How to Confess Sex before Marriage

How to Confess Sex before Marriage

As the world is changing, modern acts that give people short time pleasure are being normalized. Fornication, masturbation, and pornography to name a few become acceptable that they are natural. On the other hand, there are still those who think these are wrong, not committing them or hoping for forgiveness from God when they are guilty of them. Although pardonable, confessing sexual sins to a priest can be overly awkward. In this blog post, we will discuss how to confess sex before marriage.

Fornication is a Sin

Before we get into the details of how to confess premarital sex, let us discuss first why it is a sin.

According to the Catechism,

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.

Living together before marriage is fornication or cohabitation and thus a sin. It is having a sexual relationship without being married.

Now that we know that it is a sin, is it mortal or venial?

Before we answer that, let’s first have a brief recap of the definitions of the two.

The Catholic Church categorizes sins depending on their gravity.

It could be mortal or venial.

A sin is mortal if the following conditions are met.

  • It must involve grave matter
  • Committed with full knowledge that it is a grave sin
  • Committed with deliberate consent

Let’s use fornication as an example.

If one had engaged with fornication, aware that it is a sin but still committed it, then there is a mortal sin.

To elaborate.

First, fornication is a grave matter.

Another one is that person committed it with full knowledge. It means there was a consciousness that it is a sin.

Lastly, committed it with full consent. Knowing how sinful it was, it was still intentionally carried out.

Note that all conditions must be present. If it does not contain even just one of these conditions, it will then fall as venial.

However, although venial sins need not be confessed, it is still encouraged especially when the matter is grave like fornication o premarital sex.


So now, let’s proceed in answering the question.

How to confess sex before marriage?

To confess, you just have to tell the priest that you had sex out of marriage.

You can also mention to him the times or how long have you been committing this sin.

The priest will then give you counsel, ask you for penance, and finally absolve you.

To know more about confessing lustful sins, here’s a guide.

If it is your first time in confession, you can check this Confession Guide.

For a list of other mortal sins, you can check this out.


Confessing embarrassing sins like premarital sex is difficult to do. You need to unveil your secret and fearfully hear what the priest would say to you after. It takes a lot of courage! However, at the end of the day, what matters is our heart which is willing to change. To be better, to be holier. Going to confession is a huge first step. This is the best way to start fresh and change one’s spiritual life. Confess your sins, and receive God in the Eucharist.

St. Gerard Majella, Patron Saint of Good Confessions, pray for us.

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