When is the Sacrament of Reconciliation available?
Our regular schedule for the Sacrament of Reconciliation is available on our front page under the Parish Schedule menu.
What is the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
In the Sacrament of Reconciliation we receive the forgiveness of God. “… bishops and priests, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, have the power to forgive all sins ‘in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit’” (CCC 1461).
Why should you receive this Sacrament?
Even though a person has been Baptized, we recognize that people continue to sin. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is an opportunity to receive God’s forgiveness for those sins we commit after our Baptism and for which we are truly sorry. God has set up this Sacrament as the ordinary place to receive forgiveness of our sins. While venial sins may be forgiven outside of this sacrament, those who have committed grave sins must receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. There are few exceptions to this, for example: if you should have a car accident and die on your way to Confession. “Since the new life of grace received in Baptism does not abolish the weakness of human nature nor the inclination to sin (that is, concupiscence), Christ instituted this sacrament for the conversion of the baptized who have been separated from him by sin” (Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 297).
How to go to Confession?
Preparation: Before entering the confessional take some time to ask the Holy Spirit to show you what sins you have committed since your last Confession. Some people find that using an Examination of Conscience is helpful. If you would like one they are available by dropping into our office and at the back of the church.
Greeting: When you are ready, enter the Confessional. The priest will usually greet you and you will begin by making the Sign of the Cross. Next say “Bless me Father for I have sinned. It has been X days/weeks/months/years since my last Confession.” Try your best to be accurate. If you are not sure simply tell the priest you are not sure.
Confession: The next thing is to tell the priest those sins which the Holy Spirit has reminded you of. If any of them are grave sins you should say the number of times you committed them. Again, if you do not know, simply tell the priest you do not know. “The confession of venial sins is strongly recommended by the Church, even if this is not strictly necessary, because it helps us to form a correct conscience and to fight against evil tendencies. It allows us to be healed by Christ and to progress in the life of the Spirit” (Compendium of the Cathecism of the Catholic Church, 306). You do not need to say the number of times you have committed venial sins. One further note: if you do not know whether a certain thing is a venial or a grave sin, or if it is even a sin at all, ask the priest and he will be able to help you. The priest will assign a small penance for you to do when you leave the Confessional.
Act of Contrition: He will ask you to make an Act of Contrition. An example of an Act of Contrition could be: O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven, and the pains of hell; but most of all because they offend You, my God, Who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life.
Absolution: The priest will give you absolution at which point God forgives your sins and wipes them away. Finally, he will dismiss you and you may go into the main church to do your penance with the certain knowledge that God has forgiven your sins.