hi my oldest son will be doing his first confession in 8 weeks and i was wondering does the priest ask him questions that he can just answer yes or no to or is it more like an adults confession?
It is really no different for kids as when adults go to Confession. The basic formula, at least the one that I have used since I was eight years old, was this:
Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It’s been ---- weeks (months) since my last confession. Or, in your son’s case, this is my first Confession.
I did this, this, and that and that.
If the priest feels a need to go into some detail to guide your son, that is when he will ask the question. Your son needs to answer them honestly, as this is a very serious sacrament. I am not saying that this will happen, but, then again, there is always the chance that a question or two will be asked either for clarification or for a better understanding so as to offer your son the proper guidance.
After the dialogue between the priest and the penitent, and the penance is given, he will invite the penitent to say the Act of Contrition. Sometimes, parishes will have this prayer inside the confessional.
Either while the penitent is saying the Act of Contrition or after, the priest will pray the prayer of Absolution. The celebrant will then dismiss the penitent.
If you’re worried just impress upon your son how serious this is… and congrats!
I remember when I was a little one. I wrote down what I wanted to say to the Priest. In some situations this is very beneficial. I don’t believe any Priest would frown upon that. It may make your son feel a little more at ease.
It is a very special and sacred Sacrament. I would communicate that to him in a gentle and loving way!
Congratulations and God Bless,
***“Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them: for it is to such as these that the kingdom of Heaven belongs.” ~ Matthew 13:14
The procedure is the same for all confessions.
In preparation for each of my sons’ first confession, the teacher did a mock run-through for the class. She explained what the priest would say and what the child would say (not the specific sins, but the other responses), and the kids found it helpful since they knew what to expect. She also showed them the confessional/reconciliation room. Ask your son’s teacher to do this.
The important thing for the child to know is that the priest will help him if he forgets what to do.
thanks for that i’ve already shown him our inside the confessional he’s not doing it with his class though because he was kept down last year but he is being allowed to do his first confession this year as our apre thinks he is mature enough (he’s 7)
should i show him a children’s confession book?
you should be offered parent meetings for each sacrament which contain teaching on the sacrament itself, and tips to help your child prepare for the sacrament. they should also explain “how Father does it here.” No the priest does not ask leading questions, unless perhaps he has to prompt a child who is nervous or shy, but I doubt he would do that by suggesting sins and inviting the child’s agreement.
It is your part to go through an examination of conscience with your child, using the 10 commandments, adapted to his age (I doubt if adultery is an issue, for instance). By no means to you ask him to tell you his sins, but you invite him, along with you, to think about each of God’s commands and ask himself (while you quietly do the same) if he has fallen short of God’s good plan in those ways. Invite him to say an act of contrition at the end of this, and to pray for a good first confession.
above all make this a positive experience, don’t inculcate a lot of the negativity some of us received growing up. Make sure he has met the priest beforehand, that he has a chance to investigate the confessional, that he knows “how to do it” enough to allay nervousness, and that he looks forward to this meeting with Jesus with joy and anticipation. Your own attitude toward confession is key here, so make sure he sees you going on a regular basis, and if there is time, when he goes.
Here, all this will be part of the preparation in CCD or the school. If your parish does not offer something formal, Catholic Parent Know-How on first reconciliation is outstanding. in fact the entire CPK from Our Sunday Visitor is outstanding, they have one on all the sacraments, Mass, fundamentals of the faith, and the topics that form the basis of RE textbooks for each grade level. I use them as the “handouts” for our parent meetings. Homeschoolers take note, great resource for covering exactly “how to do it” and “why we do it” for all the sacraments.
also most RE textbooks come with an additional confession and Mass booklet, or it may be in back of the text itself, ask the DRE for this and any other resources she has. If he is doing communion this year, and one of your anticipated gifts is a children’s missal, that will also probably have the form for confession in the back.
if he was “held back” it should have been because he, the catechist, the parent, and the priest (if he got that far) agree he was not ready, simply did not have a sense of sin enough to confess, or was just too nervous and unprepared. Prepare him at home and take him when he is ready, no need to wait 6 weeks, unless it takes that long, you just need to make sure it happens before first communion.
When I converted I was 21 years old. My first confession was more like a question and answer. Basically the priest kinda went through the Ten Commandments, and other moral questions. It was very comfortable for both.