Penitent: When you enter say, “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen”
Priest: May begin with “May God who has enlightened every heart, help you know your sins and trust in his mercy.”
Priest: Reads the Word of God (optional)
Penitent: Confess your sins. For example, “Bless me Father for I have sinned. It has been (how long?) since my last confession.” And “These are my sins.”
Priest: Listens, may give counsel, gives you a penance to perform; i.e., prayers, good deeds, reparation for theft, etc. He then asks you to make a “good Act of Contrition.”
Penitent: Pray the Act of Contrition, using these or other words: “My God,I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy. Amen.”
Priest: Gives you absolution, offers you God’s peace and dismisses you.
Penitent: Say or do your penance as soon as possible or at the priest’s direction.
**Remember that the priest is willing to guide the penitent through all the steps of confession.