The Sacrament of Reconciliation at St. Augustine Parish
- The Sacrament of Reconciliation is also called Confession.
- Candidates for First Communion must celebrate First Reconciliation before they participate in First Eucharist or Holy Communion.
- Preparation for First Reconciliation and First Communion are done together.
- Any baptized child aged 7, in Grade 2 or older may participate in First Reconciliation.
- Please contact the Parish Office for further details: call 403-783-4048 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is one of the most unique and beautiful aspects of the Catholic faith. Family life helps us understand this Sacrament in three ways:
- We learn that our actions have positive and negative effects on those around us.
- We learn that we need to ask forgiveness and give it, when requested.
- We learn there are rules for living in community that must not be broken, but when they are broken, we need to view each other with compassion and love. Also we need to recognize that there may be a need for making amends.
The Church teaches that the Sacrament of Baptism is the first step on our journey of faith. In Baptism, we were invited by God to be His sons and daughters. We began to live as members of God’s family.
We are on a journey that is taking us closer to God. Sometimes, on that journey, we don’t make good choices. The Sacrament of Reconciliation celebrates God’s forgiveness and reconciles us with God, the Church and ourselves.
How can we tell right from wrong? What is sin?
We can tell right from wrong because God has given us a conscience – a small inner voice in our hearts to help us know the difference. A sin is when we do something wrong, on purpose, that turns us away from God and hurts others. However, God is always ready to forgive us because He never stops loving us. Whenever we do not follow this teaching and turn away from God on purpose, we hurt our relationship with God and others.
“Be merciful and forgiving, as Jesus was and love others as he has loved us.” (CCC #2842)
Why go to Reconciliation?
Reconcile means “to resolve and repair.”
In the Sacrament of Reconciliation we resolve our sins and repair our relationship with Jesus, through the Priest (who acts in the name of Jesus.)
Jesus Christ, in His abundant love and mercy, established the Sacrament of Confession so that we as sinners can obtain forgiveness for our sins and reconcile with God, the Church, and ourselves.
The sacrament “washes us clean” and renews us.
How to celebrate First Reconciliation
- First, the priest welcomes you with joy. Greet him.
- You may kneel behind the screen in the Confessional or sit in front of the priest. Make the sign of the cross and say, “Bless me Father, for I have sinned. This is my First Reconciliation”
- Now tell the priest about times that you have done wrong on purpose and hurt other people in some way. The priest will NEVER tell anyone else what you say.
- The priest will ask you to make up for your sins by doing a special action or saying a prayer. This is called Penance.
- Now you tell God, through the priest, that you are sorry for your sins. You can use a prayer like this, “Oh God, I am sorry with all my heart for doing wrong. I love you and do not want to sin again. You are all good and deserving of all my love. I will try with your help to sin no more. Amen”
- The priest offers you God’s forgiveness with these words of Absolution: “I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
- These words are the sign that God forgives you and is giving you a fresh start. At the end you answer “Amen”.
- The priest may share the greeting of peace with you and say, “May the peace of Jesus be with you.” You will answer “And also with you.”
- Thank the priest as you leave, and remember to do or say the penance that the priest gave you.