EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE
The deliberate concealing of a mortal sin invalidates one´s confession and makes the person guilty of another mortal sin. Remember that the confession is private under the Seal of Confession, i.e., it is a mortal sin for the priest to reveal the matter of one´s confession to anyone else.
Reflection on each of The Ten Commandments as preliminary considerations to prepare for confession
I AM THE LORD THY GOD THOU SHALT NOT HAVE STRANGE GODS BEFORE ME
Sins against Faith, Hope, and Charity
Have I neglected the knowledge of my faith as taught in the catechism, such as the Apostles’ Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Seven Sacraments, the Our Father, etc.?
Have I deliberately doubted or denied any of the teachings of the Church?
Have I taken part in any non-Catholic worship?
Am I a member of any non-Catholic religious organization, secret society or anti-Catholic group?
Have I knowingly read any heretical, blasphemous or anti-Catholic literature?
Have I practiced any superstitions (such as horoscopes, fortune telling, Ouija board, etc.) ?
THOU SHALT NOT TAKE THE NAME OF THE LORD THY GOD IN VAIN
Have I sworn by God’s name falsely, rashly or in slight and trivial matters?
Have I murmured or complained against God (blasphemy)?
Have I angered others so as to make them swear or blaspheme God?
Have I cursed myself or others, or any creature?
Have I broken a vow made to God?
REMEMBER THAT THOU KEEP HOLY THE SABBATH DAY
Have I missed Mass on Sundays or Holy Days of obligation?
Have I been late for Mass on Sundays or Holy Days of obligation or left early through my own fault?
Have I made others miss Mass on Sundays or Holy Days of obligation, leave early or be late for Mass?
Have I been willfully distracted during Mass?
Have I done or commanded unnecessary servile work on Sunday or Holy Days of Obligation?
Have I bought or sold things not of necessity on Sunday and Holy Days of obligation?
HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER
Have I been disobedient or disrespectful to my parents, or have I neglected or refused to aid them in their wants or to do their last will?
Have I shown irreverence to others in positions of authority?
Have I maligned or insulted priests or others consecrated to God?
Have I failed in due reverence to aged persons?
Have I mistreated my spouse or my children?
Have I been disobedient or disrespectful to my husband?
THOU SHALT NOT KILL.
Have I procured, desired, or hastened the death or bodily injury of anyone?
Have I borne hatred?
Have I oppressed anyone?
Have I desired revenge?
Have I caused enmity between others?
Have I quarreled or fought with anyone?
Have I wished evil on anyone?
Have I intended or attempted to injure or mistreat others?
Is there anyone with whom I refuse to speak, or against whom I bear a grudge?
Have I taken pleasure in anyone’s misfortunes?
Have I been jealous or envious of anyone?
Have I had or attempted to have an abortion or counseled anyone else to do so?
Have I mutilated my body unnecessarily in any way?
Have I entertained thoughts of suicide, desired to commit suicide or attempted suicide?
Have I become drunk, used illicit drugs?
Have I overeaten or do I neglect to eat properly, i.e., nutritious foods?
Have I failed to correct in Charity?
Have I harmed anyone’s soul, especially children, by giving scandal through bad example?
Have I harmed my own soul by intentionally and without necessity exposing it to temptations, e.g.: bad TV, bad music, beaches, etc.
6 & 9
THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY.
THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY NEIGHBOR'S WIFE.
Do not be afraid to tell the priest any impure sin you may have committed. Do not hide or try to disguise any such sin. The priest is there to help you and forgive you. Nothing you say will shock him, so do not be afraid, no matter how ashamed you might be.
Have I denied my spouse his or her marriage rights?
Have I practiced birth control (by pills, devices, withdrawal)?
Have I abused my marriage rights in any other way?
Have I committed adultery or fornication (premarital sex)?
Have I committed any unnatural sin against purity (homosexuality or lesbianism, etc.)?
Have I indulged in lustful desires for anyone, or willfully desired to see or do anything impure?
Have I willfully indulged in any sexual pleasure whether complete or incomplete?
Have I watched suggestive movies, TV programs, or Internet pornography or permitted my children to do so?
Have I used indecent language or told indecent stories?
7 & 10
THOU SHALT NOT STEAL.
THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY NEIGHBOR'S GOODS.
Have I stolen anything? What or how much?
Have I damaged anyone’s property?
Have I negligently spoiled anyone´s property?
Have I been negligent in the stewardship of other people’s money or goods?
Have I cheated or defrauded others?
Have I gambled excessively?
Have I refused or neglected to pay any debts?
Have I acquired anything known to be stolen?
Have I failed to return things borrowed?
Have I cheated my employer of an honest day’s work?
Have I cheated my employees of their wages?
Have I refused or neglected to help anyone in urgent need?
Have I been envious of another because I don´t have what he has?
Have I been jealous of what another has?
THOU SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS AGAINST THY NEIGHBOR.
Have I lied about anyone (calumny)?
Have my lies caused them any material or spiritual harm?
Have I rashly judged anyone (i.e. believed firmly, without sufficient evidence, that they are guilty of some moral defect or crime)?
Have I injured the good name of another by revealing true but hidden faults (detraction)?
Have I disclosed another´s sins?
Have I been guilty of talebearing, (i.e. reporting something unfavorable said of someone by another so as to create enmity between them)?
Have I lent an ear to or encouraged the spreading of scandal about my neighbor?
Have I taken false oaths or signed false documents?
Am I, without necessity, critical, negative or ever uncharitable in my talk?
PRAYER BEFORE CONFESSION
Dear Jesus, help me to make
a good confession,
Help me to find out my sins,
Help me to be sorry for them,
Help me to make up my mind not to sin again.
Have mercy on me, O Lord,
and forgive me.
Mary, my mother, pray for me
PRAYER BEFORE CONFESSION II
Receive my confession, O most loving and gracious Lord Jesus Christ,
only hope for the salvation of my soul.
Grant to me true contrition of soul, so that day and night
I may by penance make satisfaction for my many sins.
Savior of the world, O good Jesus,
Who gave Yourself to the death of the Cross to save sinners,
look upon me, most wretched of all sinners;
have pity on me, and give me the light to know my sins,
true sorrow for them,
and a firm purpose of never committing them again.
O gracious Virgin Mary, Immaculate Mother of Jesus,
I implore you to obtain for me by your powerful intercession these graces from your Divine Son.
St. Joseph, pray for me.
PRAYER BEFORE CONFESSION III
Come Holy Spirit into my soul,
Enlighten my mind that I may know the sins I ought to confess,
and grant me Your grace to confess them fully, humbly and with contrite heart.
Help me to firmly resolve not to commit them again.
O Blessed Virgin, Mother of my Redeemer, mirror of innocence and sanctity,
and refuge of penitent sinners, intercede for me through the Passion of Your Son,
that I may obtain the grace to make a good confession.
All you blessed Angels and Saints of God, pray for me, a most miserable sinner,
that I may repent from my evil ways,
that my heart may henceforth be forever united with yours in eternal love.
I confess to almighty God
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have greatly sinned,
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do,
through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault;
therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,
all the Angels and Saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.
ACT OF CONTRITION
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.
PRAYER AFTER CONFESSION I
My dearest Jesus, I have told all my sins to the best of my ability.
I have sincerely tried to make a good confession and
I know that you have forgiven me.
Thank you dear Jesus! Your divine heart is full of love and mercy for poor sinners.
I love You dear Jesus; you are so good to me.
My loving Saviour, I shall try to keep from sin and to love You more each day.
Dearest Mother Mary, pray for me and help me to keep all my promises.
Protect me and do not let me fall back into sin.
Dear God, help me to lead a good life.
Without Your grace I can do nothing.
PRAYER AFTER CONFESSION II
Dear Jesus, thank you for helping me to make a good Confession,
and thank you for taking away my sins.
Help me, dear Jesus, never to offend you again.
Mary, my mother, pray to Jesus for me.
My dear Angel Guardian help me.