Penance...

I think that’s what it’s called…I have heard people talk of penance and been given a penance in confession? What is this…a specific prayer or Bible readings?

Also in the Eucharist they ring some bells…what do they signify?

Sorry I am aware I have asked several questions on this forum :o

Penance is the repairing of a relationship - as opposed to a punishment. The priest usually asks us to say prayers in an attempt to repair our relationship with God. Depending on the sin, I have had priests suggest and activity for me to do to help fix the relationship with the person who my sin may have hurt.

The bells during the Eucharistic prayer are intended to call our attention to the very solemn part of the prayer. I remember hearing once that the bells were started in the dark or middle ages when the common people would be working in the fields while Mass was being celebrated and the church bells were rung to get them to stop working for a moment and say a prayer of thanksgiving.

Catechism of the Catholic Church:

1460 The penance the confessor imposes must take into account the penitent’s personal situation and must seek his spiritual good. It must correspond as far as possible with the gravity and nature of the sins committed. It can consist of prayer, an offering, works of mercy, service of neighbor, voluntary self-denial, sacrifices, and above all the patient acceptance of the cross we must bear. Such penances help configure us to Christ, who alone expiated our sins once for all…

scborromeo.org/ccc/p2s2c2a4.htm#VII

The optional altar bells at the consecration of the Eucharist alert all to the Real Presence of Christ on the altar.

adoremus.org/0305SantusBells.html

Thanks for the explanations…so as not to start another thread…what’s adoration? Is that separate to mass?

Adoration is spending time with (adoring) the Lord. It may involve being in His direct presence as He is displayed in a monstrance on the altar but can easily be done while he is in the tabernacle.

There is no limit to the number of questions one may ask on any of these forums. :thumbsup:

Penance is usually a specified prayer, or can be reading a specified passage of Scripture prayerfully, or even a charitable work or an act of restitution. It gives the penitent the ability to make satisfaction for sins that have been absolved in confession.

The bells in Mass signify the consecration of the bread and wine, the moment when they become the Body and Blood of Christ.

Another poster already answered this question well, but I wanted to add that some parishes have Adoration chapels with 24-hr Eucharistic Adoration, where a consecrated host is displayed in a monstrance, a beautiful golden frame that is in the shape of a Sun.
Other parishes are not able to have a dedicated chapel, and do not have enough available adorers (people who volunteer for time slots), so they might have a regularly occurring time for Eucharistic Adoration for the whole parish. Some parishes cannot manage this either, due to their circumstances, but they still might have open hours for the Church where the faithful may come and go for prayers and for adoring Jesus in the Eucharist in the consecrated hosts securely locked inside the Tabernacle, the small golden house, usually at the front of the Church in the sanctuary.
Adoration is open to all Christians, not just Catholics. So if you ever want to go, just find out when it is offered at your parish or any local parish, and go. It is really wonderful and quiet and a special time set aside to pray and adore Jesus.

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