) is a sacrament instituted by Jesus Christ in his love and mercy to offer sinners forgiveness for offenses committed against God.
In Reconciliation, we acknowledge our sins before God and his Church.
We express our sorrow in a meaningful way, receive the forgiveness of Christ and his Church, make reparation for what we have done, and resolve to do better in the future.
Every time we go to confession, God embraces us.
– Pope Francis –
Step 1: Contrition
Contrition is “sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again.
“The confession (or disclosure) of sins, even from a simply human point of view, frees us and facilitates our reconciliation with other The priest speaks the words by which “God, the Father of Mercies” reconciles a sinner to himself through the merits of the Cross.An important part of our healing is the “penance” the priest imposes in reparation for our sins.
STEP 1: CONTRITION
Confession is not difficult, but it does require preparation.
Before we enter the Confessional, we should begin with prayer. We should review our lives since our last confession, searching our thoughts, words and actions for that which did not conform to God’s command to love Him and one another through His laws and the laws of His Church. This is called an examination of conscience.
How to make an examination of conscience
Begin with a prayer asking for God’s help.
Review your life with the help of questions the Ten Commandments.
There are various types of examinations of conscience but regardless of which one you use to prepare yourself for the Sacrament it should be rooted in Scripture; particularly, the Ten Commandments and Beatitudes.
CLICK HERE for a few examples of Examinations of Conscience that can help you prepare for the Sacrament.
Tell God how truly sorry you are for your sins.
Make a firm resolution not to sin again.
If you are unsure about how to confess or you feel uneasy
Ask the priest to help you – This is what Father became a priest to do: to make us friends with God again.
Place your trust in God – Our Heavenly Father is merciful.
Remember that God loves you – He wants to give you this free gift of His mercy and His love.
Listen to this homily – A priest reminds us about the amazing love of God in the confessional.
Listen to the Homily Here
Receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation
Mercy is the force that reawakens us to new life and instils in us the courage to look to the future with hope.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation may be face-to-face or anonymous, with a screen between you and the priest. Choose the option that is the most comfortable for you.
Begin your confession
When you enter the confessional, the priest will give you a blessing or greeting. He may also share a brief Scripture passage. Make the Sign of the Cross and say, “Bless me Father for I have sinned, It has been [X days, weeks, years] since my last confession.”
Confess your sins
Confess all of your mortal sins to the priest in number and kind. Without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults (venial sins) is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church.
Indeed the regular confession of our venial sins helps us form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit.
By receiving more frequently through this sacrament the gift of the Father's mercy, we are spurred to be merciful as he is merciful.
After you have confessed all of your sins
Say “I am sorry for these and all of my sins.”The priest will then offer you advice to help you be a better Catholic, such as how to better work with the graces that God is giving you in your life, or ways to combat your weaknesses or habitual sin. He will then assign a penance.
Say an Act of Contrition
This is a way of expressing your sorrow for your sins.
Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell; but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of your grace to confess my sins, do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.
The priest, acting in the person of Christ, then absolves you from your sins
Restoration of friendship with God
When the priest absolves you, he will say these words:
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
For those who receive the sacrament of Penance with contrite heart and religious disposition, Reconciliation is usually followed by peace and serenity.
STEP 4: SATISFACTION
Completing the penance imposed by the priest
Raised up from sin, the sinner must still recover his full spiritual health by doing something more to make amends for the sin: he must “make satisfaction for” or “expiate” his sins.
This satisfaction is also called “penance.”
When one finishes Confession one leaves free, grand, beautiful, forgiven, candid, happy. This is the beauty of Confession!
– Pope Francis –
This page contains multiple excerpts from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Article 4, VII – The Acts of the Penitent and Article V, IX – The Effects of This Sacrament, as well as quotes from the General Audience of Pope Francis, February 19, 2014
Catholic Prayers During Confession
Imploration of Divine Assistance in Order to Make a Good Confession
O Almighty and most merciful God, who hast made me nothing, and redeemed me by the Precious Blood of Thine Only Son; who hast with so much patience borne with me to this day, notwithstanding all my sins and ingratitude; ever calling after me to return to Thee from the ways of vanity and iniquity, in which I have been quite wearied out in the pursuit of empty toys and mere shadows; seeking in vain to satisfy my thirst in unclean waters, and my hunger with husks of swine: behold, O most gracious Lord, I now sincerely desire to leave all these my evil ways, to forsake the region of death where I have so long lost myself, and to return to Thee, the Fountain of Life. I desire, the prodigal son, to enter seriously into myself, and with the resolution to arise without delay, and to go home to my Father – though I am most unworthy to be called His child – in hopes of meeting with the reception from His most tender mercy. But, O my God, though I can go astray from Thee of myself, yet I cannot make one step towards returning to Thee, unless Thy divine grace move and assist me. This grace, therefore, I most humbly implore, prostrate in spirit before the throne of Thy mercy; I beg it for the sake of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who died upon the Cross for my sins; I know that Thou desirest not the death of a sinner, but that he may be converted and live; I know Thy mercies are above all Thy works; and I most confidently hope that as in Thy mercy Thou hast spared me so long, and hast now given me this desire of returning to Thee, so Thou wilt finish the work which Thou hast begun, and bring me to a perfect reconciliation with Thee.
I desire now to comply with Thy holy institution of the Sacrament of Penance; I desire to confess my sins with all sincerity to Thee and to Thy minister; and therefore I desire to know myself, and to call myself to an account by a diligent examination of my conscience.
But, O my God, how miserably shall I deceive myself if Thou assist me not in this great work by Thy heavenly light. O then remove every veil that hides any of my sins from me, that I may see them all in their true colors, and may sincerely detest them.
O let me no longer be imposed upon by the Enemy of souls, or by my own self-love, so as to mistake vice for virtue, to hide myself from myself, or in any way to make excuses in sins.
But, O my good God, what will it avail me to know my sins, if Thou dost not also give me a hearty sorrow and repentance for them? Without this my sins will be all upon me still, and I shall be still Thine enemy and a child of hell.
Thou dost require that contrite heart, without which there can be no reconciliation with Thee; and this heart none but Thyself can give. O then, dear Lord, grant it unto me at this time. Give me a lively faith, and a steadfast hope, in the Passion of my Redeemer; teach me to fear Thee and to love Thee.Give me, for Thy mercy’s sake, a hearty sorrow for having offended so good a God. Teach me to detest my evil ways; to abhor all my past ingratitude; to hate myself now with a perfect hatred for my many treasons against Thee.
O give me a full and a firm resolution to lead henceforward a new life; and unite me unto Thee with an eternal band of love which nothing in life or death may ever break.
Grant me also the grace to make an entire and sincere confession of all my sins, and to accept the confusion of it as a penance justly due to my transgressions. Let not the Enemy prevail upon me to pass over anything through fear or shame; rather let me die than consent to so great an evil. Let no self-love deceive me, as I fear it has done too often.
O grant that this confession may be good; and for the sake of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who died for me and for all sinners, assist me in every part of my preparation for it; that I may perform it with the same care and diligence as I should be glad to do at the hour of my death; that so, being perfectly reconciled to Thee, I may never offend Thee more.
Prayers Before the Examination of Conscience
O Almighty God, Maker of heaven and earth, King of kings, and Lord of lords, who hast made me nothing in Thine image and ness, and hast redeemed me with Thine own Blood; whom I a sinner am not worthy to name, or call upon, or think of: I humbly pray Thee, I earnestly beseech Thee, to look mercifully on me, Thy wicked servant.
Thou who hadst mercy on the woman of Chanaan and Mary Magdalen; Thou who didst spare the publican and the thief upon the cross, have mercy upon me.
Thou art my hope and my trust; my guide and my succor; my comfort and my strength; my defense and my deliverance; my life, my health, and my resurrection; my light and my longing; my help and my protection.
I pray and entreat Thee, help me and I shall be safe; direct me and defend me; strengthen me and comfort me; confirm me and gladden me; enlighten me and come unto me. Raise me from the dead; I am Thy creature, and the work of Thy hands.
Despise me not, O Lord, nor regard my iniquities; but according to the multitude of Thy tender mercies have mercy upon me, the chief of sinners, and be gracious unto me. Turn Thou unto me, O Lord, and be not angry with me. I implore Thee, most compassionate Father, I pray Thee meekly, of Thy great mercy, to bring me to a holy death, and to true penance, to a perfect confession, and to worthy satisfaction for all my sins.
O Lord God, who enlightenest every man who cometh into this world, enlighten my heart, I pray Thee, with the light of Thy grace, that I may fully know my sins, shortcomings, and negligences, and may confess them with that true sorrow and contrition of heart which I so much need. I desire to make full amends for all my sins and to avoid them for the future to Thy honor and glory, and to the salvation of my soul, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
I believe in Thee, O God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, my Creator, my Redeemer, and Sanctifier; I believe that Thou art all-holy, just, and merciful. I believe that Thou art willing to pardon and to save me, if I repent and forsake my sins. O my God, strengthen and increase my faith, and grant me the grace of a true repentance, for Jesus Christ’s sake.
I hope in Thee, O my God, because Thou art almighty, faithful, and long-suffering.I humbly trust that Thou wilt pardon my sins for the sake of Thy dear Son Jesus Christ, who suffered and died for me upon the Cross; and that Thou wilt cleanse my sinful soul in His precious Blood, and make me holy, and bring me to everlasting life. O Lord, in Thee have I hoped, let me never be confounded.
I love Thee, O my God, above all things, because Thou hast been so good, so patient, so loving to me, notwithstanding all the sins by which I have so grievously offended Thee.
I love Thee, O Blessed Jesus, my Saviour, because Thou didst suffer so much for love of me, an ungrateful sinner, and didst die on the Cross for my salvation.
O make me love Thee more and more, and show my love to Thee by faithfully keeping Thy Commandments all the days of my life.
O Mary Immaculate, Mother of Fair Love: obtain for me that love of God, which is so necessary for true contrition.
Prayer After the Examination of Conscience
O my God, I cry unto Thee with the prodigal: Father, I have sinned against heaven and before Thee ; I am no longer worthy to be called Thy Son. I have gone astray a sheep that is lost. O seek Thy servant, for I have not forgotten Thy commandments. Enter not into judgment with Thy servant, O Lord. O spare me for Thy mercy’s sake.
Prove me, O God, and know my heart ; examine me, and know my paths. Thou whose property is always to have mercy and to spare, O meet me in pity, embrace me in love, and forgive me all my sin. I confess my sins unto Thee, O Christ, Healer of our souls, O Lord of Life.
Heal me, heal me of my spiritual sickness, Thou who art long-suffering and of tender mercy ; heal me, O Lord Christ. Accept my supplication, O Thou Holy Spirit, unto whom every heart is open, every desire known, and from whom no secret is hid, and who givest life to our souls ; hear and answer, O Spirit of God.O Heavenly Father, who willest not that any sinner should perish, give me true repentance for this my sin, that I perish not ! To what misery am I come by my own fault ! O merciful God, pity and forgive me for Jesus’ sake. Thine eyes, O God, are as a flame of fire searching my inmost heart.
O pardon my sin, for it is great ! Thou, God, seest me in all the foulness of my sins ! Blessed Jesus, speak for me, plead for me, come between my soul and my offended God, that I perish not.
Prayer Before Confession
Accept my confession, O my loving, most gracious Lord Jesus Christ, on whom alone my soul trusts for salvation. Grant me, I beseech Thee, contrition of heart, and give tears to mine eyes, that I may sorrow deeply for all my sins with humility and sincerity of heart.
O good Jesus, Saviour of the world, who gavest Thyself to the death of the Cross to save sinners, look on me, a miserable sinner who calls upon Thy name. Spare me, Thou that art my Saviour, and pity my sinful soul ; loose its chains, heal its sores.
Lord Jesus, I desire Thee, I seek Thee, I long for Thee ; show me the light of Thy countenance, and I shall be saved ; send forth Thy light and Thy truth into my soul, to show me fully all the sins and shortcomings which I must still confess, and to aid and teach me to lay them bare without reserve and with a contrite heart ; O Thou who livest and reignest with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.
O most gracious Virgin Mary, beloved Mother of Jesus Christ, my Redeemer, intercede for me with Him. Obtain for me the full remission of my sins, and perfect amendment of life, to the salvation of my soul and the glory of His name.
I implore the same grace of thee, O my Guardian Angel ; of you, my holy Patrons, N. N. ; of you, O blessed Peter and holy Magdalen, and of all the Saints of God. Intercede for me a sinner, repenting of my sins, firmly resolving to confess them, and to avoid them for the future.
God of infinite majesty, behold at Thy feet a traitor, who has offended Thee over and over again, but who now humbly seeks forgiveness. O Lord, reject me not ; Thou dost not despise a heart that humbles itself : A contrite heart and humbled heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.
I thank Thee that Thou hast waited for me till now, and hast not let me die in sin, casting me into hell, as I deserved.Since Thou hast waited for me, my God, I hope that, by the merits of Jesus Christ, Thou wilt pardon me in this confession for all the offences I have committed against Thee ; I repent, and am sorry for them, because by them I have merited hell and lost paradise.
But above all, it is not so much on account of hell which I have merited, but because I have offended Thee, O Infinite Goodness! that I am sorry from the bottom of my heart. I love Thee, O Sovereign Good! and because I love Thee, I repent of all the insults I have offered Thee.
I have turned my back upon Thee ; I have not respected Thee ; I have despised Thy grace and Thy friendship. O Lord! I have lost Thee by my own free-will ; forgive me all my sins for the love of Jesus Christ, now that I repent with all my heart ; I hate, detest, and abominate them above every evil. And I repent not only of mortal sins, but also of venial sins, because these are also displeasing to Thee. I resolve for the future, by Thy grace, never more wilfully to offend Thee. Yes, my God, I will rather die than ever sin again.
Prayers After Confession
O most merciful God, who according to the multitude of Thy mercies dost so put away the sins of those who truly repent that Thou rememberest them no more: look graciously upon me, Thine unworthy servant, and accept my confession for Thy mercy’s sake ; receive my humble thanks, most loving Father, that of Thy great goodness Thou hast given me pardon for all my sins. O may Thy love and pity supply whatsoever has been wanting in the sufficiency of my contrition, and the fulness of my confession. And do Thou, O Lord, vouchsafe to grant me the help of Thy grace, that I may diligently amend my life and persevere in Thy service unto the end, through Jesus Christ our Lord.