The Sacrament of Reconciliation, also known as Penance and Confession
Second Graders from our School and Religious Education program make their first Reconciliation in February. Parents of children about to receive this sacrament should check the Religious Education calendar for information on the parent meetings, preparation, and the date of the First Reconciliation Communal Penance service. Sacramental Preparation Folder can be found below.
First Form: Private Confession
Private Confession is available on Saturdays - 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm, or by appointment.
How to make a confession:
The penitent should prepare to receive the Sacrament of Penance with a careful Examination of Conscience, recalling the Commandments of God, the Precepts of the Church and the duties of a particular state of life. Silent Reflection should be accompanied by prayer, especially to the Holy Spirit, and Scripture reading. One should recall and regret all of the sins committed since the last Confession.
After the penitent has recalled all of the sins to be confessed and mentally expressed genuine sorrow for them, the confessional or other place set aside for the celebration of the Sacrament is entered.
After being welcomed by the priest, the penitent makes the sign of the cross saying: "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."
The priest may read a short Scripture passage, then the penitent states the time since the last confession and confesses the sins recalled during the examination of conscience, including all mortal sins.
After the sins are confessed, the priest counsels the penitent and asks the penitent to do a penance, usually some prayers or a charitable work. The penitent accepts the penance.
The penitent expresses sorrow for sin in his or her own words, or by saying an Act of Contrition, or by saying short psalm of sorrow.
The priest then gives absolution saying:
"God the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
The penitent replies, "Amen."
The priest then says, "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good."
The penitent replies, "His mercy endures forever."
The penitent is then dismissed by the priest in the peace of Christ.
Second Form: Communal Penance
Communal Penance Services are held during Advent and Lent.
The people gather in Church to prepare for the sacrament by listening to the Word of God, reciting or singing penitential psalms and hymns and participating in community prayer. The priests will help those present to examine their conscience, the penitents will then approach one of the priests. Each penitent individually confesses his or her sins. This would include all mortal sins and any others he or she wishes to confess. The penitent then accepts a penance from the priest and receives absolution. After everyone has gone to confession, Father leads the community in a closing prayer, giving thanks for the reconciliation.
The above information is taken from Paragraphs 1420-1498 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church which explains the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Penance in detail.
sacramental prep folders 2012-13