Whether you are new to the faith or just want a refresher, this blog post is for you! Here, we are listing down sins to confess before Communion.
Before we deep dive into our main topic, let’s first discuss what is the Eucharist and the need to go to confession before receiving it.
What is the Eucharist?
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church,
CCC 1324 The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” “The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.”
Eucharist also known as the Holy Communion is one of the seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church.
In the Eucharist, we receive the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It was instituted in this way,
Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you.
Every time we attend Holy Mass, we get to hear these words. God is inviting us into His banquet, offering Himself to us, nourishing us.
Confession before Communion
Now that we know the value of the Eucharist, let’s proceed to why Catholics confess before receiving communion.
CCC 1457 According to the Church’s command, “after having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year.” Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences deep contrition, without having first received sacramental absolution, unless he has a grave reason for receiving Communion and there is no possibility of going to confession. Children must go to the sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion for the first time.
Holy Eucharist is sacred thus the one who receives It must be free from the stain of sins.
So, what happens if you receive communion in mortal sin?
If you receive the Eucharist unworthily, without confessing your mortal sins, then, you are committing another mortal sin.
According to Canon Law,
CIC 916 A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to celebrate Mass or receive the body of the Lord without previous sacramental confession unless there is a grave reason and there is no opportunity to confess; in this case the person is to remember the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition which includes the resolution of confessing as soon as possible.
Mortal vs Venial Sin
To recap, let’s define what sin is according to the Catechism.
CCC 1854 Sins are rightly evaluated according to their gravity. The distinction between mortal and venial sin, already evident in Scripture, became part of the tradition of the Church. It is corroborated by human experience.
It mentions the two categories of sin, mortal and venial.
CCC 1855 “Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God’s law; it turns man away from God, who is his ultimate end and his beatitude, by preferring an inferior good to him.”
Venial sin allows charity to subsist, even though it offends and wounds it.
For a sin to be mortal, the following conditions must exist:
- Object is grave matter
- Committed with full knowledge and
- Deliberate consent
For example, you engaged in premarital sex.
Based on the Catechism, fornication is a grave sin.
CCC 2353 Fornication is carnal union between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of persons and of human sexuality which is naturally ordered to the good of spouses and the generation and education of children. Moreover, it is a grave scandal when there is corruption of the young.
Another condition is you commit it with full knowledge.
It is when you are aware that an act is a sin.
Last is deliberate consent. It is when you still commit a sin even though you know it’s a sin. There is indeed an intention.
So if you know that fornication is a sin yet you still did it, you committed a mortal sin.
If one condition is absent, the sin will fall as venial sin.
For example, you are practicing fornication without knowing it is actually a sin. Then, this could fall as venial sin.
Although not required, venial sin is also encouraged to be confessed.
List of Sins to Confess
Here are the sins for confession.
- Divination (like believing in Zodiac Signs), magic, and sorcery
- Blasphemy (could be in words, thoughts, or deeds)
- Perjury and False Oaths
- Deliberate failure of the Sunday obligation
- Disrespect to parents
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Extreme Anger
- Homosexual acts
- Defrauding worker’s wages
- Unfair wagers
- Voluntary doubt of faith
- Heresy, apostasy, schism
- Spiritual sloth
- Hatred of God
- Deliberate sexual thoughts
The above sins are taken from the 10 Commandments.
For sex-related sins, you can visit this guide to know how to confess them.
There you have it!
Note that before confession, having an Examination of Conscience is advisable.
For details, you can click this. It will help you organize your thoughts, preparing you for a good confession.
If it is your first time confessing your sins, this comprehensive guide will help you.
Confession is such a powerful sacrament. In here, we are forgiven. We obtain grace to be better again. To own up to our faults and face tomorrow with hope and renewed faith.
Although scary, we Catholics should receive it more often. It does not only give us God’s mercy and forgiveness, but it also gives us the capability to receive Him in the Holy Eucharist.
That we may seek Christ’s mercy and forgiveness constantly in the Sacrament of Penance,
Loving Mother, pray for us.
That we may understand the value of worshipping God together in the Eucharist,
Loving Mother, pray for us.