Any baptized Christian may approach a priest and request to go to confession. A non-Catholic Christian may request the seal of confession (absolute confidentiality) and may receive a prayer, but may not receive absolution.
Any baptized Catholic may request Sacramental Confession.
- Presumes examination of conscience and confession to God.
- 5 Marks of Integral Confession
- There must be sin
- The penitent has sorrow for sin (imperfect contrition)
- The penitent is willing to do penance
- The penitent is willing to make satisfaction if needed (esp. stealing, lying)
- The priest must give Absolution.
Process for Sacramental Confession. (A guide)
- Possible greeting and prayer.
- You say: “Bless me father for I have sinned.
- It has been _________ since my last confession.
- I am _________________ (state of life: married, single, a priest, a sister, etc.)
- These are my sins…(list them kind and number)
- For these and all of my sins I am heartily sorry.”
- Listen to advice and accept penance.
- Make an act of contrition.
- Receive absolution. (Do not make sign of cross)
- Dismissal. Priest: "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good." Penitent: "His mercy endures forever." Or “Go in peace.” Or some other.