Forms of the sacrament of penance

I had a question about one of the forms of teh sacrament of penance.

I am in RCIA and I havent gotten to confession yet because I am taking a serious examination of my conscience so I make sure I confess everything but from what I understand, this sunday we will be doing a different form of this sacrament. This is what it says:

“The sacrament of penance can also take place in the framework of a commonunal celebrationin which we prepare ourselves together for confession and give thanks together for the forgiveness recieve. Here, the personal confession of sins and individual absolution are inserted into a litergy…”

Ok so how does this work. Should I go to confession before this or what? It really wasnt explained how it works the RCIA leader just said we would be taking part in it this weekend.

Thanks

You don’t need to go to Confession yourself beforehand. What happens (if memory serves) is that the actual confessions themselves are basically the same as what you would do any other time. You tell the priest your sins, say an act of contrition and get penance and absolution. It’s just that there are formal prayers, perhaps readings from the Bible or whatnot that are done as a group beforehand and afterwards.

Thanks lily

I am still kind of confused though. So instead of one on one confession you just do it with everyone who is at mass? Won’t that take an extremely long time, expecially when there is someone like me who has never gone to confession and has over 20 years of sin to confess?

There are many threads on this subject elsewhere on the CA Forums. Don’t be fooled by a flawed RCIA program: One must be careful in regard to these “communal celebrations”; Barring an immediate and real danger of death, no absolution occurs except through individual confession with a priest. This may happen within or without the communal service itself.

Many Dioceses instruct the faithful very poorly in this regard. Furthermore, many people knowingly attend these celebrations in place of true individual confession.

Read Canons 960-964 in the Code of Canon Law for a thorough explanation.

(By the way, welcome home!) :thumbsup:

[quote=Roman_Catholic]Thanks lily

I am still kind of confused though. So instead of one on one confession you just do it with everyone who is at mass? Won’t that take an extremely long time, expecially when there is someone like me who has never gone to confession and has over 20 years of sin to confess?
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It wouldn’t ever be during a Mass, though I guess it could be done just before - normally it’s a much shorter prayer service. I don’t know how large your RCIA group is - it would probably be for the members only. There would probably also be a number of priests available to make things quicker.

But as msproule has said, do ask your instructor if there’s going to be one-on-one confession, if it isn’t you will need to go by yourself at some point. Good luck :thumbsup: and I’ll pray for you guys - first Confession can be a little nervewracking, but I’m sure you’ll do just fine :amen:

The last time I expereinced one of these group things was when I was teaching at a Catholic high school and they broke the kids up for individual confession (with one of the confessors being one of the assistant bishops) and then brought everybody back together. They did not provided sufficient visual screening and I could see all my kids talking to these priests and they were all smiling. They had been made to feel so good about confession that they seemingly didn’t understand the difference between sharing personal problems and declaring that one has committed a sin, even at that age possibly one of a very personal nature, coincident with a statutory crime, and/or a severe offense (such as abortion for the occasional girl) whose absoluation is reserved to a higher authority.

The problem of severe and/or habitual sinners going to confession on a regular basis and confessing nothing more severe than that they yelled at their spouse (but never that they abused her) or ate meat on Friday (but never that they stole from their employer on the same day) is a long-standing one going back to way before Vatican II. Saintly persons such as many religious still confess every week. They may confess that they had uncharitable thoughts about the cook because the milk was spoiled, but that’s about it. Confession is wasted on the innocent, who are often the only ones who avail themselves of it properly.

[quote=Roman_Catholic]I had a question about one of the forms of teh sacrament of penance.

I am in RCIA and I havent gotten to confession yet because I am taking a serious examination of my conscience so I make sure I confess everything but from what I understand, this sunday we will be doing a different form of this sacrament. This is what it says:

“The sacrament of penance can also take place in the framework of a commonunal celebrationin which we prepare ourselves together for confession and give thanks together for the forgiveness recieve. Here, the personal confession of sins and individual absolution are inserted into a litergy…”

Ok so how does this work. Should I go to confession before this or what? It really wasnt explained how it works the RCIA leader just said we would be taking part in it this weekend.

Thanks
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This is actually a very good way to hold the Sacrament of Reconciliation within the community. There will be a liturgy with Scripture readings and possibly a homily reflection on sinfulness. After this there will be individual private Confessions available.

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