Skip to comments.First Confession Guide for Adults [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Posted on 04/05/2011 8:25:30 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o
Candidates (preparing for Confirmation/First Communion), you need to go to confession sometime this Lent, that is, before the Easter Vigil.
The Elect (preparing for Baptism), you dont have to go to Confession this Lent, because Baptism itself washes away all sins. But sometime after Baptism, you should think about going to Confession, since regular Confession is an excellent habit to get into. Baptism --- by Gods grace -- makes you clean. Confession--- by Gods grace--- helps you stay that way.
1. Absolutely commit to doing it. Set a date. Put it on your calendar (in ink!) And in your Daytimer and on your computer notepad. Make sure youve got the time right.
2. Heres the absolute requirements:
3. Realize a First Adult Confession is going to take some work. Space your own preparatory examination of conscience over a series of days because more things will come back into your memory over a period of time. Say (for example) youll give it 20 minutes a night, three times this week. Cut something else out (e.g. surfing the internet??) to make time for this.
Still on the web? OK, heres really pertinent website:
Even the com-box comments are helpful!
4.Prepare well beforehand, even write notes if youre a note-writing kind of person. For instance, write a quick outline of stages in my life and then write the main things that spiritually bother you, sin-wise. It might look something like this:
5. WORST THINGS FIRST. You cant possibly confess every little weakness, fault and failing. You really cant. But if you say the worst things first, itll be a huge relief. And you wont have to get all neurotic about the small stuff.
6. Frequently Asked Questions:
What if I get there and Im at a loss about what to say?
How specific do I have to get about some sins (e.g. sexual ones)? It bothers me to talk about them.
What if after Confession I remember a Mortal sin I inadvertently forgot to mention?
What if theres a sin Im not really sure I regret or repent? (e.g., I only really feel sorry I was caught!)
I feel plenty of remorse! What if Im a weepy type and Im afraid Ill start crying my eyes out?
7. Make a list of the Ten Commandments and see in what ways you have stretched, bent, or broken them. Each of the Big Ten is not just an item; each Commandment is more like a chapter heading. For instance Thou shalt not steal is not just Did I rob a bank? But also Did I did I defraud an employer by unauthorized borrowing or misusing company property? By goofing off and failing to work diligently and honestly to earn my salary? Did I exploit an employee or treat a subordinate harshly? Did I lie on written forms or documentation, or fraudulently access benefits or services to which I was not fully entitled? etc.
Good websites that illustrate this approach:
8. Make a list of the Seven Deadly Sins and see which shoe fits. (Memory trick: the words PALE GAS: Pride - Anger Lust Envy Gluttony Avarice - Sloth)
Antidote: Pride is conquered by attitudes and acts of humility.
Do I have a better-than-you attitude in thinking, or speaking or acting?
Group arrogance can be a problem, too. Do you have an offensive Were marvelous, Theyre morons group attitude based on your school? Profession? Nationality? Political party or faction?
Am I offensive to others, OR too easily take offense, myself?
Do I demand recognition? Do I desire to be always first?
Do I scorn advice? Think very little of others point of view?
Am I in any sense a "bully"? Do I intimidate people verbally, or physically?
Am I prone to belittle --- or to be too critical of ---persons, or places, or things?
Do I seek to place the blame on others, excusing myself?
Do I ridicule others?
Is there anyone to whom I refuse to speak?
Am I prone to argue? Do I have a superior, "know-it-all" attitude in arguments?
Or a holier-than-thou attitude in religious observance?
Am I always serving myself? Advertising myself? Promoting myself?
Do I crave the attention of rich, popular, or successful people?
Do I avoid contact with poorer, less-attractive, less-popular people?
Do I think myself too good to participate in a Church with sinful human members?
Am I super-sensitive? Am I easily wounded?
Antidote: Anger is conquered by the cultivation of a habit of loving patience.
Anger is an emotion of the soul, which leads us violently to repel whatever hurts or displeases us
This emotion, my children, comes from the Devil: it shows that we are in his hands: that he is the master of our heart: that he holds all the strings of it, and makes us dance as he pleases., Saint John Vianney
Does practically any little thing arouse my temper?
Am I "a sore-head"? Do I have a short fuse?
Do I have a long memory of insult or injury, refusing to let it go?
Do I strive to get along well with difficult people?
Do I fume over slights/ insult and even presume them when possibly none was intended?
Do I rejoice at the misfortunes of others?
Do I think of "getting even"?
Am I of an argumentative disposition?
Am I given to ridicule of persons, places, or things?
Am I hard to get along with? Do I get sarcastic when Im annoyed?
Do I blow up at my spouse? Parents? Children? Subordinates?
Does my language or behavior tend to get way out of line when Im mad?
Do I carry grudges, remain "on the outs" with anyone?
Do I talk about the faults or defects of others?
Have I failed to help my spouse or children curb their anger?
Do I associate with people, movements (including political), or media which arouse or magnify anger or resentment of others?
Antidote: Lust is conquered by pure love, pure friendship, and a desire always to honor God with our bodies.
Lust is the love of the pleasures that are contrary to purity. Saint John Vianney.
Have I engaged in any act --- outside of marriage --- intended to cause sexual arousal or sexual gratification? By myself, or with somebody else?
Have I deliberately--- outside of marriage --- entertained thoughts and fantasies, intended to excite my sexual appetite?
Have I used any form of pornography?
Have I engaged in any act (including within marriage) which was deliberately degrading, un-loving, perverted, or intentionally closed-off to the transmission of life?
Have I failed to teach my children the importance of chastity?
Have I neglected to seek out, learn more about, and value, the Catholic Churchs teachings on the Sacramentality and Sanctity of marital sexual union?
Antidote: Envy is conquered by thoughts, words, and acts of brotherly love, and a deliberate cultivation of contentment with ones life, however modest.
Envy is a sadness which we feel, on account of the good that happens to our neighbor. Saint John Vianney.
Do I feel sad at the prosperity of others? Irritated at their success? In games? In athletics? In income? In popularity? In reputation?
Do I rejoice at their failures?
Do I envy the riches of others? Their home or property? Their vacations? Their ease?
Am I jealous of other peoples relationships: their popularity with the opposite sex? Their marital success? Their family and friends? Their professional advancement?
Am I secretly --- or openly --- pleased when somebody else gets taken down a peg?
Am I a good example to others (especially my children, students, subordinates, co-workers) in showing pleasure at others success and advancement?
Do I express resentment for whole classes of people? Women? Men? The shiftless poor or the rotten rich?
Antidote: Gluttony is conquered by pursuit of a healthy relationship with food and drink; by moderation, and, in some cases, by abstinence.
Gluttony is a disordered love of eating and drinking., Saint John Vianney.
By excess many have perished: but he that is temperate shall prolong life. Ecclesiasticus 37:34:
. Do I eat to live or live to eat? Do I eat unhealthy things, or to an unhealthy extent?
Am I overly demanding and particular about food, accepting only the finest, or most exacting ingredients or preparation?
Am I ill-tempered if I miss a meal, or rude if the food I am given does not please me?
Do I drink to excess? Do I get drunk? Do I commit other sins while drunk?
Do I drink and drive?
Do I misuse prescription drugs? Do I use illegal drugs?
Have I become addicted to or dependent on any mood-altering substance?
Have I endangered my health, my job, my marriage or my family with bad eating or drinking habits?
Do I neglect religious fasts because of my lack of control over my appetite?
Antidote: Avarice is conquered by generous, cheerful giving.
Covetousness is an disordered love of the goods of this world., Saint John Vianney.
Remove far from me vanity, and lying words. Give me neither beggary nor riches: give me only the necessaries of life: Lest perhaps being filled, I should be tempted to deny, and say: Who is the Lord? Or lest being compelled by poverty, I should steal, and foreswear the name of my God. Proverbs 30:8-9:
Do I regard money and the things of this world as resources which I use to the glory of God? Or do I think exclusively of my own advantage?
Do I acquire money and property reasonably or inordinately?
Do I do questionable things (things I wouldnt want people to know about) for money?
Do I pursue luxuries while others (especially those for whom I am responsible) lack necessities?
Do I discharge my duties in justice to my fellow man?
Am I charitable toward the less fortunate? Especially those struggling with calamities, disasters, disabilities and hardships?
Do I discharge my duties in justice to the Church? Do I give to my parish and my diocese, and to concerns recommended by my Faith?
Antidote: Sloth is conquered by diligence and fervor in the ordinary duties of our state in life, and in the challenges to which God calls us.
Have I an inordinate love of rest or entertainment, neglecting my duties?
Do I act lazily? Am I too fond of laying about? Do I waste a lot of time on TV or the Internet?
Do I feel the ordinary duties of life are not worth my best time and effort?
Do I delay chores repeatedly, or do them in a sloppy, slack, or minimal way?
Do I gripe about my work, complain about things that cost me real effort and exertion?
Do I make poor use of the time God has given me? Wasting hours, weeks, years?
Do I slack off in idle conversation? Worthless reading material? Stupid amusements?
Do I neglect tasks I should do for my husband, wife, or children?
Do I fail to direct, correct, or discipline people under my authority (children, students, subordinates) because its too much of a hassle?
Do I let things deteriorate around me, because reversing the trend would be difficult?
Do I neglect the needs of my aged, sick or disabled parents?
Do I tend to avoid needy friends?
Do I fail to carry out tasks I have promised to do for my parish or for charitable groups?
Am I fervent in the service of God?
My friends, God is delighted by your intention to confess your sins! He is so eager to get you back!
My final piece of advice, from Philippians 4:4:
I hope it would be of use to anyone as an Examination of Conscience.
I'm also looking cor constructive comments. Any favorite do's and don't's? How can we make this better?
I believed I bookmarked another thread, just like this one, set up I believed by Salvation. Both are of great help to ALL of us getting ready for Holy Easter. Bear with my tiredness, my UConn men won last night.
Useful, I hope?
I understand you had a similar guide? Could you give me a link?
Correct me both if I am wrong, but I am just trying to think on tired brains.
Wow, you did a fantastic job of putting this together. Thanks very much!
The examination based on the Seven Deadly Sins is very useful.
When I converted to Holy Orthodoxy, the adult life confession guides we had were typically centered around the 10 Commandments and The Beatitudes.
The Antiochian Archdiocese publishes a “Little Red Prayer Book” that has a guide in it, and there is a really good one on the GOARCH website.
But it doesn't seem to be exactly what you were referring to. Do you have a link?
this is wxtraordinary. Great work. May I copy it and give it to the RCIA candidate for whom I am a sponsor?
Still sleepy, I guess — or else it is my morning eyes.
This is extraordinary
Thank you...wonderful work you have done. Helpful, and not just for first timers.
Maybe it's best to do it in 2 mailings anyway: you don't want to just overwhelm people ...
By the way, this is the first year for me as part of the team, and what a pleasure it is to work with RCIA-ers. I mean, a whole roomful of people who want to be good Catholics!
Here is the link:
Here is the text from the link, which I have used to help me through confessions, starting with my life confession.
The Ten Commandments
I am the Lord your God, and you shall have no other gods before me.
Has God been the source, center and hope of my life? Have I put myself, others or things before God? Have I failed to trust in God’s existence, love and mercy? Have I failed to pray to God, to worship Him and to thank Him for His blessings? Have I tried to serve God and keep His commandments faithfully? Have I murmured or complained against God in adversity? Have I praised and glorified God through my words and deeds?
You shall not make for yourself a graven image in order to worship it.
Have I valued anyone or anything above God? Have I given to anyone or anything the love, honor and worship that belongs to God alone? Have I made and idol of any person, idea, occupation, or thing?
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
Have I blasphemed God’s holy name in any way? Have I sworn a false oath? Have I broken any solemn vow or promise? Have I entered into an agreement, promise or contract against God’s law? Have I cursed or used foul language?
Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
Have I worshiped regularly on Sundays and major feast days and have I helped others to do the same? Have I worked unnecessarily on Sundays or major feast days or caused others to do so? Have I spent the Lord’s Day in a wholesome and edifying ways?
Honor your father and mother
Have I loved and respected my parent s as I should? Have I neglected them or failed to help them? Have I disobeyed them, deceived them or caused them pain by my words or deeds? Have I treated all my family members with patience and love?
Thou shall not kill.
Have I caused the harm, injury or death of anyone? Have I wished my own or anyone’s harm or death? Have I been cruel to animals or destroyed any life unnecessarily?
You shall not commit adultery.
Have I committed any immoral acts alone or with others? Have I caused others to commit immoral acts? Have I committed immoral acts in my heart?
You shall not steal.
Have I taken anything that was not mine from anyone or from anywhere? Have I cheated anyone? Have I caused others to steal or cheat? Have I tried to find the owners of lost things I have found? Have I damaged or destroyed anything that belonged to another? Have I defrauded anyone of rightful wages? Have I paid my debts? Have I given to the poor and to philanthropic causes in proportion to my means?
You shall not bear false witness.
Have I given false testimony against anyone? Have I spoken evil, told lies or spread rumors about anyone? Have I disclosed to anyone the sins and faults of another? Have I made careless statements or done anything else to harm the name and reputation of another? Have I engaged in idle gossip?
You shall not covet.
Have I looked with envy jealousy or hatred toward the possession talents or achievements of others? Have I desired the downfall or loss of others out of evil intent that I might benefit? Have I grieved that God has bestowed greater blessings on others than on me?
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Have I truly recognized my complete dependence on God? Have I been proud arrogant and self-righteous in my ways? Have I been selfish, possessive and self-seeking? Have I sought after status power and wealth?
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Have I endured difficulties and afflictions with faith and patience? Have I felt sadness for the sufferings of the poor, the hungry, and addicted; the sick, the lonely and the sinful of the world? Have I truly been sorrowful for my sins and faults?
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Have I tried to serve or rather to dominate others at home, school, work, office, Church and elsewhere? Have I nursed against anyone? Have I been resentful, bitter, unforgiving or insulting and abusive to others? Have I loved my enemies?
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Have I truly yearned for God’s will to be done in all things? Have I worked for justice in my family, society and the world in ways with in my reach? Have I tried to cultivate a righteous life through prayer, fasting, worship, receiving Holy Communion and deeds of love toward others?
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Have I shown compassion and help toward the poor, hungry, lonely and needy around me? Have I tried to understand and forgive others? Have I been indifferent judgmental or legalistic?
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Have I loved goodness, purity and holiness? Have I succumbed to evil motives and intentions? Have I given way to impure thoughts, words or deeds? Have I been guilty of bias and prejudice? Have I been hypocritical, pretentious or self-indulgent to sinful passions?
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Do I have God’s peace in my heart? Have I been unfairly angry, aggressive or impatient? Have I worked for peace at home, work, Church and in society? Have I been irritable, polemical, or divisive?
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Have I complained when persecuted for God’s sake? Have I prayed for my persecutors? Have I failed to defend anyone in the truth for fear of humiliation or persecution? Have I had the courage to stand up for what is right despite criticism, ridicule or persecution?
Blessed are you when they revile you and persecute you on my account; rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven
Is the joy of Christ in my heart even in trying moments? Have I been pessimistic despondent or despairing? Have I truly delighted in the promise of God’s treasures in heaven?
Thank very much for this. The linkleads to a real spiritual treasury, and the taext you reprinted is classic, perennial.
I went to confession with a mature elderly priest. I confessed my sins. He gives absolution. I go to leave the room. While I am at the door. He says wellllll. I look back saying welll what? Real blood!! He fell off the church laffing. He goes well any one else outside. LOL!!
The guide you've written is quite relevant to where folks are nowadays, and I know I can see myself in some of those statements. I'll print it out and study it before MY next confession!
Yeah, I find it quite an indictment against my own moral uglies :o/ ... I never run out of "what to say" ... :o?
I’m so happy I found this. As I write this I am preparing for my first confession tonight. God bless, and I hope to find more of your content around!
Thank you! Cool video! I’m going to put that on our parish RCIA Facebook page.
When our sons were little boys, after they took a bath we'd say "How'd it go?" and the stock answer was, "I'm all shiny and sparkly!"
So how'd your First Confession go?
And just think, next time you can probably get in the Express Lane: 8 sins and under....! :o)
Tonight? I will pray for you.
God bless you!
Thank You, I’m very nervous...
Nervous? Good. That means you’re taking it as seriously as it needs to be taken.
Right now you’re probably halfway between Kyrie Eleison and Alleluia.
Almost time for this again — so here’s a BTTT!
I know this is rather late but I just learned of this forum.
I am 65 and my first Confession will be this saturday...How did your first confession go? Were you nervous?
Thank you for posting this, I found it very helpful! God bless you!
I am 60 years old and making my first confession and feel a bit overwhelmed. Your post helped me get my mind in order.
Glad I was of some help! Welcom,e o Confession -— as I said as a kid, “You end up so shiny and sparkly!”