Sacrament of Reconciliation
We focus on God’s love and forgiveness and in expressing sorrow for our sins. It is a powerful sign of Christ’s presence. Our relationship with the priest and God is part of the reconciliation with God and with the Church.
Preparation for Reconciliation
Older teenagers and adults will differ from that of infants and young children in that they will be part of a programme of adequate catechesis that may involve other programmes or special arrangement.
Practical points for Reconciliation Preparation
First Reconciliation (Confession) both precedes and is linked to a child’s preparation for First Holy Communion.
It is customary and good practice for children to be prepared for First Reconciliation around the age of 7/8 years (Year 3). It is important to recognise the readiness of a child to understand the process and their needs to be considered.
Reconciliation as part of the First Holy Communion programme is announced to the parish in October each year with an enrolment morning in early November. The programme will commence in January and run through to June of that year. First Reconciliation is celebrated in March each year.
Parents should see the Reconciliation Sacrament as part of their ongoing development of their family faith journey.
Once the Sacrament is received, reconciliation is available Saturday mornings 11.30-12.30pm and Saturday evening following the 6.15pm evening Mass. Also, by appointment.
The parish holds a Service of Reconciliation during Advent and Lent each year and these dates are made available to the parish through the parish newsletter and website and to which everyone is encouraged and welcomed to attend.
‘A pure heart create in me, O God, and give me again the joy of your help.’
Reconciliation by Fr Paul Connelly
Reconciliation is, if you like, a new name, a new way of thinking about what also we call Confession. It is the same thing. The difference arises because we are thinking of different parts of the same thing, the same Sacrament, the same single act. Confess, or confession is what we do. Reconciled, or reconciliation is what we are. We are reconciled to God by confessing our sins in the Sacrament, and receiving God’s forgiveness. Just as we, or at least I, never stop sinning, so we, or at least I never grow out of the need to go to Confession. Confession, and more specifically God’s loving forgiveness sets me free to continue my journey of life and faith towards the eternal life of Heaven.
We can go to confession in the confessional box, at set times that are in the newsletter, or we can ask a priest to hear our confession any time we choose. If we speak to a priest face to face, it is possible for us both to be a little more relaxed and hopefully at ease, confortable with God, with the priest and with ourselves. People worry about face to face confessions. They think the priest might be shocked or he might remember what they said or did the next time they see him. The priest’s only memory of confession is the humility of the penitent and the mercy of God. The priest’s sins probably embarrass him. My sins embarrass me, but that must never stop us asking for and receiving and living the joy of God’s forgiveness and love.