PENANCE / RECONCILIATION
“Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God’s mercy for the offense committed against him, and are at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example and by prayer labours for their conversion.” (CCC 1422)
Life is difficult and human nature is weak and so we are inclined to sin which harms our relationships with others and God. In the sacrament of Penance or Reconciliation through the ministry of the Church the priest forgives the penitent and reconciles him/her to God and society.
Helps to make a good confession:
Begin with a prayer to the Holy Spirit to help you recollect yourself. Know that we have a loving Father, God who awaits our return and is always ready to forgive unconditionally.
Make an examination of conscience
The Golden Rule for life is: “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Mt 7:12)
The Ten Commandments given to Moses make a good frame of reference for a good confession and Jesus summarized them into just two:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. (summarizing the first 3 commandments of the Mosaic Law)
You shall love your neighbour as yourself (summary of the remaining 7 commandments)
The Five Precepts of the Church and the Seven Corporal works of Mercy elaborate on the Decalogue (10 Commandments)
The Five Precepts of the Church:
You shall attend Mass on Sundays and on holy days of obligation and remain free from work or activity that could impede the sanctification of such days.
You shall confess your sins at least once a year.
You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season
You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church
You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church.
The Seven Corporal Works of Mercy:
Feed the hungry
Give drink to the thirsty
Clothe the naked
Shelter the homeless
Visit the sick
Visit the imprisoned
Bury the dead
After an examination of conscience make a mental note of your sins and then get into the line for confession.
Enter the confessional, kneel or sit and make the Sign of the Cross
Greet the priest with the words “Bless me Father for I have sinned, my last confession was ______weeks / months / years ago”
Confess your sins saying, “my sins are ……
Listen to what the priest has to tell you and accept the prayers or deeds he proposes as penance
When the priest asks you to make an act of contrition pray the following prayer:
O my God, I am sorry for all my sins because they displease you who are all good and deserving of all my love. With your help I will sin no more.
The priest will then give the absolution to which penitent responds ‘Amen.’
Return to the pew and pray the penance prescribed by the priest and whisper a thanksgiving prayer to God.
In this parish:
Priests are available for confession every Saturday from 6.30 p.m. to 7.00 p.m.
OR by appointment.
It is recommended to make a dialogue confession.