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'Quick Help' Page: Confession More Than Once Per Week

 

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Frequent Confession

Too Frequent Confession

Mortal Vs. Venial Sin

Mortal Sin Vs. Venial Sin

How Often To Go To Confession

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Arrow Question / Issue:

"Is it okay to go to Confession more than once a week? I've been told by a priest that it is not recommended. If this is true, do you know why? I myself go whenever I feel a need, whether it be twice a week or whatever. I'm very concerned about this because I'm wondering if it is possible that this is an offense."

 

Arrow Answer / Resources:

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If a priest has advised you that it is not recommended to go to Confession more than once a week, you should pay attention to what he says. Keep in mind that priests act in Christ's name and with His authority. To learn the specific reason, it would be good to ask the priest directly. One reason could be that frequent confession may be due to (or lead to) scruples. Frequent confession is good, but "overly frequent" confession might be the result of a flawed understanding regarding mortal vs. venial sins or may perhaps be due to other errors, uncertainties, doubts... Certainly one should go to Confession whenever one has a mortal sin to confess (even if more than once a week), but – speaking generally – people who go to Confession frequently and with sincerity are probably less likely to commit very frequent mortal sins, especially since part of Confession is a firm resolve not to commit future sin.

You said you go to Confession whenever you "feel a need", but this might present a problem. Confession isn't about a "feeling" – Confession is about actual, real sin that has been committed. Did you commit a mortal sin or not? If so, you should go to Confession. If not, you do not need to go (except as required by the Church – e.g. at least once a year minimum, although more frequent Confession is generally recommended).

Although I couldn't say for sure, I would tend to doubt that you have committed an "offense" by going so frequently. However if your confessor has told you not to go so frequently or if you went so frequently out of despair or there is some other issue, it is possible that there was an "offense". However, we are only laypeople, so we can't determine whether or not you have committed any such "offense". Only a priest – who is vested with authority by Christ – can assist with that.

My gut reaction to your inquiry concerns the issue of scruples. If this applies to you (or might apply to you), I would strongly suggest you meet privately with a good priest outside of Confession so that he can assist you with this matter. Even if this doesn't apply to you, a meeting with a good priest outside of Confession can help you better determine when Confession is truly required. He might also suggest a general interval for Confession based on your particular situation (maybe monthly or weekly when there are no serious sins to confess). In either case, be sure to select a very good priest – and one that you really trust. If the issue involves scruples, you will 'really need' to follow his instructions, so be sure you carefully select a very good priest that you trust and that will give you good advice.

Lastly, we have some information on Confession that you might find helpful. It can be found here.


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Other Resources:

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Penance / Confession (Topic Page)

Sin (Topic Page)

 

  

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