Planning on entering RCIA this fall for a 2014 Easter Confirmation. Currently a baptized Protestant who has been researching the CC for several months now and there is no denying the true Church of Jesus Christ! There is no going back for me. I’m finding answers to questions that I’ve had since childhood that Protestantism could not resolve. Wife is Catholic but she never pushed or prodded or even hinted (just secretly prayed!). I see the incredible effects of the sacrements on her and I am aching to join her in taking full part in the liturgy. I had not started my journey prior to the start of the 2012 RCIA semester so the 2013 Easter Confirmation wasn’t an option. My question is this: what is the earliest I can go to confession? Section 1401 of the CCC seems to suggest I must wait until Confirmation. I don’t want to wait a year to confess! I respect the process and will do what the Church teaches, but I’m really hoping I can begin my reconciliation to the CC sooner rather than later! There is no doubt in my mind that I will do everything possible to join the true Church and the sooner I can start that exciting process the better! Thanks for any guidance…
If you were not baptized, there would be no confession, just baptism. Because you have been baptized, you will confess prior to your confirmation and first communion. First confession is usually done very close to the time of confirmation, however. If you’re angling to do it sooner, I think you should discuss it with your priest.
You don’t have to be confirmed. In fact since you are already baptized you will have to confess before you receive confirmation. Normally most RCIA programs wait to do this until lent a few weeks before Easter. That being said you can always ask to meet with the priest and ask to do your first confession. I know when I was in RCIA I made my first confession in December. I had gone to confession 3 times before I was received the following February (I was lucky enough to be in a year round program that confirmed 4 times a year). That being said your priest might ask you to wait until after the rite of welcome. Most see that as the time when you have moved from inquiry to committing to joining the Church.
Other posters have given you the advice you need. I just wanted to pop in and say, Welcome!!!
Make sure you are well-catechized about this wondrous sacrament of healing before receiving it. Have you begun daily examination of conscience during your private prayer time yet?
I have seen a few RCIA candidates receive Reconciliation 2-3 months prior to their reception into the Church, after catechesis and discernment with their pastor and/or RCIA leader as to their readiness. So, as other posters have suggested, this is something you can talk with your pastor about.
In the meantime, keep thanking God for His merciful forgiveness, continue to seek it, and work on forgiving others.
Enjoy the journey – the “aching” is a gift! Keep thanking God for that gift – then it will seem less like a burden to be impatiently carried. The process to full initiation involves more than the catechesis you will receive – it is a period of continual and deeper conversion in Christ. The “adventure” isn’t always easy, but it is grace-filled and powerful. I am happy for you and your wife, and for the whole Church!
Thanks fo all the helpful responses. Does anyone have resources for a highly detailed examination of conscience? The ones I have found are fairly general and don’t seem to be very extensive.
Google Examination of Conscience for Adults and Teens (by Father James).