Practical Tips on Confession

If we can’t be like Angels, that is, not fall, then at least let us not be like demons in not repenting of our downfalls.
Elder Dionysius

True repentance consists not only in confessing one’s sins openly in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, but also in not returning to them anymore; and it does not only mean never going back to the same sins but also grieving over those sins that you have committed; and not only that, but also making amends for them by performing works of repentance, and, preferably, those works would not only be “equal” to the sins that we have committed but even surpass them. The most widespread mistake of confession is self-justification instead of self-reproach. Even in cases where the detonator of our sin is another person, it is no excuse, because it was our own emotion that boiled over.

How should I confess my carnal sins?

You should confess them without going into details; rather, you should name only the type of sin: adultery (breach of marital fidelity), fornication (sexual intercourse out of wedlock), masturbation, sodomy, looking at obscene images, sexual perversions. The shame of confessing such sins is normal, while the concealment of such sins because of shame is a devil’s instigation. Believe me, your priest has heard such things more than once, and it is difficult to surprise him with any kind of sin.

What is the right thing to do when a priest, due to too many people at church, does not hear everyone’s confession one by one, but rather performs a general confession every Liturgy – is the Communion valid?

People who have no unabsolved mortal sins, i. e. sins of abortion, adultery, fornication, all kinds of sexual perversions, theft, alcoholism, sorcery (including spiritualism, psychicism, astrology, yoga and occultism in general) can partake of the Eucharist after the general confession. People who have mortal sins need to confess them individually.

Confessing to different priests all the time is wrong and harmful.

Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds

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