No matter if you go to confession regularly or haven’t been in years, the Father is longing to run to you and welcome you home.
"Confession catches the sinner in his fall away from God… It makes visible the fact that the Church turns to all sinners… I have been baptized, but I do not live according to the rule of baptism. I have been confirmed, but I am no apostle of Christ. I do attend Mass, but it remains incomprehensible for me… Saints are shown to me, but I am simply not one… But if I am told that the confessional is reserved for sinners, then I know that here finally is a place for me; it is precisely I who am meant. The pew there was especially made for me” (Adrienne Von Speyr, Confession, 93-94).
Children who are at least seven years old may prepare to celebrate the Sacrament of Confession for the first time. Formation begins before first reception of the Eucharist.
Examination of Conscience
Before celebrating the Sacrament of Confession, one should prepare themselves with an examination of conscience. An examination of conscience is a “prayerful self-reflection on our words and deeds in the light of the Gospel to determine how we may have sinned against God” — Glossary, The Catechism of the Catholic Church.
There are various types of examinations of conscience but regardless of which one you use to prepare yourself for the Sacrament it should be rooted in Scripture; particularly, the Ten Commandments and Beatitudes. You can view examples here of Examinations of Conscience that can help you prepare for the Sacrament.
Examination of Conscience for children
Examination of Conscience for Tweens and Teens
Examination of Conscience for Young Adults
Examination of Conscience for Single People
Examination of Conscience for Married Persons