Preparing for Reconciliation

In the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, also called confession, we meet the Lord, who wants to grant forgiveness and the grace to live a renewed life in him. In this sacrament, he prepares us to receive him free from serious sin, with a lively faith, earnest hope, and sacrificial love in the Eucharist. The Church sees confession as so important that she requires that every Catholic go at least once a year. The Church also encourages frequent confession in order to grow closer to Christ Jesus and his Body, the Church. By the grace of the Holy Spirit, we seek forgiveness and repentance, let go of patterns of sin, grow in the life of virtue, and witness to a joyful conversion. Since the graces of the sacrament are so similar to the purpose of the New Evangelization, Pope Benedict XVI has said, “The New Evangelization . . . begins in the confessional!”

During Lent – in addition to the various penitential services during which individual confession takes place – our priests will be available for the celebration of this sacrament. We pray that through the work of the Holy Spirit, all Catholics will respond to the call of the New Evangelization to encounter Christ in the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. Come to the Lord and experience the extraordinary grace of his forgiveness!

Are you seeking to recover your friendship with God? Has it been a while since your last confession? No matter how long it has been or what your questions may be, we invite you to rediscover the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.

How To Go To Confession


Preparation:

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)

Greeting:

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. It has been [give days, months, or years] since my last confession.”

Confession:

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.”

Penance:

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.

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 ­ rmly intend, with your help,
to do penance,
to sin no more,
and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.
Our Savior Jesus Christ
suffered and died for us.
In his name, my God, have mercy.
(Rite of Penance, no. 45)

ABSOLUTION:

The priest will extend his hands over your head and pronounce the words of absolution. You respond, “Amen.”

PRAISE:

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 for ever” (Rite of Penance, no. 47).

DISMISSAL:

The priest will conclude the sacrament, often saying, “Go in peace.”

 

Text from United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)

 

"Lastly, there is the [priest's] power of forgiveness. The Sacrament of Penance is one of the Church's precious treasures, since authentic world renewal is accomplished only through forgiveness. Nothing can improve the world if evil is not overcome. Evil can be overcome only by forgiveness. Certainly, it must be an effective forgiveness; but only the Lord can give us this forgiveness, a forgiveness that drives away evil not only with words but truly destroys it. Only suffering can bring this about and it has truly taken place with the suffering love of Christ, from whom we draw the power to forgive." — Pope Benedict XVI, Homily at Pentecost Mass for Priestly Ordination, May 15, 2005.

 

Ten Commandments


1. I am the lord your god, you shall have none above me.

2. You shall not take the name of the lord your god in vain.

3. Remember the sabath day, to keep it holy.

4. Honor your father and your mother.

5. You shall not kill.

6. You shall not commit adultery.

7. You shall not steal.

8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.

10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.

 

Collaborative Office
 

Lynn Catholic Collaborative Office

St. Mary's and Sacred Heart

8 South Common Street
Lynn, MA 01902
Main: 781-598-4907
Fax: 781-599-2088
admin@lynncatholic.org
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30am to 3:00pm

Sacred Heart Office

571 Boston Street
Lynn, MA 01905
Main: 781-593-8047
Fax: 781-599-2088
admin@lynncatholic.org
Office Hours: Thursday 9:00am to 12:00pm

 

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