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RECEIVING THE SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION

HOW TO MAKE A GOOD CONFESSION OF YOUR SINS


 

stage 1 - preparation for reconciliation

 

EXAMINE YOUR CONSCIENCE AND YOUR LIFE

 

 

Give yourself some time alone to examine your conscience and ask yourself about your life, your Christian faith and your relationship with God. Think of times when you have turned away from God and not acted in the way Jesus taught us.  Here are some things which may have gone wrong:

 

Ask yourself:

 

  • do I pray regularly?

  • do I tell lies?

  • have I been considerate, kind and generous to others?

  • have I been dishonest by stealing or cheating?

  • am I deliberately unkind to someone or have I bullied anyone, physically or psychologically?

  • do I share with others or am I selfish?  Or spiteful?

  • do I share my gifts and talents with others?

  • do I break trust or promises?

  • do I take others for granted?

  • do I swear, use bad language, use God's name disrespectfully?

  • do I get drunk or use drugs?

  • have I sent messages which are unkind or upset or hurt others?

  • have I forgiven those who hurt me?

  • do I listen to gossip, or spread unkind stories about someone else?

  • do I go to Mass on Sundays?

  • have I been disobedient or disrespectful to my parents or those in authority?

  • have I been jealous?

  • have I participated in anything that is harmful to my soul? (e.g. used ouijua boards, tarot cards, fortune tellers, psychics, seances, astrology?)

  • have I read or watched inappropriate books, magazines, films, TV?

 

Say sorry to God for all your sins and ask Him for forgiveness

 

 

stage 2 - celebrating the sacrament

 

SAY YOUR SINS

 

When you get into the confessional, make the Sign of the Cross and say:

 

‘BLESS ME FATHER FOR I HAVE SINNED, IT IS ........ SINCE MY LAST CONFESSION

(How long since your last confession, e.g. several months, two weeks, a long time?)

 AND THESE ARE MY SINS.’

 

Talk to the priest about what you have done wrong since your last Confession, what you have done and what you have failed to do, and end by saying:

 

‘FOR THESE AND ALL OF MY SINS I AM TRULY SORRY AND SEEK GOD’S FORGIVENESS’

 

After this, the priest may talk to you about what you have said and give you advice.

 

RECEIVE PENANCE

 

The priest will then give you penance - either a prayer to say with true contrition or something to do to show God that you are truly sorry.

 

The priest will then invite you to make a formal act of contrition:

 

MAKE AN ACT OF CONTRITION - I SAY SORRY TO GOD

 

You can either say this prayer below or another one you know:  

 

‘O MY GOD, BECAUSE YOU ARE SO GOOD, I AM VERY SORRY

THAT I HAVE SINNED AGAINST YOU, AND WITH THE HELP OF YOUR GRACE

 I WILL NOT SIN AGAIN.’

 

RECEIVE ABSOLUTION FROM THE PRIEST

 

The priest will now give you absolution: God's forgiveness for your sins.  While he i doing this he extends his hands (or at least his right hand) over you.

 

The priest then gives you a special blessing and will say:

 

‘GO IN PEACE.’

 

 ‘THANK YOU FATHER.’

 

You thank the priest for helping you and say goodbye.