Father may read or recite some short selection from the Bible. You introduce yourself and tell how long it has been since your last confession. You then tell your sins. (Each mortal sin must be confessed as well as possible). It is useful to mention your most frequent and most troublesome venial sins.
Father will give you any necessary advice and answer your questions. After he assigns a penance you make an act of sorrow : O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you. And I detest all my sins, because of your just punishments, 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 sin no more and to avoid the near occasions of sin.
Father then extends his right hand toward you and prays these words of forgiveness: God, the Father of mercies, through the Death and Resurrection of his Son has reconiled 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.
Father then says,”Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.“
You answer,”His mercy endures forever.”
Father then dismisses you in these or similar words,” The Lord has freed you from your sins. Go in peace.”
2. Be truly sorry for your sins.
3. Make up your mind not to sin again.
4. Tell your sins to the priest.
5. Do the penance the priest gives you.
Penance is the sacrament by which we received God’s healing for forgiveness of sins committed after Baptism.
This sacrament is also called Reconciliation because it reconciles us not only with God, but with the Church community. Both these aspects of reconciliation are important.