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Dana wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have not been to Church in several years, in part, due to medical reasons. My father tells me I have to go to Confession before receiving Communion again.

I asked a priest and he said that was not true but my father is a devout Catholic. This is an issue I've been struggling with.

A response would be appreciated.


  { Since I haven't been to Church in a while, should I go to Confession before receiving Communion? }

John replied:

Hi, Dana —

You don't need to go to Confession before you go back to Church. However, before you receive the Eucharist you may, indeed, need to go to Confession. You said that you've been away from Church in part for medical reasons. That could excuse some of your absence, but if there was no legitimate reason for your failure to practice your faith, in other instances, then technically you may not be in a state of grace.

All that said, it wouldn't hurt for you to go to Confession if you haven't gone in a while. Even if you are not in a state of mortal sin, I highly doubt you are without sin. That being the case, you should go to Confession regardless of whether you technically need to or not.

In fact, it's a good practice to make a monthly Confession even if you don't have a major sin to confess. It's always good for us to examine our conscience in the light of the Gospel and seek the grace that comes through Confession.


Mary Ann replied:

Dana —

If medical reasons have literally prevented you from attending Mass, then you have no reason to go to Confession, only reason to rejoice that now you are able to attend.

If that is not the case, you should confess before receiving Communion.

Mary Ann

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