I arrived a few minutes early for confession, but the priest never showed. If I had I been hit by a bus and died, would my sins have been forgiven since I showed up for confession?
While the act of showing up for confession does not, in itself, obtain forgiveness of sins, it may be an indication of contrition—”sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with a resolution not to sin again” (CCC 1451). Contrition does forgive sins when it is perfect. The Catechism explains: “When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called ‘perfect’ (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible” (CCC 1452).