Sacrament of Penance (Confession or Reconciliation)
The Sacrament of Penance (Confession or Reconciliation) is a Sacrament of Forgiveness and Healing.
The word "Penance" comes from a Greek word meaning "change of heart". What change in you do you want God's help to make through the grace of the sacrament at this time in your life?
Prayer of Sorrow (Contrition) from Rite of Penance
My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.
In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good
I have sinned against you whom I should love above above all things.
I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more,
and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.
Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy.
Preparation for the Sacrament
1. Take some time to think about God's love for you. Tell God of your love and be quiet for a few moments.
2. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to see what you have done wrong and how you might repair the harm done by your wrongdoing or how you might change what you are doing.
3. Think about what you want to confess. Are there any serious sins? What do you need to confess to help you grow in your living of the Christian life?
Celebration of the Sacrament
1. Mention how long it has been since your last confession. If this is your 1st confession since your Baptism, how long ago was that?
2. The priest will lead you through the ritual. Your responsibility is to confess your sins as clearly as you can, to be sorry for what you have done, want to do better, and to plan to avoid as much as possible what leads you to sin.
3. After your confession of sin, you will be asked to express your sorrow for your sins. You may read a prayer, say one you memorized, or express your sorrow in your own words. Do what is best for you at the time.
After the Celebration of the Sacrament
1. Thank God for being forgiven.
2 Do the penance the priest asks you to do or plan when you are going to do it.
3. Leave with a renewed desire to follow Jesus more closely.
Area communal penance services with the opportunity for individual confession are scheduled during Advent and Lent. These services consist of a time of prayer together followed by the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of God's love and forgiveness. Several priests are available for confession so there is a choice as to whom to approach. You may leave when you are ready to do so. If you wish not to go to confession during this service, you may leave after the prayer service.