Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) takes place:
SS. Mary and Laurence Church: Before Saturday evening mass.
What is the Sacrament of Reconciliation ?
The Sacrament of Penance is also known as the ‘Sacrament of Reconciliation’ or traditionally called ‘Confession’. It is the rite by which sins are confessed and forgiven. Sin is failure to recognise and love God in the way we think or act. Sin is also not just a failure to love God directly but also a failure to love one another. This is referred to as “the community sense of sin”.
In this sacrament, people are forgiven their sins by the words and actions of the priest. We call this ‘Absolution’. The priest represents God and the community who is affected by sin and the priest ministers forgiveness on behalf of God and the community.
Forms Of Celebration
The sacrament can be celebrated in a one-to-one encounter with a priest: this is known as ‘individual confession’. Many parishes also organise ‘Penitential Services’ at special times; e.g. Advent, Lent and Parish Missions. In this form of celebration, which is communal, people prepare as a community and many priests hear the confessions individually and people receive absolution individually.
Penance is a sign of sorrow and a commitment to try to make amends. It is also a sign of our sincerity to change our lives. This is what is meant by conversion. When the Sacrament is a communal celebration, the penance is said as a community, once all have had the opportunity to confess. When celebrated in the traditional one-to-one form, a penance is given and the person takes on that penance privately.
Penance – What is it?
Penance is one of the two Sacraments of Healing, Anointing of the Sick being the other.
It is also known as the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession. Confession is what we do (We Confess our sins to God in the person of the Priest) Penance is what it is!
It is the means by which:
• we say sorry to God and to the whole Church community – represented by the priest;
• we receive God’s forgiveness and healing and we are reconciled with the community (the Church),
• we also receive from God, the grace to start over with a clean slate.
What Happens In Penance?
The Sacrament of Penance is very simple. We come to God, represented by the priest and we tell God of the times when we did not live the way God would want us to, we ask for forgiveness and healing of our weaknesses and we promise to try better. We then receive God’s forgiveness and are reconciled to God and the Church.
Why the Church, can’t I confess my sins directly to God and be forgiven? Yes, but sometimes our mistakes (sins) have implications beyond ourselves and can affect our relationships within the community of the Church, so we ask the community for forgiveness. The priest is the community’s official representative.
Any person who has been baptised and prepared appropriately can celebrate this sacrament.
Celebrating The Sacrament of Penance/Reconcilliation For The First Time
As part of preparation for Eucharist, children will also be prepared to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance/Reconciliation (First Confession).
Adults can avail of the Sacrament by contacting any of the priests of the parish. We also have Penitential Services twice a year usually during Lent and Advent.