25+ Examples of Church Confessions (List)

In the context of a confession at church, particularly within the Catholic tradition where the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) is practiced, individuals confess their sins to a priest in a private setting.

The specific sins or issues confessed can vary widely depending on the individual’s experiences, conscience, and spiritual struggles.

Confession Examples

However, there are common themes or types of confessions that people often bring to the priest, including:

  1. Anger and Resentment: Confessing to harboring anger, resentment, or unforgiveness towards others.
  2. Lust and Impurity: Confessions related to sexual thoughts, pornography, premarital sexual activities, or adultery.
  3. Envy and Jealousy: Admitting feelings of envy or jealousy towards the success, possessions, or status of others.
  4. Greed and Materialism: Confessions concerning excessive attachment to material possessions or money.
  5. Laziness (Sloth): Admitting to laziness, especially in terms of spiritual duties, prayer, or neglecting responsibilities.
  6. Pride and Vanity: Confessions about being overly proud, vain, or self-centered.
  7. Lying and Deception: Admitting to lying, deceiving others, or being dishonest.
  8. Theft and Cheating: Confessing to stealing, cheating, or taking something that doesn’t belong to them.
  9. Neglect of Duty: This can include failing to attend church, neglecting to pray, or not fulfilling family, work, or community responsibilities.
  10. Harmful Habits: Confessions may also involve admitting to struggles with substances like alcohol or drugs, or other harmful behaviors.
  11. Gossip and Slander: Confessing to speaking ill of others, spreading rumors, or damaging someone’s reputation without just cause.
  12. Gluttony: Admitting to overindulgence in food or drink to the point of waste or harm to health.
  13. Neglecting the Poor and Needy: Confessing to ignoring opportunities to help those in need, whether through direct aid, charity, or acts of kindness.
  14. Environmental Neglect: Admitting to irresponsible use of resources or carelessness towards the environment and God’s creation.
  15. Wrath and Violence: Confessing to acts of violence, harm towards others, or harboring violent thoughts.
  16. Dishonoring Parents or Authority: Admitting to disrespecting, disobeying, or neglecting one’s parents or legitimate authorities.
  17. Divisive Behavior: Confessing to causing division or conflict within communities, families, or groups.
  18. Doubt and Despair: Some individuals confess to struggling with faith, experiencing doubt about God’s presence or love, or despairing over personal circumstances.
  19. Failure to Forgive: Admitting to refusing or struggling to forgive someone who has wronged them, holding onto grudges.
  20. Superstition and Idolatry: Confessing to placing trust in superstitions, horoscopes, idols, or other entities besides God.
  21. Neglecting One’s Own Health: Admitting to neglecting physical, mental, or spiritual health, not taking care of oneself as a steward of God’s creation.
  22. Excessive Anxiety or Worry: While not a sin per se, some confess to excessive worry or anxiety, especially when it indicates a lack of trust in God’s providence.
  23. Participation in Unjust Systems: Confessing to knowingly participating in or benefiting from systems that exploit or oppress others.
  24. Omission: Sometimes, what is confessed is not an act committed, but a good act omitted; failing to do what one ought to have done.
  25. Breaking Promises to God: Admitting to failing to keep a promise made to God, whether it’s about changing a behavior, performing an act of devotion, or making a life change.

In addition to the common types of sins or issues people confess, there are more specific or less common examples that individuals might bring up during confession, reflecting the wide range of human experiences and moral challenges.

Before Confession

Before confessing, individuals are encouraged to examine their conscience, which involves reflecting on their thoughts, words, and actions in light of their faith’s moral teachings.

The confession itself is made directly to a priest, who listens, offers spiritual advice, and assigns a penance (a prayer or action to help repair the relationship with God and others).

The priest then grants absolution, a formal release from sin, in accordance with the rites of the Church.

It’s important to remember that the nature of confession is deeply personal and rooted in a desire for spiritual healing and reconciliation with God and the Church community.

The specifics of what is confessed are kept confidential under the seal of confession, a solemn duty of priests not to disclose anything heard during confession.

Are There Some Sins That Can’t Be Forgiven?

In many religious traditions, the concept of forgiveness is central, and there’s an emphasis on the possibility of forgiveness for all sins through genuine repentance and seeking reconciliation with God. However, the specific beliefs about unforgivable sins can vary significantly across different faiths. In Christianity, particularly within the Catholic Church, there is often discussion about the concept of “unforgivable sins.

In the context of Catholic theology, there is essentially only one sin that is traditionally considered “unforgivable,” and that is the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. This concept is mentioned in the Bible, specifically in the Gospels (e.g., Mark 3:28-29, Matthew 12:31-32, and Luke 12:10).

Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is often interpreted as a persistent and obstinate refusal to accept God’s mercy and forgiveness, a state of hardness of heart that leads a person to reject the Holy Spirit’s convicting power and the offer of grace until the end of their life. It is not so much a specific act as it is an ongoing state of refusal to turn to God for forgiveness.

Outside of this specific theological context, the prevailing message in many Christian denominations is that God’s mercy is boundless, and all sins can be forgiven if the person is truly repentant and seeks God’s forgiveness. This includes serious sins that may require specific sacramental confession and penance within certain Christian traditions.

In other religious traditions, views on forgiveness can vary widely, with most emphasizing the importance of sincere repentance, restitution where possible, and a genuine turning away from sinful behavior as conditions for forgiveness.

It’s important to note that discussions about unforgivable sins are deeply theological and can vary even within the same religious tradition, depending on interpretations and teachings. Engaging with religious texts, leaders, or scholars can provide further insight into this complex topic.


These examples highlight the diversity of concerns that might be brought to confession, ranging from interpersonal issues to personal moral and spiritual struggles.

The purpose of confession is not only to seek forgiveness but also to receive guidance, penance, and absolution that can help the penitent grow spiritually and morally.

The sacrament is designed to be a moment of honesty, healing, and renewal in one’s relationship with God and the community.

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