Going to confession when no priest is available

As we approach our most important week of the year – Holy Week – the way we follow Christ – from his
triumphant entrance into Jerusalem, to the foot of the Cross, to an empty tomb – will be completely different
this year. In preparation, many would have availed themselves of the Sacrament of Reconciliation –
Confession – to prepare for a fresh start at Easter. But what does it mean for our spiritual well-being and
salvation if we can’t fulfil our “Easter Duties”?
Pope Francis recently addressed this question and reminded us, “Return to your Father, who is waiting for
you…God welcomes every repentant sinner with open arms…it is like going home.”
He pointed us towards the Catechism of the Catholic Church 1452 when speaking of perfect contrition and
inviting the faithful to turn to Lord privately to ask forgiveness for sins committed. We offer you the following
prayer ritual to assist you in making your confession directly with the Lord. Pope Francis offers us this as we commit to “the firm intention of attending Confession with a priest as soon as this is possible”

Prepare yourself in a quiet space – light a candle and quieten your mind, turning to Jesus
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
Reading: Hosea 6:1-3
Come, let us return to the Lord; for it is he who has torn, and he will heal us; he has struck down and he will
bind us up. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him.
Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord; his appearing is as sure as the dawn; he will come to us like
the showers, like the spring rains that water the earth.
Take a quiet moment to reflect on these words…

Speak directly to God our Father – tell him your sins…
Father, forgive me for these and all my sins as I ask your pardon with all my heart.

I will go to confession afterward, but forgive me now.’


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 Saviour Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his
name, my God, have mercy on me. Amen.
In quiet hear these words from Luke’s Gospel…
Gospel: Luke 15:20-24
But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms
around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you;
I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” But the father said to his slaves, “Quickly, bring out a robe –
the best one – and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and
kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!”
Now pray in the words Jesus taught us…Our Father…
Take a few minutes in quiet prayer to give thanks to God for the many blessings in your life and end your
prayer.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.