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If you don’t state the day of your last confession, does it effect the confession? - Printable Version

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If you don’t state the day of your last confession, does it effect the confession? - FultonFan - 08-28-2019

I went to confession yesterday, and again today.
I didn’t say that I’d been there yesterday.
Does this matter?


RE: If you don’t state the day of your last confession, does it effect the confession? - Credidi Propter - 08-28-2019

(08-28-2019, 05:30 PM)FultonFan Wrote: I went to confession yesterday, and again today.
I didn’t say that I’d been there yesterday.
Does this matter?

It doesn’t affect validity, but it certainly gives the confessor a better indication of your spiritual well-being. I’ve always said how long it’s been, so I don’t know firsthand, but I’d imagine a good confessor would ask how long it’s been if the penitent didn’t volunteer that information first. In the future, always say how long it’s been. If you chose not to say it because it has only been a day, I’m not sure that affects the validity of the sacrament, but I definitely would encourage you to avoid letting shame hold you back from saying it.


RE: If you don’t state the day of your last confession, does it effect the confession? - MagisterMusicae - 08-28-2019

(08-28-2019, 05:50 PM)Credidi Propter Wrote:
(08-28-2019, 05:30 PM)FultonFan Wrote: I went to confession yesterday, and again today.
I didn’t say that I’d been there yesterday.
Does this matter?

It doesn’t affect validity, but it certainly gives the confessor a better indication of your spiritual well-being. I’ve always said how long it’s been, so I don’t know firsthand, but I’d imagine a good confessor would ask how long it’s been if the penitent didn’t volunteer that information first. In the future, always say how long it’s been. If you chose not to say it because it has only been a day, I’m not sure that affects the validity of the sacrament, but I definitely would encourage you to avoid letting shame hold you back from saying it.

The time since the last confession is for three reasons :

1. To gauge the spiritual health of the soul,
2. To ensure that less than one year has passed (since we're obliged to confess each year if we have mortal sins) and if not so the confessor knows it's an added sin,
3. To permit the penitent to give a frequency for sins if they have been frequent, rather than needing to guess at an exact number.

It is not an essential part of the confession, so does not affect validity, but it really should be naturally mentioned at the beginning of the confession.

It does not need to be scientifically exact. "About a week ago" is fine if that is true. "About 2 months ago" is also fine but not if it's been 8 months. It has to be truthful, but not exact.

Same with sins. If we know an exact number of mortal sins, we say that. If we're not sure, "about 20 times" is fine as would be "about twice a week/day since my last confession".


RE: If you don’t state the day of your last confession, does it effect the confession? - Steven - 08-29-2019

As an aside, if you feel this applies to you, be careful not to go to confession too frequently out of a sense of scrupulosity.  You might consult with your confessor or spiritual director about the frequency and ask him to advise you with regard to that.