EWTN Catholic Q&A
Question from Danielle on 03-06-2013:

I will be going to confession in a few days. Can I start my confession by making a statement or asking the priest a question instead of or before I say "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned"? I want to know so I can be mentally prepared as to what to say.

Answer by Catholic Answers on 03-06-2013:


It would be better to start out with "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It's been [plug in time] since my last confession." The priest is expecting that formula as the "opening" to the confession. If you make statements or ask questions before starting the traditional formula, it could make it more difficult for the priest to judge whether or not your statement or question is part of the sacramental confession (and thereby covered by the sacramental seal).

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers