Once you have completed your Examination Of Conscience, and you have told God that you are deeply sorry for your sins, enter the confessional box (or reconciliation room).
You may either:
- Kneel before the screen, or
- Sit so you can talk face to face to the priest.
You begin by saying these words (or similar ones.)
"I confess to Almighty God and to you, Father, that I have sinned. My last confession was ______________ weeks (months, years) ago."
You say one of the following:
"Since then, I do not recall committing any mortal sins."
"Since then, I have committed mortal sins.
They are..." (mention the sins, how many times they were committed and related circumstances.)
"My venial sins are..." (mention the sins and the number of times.)
"I do not recall having committed any venial sins"
"For these and all the sins that I have committed during my life, I am deeply sorry." Then listen to the words of the priest. When invited to do so, make an Act Of Contrition.
("O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You. 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 sin no more and to avoid the near occasions of sin. Amen.")
- Listen to the priest's words of forgiveness (absolution), and
- Make the Sign of the Cross with the priest.
If the priest says, "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good,"
"For His mercy endures forever."
Then you leave the confessional box (reconciliation room) and you say the penance that the priest gave you.
Almighty and Eternal God,
Give me, I beseech You,
the great gift of inward peace.
Command the winds and storms
of my unruly passions.
Subdue, by Your grace,
my proneness to love
created things too much.
Give me a love of suffering for Your sake.
make me forbearing and kind to others,
that I may ... continue reading
In the centuries old Catholic tradition, holy cards or prayer cards are small, devotional cards for the use of the faithful. Prayer cards have an endless amount of use and make wonderful gifts and keepsakes.