My bride and I went to Confession today. As always, I felt after Confession as if a ton of weight had just been taken off my shoulders,
Here is the formula that I have followed for Confessions since childhood:
Bless me Father for I have sinned, it has been ____________ since my last Confession and these are my sins.
I then recite my sins. I follow the rule of three B’s in Confession:
I say my sins, with no attempts to minimize or justify, no matter how it shames me to do so, and sometimes I do feel great shame, which I suspect is a good sign. I end my recital with the statement that these are all the sins I can recall but that I am truly sorry for those I cannot recall.
After the priest absolves me, and what a wonderful word absolve truly is, I say an Act of Contrition:
O my God I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest of all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the Pains of Hell, but most of all because I have offended Thee my God who art all good and deserving of all my love. And I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life, amen.