Reconciliation


#1

A lot of people are informal when receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation especially face to face. But what do you think of this way of Reconciliation. I got it from a website.Is it just as good for face to face Reconciliation? it may also be helpful for newbies to Reconciliation.

When you get to the church at the time the Sacrament is offered, you may or may not find a line of people standing or lined up in a pew outside the Confessional. Just take your place in line, keeping a wide berth of the Confessional itself if it is occupied by a fellow penitent. Please note that it is very rude to be near the Confessional when someone else is using it! Though I’ve never overheard anyone in the Confessional, it could feasibly happen. If this were to happen, the one who overhears should take all steps to not hear, and should never, ever repeat anything he might have heard.

Some confessionals have a green light shining when a priest is ready and available in the Confessional, and a red light shining when someone is in the Confessional with him, receiving the Sacrament. Others don’t. In any case, when it’s your turn, enter the Confessional and kneel. You may barely see the priest on the other side of the grille (the screen which separates you).

When you are ready to begin, make the Sign of the Cross and say, in a whisper, but loud enough so he can hear you:

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It is (X days, weeks, months, years) since my last Confession. I accuse myself of the following sins.
You then name the sins you need to confess, indicating, in the case of mortal sins, how many times you’ve committed them. If you’re unsure of exact numbers – but only if you are unsure – tell him “about how many” times you’ve committed the sin. Ex., “I’ve lied to my mother twice, I stole a candy bar from work once, I’ve had lustful thoughts too many times to count, etc.”

Don’t go into a lot of detail, don’t name other people who may have sinned with you, but do tell him what he needs to know in order to understand relevant circumstances of the particular sins – that is, circumstances that might mitigate your culpability or make you more culpable. For example, telling him about stealing a loaf of bread because you were starving will elicit a different penance and spiritual direction than if you tell him you stole a stack of money because you wanted to buy some porn. If you are unsure as to whether a particular act was a sin, tell him. As you speak, he may stop you to ask you questions for clarification.

When you are finished, indicate so by saying something like the following traditional words:

For these and all the sins of my past life, I ask pardon of God, penance, and absolution from you, Father.
Don’t panic if you later recall sins you forgot to confess: remember that if you were willing to confess them but simply forgot, they are forgiven if you will to confess them the next time you go.

  1. Penance

Now the priest will give you penance to help you pay for the temporal effects of your sins. He might ask you to say certain prayers (the old “Say three Hail Marys”), he may ask you to read certain parts of Scripture. If there is restitution to be made, he might ask you to do so. Whatever he asks you to do, accomplish it as soon as possible after leaving the Confessional.

  1. Act of Contrition

Now you will make an Act of Contrition to express your sorrow at having offended God and resolving to sin no more. The traditional way of doing this is to recite aloud the prayer called “Act of Contrition”:

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee and I detest all my sins because of Thy just punishments, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more and avoid the near occasions of sin. Amen.
If you are comfortable doing so, you may say the prayer in Latin:

Deus meus, ex toto corde poenitet me omnium meorum peccatorum, eaque detestor, quia peccando, non solum poenas a Te iuste statutas promeritus sum, sed praesertim quia offendi Te, summum bonum, ac dignum qui super omnia diligaris. Ideo firmiter propono, adiuvante gratia Tua, de cetero me non peccaturum peccandique occasiones proximas fugiturum. Amen.
If you have a hard time memorizing (which is OK!), you can pray aloud using your own words to the same effect – i.e., expressing your contrition for having displeased God and resolving to sin no more and avoid the near occasions of sin – but you should try to memorize the traditional Act of Contrition and teach it to your children. You can also have the prayer written out or on a Holy Card to carry with you in the Confessional. (Note: a “near occasion of sin” is a situation in which you are likely to sin. For ex., going to the mall might be a “near occasion of sin” for a kleptomaniac who hasn’t learned to control his behavior; keeping company alone with a girl he is extremely attracted to in a sexual way might be a near occasion of sin for a man, etc.)

  1. Absolution

Now comes the good part (Christ, through His priest, grants you absolution .
As soon as possible, carry out the penance you were given. Do all you can to avoid near occasions of sin, to bear patiently the temporal effects of the sins you’ve committed, to make restitution to anyone you’ve harmed. You may add penances of your own devising to the one(s) the priest gave you.


#2

Well it’s the traditional formula for confession and perfectly acceptable.

The aim of confession, IMHO shouldn’t just be the forgiveness of sins but it should be used to sacramentally obtain God’s graces to effect a true inner conversion.

Whether face-to-face or the more traditional formula works for someone is immaterial. The Church allows for either method. The same medicine may be administered in different ways (e.g. orally or by injection, for example penicillin) depending on the needs of the patient and reconciliation may be the same, dependent on the penitent’s personality or the circumstances.

I for one found great benefit, in a very dark period in my life, in face-to-face confession with a regular confessor who knew me and was able to help me a great deal by guiding me through that period.

On the other hand, once traveling in a foreign country I felt I badly needed confession, and I did it in the more traditional way, in a confessional and through a screen. Obviously the confessor wouldn’t know enough about me to be able to offer life advice for my circumstances especially since there was a bit of a language barrier, but on the other hand he did lift a great weight off my shoulders.


#3

Interestingly, that’s not what the current Rite of Reconcilation says… :shrug:


#4

Its basically the same.


#5

The beginning is totally different. :wink:

The confession of sins, the assignment of a penance, the prayer of absolution – these are the same.


#6

[quote="OraLabora, post:2, topic:328062"]
Well it's the traditional formula for confession and perfectly acceptable.

The aim of confession, IMHO shouldn't just be the forgiveness of sins but it should be used to sacramentally obtain God's graces to effect a true inner conversion.

Whether face-to-face or the more traditional formula works for someone is immaterial. The Church allows for either method. The same medicine may be administered in different ways (e.g. orally or by injection, for example penicillin) depending on the needs of the patient and reconciliation may be the same, dependent on the penitent's personality or the circumstances.

I for one found great benefit, in a very dark period in my life, in face-to-face confession with a regular confessor who knew me and was able to help me a great deal by guiding me through that period.

On the other hand, once traveling in a foreign country I felt I badly needed confession, and I did it in the more traditional way, in a confessional and through a screen. Obviously the confessor wouldn't know enough about me to be able to offer life advice for my circumstances especially since there was a bit of a language barrier, but on the other hand he did lift a great weight off my shoulders.

[/quote]

Thank you. I appreciated the former poster's written out traditional act of reconciliation, but I truly appreciate this one as well.

I came to this thread because I need to work out this question in my life. I am a returning Catholic. I left for Evangelical fellowship for 37 years and 2 years ago felt drawn back to the Catholic faith. I am so very happy and excited to be here and so sad that I ever left, though I did learn a lot about the scriptures out there.

So, now, here I am, just finished a year of teaching 5th grade catechism, I've been an EMHC for a year and a half! and I am presently preparing to enter a Benedictine oblate program and really excited about that!

Here is my problem concerning reconciliation. I want to go at least once a month, if I could I would go weekly, but I never know what to confess. I feel like I am spending my days trying to think of things I could confess, and get perversely excited when I do something I feel warrants a trip to the confessional, e.g.* I got into an argument with my husband*. I am pretty much a housebound, house wife who loves to pray and read and volunteer at the nursing home, etc. In other words, there is rarely any occasion or even near occasion to sin. I don't want to sin anyway, but, how can one obtain the benefits of the sacrament of reconciliation if there are no mortal sins to confess? :shrug:


#7

#8

[quote="Aran_Houlihan, post:7, topic:328062"]

When you get to the church at the time the Sacrament is offered, you may or may not find a line of people standing or lined up in a pew outside the Confessional. Just take your place in line, keeping a wide berth of the Confessional itself if it is occupied by a fellow penitent. Please note that it is very rude to be near the Confessional when someone else is using it! Though I've never overheard anyone in the Confessional, it could feasibly happen. If this were to happen, the one who overhears should take all steps to not hear, and should never, ever repeat anything he might have heard.

Some confessionals have a green light shining when a priest is ready and available in the Confessional, and a red light shining when someone is in the Confessional with him, receiving the Sacrament. Others don't. In any case, when it's your turn, enter the Confessional and kneel. You may barely see the priest on the other side of the grille (the screen which separates you).

When you are ready to begin, make the Sign of the Cross and say, in a whisper, but loud enough so he can hear you:

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It is (X days, weeks, months, years) since my last Confession. I accuse myself of the following sins. You then name the sins you need to confess, indicating, in the case of mortal sins, how many times you've committed them. If you're unsure of exact numbers -- but only if you are unsure -- tell him "about how many" times you've committed the sin. Ex., "I've lied to my mother twice, I stole a candy bar from work once, I've had lustful thoughts too many times to count, etc."

Don't go into a lot of detail, don't name other people who may have sinned with you, but do tell him what he needs to know in order to understand relevant circumstances of the particular sins -- that is, circumstances that might mitigate your culpability or make you more culpable. For example, telling him about stealing a loaf of bread because you were starving will elicit a different penance and spiritual direction than if you tell him you stole a stack of money because you wanted to buy some porn. If you are unsure as to whether a particular act was a sin, tell him. As you speak, he may stop you to ask you questions for clarification.

When you are finished, indicate so by saying something like the following traditional words:

For these and all the sins of my past life, I ask pardon of God, penance, and absolution from you, Father. Don't panic if you later recall sins you forgot to confess: remember that if you were willing to confess them but simply forgot, they are forgiven if you will to confess them the next time you go.

  1. Penance

Now the priest will give you penance to help you pay for the temporal effects of your sins. He might ask you to say certain prayers (the old "Say three Hail Marys"), he may ask you to read certain parts of Scripture. If there is restitution to be made, he might ask you to do so. Whatever he asks you to do, accomplish it as soon as possible after leaving the Confessional.

  1. Act of Contrition

Now you will make an Act of Contrition to express your sorrow at having offended God and resolving to sin no more. The traditional way of doing this is to recite aloud the prayer called "Act of Contrition":

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee and I detest all my sins because of Thy just punishments, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more and avoid the near occasions of sin. Amen. If you are comfortable doing so, you may say the prayer in Latin:

Deus meus, ex toto corde poenitet me omnium meorum peccatorum, eaque detestor, quia peccando, non solum poenas a Te iuste statutas promeritus sum, sed praesertim quia offendi Te, summum bonum, ac dignum qui super omnia diligaris. Ideo firmiter propono, adiuvante gratia Tua, de cetero me non peccaturum peccandique occasiones proximas fugiturum. Amen. If you have a hard time memorizing (which is OK!), you can pray aloud using your own words to the same effect -- i.e., expressing your contrition for having displeased God and resolving to sin no more and avoid the near occasions of sin -- but you should try to memorize the traditional Act of Contrition and teach it to your children. You can also have the prayer written out or on a Holy Card to carry with you in the Confessional. (Note: a "near occasion of sin" is a situation in which you are likely to sin. For ex., going to the mall might be a "near occasion of sin" for a kleptomaniac who hasn't learned to control his behavior; keeping company alone with a girl he is extremely attracted to in a sexual way might be a near occasion of sin for a man, etc.)

  1. Absolution

Now comes the good part (Christ, through His priest, grants you absolution . As soon as possible, carry out the penance you were given. Do all you can to avoid near occasions of sin, to bear patiently the temporal effects of the sins you've committed, to make restitution to anyone you've harmed. You may add penances of your own devising to the one(s) the priest gave you.[/QUO

That what my parish dose but the people who are going to confession are normally on the tree pew near the confessional

I've always said the act of contrition before being given a pennance.
[/quote]

[/quote]


#9

Here is a link to a very thorough examination of conscience you may find useful:
catholicparents.org/oxcart/Examination%20of%20Conscience.pdf

In addition, my suggestion is to pray to God that He may grant you the grace to see your own soul the way He sees it. This is what was recommended to me by a priest once.


#10

THANK YOU!!! That was wonderful. I printed it out and I am now hopeful that I can get this aspect of my faith back on track with the help of the Lord.

:love:


#11

LOL… if only we all were so excited for the sacrament of reconciliation! That’s pretty awesome, that you long for the Lord’s gift of forgiveness so much! :slight_smile:

Here are a couple of thoughts I had, as I read your post:

First off, I was wondering whether you do an examination of conscience every day? LisaB’s link is nothing if not thorough, but remember – the key is a frequent examination of conscience, not just a periodic one! It helps to incorporate this into your prayer practice on a daily basis (for example, at night before going to bed, or as part of the Liturgy of the Hours’ ‘Night Prayer’), so that you’re taking a small enough ‘chunk’ to think about. (Trying to do an examination of conscience for a whole month or a week is really difficult.)

Secondly, you asked how to receive the ‘benefits’ of reconciliation, but for venial sins only. Did you know that participation in Mass and reception of the Eucharist remits venial sins? In other words, as you receive the Eucharist, you get a ‘bonus’ reconciliation! So, if you have the opportunity to attend daily Mass – even if it’s not every day – then you’re receiving graces just like you do in Reconciliation! (Now, just to put a little asterisk in there: someone who is in the state of mortal sin doesn’t receive these graces; this only applies to venial sin. A person in the state of mortal sin needs to go to the sacrament of reconciliation and “get right with God” before receiving the Eucharist. He can go to Mass, of course, but not receive communion until he reconciles with God in the sacrament of reconcilation. (I don’t know if you already know that, but just to be safe, in case someone reads this and mistakenly thinks that they can substitute Eucharist for Reconcilation… :nope:)).

Finally, our prayer life has the effect of bringing us closer to God and repairing the damage that venial sin does to us. So, if you pick a prayer practice that really ‘works’ for you (praying the rosary, reading Scripture, etc), then this has the effect on your soul of helping strengthen your relationship with God. It’s not sacramental, as Reconciliation is, but it’s a devotional way of building up that relationship.

Blessings,

G.


#12

Not to be too contrary, but here’s part of what the USCCB website currently offers for the faithful: How to Go to Confession

Together, you and the priest will make the Sign of the Cross. You may then begin your confession with these or similar words:
“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been [give days, months, or years] since my last confession.”


#13

Yes, but you’ve omitted the ‘greeting’ section, haven’t you…? :wink:


#14

:eek:

[quote="Gorgias, post:11, topic:328062"]
LOL... if only we all were so excited for the sacrament of reconciliation! That's pretty awesome, that you long for the Lord's gift of forgiveness so much! :)

Here are a couple of thoughts I had, as I read your post:

First off, I was wondering whether you do an examination of conscience every day? LisaB's link is nothing if not thorough, but remember -- the key is a frequent examination of conscience, not just a periodic one! It helps to incorporate this into your prayer practice on a daily basis (for example, at night before going to bed, or as part of the Liturgy of the Hours' 'Night Prayer'), so that you're taking a small enough 'chunk' to think about. (Trying to do an examination of conscience for a whole month or a week is really difficult.)

Secondly, you asked how to receive the 'benefits' of reconciliation, but for venial sins only. Did you know that participation in Mass and reception of the Eucharist remits venial sins? In other words, as you receive the Eucharist, you get a 'bonus' reconciliation! So, if you have the opportunity to attend daily Mass -- even if it's not every day -- then you're receiving graces just like you do in Reconciliation! (Now, just to put a little asterisk in there: someone who is in the state of mortal sin doesn't receive these graces; this only applies to venial sin. A person in the state of mortal sin needs to go to the sacrament of reconciliation and "get right with God" before receiving the Eucharist. He can go to Mass, of course, but not receive communion until he reconciles with God in the sacrament of reconcilation. (I don't know if you already know that, but just to be safe, in case someone reads this and mistakenly thinks that they can substitute Eucharist for Reconcilation... :nope:)).

Finally, our prayer life has the effect of bringing us closer to God and repairing the damage that venial sin does to us. So, if you pick a prayer practice that really 'works' for you (praying the rosary, reading Scripture, etc), then this has the effect on your soul of helping strengthen your relationship with God. It's not sacramental, as Reconciliation is, but it's a devotional way of building up that relationship.

Blessings,

G.

[/quote]

Thank you so much for your kind response. In answer to your question, not really, I have never really nurtured the concept of examining my conscience. I was being taught it didn't matter because I was saved by His cross and resurrection for all my sins now and forever! So, I never felt the need. :eek: Now, whenever I became aware of doing something wrong, I simply repented and confessed it personally. That's why being back in the faith these last two years has been a regeneration/relearning for me in many ways.

I've been praying the Liturgy of the Hours and when it comes to the examination thing, I choke. But the other poster sent me to that link that was awesome. I found samples of sins I never thought of before. The reason this is becoming important to me is because I am no longer satisfied with just getting by. I want all that the Lord has for me because I need it to become like Him. I just can not do it on my own.

I absolutely do know that venial sins are forgiven after the Confiteor at the start of the Mass. I love that. But, still, I want the power of the grace that comes from confessing it during the sacrament of reconciliation. However, I take to heart your encouragement to build a relational prayer pattern in my life. I love the Rosary by the way. I wish I would quit falling asleep before I'm done. :blush: though.


#15

Just to comment on that last bit. Were you seeking spiritual guidance during that period or simply confession? If so, it is important to note that there is a difference between spiritual guidance and a simple confession. One should and must seek a spiritual director when seeking answers or guidance, not simple confession. Confession is for the wiping clean of sin and absolution, but not necessarily for guidance. Spiritual guidance on the other hand is for both guidance and absolution. It is important to not abuse the sacrament in any shape or form, thus possibly causing others to wait/miss confession all together due to time constraints seeing most parishes these days only offer it for a half hour before or after Mass, or by appointment. Happened to me once too many times due to either people seeking guidance, or the priest not knowing the difference between guidance and the sacrament.

Just thought I’d give my two cents… sorry :slight_smile:


#16

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