30 October 2018

ASK FATHER: Confessing Remembered Forgotten Sins

Fr Zed answers a question which has bothered me, and which I've seen countless times in online discussions.

From Fr Z's Blog

From a reader…

I tend to get very nervous in confession and I do better if I just stick to the script so to speak so I don’t start rambling. Is there a formula for confessing mortal sins that were forgotten in a previous confession, or do I just list them off with all the new ones? Do we still confess forgotten sins in kind and number?
If sticking to the script works for you, that’s fine.  It works for confessors too!  Thank you for not rambling.
If later you remember something that you haven’t yet confessed, then confess it the next time you go.
Don’t worry: if your last confession was sincere and you confessed all that you could remember, ALL your sins were forgiven, including those which you had forgotten.   Remembering them does not mean that you lose the state of grace, or fall back into the state of sin.  The sins were forgiven.
However, we are nevertheless asked by the Church to confess all our sins in both kind and number.  If you remember something that you haven’t confessed, confess it the next time even though it was forgiven.
As for a formula: No, nothing formal.   You might say, “Since my last confession I remembered something that I haven’t previously confessed….”
I hope this helps.
We are coming up on a week or so when we can gain many plenary indulgences for the Poor Souls.  We have to be in the state of grace to gain plenary indulgences and we should be detached from any kind of sin.

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