Preparation for Confession

During Lent, the other fasts of the Church Year, and at other times, for example on namesdays or before important events, as regularly as possible, it is good to go to confession and take communion. As preparation for confession the following may be of help:

Sins Against God

Do you pray to God in the morning and evening, before and after meals?
Have you allowed your thoughts to wander during prayer?
Have you rushed your prayers?
Do you read the Scriptures daily? Do you have other spiritual readings regularly?
Have you read books of which the content is not Christian and spiritually damaging?
Have you pronounced the name of God without reverence? Have you asked for God’s help before every activity?
Have you made the sign of the Cross carelessly, thoughtlessly? Have you sworn? Have you murmured against God? Have you sinned by forgetting God?
Have you been slack in attending church? Have you tried your best to attend Church?
If unable to attend church for some reason, have you still tried to devote some part of these days to prayer and spiritual reading?
Have you kept the fasts? Have you behaved irreverently in church?
Have you laughed or talked in church, or moved about unnecessarily, thus distracting others from prayer? Have you dressed modestly in church?
Have you tried to pay attention to the readings, hymns, and prayers in Church?
Have you striven to pray with the service, crossing yourself, etc., or have you rather simply stood and day-dreamed?
Have you left Church after the Divine Services, and particularly after receiving communion and engaged in small talk, forgetting the blessings you have received?
Have you been ashamed of your Faith in the presence of others?
Have you made a show of piety? Have you used your Faith to belittle others?
Have you used it as an excuse rather than humbling yourself?
Have you believed in dreams, fortune telling, astrology, signs and other superstitions?
Do you give thanks to the Lord for all things?
Have you ever doubted God’s providence concerning yourself?
Do you try to see His purpose in all things that come upon you?

Sins Against Your Neighbours

Do you respect and obey your parents? Have you offended them?
Have you insulted anyone? Have you quarrelled or fought with anyone?
Are you always respectful to old people?
Are you ever angry, bad-tempered or irritable?
Have you called anyone names? Do you use foul language?
Have you derided any that are disabled, poor, old or in some way disadvantaged?
Have you entertained bad feelings, ill will or hatred against anyone?
Haw you forgiven those who have offended you?
Have you asked forgiveness from those whom you have offended?
Are you at peace with everyone?
Have you left the needy without help when you could have helped?
Have you attended the sick or elderly when they have asked you to do so?
Have you shown kindness and attention to all?
Have you hit animals without a cause or been cruel to them?
Have you stolen anything?
Have you taken or used other people’s things without asking?
Have you kept money or things that were lent to you without returning them?
Have you wasted your employer’s time or resources? Have you taken things from work for your own use?
Are you obstinate and do you always try to have your own way?
Have you been inconsiderate of other people’s feelings?
Have you tried to have your revenge against those who have offended you?
Have you harboured resentment? Have you deceived people?
Have you gossiped? Have you told untruths?
Have you judged and condemned others?
Have you taken pains before approaching for confession to be reconciled with all?

Sins Against Yourself

Have you been proud? Do you boast of your abilities, achievements, family, connections or riches?
Do you consider yourself worthy before God?
Are you vain, ambitious? Do you try to win praise and glory?
Do you bear it easily when you are blamed, scolded or treated unjustly? Do you think too much about your looks, outward appearance and the impression you make?
Have you sinned in thought word or deed, by a look or glance, or in any other way against the Seventh Commandment?
Have you envied anyone anything? Have you been over-sensitive?
Have you been lazy? Have you done your duties heartily?
Have you wasted your time, energy or abilities in things that do not profit the soul?
Have you become obsessive about anything? Have you been despondent?
Have you had thoughts of committing suicide?
Have you brought a curse on yourself or others or ill-wished them, being impatient?
Have you a weakness for alcohol? Have you taken drugs? Have you smoked?
Have you watched television too much or indiscriminately? Have you given yourself up to any other similar pastime which wastes your time and energy?
Have you been greedy, either with regard to food or to possessions?
Have you been wasteful of food, forgetting that so many people are without proper nourishment? Have you been extravagant?
Do you care for and seek first the salvation of your soul, the spiritual life and the kingdom of God, or have you put worldly considerations in first place?
Is there any other sin, which burdens your conscience, or which you are ashamed to say?