Penance and Reconciliation is the sacrament through which God’s mercy and forgiveness the sinner is reconciled with; God, himself/herself, and also with the Church and Christ’s body.
Reconciliation at Mary, Mother of the Church
For information about preparing for First Reconciliation, please visit our Children’s Faith Formation page.
The sacrament of reconciliation is offered each Saturday 9:00am in the church and Tuesdays at 7:00 a.m. in the priest’s office or by appointment by calling the Parish Office.
Preparation for First Reconciliation and First Communion
Second graders prepare for First Holy communion within the context of their Faith Formation program (at the parish and at home.)
How to Go to Confession…
Before going to confession, take some time to prepare. Begin with prayer, and reflect on your life since your last confession. How have you—in your thoughts, words, and actions—neglected to live Christ’s commands to “love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mt 22:37, 39)? As a help with this “examination of conscience,” you might review the Ten Commandments or the Beatitudes (Ex 20:2-17; Dt 5:6-21; Mt 5:3-10; or Lk 6:20-26).
The priest will welcome you; he may say a short blessing or read a Scripture passage.
- The Sign of the Cross
Together, you and the priest will make the Sign of the Cross. You may then begin your confession with these or similar words: “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.”
Confess all your sins to the priest. If you are unsure what to say, ask the priest for help. When you are finished, conclude with these or similar words: “I am sorry for these and all my sins.”
The priest will propose an act of penance. The penance might be prayer, a work of mercy, or an act of charity. He might also counsel you on how to better live a Christian life.
- 6. Act of Contrition
After the priest has conferred your penance, pray an Act of contrition, expressing sorrow for your sins and resolving to sin no more. A suggested Act of Contrition is: “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 all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.”
The priest will extend his hands over your head and pronounce the words of absolution. You respond, “Amen.”
The priest will usually praise the mercy of God and will invite you to do the same. For example, the priest may say, “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good.” And your response would be, “His mercy endures forever.”
The priest will conclude the sacrament, often saying, “Go in peace.”
“How to Go to Confession” is Copyright © 2013, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. Scripture excerpts taken from the New American Bible , rev. ed. © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. All rights reserved.
Excerpts from the English translation of Rite of Penance © 1974, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. This text may be reproduced in whole or in part without alteration for nonprofit educational use, provided such reprints are not sold and include this notice.