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Prayer at Confession

After His resurrection Jesus said to his apostles: "Receive the Holy Spirit; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained" (John 20:22-23). This text is the Biblical foundation of the sacrament of penance.

It is called a "sacrament" not simply a function or ceremony, because it is an outward sign instituted by Christ to impart grace to the soul. The grace conferred is deliverance from the guilt of sin and, in the case of mortal sin, from its eternal punishment; hence also reconciliation with God, justification.

The sacrament is known by various names : penance, confession, reconciliation; all bring out a different aspect of the sacrament.

The confession is made to a duly ordained priest with requisite jurisdiction and with the "power of the keys", i.e., the power to forgive sins which Christ granted to His Church.

To repent one's sins, to do penance for them and to amend a sinful conduct is an essential part of the life of the Christian.


Prayer before Confession

I, a great sinner, come before you Lord, acknowledging my many sins and with an earnest desire to repent and to sin no more. Grant me perfect contrition for my sins, that I may detest them with deep sorrow. Send forth your light into my soul and reveal to me all those sins which I ought to confess at this time. Assist me with your grace that I may be sincere and humble in confessing them. O Mary, my mother, be with me and help me to obtain remission of my sins with a contrite heart.

Prayer after Confession

Almighty and merciful God, once again you have shown me your tender mercy by accepting me back even though I have gone on my own way. I renounce with my whole heart all the sins of my past life and resolve to commit them no more. I promise to hate sin and to avoid all the occasions that lead to it. Lord, without you I can do nothing therefore, trusting in your grace I want to begin a new life. Mary, my mother, be at my side and assist me always.