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How to Make a Good Confession

Before celebrating the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, be sure to prepare with an examination of conscience.

The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation includes the following steps:

1. The priest greets us, and we pray the Sign of the Cross. He invites us to trust in God. He may read God's Word with us.

2. We confess our sins. The priest may help and counsel us.

3. The priest gives us a penance to perform. Penance is an act of kindness or prayers to pray, or both.

4. The priest asks us to express our sorrow, usually by reciting the Act of Contrition.

5. We receive absolution. The priest says, “I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” We respond, “Amen.”

6. The priest dismisses us by saying, “Go in peace.” We go forth to perform the act of penance he has given us.