My oldest child is preparing for his first penance, so I will likely be writing more on this subject over the next month or two.
One thing that is helpful for people in receiving this sacrament is knowing what to say. A while ago my wife asked me to make her a printable cheat sheet. She actually writes in her sins but that’s not necessary.
So here it is (click on the link Confession ) for anyone who would like to use it. If you do write your sins down I suggest you burn it afterward.
Of course if it is your first confession you will say “this is my first confession”, rather than “it has been…”.
This is just one ‘form’ for making ones confession. It’s not the only way. For example, I sometimes conclude my confession with “for these and all the sins of my life, especially those against (name the virtue contrary to your chief faults) I am sorry”. Confession can be less formal than this, but for many people having structure in what to say helps them. This is no different than how manners and etiquette help us know how to act in unfamiliar situations.