Examination of Conscience for Children

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Here is an "examination of conscience" - a guide for children to be used before receiving the sacrament of penance. It can be carried into church; or the parish priest may decide to make copies and have them available for the parish children to be used when they go to confession.

Prayer before Beginning

O my Saviour Jesus! I come to confess my sins and to beg your forgiveness in the holy sacrament of penance. Help me to remember my sins and to confess them carefully. O Mary, my heavenly Mother, pray for me that I may make a good confession! My dear guardian angel, help me to recall every sin since my last worthy confession.

Examination of Conscience

  • How long has it been since my last good confession?
  • Did I hide any sin from the priest?
  • Did I do the penance the priest gave me?
1st Commandment
  • Have I refused to believe anything which the Holy Catholic Church teaches? What was it?
  • Have I failed to learn my catechism: the Apostles Creed? The Ten Commandments? The seven sacraments? My prayers?
  • Have I failed to study my catechism as I should?
2nd Commandment
  • Have I taken the holy name of God in vain? How many times?
  • Have I spoken disrespectfully of priest? Or holy things? How many times?
  • Have I used other bad language? How many times?
3rd Commandment
  • Have I missed Mass on Sunday through my own fault? How many times?
  • Have I misbehaved in church? How many times?
  • Have I paid no attention to my prayers?
4th Commandment
  • Have I been disobedient or disrespectful to my parents or teachers? How many times?
  • Have I tried to provoke them? How many times?
5th Commandment
  • Have I had any fights or quarrels? How many times?
  • Have I made fun of anybody or called them names? How many times?
  • Have I picked on anyone or tried to provoke them? How many times?
6th Commandment
  • Have I done anything dirty or impure? How many times?
7th Commandment
  • Have I stolen anything?
  • Have I harmed anyone's property?
  • Have I cheated anyone?
  • Have I helped others to commit sin in any way?
8th Commandment
  • Have I lied about anyone? How many times?
  • Have I told other lies? To whom? How many times?
  • Have I talked behind other people's back? How many times?
  • Have I kept bad company? How many times?
9th Commandment
  • Have I purposely thought of dirty or impure things? How many times?
10th Commandment
  • Have I desired to have for myself what belongs to another?
Capital sins
  • Have I been guilty of boasting or bragging? How many times? (Pride)
  • Have I stuffed myself when eating? How many times? (Gluttony)
  • Have I used any dope or drugs? How many times?
  • Have I failed to study or do my other work? How many times? (Sloth)
  • Are there any other sins I may need to confess?

Prayer before Confession

O my Jesus, forgive me my sins! They have crucified you again in my heart!
Because of them I deserve to lose you forever and to suffer with the demons in the fires of hell.
But you have died that I may live and not lose my soul.
I wish now to thank thee with all my heart by keeping thy commandments and to please Thee in all that I do.
Help me to begin with a good confession.
To thee I confess my sins. I resolve, dear Jesus, to give them up. Please pardon me by the hand of thy priest!

Act of Contrition at the end of Confession

O, my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended thee, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell.
But most of all because they offend thee, my God, who art all good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve, with the help of thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen. (This prayer should be learned by heart.)

Prayer of Thanksgiving after Confession

O my God and saviour Jesus Christ, I thank thee with all my heart for pardoning my sins and for washing my sinful soul in thy precious blood from the cross!
So many times I have sinned against thee, and so many times you have forgiven me and given me another chance!
O grant that I may never wilfully break one of thy commandments again.
Grant that I may choose to die rather than lose thy grace and friendship.

Thank you, my dear Mother Mary. Help me to be thy very good child.

Thank you, my dear guardian angel. Please guide me on the path to paradise.

(Do not forget to say or do the penance given you by the priest.)

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