Tag Archives: Holy Confession

A Guide to the Sacrament of Holy Confession

Five Steps for a Good Confession

1. Examine your conscience.
2. Be sincerely sorry for your sins.
3. Confess your sins.
4. Resolve to amend your life.
5. After your confession, do the penance the priest assigns.

What do I do when it is my turn to confess in front of the Priest?

The person should kneel before an priest, the appointed representative of God. The priest, like anyone else, is also a sinner; but he is empowered by ordination to absolve sins. Then, he/she should draw the sign of cross and should say one of the prescribed prayers before confession.

Prayer Before Confession:

I confess to God the Father Almighty, and to His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the Holy Spirit, in the presence of Virgin Mary and all angels, prophets, seventy-two emissaries, twelve apostles and four evangelists, and confess in the faith of the three holy synods of Nicea, Constantinople and Ephesus, trusting in the honorable priestly authority conferred upon you, priest, by which you bind and retain sins. I have sinned in thought, word and deed. I repent my sins. You are the master and I am the servant. Accept me as the prodigal son. I have sinned against heaven and against you. I believe that you have authority to bind and retain sins and that you are the mediator between God and me. And I pray that you deliver me from all my sins by your priestly authority that I may obtain forgiveness. I pray that you remember me before God, in your prayers and in the holy Qurbono. Then list your sins

If time does not permit saying the prayer in the priest’s presence, say: “In the name of the Father, the Son and the holy Spirit, I confess my sins.” Then list your sins

The penitent must admit all sins, both great and small, one by one. If a sin is inadvertently omitted, the person must confess it when it comes to mind. The silence or concealing a sin is in itself a sin. After necessary counseling, the priest says the prayer of absolution. At the end of the absolution, when the priest says and draws the sign of cross on the forehead (in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) the penitent should say Amen three times.

Note: Prayers can be found at the end of both the Malayalam Qurbana Kramam as well as the English Service Books.

Examination of Conscience

1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
2. Do not make any idols

* Do I give God time every day in prayer?
? ?* Do I seek to love Him with my whole heart?
?* Have I been involved with superstitious practices
?* Do I seek to surrender myself to God’s Word as taught by the Church?
?* Have I rejected any Church teaching or denied that I was a Christian?
? ?* Do I put my trust in superstitions, good luck charms, rather than God alone?
?* Are there other “gods” in my life? Money, Security, Power, People, etc.?

3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

? * Have I been angry with God?
? * Have I used the words “God” or “Jesus” in anger or irreverently?
? * Have I wished evil upon any other person?
? * Have I insulted a sacred person or abused a sacred object?
? * Have I used foul or ugly language?
? * Have I wished evil on another?

4. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.

? * Have I deliberately missed Holy Qurbana on Sundays or Holy Days of Obligation?
? * Do I arrive at church late or leave early?
? * Do I try to be reverent and pay attention during Holy Qurbana or prayers?
? * Do I avoid unnecessary work on Sunday?
? * Do I make Sunday a day of prayer or rest?

5. Honor your father and your mother.

? * Do I respect and obey my parents?
? * Have I neglected my duties to my spouse and children?
? * Have I given my family good religious example?
? * Do I try to bring peace into my home life?
? * Am I willing to help around the house or must I be nagged a hundred times?
? * Do I try to get along with my brothers and sisters? Am I a tattletale or bully?
? * Do I give a good example, especially to younger siblings?
? * Do I respect others in authority: priests, elders .

6. You shall not kill.

? * Have I physically harmed anyone?
? * Do I try to love all people, born and unborn?
? * Have I abused alcohol or drugs?
? * Did I give humiliation to anyone, thereby leading them into sin?
? * Do I say cruel things, or make fun of others to hurt their feelings?
? * Do I say mean things about others behind their backs?
? * Have I stopped speaking to anyone? Do I encourage others to do bad things?

7. You shall not commit adultery.

? * Do I seek to be pure in my thoughts, words and actions?
? * Do I treat my body and other people’s bodies with purity and respect?
? * Do I look at television shows, movies, or pictures that are bad?
? * Am I modest in my speech and the clothes I wear?

8. You shall not steal.

? * Have I taken things that were not mine from a store or another person?
? * Do I waste time at work, school or at home?Do I pay my debts promptly?
? * Do I seek to share what I have with the poor?
? * Have I destroyed or misused another person’s property for fun?
? * Do I return things that I borrow? In good condition?

9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

? * Have I lied?
? * Have I gossiped? Harmed someone’s reputation?
? * Have I spoken behind someone else’s back?
? * Am I critical, negative, or uncharitable in my thoughts of others?
? * Do I keep secret what should be kept confidential?
? * Am I honest in my school work?

10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s. 

? *Am I jealous of what other people have?
? *Do I envy other people’s families or possessions?
? *Am I greedy or selfish?
? *Are material possessions the purpose of my life?
? *Do I trust that God will care for all of my material and spiritual needs?
? *Am I thankful to God and my parents for what they have given me?
? *Do I share the things and poor people?


1. Take part in the Divine Liturgy (Holy Eucharist) on Sundays and important Festival and Feast Days.
2. Observe the Fasts and Feasts prescribed by the Church.
3. Refrain from restricted food and wed-locks on Wednesdays and Fridays.
4. Refrain from wed-locks during Fast and Festival days.
5. Confess before priests appointed by the Church for the forgiveness of sins.
6. Receive Holy Eucharist on a regular basis.
7. Give tithes, offerings, dues, and alms to the Church.

Prayer after confession

O Lord Jesus Christ, our great Physician, and Fountain of mercy, behold me now in Your presence, the blind to receive sight within from You, to be healed of all my sickness and to be made rich in my poverty. I believe that You have accepted my confession and are pleased to acknowledge my supplications; that You have forgiven me and cleansed me from my sin. Ever do I render thanks to You, O Lord, and Your praise is at all times upon my lips, in accordance with the multitude of Your loving kindnesses. I beseech You, by Your grace, to confirm me in my purpose and promise that I may never return unto sin; and to grant me triumph over all my temptations that I may love You alone upon earth, and my spirit may be exalted in Your praise until that day when I shall see You in Your heaven above for ever more. Amen.

What do I do after confession?

Take time to say the Nicene Creed and also read Psalms 51. As part of the completion of the Sacrament of Confession please plan to receive the Holy Communion.

Holy Confession – Prayer Before & After

Holy Confession copy

The Sacrament of Repentance

Repentance and remission of sins is one of the seven sacraments of the New Law ordained by our Lord when He breathed on His disciples, saying: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive a man his sins, they shall be forgiven to him; and if you withhold forgiveness of a man’s sins, they are kept. (John 20:22-23)

This sacrament was ordained of our Lord in the form of a law, giving power and authority to His ministers to declare and pronounce absolution to the faithful who confess and repent of sins willingly committed after baptism.

The faithful repenter should consider the many sins which he or she committed and must truly and earnestly repent of them. One should then confess them to the priest without concealing or hiding them and, consequently, accept the canonical penalty.

General Exhortations

  1. The priest should be well acquainted with the divine as well as the ecclesiastical laws that he may be able to determine whether or not this repenter is worthy of absolution. Consequently, the priest, in the likeness of a spiritual physician, should treat the faithful penitent and take great care for his or her soul’s health.
  2. The priest should take great heed never to reveal anything of the penitent’s confession, but rather keep it secret even until death.
  3. Whenever the priest is called to make confession to some faithful repenters, he must show himself always ready to respond to the call and to earnestly beseech the Lord that he may be assisted to fulfill his service fittingly and piously.
  4. The confession ought to be made only in church. The priest wears a stole around his neck and sits on a chair which must be put in a special place so as to be seen by the congregation. However, on account of sickness, or for any other compelling reason, the priest is allowed to go to the sick person’s home who wishes to make confession, but is unable to go to church. While the penitent is making confession, the priest must be sitting in a special place where he may be seen by those who are present.
  5. If the priest finds out that the penitent is not acquainted with the fundamental truths of the Church, then he must try to enlighten and instruct the person with such truths at the time of confession, but if it would be impossible, then he must do so at a more convenient opportunity.
  6. If it may happen that, by reason of extremity of sickness or by any other impediment, one of the faithful is deprived of the power of speech and is unable to make confession except by making gestures to indicate his or her sins, the priest should grant the individual absolution.

Prayer of Repentance

Have mercy upon me, O Almighty Father, You do we praise and do we bless. You do we worship, humbly kneeling, that You should show us Your great mercy. O Christ, Fountain of mercy, show me Your compassion on the day of judgment as You did to the thief on the Cross, the publican and the woman taken in iniquity. Amen.

Prayer Before Confession

O God, Who does not will the death of the sinner, but rather that he repent and live, I confess before You that I have sinned before heaven and in Your sight, while enjoying Your great goodness. By this ungratefulness have I fallen from the estate of sons and am no more worthy to be called a son of Your grace. Make me, O Father, as one of thy hired servants. But blot out my transgressions in Your mercy. Cleanse me from my sin. O Merciful Father, turn Your face from my sins and look not upon my iniquities. Cast me not from before Your face, O Gracious Lord. Rebuke me not in Your anger, but listen to the voice of my sorrow, O Lord, and look upon my tears. May they wash me clean in Your sight, O God, for I do repent most humbly and am heartily sorry for all that I have done wrong. Moreover, I have determined not to return to the hateful paths of sin again. Receive my confession and help me in Your mercy and grace to live a life that brings Your glory and praise. Amen.

Prayer Upon Confession of Sin Before the Priest

I confess to God the Father Almighty, and to His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, and to the Holy Spirit, in the presence of our Lady the Virgin, ever sacred in her virginity, and all the holy angels, of Michael, of Gabriel, both chief of angels, and St. John the Baptist, of the holy apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, the twenty-four prophets, the twelve apostles, the four evangelists and the seventy-two sent forth.

I confess the holy faith of the three Ecumenical Councils of Nicaea, Constantinople and Ephesus in the most noble priesthood ascribed unto You, Father Priest, by which You loose and bind.

I have sinned through all my senses, both inwardly and outwardly, in word, in deed and in thought. My sin is great, very great, and I repent of it most sincerely, purposing not to fall again into the same ever, preferring death rather than embrace sin. And I ask you, by the authority of the sacred priesthood, that you absolve me and forgive, asking God to pardon me through His grace. Amen.

Prayer of Absolution for the Laity

The priest lays his right hand on the head of the penitent and says:
May God have mercy upon you, and may He guide you to everlasting life through the authority of priesthood which was entrusted by our Lord Jesus Christ to His disciples who, in turn, entrusted it to their successors until it was given me; I who am weak and sinful, absolve you, brother (sister) of all the sins that you have confessed and are repentant of them, as wellas of all the transgressions which have escaped your memory in the Name of the Father +, amen, and of the Son +, amen and of the Holy Spirit + for everlasting life. Amen.

Prayer of Absolution for the Clergy

May God, Who blessed his holy disciples, bless you. May He preserve you from all evil deeds and perfect you in the gracious ones that you may be the keeper of His commandments and the fulfiller of His laws. May He make you a chosen vessel that is fit for the service of His glory. May you enjoy peace in Him, and may He be pleased with you and according to His Good Will, may you be blessed, absolved and consecrated, in the Name of the Father +, amen, and of the Son +, amen and of the Holy Spirit + for everlasting life. Amen.

Prayer After Confession

O Lord Jesus Christ, our great Physician, and Fount of mercy, behold me now in Your presence, the blind to receive sight within from You, to behealed of all my sickness and to be made rich in my poverty. I believe that You have accepted my confession and are pleased to acknowledge my supplications; that You have forgiven me and cleansed me from my sin. Ever do I render thanks to You, O Lord, and Your praise is at all times upon my lips, in accordance with the multitude of Your loving kindnesses. I beseech You, by Your grace, to confirm me in my purpose and promise that I may never return unto sin; and to grant me triumph over all my temptations that I may love You alone upon earth, and my spirit may be exalted in Your praise until that day when I shall see You in Your heaven above for ever more. Amen.

Prayer Before Receiving the Holy Eucharist

O Bread coming down from heaven to nourish everyone, grant that I may partake of You in all pure desire, adoration and godly fear. O happy Wine of Life, may I be intoxicated by Your love. O You Who did cry, saying: “Whosoever is athirst let him come to Me and drink,” behold my soul in thirst has come to You to be satisfied by the Water of Life. O God, I am not worthy that You should come into my heart. Speak a word to heal my soul which is athirst for You even more than the thirst of the deer to the streams of water, O Cup of Blessing and Salvation. O Heavenly Manna and Bread of Life, dwell in me forever more. Amen.

Prayer After Receiving the Holy Eucharist

With what tongues shall I utter Your praise, O God, most high and greatly to be praised, for this Your wondrous grace. It passes all telling; forYou have even been pleased to give of Yourself to Your servant for nourishment; and have rejoiced his heart with the wine of Your sacrifice. You have sanctified me by Your Spirit, and have satisfied my hunger from out of the bounty of Your house. My heart is Your perpetual dwelling place that You may preside over all my faculties and my desires, controlling them as You will. And I beseech You that this my Communion increase my faith and strengthen my trust in You that it rekindle the fire of Your love within me, causing me to grow in every virtue; that it be a weapon to shield me from all the tricks of the enemy of my soul until I become one with You in that life above where You are with all saints, so that I may join in the chorus of praise and adoration to Your Father and Your Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.


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