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Tom wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Am I wrong in receiving the Eucharist without first going to Confession?
  • Also if it is wrong, why do so many Parishioners do this?, and
  • How often should a person go to Confession?



  { Should I receive the Eucharist without going to Confession and, if its wrong, why do so many do it? }

Eric replied:

Hi, Tom —

You need only go to Confession if you are conscious of a mortal sin.


Paul replied:


I concur with Eric on your first question.

To answer your second question, many parishioners today are unaware of what mortal sin is because of our culture's loss of the sense of sin and their own abysmal religious education.
Hence, many don't realize they shouldn't be going up to receive Holy Communion until they go to Confession. They need to be properly educated about this to appreciate the sacrilege of their actions.

On your third question, the Church has a minimum requirement of sacramental Confession of once a year, but going to Confession as soon as possible after a mortal sin is committed would be wise.

Many people who take Confession seriously go every two to four weeks. I've heard through the grapevine the last pope went to Confession every week and he may be declared a saint before too long.


Bob replied:


You need not go to Confession every time you receive Communion, but in the case of serious sin you do. If you have committed sin that is serious, conscious, and unrepented, then you should absolutely abstain from receiving the Eucharist. Venial sins (the everyday stuff we do because of our fallen nature) should not hold you back. In these cases, the Eucharist brings the grace needed to overcome these faults.

Most people are poorly catechized on the proper reception of the Eucharist, they don't understand Confession, and aren't leading very reflective lives. If you are a conscientious Christian, you take it seriously and learn the facts. Since you have done that, you can be a witness to others.

Monthly confession is good (or even more frequent, if you are trying to overcome some struggle.)

God bless.


Bob K.

Mike replied:

Hi, Tom —

If you are conscientious of serious sin, (e.g. sins of the flesh), Yes, you do have to go to Confession first. There should be a priest at your parish every Saturday afternoon.

Because our culture is so sex-saturated, this can be a very tough problem to overcome. There was another questioner who struggled a lot in this specific area and her concern was that she didn't think she was able to make a firm purpose of amendment against this sin.

I told her to ask the priest in the Confessional for the grace to make a better firm purpose of amendment against any difficult sins.

On the frequency of Confession:

In my opinion, it depends on the nature of the sins you are struggling with and the responsibility you have been given. The higher you are in any earthly organization, the more the devil will strive to bring you down. He would rather bring down an admiral, caption, or president, rather than a private or some one just out of boot camp. For short, the more responsibility your position has, the more you should strongly consider going to Confession on a frequent basis.

I vaguely remember the bishops recommending monthly Confession for Catholic families.

Hope this helps,


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