Fear of ‘Fession


Fine Art America

The Confession by Giuseppe Molteni

We all know that October is the month of Halloween and thus, all things scary. Most people put up fall wreaths and place pumpkins on their steps. Some people go the unnecessary extra mile and put up those awful, creepy, hanging things which have one too many times given me a heart attack after accidentally running into them. Those, along with spiders and the drawings that are left on Room 13’s chalkboard, are some examples of things I am afraid of. I’m sure people can relate and may also have additional fears like heights, water, and enclosed spaces. But one fear that people fail to mention is confession. 

Trust me, you are not the only one. 

It’s chapel period, and you have a solid amount of time to go to confession. You know it’s been at least a month or two. The door creaks open, you know you should go, and you want to because the refreshing feeling after confession as your soul has been cleansed is unmatched. Nobody moves, and for some reason by the time you tell yourself you’re going to go, someone else has already gone. Then it’s over and time to leave, and you can’t get over the fact that for some reason it is just so hard to go to confession.  

Whether this happens here at school, your parish, or any church, you should know that many people are in your shoes. 

Now, how does one get over this fear? I can offer some advice from my small fount of wisdom. 

I think first and foremost I should just say that people outside the confessional will not hear you especially if there is a noise machine on. Your subconscious mind is constantly worried that people outside might hear you and judge you. This is not a good mindset because then you are worried about that and thus may not end up telling the priest everything. As well as that, your mind is focused on worry instead of asking God for forgiveness.  

The second reason for fear is that the priest hearing your confession will judge you or think of you differently. You may feel especially awkward if you know the priest well. BUT, do not fear! I can 95% guarantee that no matter what you say, the priest has heard it before, however awful you feel it to be.  And unless you did something which you should be telling the police instead of the priest, you are going to be fine; sirens will not go off and if you have Father John, he may even laugh at your worry.   

No matter the reason for your hesitation of going to confession, you should know that you are probably just overthinking it. It may be helpful for you to write out your thoughts in a notebook and then bring it into confession with you in case you are afraid of forgetting to say something. It is also always helpful to remind yourself that the priest is there to help you, not condemn you. If you are about to go to confession and get a sudden rush of fear and take a step back, I want you to remember that however awkward you are going to feel, it will never be as bad as a certain someone’s homily jokes.


by Ava Ryan ’23, Faith Editor