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Return to Confession.. but what do I do?

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How to return to confession

If you have been away from the church, or if you have been reluctant or unable to see a priest for confession, you are invited to experience the reconciling peace of Christ through the grace of this sacrament, also called the sacrament of reconciliation.

Peace is the watchword, said Sean Ater, director of the Center for the New Evangelization for the archdiocese: “This year it’s about no stress — just peace!”

6 steps for a good confession.
• Examine your conscience – what sins have you committed since your last good confession.
• Be sincerely sorry for your sins.
• Confess your sins to the priest.
• Make certain that you confess all your mortal sins and the number of them.
• After your confession, do the penance the priest gives to you.
• Pray daily for the strength to avoid the occasion of sin, especially for those sins you were just absolved from.

How to make a confession.
Whether you confess your sins in a confessional booth or face to face with a priest, the process is the same:
• Make the sign of the cross.
• Say, “Forgive me Father, for I have sinned, it has been (period of time) since my last confession.”
• The priest will welcome you and may read briefly from scripture.
• Tell the priest your sins, and how often you have done them. Talk with the priest about your actions, if he invites you to. If he doesn’t, or after you have done so,
• Say the act of contrition prayer.
• The priest will give you a penance — prayers to say, or something to do in reparation for your sins and to help you refrain from sinning again — and ask if you will do it. If you can’t do what the priest asks, tell him and he will assign you another penance.
• The priest will then extend his hands and absolve you of your sins. He does this, not himself, but standing in the place of Christ for you to see and hear. It is Christ who forgives you. The priest uses these words:

“God the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of your Son, you have reconciled the world to yourself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins. Through the ministry of the church, may God grant you pardon and peace. And I absolve you of your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

Act of Contrition
(traditional)
O 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, to do penance and amend my life. Amen.

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