The Sacrament of Reconciliation
“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’” John 20:21-23.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is one of the most unique and beautiful aspects of Catholicism. Jesus Christ, in his abundant love and mercy, established the Sacrament of Confession, so that we as sinners can obtain forgiveness for our sins and reconcile with God and the Church. The sacrament “washes clean” sins committed after baptism and renews us in Christ.
Our sins separate and damage our relationship with our Lord, and it is through this most powerful sacrament that our relationship with the Lord is repaired and strengthened. Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation we can walk more closely with the Lord once again, without the burden of our sins weighing us down and distancing our relationship with God.
Jesus entrusted his Church with the power of forgiving sins through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The priest is simply the one who acts in persona Christi (in the person of Christ) in the confessional, but it is our Lord who forgives our sins. The priest grants absolution (sets us free from our sins) using the power Jesus entrusted to his Church. It is through Christ that our sins are forgiven.
Haven’t been to Confession for some time?
Return and Experience Peace and Love
If you haven’t been to Confession for some time, the Catholic Church wants to welcome you back, and invites you to participate in this beautiful sacrament of healing. Take a step in faith! You’ll be surprised about how free you feel after taking part in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Don’t worry if you have forgotten, the prayers of confession, the priest will gently guide you. So many Catholics describe incredible feelings of peace, joy, relief, and love that they never expected. Jesus is calling you to experience his mercy in this way too.
Confessions are heard in Church on Saturdays from 10.30am or by appointment with the parish priest.
How to Make your Confession
We begin ‘In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’. Then tell the priest the sins you remember since the last confession. When you have finished your confession, just say, “I am sorry for these sins, and all the sins of my past life”.
The priest may give you some advice, then he will give you the Penance (to be said later); and then he will ask you to say an Act of Contrition. You may express sorrow in your own words or use the following: ‘O my God, because you are so good, I am very sorry that I have sinned against you, and by the help of your grace I will try not to sin again’.
The priest then gives you the Absolution (in these words), through which your sins are forgiven: ‘God the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen’.