Sacrament Question for my 6 YRO Please


#1

Hi peeps!! My 6 year old is mad that they don't allow reconciliation until 3 grade at our Parrish. Granted he is only 6 he said this to me " Mom, what do I do until 3rd grade? It is going to be hard to remember every sin I did when I am 8. " I told him he can just ask God now for forgiveness. (I mean he is 6 how many of the TOP TEN can he or possibly committed LOL) Please and Thanks you....


#2

well, a couple of things ome to mind.

First, if he is ready for Reconciliation, make an appointment with your priest (NOT with religious ed people, who have NO SAY in when your child receives the sacraments). You and the priest make that determination. Your child should not be denied if he is ready for reconciliation.

OTOH, make sure he does not have a misconception regarding confession. The fact that at 6 he is already stressed about remembering "every" sin he commits until he is 8 to me says he has some skewed views of sin and confession. It is important to work with him on proper conscience formation so that scrupulosity does not develop, another reason to work with the priest one-on-one.


#3
  1. One does not need to remember "every single sin" -- that is one does not need to remember all venial sins.

  2. And yes venial sins can be forgiven in many ways outside confession --such as prayer (like the Our Father, act of contrition, devout use of holy water etc. Though YES is it is very good to confess from ones venial sins often ...(see CCC).

  3. As to when the Sacrament can begin -- discuss with your Pastor ...

catholic.com/quickquestions/should-children-make-their-first-confession-before-or-after-receiving-first-communion

catholic.com/quickquestions/how-did-the-church-decided-that-seven-is-the-age-of-reason-and-the-age-for-first-comm


#4
  1. One does not need to remember "every single sin" -- that is one does not need to remember all venial sins (and one need not confess "any" particular venial sin..though the confession of some sin one is sorry for etc is needful for confession)

  2. And yes venial sins can be forgiven in many ways outside confession --such as prayer (like the Our Father, act of contrition, devout use of holy water etc. Though YES is it is very good to confess from ones venial sins often ...(see CCC).

  3. As to when the Sacrament can begin ... discuss with your Pastor ...


#5

[quote="JillianRose, post:1, topic:308929"]
Hi peeps!! My 6 year old is mad that they don't allow reconciliation until 3 grade at our Parrish. Granted he is only 6 he said this to me " Mom, what do I do until 3rd grade? It is going to be hard to remember every sin I did when I am 8. " I told him he can just ask God now for forgiveness. (I mean he is 6 how many of the TOP TEN can he or possibly committed LOL) Please and Thanks you....

[/quote]

If he is that serious about his faith I would give him the adult answer in terms he can understand: namely,

that the Church think he is too young to commit mortal sins, and that the Church doesn't ask us to remember each and every venial sin we have committed, as long as we are really sorry and want to do our best not to do them again.

If that does not satisfy him, you could talk to father privately about the possibility of your son having his first confession early. If father says no, its a good opportunity to teach your son about obedience.


#6

[quote="JillianRose, post:1, topic:308929"]
Hi peeps!! My 6 year old is mad that they don't allow reconciliation until 3 grade at our Parrish. Granted he is only 6 he said this to me " Mom, what do I do until 3rd grade? It is going to be hard to remember every sin I did when I am 8. " I told him he can just ask God now for forgiveness. (I mean he is 6 how many of the TOP TEN can he or possibly committed LOL) Please and Thanks you....

[/quote]

Hi Jillian,

As others have pointed out, there is not a specific age at which the sacrament of reconciliation becomes "open" to someone... and no, the church does not teach that six year olds cannot commit mortal sin. The church teaches that anyone who hasn't reached the age of reason lacks the moral knowledge to be culpable for mortal sin.

What is the age of reason? It's not determined at any specific number. Instead it's a level of moral understanding. If your son is MORALLY old enough to understand right from wrong intrinsically, specifically WHY it is important to do right (to show our love for God and each other, rather than to harm others, God, or ourselves), then by all means he is definitely old enough to go to confession.

I too, however, share Ike's concern about your son's understanding of the sacrament. You may want to talk to your priest and then have a meeting with your son, the priest, and yourself present to determine if your son is ready to start taking the sacrament. If he isn't, then explain to him about what sin is, what is required to be guilty of sin, why he can't be guilty of sin, and why you don't need to go to reconciliation if you're not guilty of sin.


#7

[quote="JillianRose, post:1, topic:308929"]
Hi peeps!! My 6 year old is mad that they don't allow reconciliation until 3 grade at our Parrish. Granted he is only 6 he said this to me " Mom, what do I do until 3rd grade? It is going to be hard to remember every sin I did when I am 8. " I told him he can just ask God now for forgiveness. (I mean he is 6 how many of the TOP TEN can he or possibly committed LOL) Please and Thanks you....

[/quote]

During Advent 3 years ago, our priest gave a really good homily, in which he encouraged all of us to go to confession in order to prepare for Christmas. My older children, then 7 and 6, had not yet received the sacrament, but after the homily they were begging to go. We are in a very small parish and my children are well known to the priest, so we just approached him and asked him if we could do a short preparation with the kids and have them go. He was more than happy to accommodate.

I know of other children who have gone through more formal preparation in an FSSP parish as early as age 5. I would say, if you believe that your son is ready, that you should approach your pastor and ask for his guidance and assistance in preparing your son. There is no hard and fast age that is required, just that the child have attained the age of reason. I don't think it matters much that he likely hasn't committed mortal sin. Most 8 year-olds haven't, either. the fact that he is aware of sin and apparently has contrition makes him ready, in my opinion.


#8

Another thing to consider is their attitude toward the sacrament. If they view it as a celebration of God's mercy, then maybe check with the priest for an earlier age of confession because of the maturity displayed.

However, if the attitude is one of fear of punishment, or a obsession with each and every imperfect act... then watch out that the child may be displaying some early scrupulosity or obsessive compulsive disorder.


#9

Thanks you !! Just so you know MY SON IS NOT SCRUPULOUS, He has a wonderful mother (me) and Father who got to mass weekly and confession monthly. He goes to a VERY magisterial Catholic school. He attends mass sometimes 4 times a week. These are not the concerns of a child who is obsessive but one who wants to be like his DADDY. I just don't know what to tell him he is suppose to do until then.. Thanks, and I hope you all enjoy the sweet baby Jesus that will be entering all our heart in a few days... :p


#10

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