The Sacrament of reconciliation is one of the seven sacraments the Catholic church gives us to help us heal from sinning. We go to confession for absolution from mortal sins and to help remove the effects of venial sins. There are many Catholic prayers for the sacrament of reconciliation. And many confessionals have prayers inside for people to say.
Going to confession is one of the most important things we can do as practicing Catholics. It can help to say a prayer before confession, and to say a prayer of thanksgiving after confession. Our Lord’s mercy is truly unending.
Below are some traditional confession prayers you can say to help you get the most out going to confession.
Prayer for Before Confession
Prayer for a Good Confession #1
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.
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.
Prayer for a Good Confession #2
O my God, by my grievous sins I have crucified again Thy Divine Son and made Him a mockery.
For this I have deserved Thy wrath and made myself fit for the fires of hell. How ungrateful have I been to Thee as well, my heavenly Father, Who created me out of nothing, redeemed me by the precious blood of Thy Son and sanctified me by Thy holy sacraments and by the Holy Ghost.
But Thou hast spared me by Thy mercy, to make this confession. Receive me back as Thy prodigal son and grant me to confess well, that I may begin anew to love Thee with my whole heart and soul, and henceforth to keep Thy commandments and suffer patiently whatever temporal punishment may remain.
I hope by Thy goodness and power to obtain everlasting life in Paradise. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Prayer Before Confession #3
O my God, without You I can do nothing.
You have told me, “Ask and you shall receive.” In full confidence in Your promise, therefore, I beg You to accept the confession I am about to make and grant me true contrition for my many offenses.
Savior of the world who gave Yourself to the death of the cross to save sinners, look with mercy on me, a sinner. Regard not my wickedness in such a manner to forget Your pardon. For my offenses I deserve condemnation, but presuming upon the ransom of Your blood, I ask forgiveness.
Heal my wounds, Lord Jesus. Send the light of Your truth into my soul so that I may worthily confess my shortcomings. Give me a contrite heart and a true sorrow for my offenses. Although I am unworthy of Your love, because of it I come to You for forgiveness.
Have mercy on me, O Lord, have mercy!
Prayer During Confession
Act of Contrition (traditional)
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because of thy just punishments, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who art all good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin.
Act of Contrition (alternate form)
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.
An Act of Contrition inspired by the Gospels
Father of mercy, like the prodigal son I return to you and say: “I have sinned against you and am no longer worthy to be called your child.”
Christ Jesus, Savior of the world, I pray with the repentant thief to whom you promised Paradise: “Lord, remember me in your kingdom.”
Holy Spirit, fountain of love, I call on you with trust: “Purify my heart, and help me to walk as a child of light.”
Prayer For After Confession
After Confession Thanksgiving
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.
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 Savior, 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.
Thanksgiving After Confession (Traditional)
I thank Thee, I bless Thee, for Thy goodness and mercy. Thou has had compassion on me, although in my folly I had wandered far away from Thee and offended Thee most grievously. With fatherly love Thou has received me anew after so many relapses into sin and forgiven me my offenses through the holy sacrament of Penance. Blessed forever, O my God, be Thy loving-kindness, Thy infinite mercy! Never again will I grieve Thee by ingratitude, by disobedience to Thy holy Will. All that I am, all that I have, all that I do shall be consecrated to Thy service and Thy glory. Amen.