It’s Lent AND the Year of Mercy–an ideal time to go to Confession, and many parishes are offering extended times for confession between now and Easter! Are you apprehensive about going to confession (Sacrament of Reconciliation)? Don’t be. Confession apps are ready to help make your experience in the confessional box less awkward and more transformative. Lent is a particularly important time to go to confession as the sacrament prepares us for Easter celebrations and the reception of Holy Eucharist (which Catholics must do during the Easter season). It really is a most transformative and grace-filled adventure to go through the process of a good confession and enjoy the rich mercy promised by Our Lord. Our recommended confession apps are designed to help you every step of the way.
Because the sacrament requires a good effort at an examination of conscience, the apps we selected for your consideration offer a variety of creative means of exploring yourself, your relationship with God and the various ways we rupture that from time to time. First, a word of caution:
Apps of this nature are NOT meant to be a substitute for sacramental confession with a priest.
Not convinced about the importance of this sacrament? Have questions about it? Forgot how to go to confession? Check out the list of resources linked below our app recommendations. Finally, yes, you can bring your mobile device into the confessional if it will help you to make a good confession. Go for it.
The Confession App ($.99) iOS , Android. Interactive features of this app help engage you in the process of making a good confession from examination of conscience to absolution. If you are new to the sacrament or have forgotten how to make a good confession, this app provides gentle and encouraging help every step of the way. It is designed to make the process easy for you by providing a comprehensive examination of conscience with large check boxes for items you wish to confess. Your choices (and any text you type in) get distilled into a separate Confession Guide for you to take into the confessional to walk you through everything you need to say including your Act of Contrition. Large font makes it easy to read in the low light setting. Of course, your backlit screen helps too.
Feel secure knowing no data is stored to the phone hard drive or to the internet. The really cool part? After confession, you get the satisfaction of being able to hit the “Erase My Sins” button and watch your check marked sins removed from the temporary cache in the phone or tablet–a technological symbol of what just happened to your soul! Users seem to enjoy that particular feature of this app. Catechism and scripture references are included. Here’s a video of the many features contained in this app.
A systematic aid to assist you in making a good confession, Confession is one of the top Catholic apps downloaded on iTunes and has even received a U.S. Bishop’s imprimatur. This app has been a finalist in Readers’ Choice Award for best Catholic app and a finalist in the Catholic New Media awards for best Catholic app. Confession walks you through the sacrament with a fairly detailed examination of conscience based on the 10 Commandments. Tap a number next to each sin listed. From this selection process, a script (for lack of a better description) is offered which you may take into the confessional to read from–easy to do as your device is backlit. Everything in your script is in order, so you are assured that nothing important is missing and you don’t have to worry about memorizing prayers. Once you scroll through the script, all your listed sins are automatically wiped away (just as they are on your soul through this sacrament!) As an added assurance, the app is password protected to help maintain your privacy. It is regrettable that the listed sins are not categorized as “mortal” or “venial,” giving the impression that littering and murder are of equal gravity. It is presumed you know, and certainly your confessor will know. Also, white type on a black screen is difficult to read. We presume this is to minimize the light from the backlit screen should you choose to use this in the confessional.
Laudate (Free) Apple and Android, Kindle Fire This all-in-one app contains an examination of conscience and preparation for confession. It contains a Confession App, daily examination of conscience and Examen podcasts from Pray-As-You-Go. Steps walk you through the process of making a good confession complete with recommended prayers. Available in English, Español, Português, Italiano, Bahasa and Polski.
Penance Project (Free) Android. This is a simple app centered on examining your conscience in preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession). It focuses on the seven deadly sins and the 10 Commandments.
Resources for Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession)
Making a Good Confession – detailed instruction
Fr. Z’s Tips for Making a Good Confession – practical advice
Fr. Z offers an objective overview of confession apps in general and Mea Culpa app in particular–which is no longer available.
Why do I have to confess to a priest? (Bishop Robert Barron answers in this video)
Apps to help you find a local Catholic church
Contact a local parish to find out days/times it offers Sacrament of Reconciliation
Mass Times for Travel (Free) iOS and Android The developers at MassTimes.org say they host and share the most comprehensive database of Catholic churches and worship times in existence. This fuels their website and app which provides worship times, church locations, contact information, website links and maps covering 117,000 churches in 201 countries/territories.
Mass Times (Free)- iOS [Android coming soon] From Developer: Traveling? Need to find the nearest church, its Mass schedule, and map/directions? The Catholic Directory App will help you quickly find all this and more — the nearest churches, Mass times, web sites, maps, directions, staff, bulletins, and other important information.