Reconciliation

Hi, I'm 41 and taking part in the RCIA, our group leader has suggested that we should make an appointment with our priest to make our first reconcilation, thing is I'm such a shy person and find it really hard to move on from my mistakes, I feel people are judging all the time anyway, what should I include when I confess and I am worried the priest will see me in a different light once he knows everything (I've not Killed anyone or anything anywhere near as serious). Is there a list from which I can just say I have sinned in this area or do I have to be specific?

Hi Siouxsie

Firstly, welcome to the Church.

Please remember that you always have the option to go to confession annonmously, if you feel that your first reconciliation may take some time you can make an appointment but you don't have to and you don't have to confess to your Parish Priest. I am RCIA Director in my parish and I always tell people that we will provide opportunities for you to go to confession but you can also go to confession at these times in the neighbouring parish or at these times at the Cathedral. Please be assured that what is said in the confessional stays in the confessional and the priest will never treat you any differently after your confession. (I once had to make a very embarrassing confession which I made an appointment for and did face to face, half an hour later my dh and I went to a friends for dinner, and that same priest was a fellow guest - not a problem for either of us!).

It is often difficult to know how specific to be, but you want to be specific enough so the priest has enough information to help you, if you were confessing to stealing, it would make a difference if you stole £5 because your children were hungry or were a serial bank robber, stealing thousands of pounds at gun point, the advice the priest would give you would be different if it was a one time lapse or a daily habit.

Pray to our Blessed Mother and to your Guardian Angel and you will be fine

Lesley

Thank you Lesley

It's strange because I have never in my entire life felt so much love and belonging than I have since attending Church, I thought that I had to go to reconciliation soon as the group leader said she would tell Father to expect my call, maybe my thoughts weigh so heavily because I know I should repent and there is really only one source of forgiveness.

A good confessor will mentor you, which will help you to move on from your mistakes.

A good, heartfelt confession has a way of bringing you closer to God.

I love that you care enough for this to weigh heavily.

[quote="siouxsie2sioux, post:1, topic:183163"]
Hi, I'm 41 and taking part in the RCIA, our group leader has suggested that we should make an appointment with our priest to make our first reconcilation, thing is I'm such a shy person and find it really hard to move on from my mistakes, I feel people are judging all the time anyway, what should I include when I confess and I am worried the priest will see me in a different light once he knows everything (I've not Killed anyone or anything anywhere near as serious). Is there a list from which I can just say I have sinned in this area or do I have to be specific?

[/quote]

I would ask to see (maybe as a class group) the Reconciliation Room or Confessionals. Make sure that you can enter without being seem and leave without being seen if this is what would make you confortable. Then just come when Confessions are available and get in line (there most likely wont be a line) or you can wait for a pariah Reconciliation service during Advent and simply go to another priest there.
First Confession is a private matter it is not recorded or noted in any way. You should go before being Received into the Church and make it a habit there after. IF you are being Baptized there is no need to go to Confession first.

welcome home!

please ask your instructor for a link or resource with a good examination of conscience, if they are not giving you this in a formal class.

you simply state all the serious sins of you past life, you don't need a lot of detail unless the priest asks, and he only does that to provide you with pastoral help. He won't think anything at all of you, except that you are one of his flock, who are all 100% sinners like himself, and are all completely cleansed from sin in this wonderful sacrament. If it makes you more comfortable, you can even share with him some of your feelings and remind him this is your first confession, he will put you at ease. You can even tell him, "you know, Father, I am nervous about this simply because I have a hard time moving on after mistakes", or however you wish to state it, and take his advice. If there is something that makes the reconciliation room itself a cause of stress, simply the priest and ask for a private appointment and ask to meet in his office. you can explain briefly when you get there, but by all means ask to see the actual room before hand, as it may ease any anxiety.

[quote="siouxsie2sioux, post:1, topic:183163"]
Hi, I'm 41 and taking part in the RCIA, our group leader has suggested that we should make an appointment with our priest to make our first reconcilation, thing is I'm such a shy person and find it really hard to move on from my mistakes, I feel people are judging all the time anyway, what should I include when I confess and I am worried the priest will see me in a different light once he knows everything (I've not Killed anyone or anything anywhere near as serious). Is there a list from which I can just say I have sinned in this area or do I have to be specific?

[/quote]

Here are a couple of links for an Examination of Conscience:

theworkofgod.org/library/examine.htm

catholic-pages.com/penance/examine.asp

I hope this helps.

Thank you for all your replies which have helped greatly, in answer to one of the questions I am not baptised, I am also going through this process with my daughter who is 15 and the person that has prompted me to finally see the light, she came to me one day last year and asked "If we believe in the Lord and love him why do we not worship him" She has lot's of questions and I cannot answer many. I am so glad I have found this forum as we now have lots of people to help.

Many thanks once again

[quote="siouxsie2sioux, post:1, topic:183163"]
Hi, I'm 41 and taking part in the RCIA, our group leader has suggested that we should make an appointment with our priest to make our first reconcilation, thing is I'm such a shy person and find it really hard to move on from my mistakes, I feel people are judging all the time anyway, what should I include when I confess and I am worried the priest will see me in a different light once he knows everything (I've not Killed anyone or anything anywhere near as serious). Is there a list from which I can just say I have sinned in this area or do I have to be specific?

[/quote]

Welcome to the Church!!!

It is better to speak honestly and from the heart after doing a proper examination of conciseness. Also, if you are shy and have trouble fixing your mistakes, then it sounds like you need the graces from God even more than you realize right now. Trust me, it is amazing what God can do when we humble ourselves enough to let God work deep within us! Now prepare and tell the priest when you make the appointment that it may take time and effort for you to get everything out so he should prepare to spend a good amount of time with you and to give you advice =).

[quote="siouxsie2sioux, post:8, topic:183163"]
Thank you for all your replies which have helped greatly, in answer to one of the questions I am not baptised, I am also going through this process with my daughter who is 15 and the person that has prompted me to finally see the light, she came to me one day last year and asked "If we believe in the Lord and love him why do we not worship him" She has lot's of questions and I cannot answer many. I am so glad I have found this forum as we now have lots of people to help.

Many thanks once again

[/quote]

If you are not yet baptized, then no general confession of past sins is required, since Baptism itself forgives not only original sin but all subsequent sin. Following your Baptism, presumably at Easter Vigil Mass, you should begin going to confession regularly. At your first confession, you should note that it is your first confession since your baptism, xx number of weeks ago. You need only confess sins committed since baptism at that time, but you may also wish to mention those sins that were most problematic in your past life, even though they will already have been absolved at baptism.

I am currently in RCIA, and I had a deep desire to go to confession before I even started RCIA. I was already baptized a Baptist, and confirmed that my baptism was valid.

I went to confession a month before RCIA began and I have been going to confession monthly.

I hope all those confessions were valid, because I knew I had to go sometime before I died, and I didn’t know when that might occur.

Dear Dnar, I cannot find the canon that relates to your case. However, I have read a link by another poster a while back that baptized individuals who go to confession by their own accord (I understand this as God is calling them to go in their hearts) can receive reconciliation if they trust in the authority of the Church to forgive sins and they have the proper disposition.

Also it’s useful to mention that Reconciliation does two things at the same time in the absolution: 1) sins are forgiven by the authority that Christ has betowed on His Church where her ministers absolve in persona Christi, and 2) the penitent is rejoined into full communion with the body of Christ. I’m mentioning this because you are in RCIA and working on fully being integrated into the body of Christ, His Church. So it’s kinda cool in the sense of the rejoining is a like a foretaste of your full joining at Easter Vigil :).

The canons I did find are ones relating to the proper disposition:

Can. 987 To receive the salvific remedy of the sacrament of penance, a member of the Christian faithful must be disposed in such a way that, rejecting sins committed and having a purpose of amendment, the person is turned back to God.

Can. 988 §1. A member of the Christian faithful is obliged to confess in kind and number all grave sins committed after baptism and not yet remitted directly through the keys of the Church nor acknowledged in individual confession, of which the person has knowledge after diligent examination of conscience.

§2. It is recommended to the Christian faithful that they also confess venial sins.

A validly Baptized person can receove the Sacrament of Reconciliation valdly. The Pastor of the parish however is responsible for the celebration of the Sacraments in his parish.

Thanks for the responses.

That is what I thought because I will be receiving the sacraments of confirmation and Eucharist on April 3.

Since I have already been baptized, and now I have celebrated the Rite of Welcoming/Rite of Election…I have to go to confession. I don’t see why the pastor would prevent me now, because it is something I have to do anyway.

I guess he could straighten me out on the proper way. I have learned mainly from you guys on here…I simply go in and make the sign of the cross with the priest and say “Bless me father for I have sinned, its been a month since my last confession”…I then say I accuse myself of these sins…and I name them kind and number…He usually gives me the penance here and tells me to say the act of contrition…which I do…then I hear absolution, and go on my way to try and sin no more, even though that task will never be accomplished.

I have never went face to face…and I wonder if I did, if he would say “Hey you are in RCIA, you can’t be confessing right now” … surely not…because I was thinking about doing that soon…

Thanks. God Bless.

Don’t worry about it. There is nothing the priest has not heard thousands of times and he certainly will not see you in a different light.
By the way I converted at the age of 44 so I had more years of sins to confess than you.

Normally one in your situation would not go to confession yet…but exceptions can be made…call the chancery office of your diocese… the Bishop can make such exceptions…

also one would normally go to confession…when validly baptized…sometime prior to reception at Easter…not sure on the exact timing…

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