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The Sacrament of Confession, which precedes first Holy Communion and may be received as often as necessary throughout one's life, answers Christ's call to individual conversion. Only God can forgive sins, and by His divine authority He entrusted this Sacrament to be exercised in His name by His ministers (see John 20:21-23). This is so beautifully apparent in the formula of absolution used by the Latin Church: 

God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of His Son, has reconciled the world to Himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Examination of Conscience


To begin, set aside some quiet time for reflection. Start by praying to the Holy Spirit, asking for help in making a good examination to prepare for Confession. Read through the items on the following pages to help reflect honestly on ways you may be sinning in your life. If necessary, take this list or some brief notes (keep them private!) with you to Confession to help you remember what you need to confess. This examination is based on the 10 Commandments and the 5 Precepts of the Church. It is meant to be merely a starting point for your reflection and to help identify patterns of sin in order to repent of them.



Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2052-2557

I. I am the Lord your God. You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.

  • Do I love God above all things?

  • Is He number one in my life or do I put myself before God?

  • Has money and pleasure become more important to me than the God who created me for Himself?

  • Do I pray often? Have I neglected my friendship with God by neglecting prayer?

  • Have I been involved with occult or superstitious practices (fortune telling, palm readers, etc.)?

  • Have I ever received Holy Communion in the state of mortal sin?

  • Have I violated the Communion Fast by having food or beverage within one hour before receiving Communion (other than medical need)?

  • Have I told a lie in confession or deliberately withheld confessing a mortal sin?

II. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

  • Have I ever used God's name out of anger or disrespectfully?

  • Do I speak about the Faith, the Church, the saints, or sacred things with irreverence, hatred or defiance?

  • Do I watch television or movies, or listen to music that treats God, the Church, the saints, or sacred things irreverently?

  • Have I used vulgar, suggestive, or obscene speech?

  • Do I behave disrespectfully in Church?

III. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.

  • Have I deliberately missed Mass on a Sunday or on a Holy Day of Obligation?

  • Do I strive to make Sunday a day of prayer and rest?

IV. Honor your father and your mother.

  • Am I rude or sassy to my parents?

  • Do I talk poorly of them to others?

  • Have I disobeyed my parents?

  • Do I complain about chores or make my parents remind me to do them?

  • Am I disrespectful to teachers, coaches or others in authority?

V. You shall not kill.

  • Do I abuse alcohol or drugs, such as marijuana?

  • Have I ever had an abortion?

  • Have I ever encouraged someone to have an abortion?

  • Do I stand up for the right to life of the vulnerable or have I merely accepted society's culture of death?

  • Have I used abortifacient contraceptives or encouraged anyone to do so?

  • Have I sterilized myself in any way or encouraged others  to do so?

  • Did I participate in or approve of euthanasia or "mercy-killing"?

  • Have I intentionally cut or hurt myself?

  • Have I seriously contemplated suicide?

  • Am I a bully online?

  • Do I keep anger against anyone?

  • Have I held a grudge?

  • Have I refused to forgive someone?

  • Have I cursed anyone?

  • Have I been cruel to a pet?

VI. You shall not commit adultery.

  • Have I ever had sex with anyone?

  • Have I ever masturbated?

  • Have I engaged in sexting?

  • Have I ever touched someone in a sexual way?

  • Have I ever watched pornography?

  • Have I ever freely and deliberately entertained impure thoughts?

  • Have I used condoms or any form of contraception?

  • Am I modest in dress?

VII. You shall not steal.

  • Do I steal from my parents or from friends?

  • Have I stolen any property from a store?

  • Do I illegally download content from the internet?

  • Do I gamble excessively?

  • Do I seek to share what I have with the poor and needy?

VIII. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

  • Have I cheated at school or in games?

  • Have I copied someone else’s homework?

  • Have I been dishonest (especially with my parents)?

  • Am I guilty of detraction (deliberately making known the faults of others)?

  • Am I guilty of slander (spreading hurtful lies about someone)?

  • Do I deliberately spread rumours or keep rumours alive by passing them on?

  • Do I gossip about others?

  • Do I reveal information that should be confidential?

IX. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife.

  • Have I been jealous of the friends that someone else has?

X. You shall not covet your neighbour’s goods.

  • Am I envious of others?

  • Do I wish that others be deprived of the goods or talents that are theirs?

  • Am I jealous of others?

  • Do I harbour unforgiveness and grudges against others?

  • Do I hold on to resentment?

  • Do I nag my parents into buying things because my friends have them?

  • Do I help others when they need help?


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