Background textures in the tables are from Eos Development.
Preparation for Confession
The Orthodox Mystery or Sacrament of Confession
Before we go to Confession, it is important that we prepare by
examining our conscience. There are numerous examinations of the conscience
that may be found in various prayerbooks and other resources. One is based
on the Ten Commandments, another on the Beatitudes. This preparation is
based on the St. Theodora's Journey Through the Aerial Toll-Houses as
told to St. Gregory in the tenth Century and recounted in Eternal Mysteries
Beyond the Grave, compiled by Archimandrite Panteleimon (Jordanville:
Holy Trinity Monastery, 1996 ), pp. 69-87.
I, a sinful soul, confess to our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ, all of my
evil acts which I have done, said or thought from baptism even unto this present
This particular examination of conscience, based on the the Vision of Blessed Theodora
was found at the website of St. Nicholas Church in Dallas, TX, and is used with
First Torment: Idle speech
Have you spoken without thinking? or spoken too much? or spoken anything that
is impure? or shameless? or without need or order? or unreasonable? or
Have you thought or said angry words or foul words?
Have you participated with or sung worldly shameless songs in word or thought?
Have you laughed unnecessarily or excessively? or laughed about things that
you shouldn't have laughed about or found funny?
Have you acted too silly?
Second Torment: Lying
Have you kept the vows of your baptism?
Have you failed to keep oaths or promises to God?
Have pronounced the name of God without reverence?
Have you falsely confessed your sins? or was insincere about, belittled,
justified, or kept silent about your sins during confession?
Have you lied?
Have you been sly or secretly mischievous? or have you been deceptive or
Have you honestly obeyed traffic laws?
Have been argumentative or stubborn?
Third Torment: Spoke evil of others
Have you spread rumors or gossiped in thought or in word?
Have you slandered anyone wanting to or intending to injure the reputation of
Have you given bad ideas or words to people?
Have you laughed at other's deficiencies or misfortunes?
Have you maligned treated anyone with malice or shown hatred toward or abused
or wronged or injured anyone?
Have you condemned anyone? or declared others unfit?
Have you made fun of people in thought, word, or action? or mocked in a
Have you reproached anyone or reflected on anyone abusively?
Have you taunted, teased, or tempted anyone?
Have you insulted anyone?
Fourth Torment: Gluttony
Have you eaten before I put on the sign of the cross?
Have you eaten when you were not hungry?
Have you eaten too much at one time or became too full during the fasts?
Have you eaten without having thankfulness to God?
Have you eaten like a slob or out of control stuffing food in your mouth?
Have you consumed too many alcoholic beverages to the point of being drunk?
Have you respected the feasts and fasts as much as I should?
Have you broken the fasts?
Have you not looked forward to the fasts taking in mind the true meaning and
purpose of them?
Have you eaten too many sweet foods for the enjoyment of them or had a love of
Have you had gluttonous fantasies?
Fifth Torment: Sloth
Have you taken efforts to remember and extensively learn the Commandments of
God and the precepts of the Holy Fathers by reading spiritual things?
Have you kept your physical and spiritual passions in check all the time? Or
had a general carelessness about doing things having to do with the salvation
of your soul?
Have you devoted yourself to the comforts of life?
Have you lacked endurance towards my illnesses and sorrows by not struggling
against your passions as much as you should?
Have you been idle? or not worked as hard as you could have? or fallen asleep
at work? or not wanted to get out of bed?
Have you complained about having to work or attend long services or say long
Have you cared to praise and thank God as much as I could or should have
throughout the day?
Have you failed to keep in continual prayer trying always to keep your mind on
Have you dwelled upon your previous sins?
Have you fallen into despondency? Or given up hope or not having faith in God
that He can and will change you?
Have you forgotten to pray at certain times during the day?
Have you rushed through or not said your morning and evening prayers
Have you attended the services completely?
Have you been fully prepared to go to Church to worship? or have you gone to
Church only half-heartedly, lazily, and carelessly?
Have you conversed during the services about things not having to do with the
Have you paid complete attention during the services?
Have you let your mind wander or daydream or think other ungodly thoughts
during prayer or services?
Have you left the Church before the dismissal and blessing?
Have you forced yourself to do good at all times?
Have you had a weak will?
Sixth Torment: Stealing
Have you stolen anything or thought seriously about stealing something?
Seventh Torment: Avarice and love of money
Have you loved riches?
Have you been content with what God gave you?
Have you wished in your mind that you had more money than you do already?
Have you acquired unnecessary things? or had and immoderate attachment to
Have you been too concerned or caught up with material things?
Have you been too concerned with things having to do with the flesh?
Have you bought things in exchange for proper tithing?
Have you been greedy or selfish?
Have you worried about money or financial circumstances instead of putting
your trust in God?
Have you had fantasies about material wealth or having riches?
Eighth Torment: Usury
Have you gained riches by exploiting people?
Have you accepted bribes?
Have you acquired something that belonged to another?
Ninth Torment: Injustice
Have you judged anyone?
Have you acquitted the guilty and condemned the innocent all for the sake of
Have you been unjust in anyway?
Have you accused an innocent person of committing an act that they did not do?
Tenth Torment: Envy
Have you envied anyone? or been jealous?
Eleventh Torment: Pride
Have you been prideful?
Have you thought myself better than anybody else?
Have you considered yourself worthy while considering others unworthy?
Have you had a high opinion of yourself in any way?
Have you talked down to anyone?
Have you compared or measured yourself up to anyone?
Have you looked out for other people's faults rather than your own?
Have you tried to conceal the shortcomings of others while trying to conceal
Have you been critical of other people or criticized anyone?
Have you been arrogant, vain, or conceited?
Have you relied completely on yourself rather than God?
Have you bragged or boasted of things that you have accomplished? Have you
loved praise and honors? Have you put on airs?
Have you been prideful of the good deeds that you have done?
Have you failed to give proper honor or obey your parents or superiors
appointed by God? Have you been disobedient?
Have you thought yourself self-important?
Have you been self-willed instead of trying always to do the will of God?
Have you been self-righteous? Have you self-justified your sins?
Have you disregarded the counseling of your conscience?
Have you failed to confess any of your sins through negligence or false pride?
Have you been impatient or anxious about anything in which you shouldn't be
that way about?
Have you been prejudice towards anyone for any reason?
Have you had prideful fantasies of power, fame, or glory?
Twelfth Torment: Anger and Ruthlessness
Have you felt anger?
Have you said anything unfeeling towards anyone? Have you harmed or hurt
anyone's feelings in any way?
Have you carried on arguments with anyone about anything in your head?
Thirteenth Torment: Bearing grudges
Have you nurtured evil thoughts against anyone?
Have you returned evil for evil?
Have you remembered wrongs anyone did to you in the past?
Have you bore any grudges instead of understanding, loving, and forgiving?
Have you kept in mind when anyone made offences towards you?
Have you imagined ways you could have revenge on anyone?
Fourteenth Torment: Murder
Have you wounded anyone is some way?
Have you had any violent or destructive thoughts?
Have you had any harmful thoughts aimed towards anyone?
Have you wished evil upon anyone?
Have you been angry with people without a just cause?
Fifteenth Torment: Magic, sorcery, poisoning, and incantations
Have you thought about your past interest in magic and things relating to
Have you imaged Holy things having some sort of magical properties?
Sixteenth Torment: Fornication
Have you had any sensual or lustful thoughts? carnal thoughts?
Have you daydreamed about amorous and lustful things and found them sweet?
Have you made impure glances?
Have you touched yourself in a lustful or passionate way that was pleasing or
Have you had blasphemously lustful thoughts about saints and holy people?
Have you been unchaste in thought, word, or deed?
Have you waken up from lustful bad dreams and found them pleasing to think
Have you had fantasies of lust or fornication?
Seventeenth Torment: Adultery
Have you had any adulterous thoughts with married people?
Eighteenth Torment: Sodomic sins
Have you sinned against your nature?
Nineteenth Torment: Heresies
Have you participated in Holy Communion having as much humility or the fear of
God as you should?
Have you loved and feared the Lord always?
Have you turned away from the Orthodox confession of faith by apostatizing and
agreeing with false doctrines or beliefs?
Have you lacked faith?
Have you doubted or had misconceptions about the faith?
Have denied holy things or had a negative attitude towards them?
Have you been grateful for all of God's great and unceasing gifts, His mercy,
His long-suffering, and His providence?
Have you fulfilled the Holy Commandments of God, the canons, and the rules of
Have you blasphemed or swore in thought or word?
Have you thought curse words when you pray?
Have you turned words of prayer into profane words or filthy concepts?
Have you feared man instead of God?
Have you been too attached to parents, relatives, and friends?
Have you answered the telephone during prayer?
Twentieth Torment: Lack of compassion and cruelty of the heart
Have you lacked mercy, forgiveness, compassion, and love for anyone?
Have you felt hatred toward anyone? or any other manifestation of hatred?
Have you been unfriendly to anyone? or been cruel?
Have you ridiculed anyone?
Have you rejoiced at the misfortunes of other's?
Have you had abusive or violent thoughts?
Have you been polite and friendly while driving on the roads and highways?
I have sinned in deed, word, and thought, voluntarily and involuntarily,
knowingly and unknowingly, in knowledge and in ignorance, willingly and
unwillingly, thoughtfully and thoughtlessly, by day and by night, and it is
impossible to enumerate all of my sins because of their multitude. But I truly
repent of these and all others not mentioned by me because of my forgetfulness
and I ask that they be forgiven through the abundance of the mercy of God.
Used with permission of St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Dallas Texas
I am very grateful to their website for the assistance it provided in creating this triple-layer page!
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Elizabeth W. Riggs
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