Unbaptized RCIA candidates cannot go to sacrament of reconciliation right?


#1

I am looking for some guidance on this one.

I am an going through RCIA right now and I have been really working on trying to identify sins and weaker points. By identifying these I can try to work on things that will help me get closer to the lord. While these two sins on my mind are mortal and I have prayed and tried to make right these wrongs. I am really trying to live a good life and do the right things. However, I continue to feel like these sins are hanging over my head.

I am frustrated because I am unbaptized, therefore cannot attend the sacrament of reconciliation. I won’t baptized, confirmed, or take communion until Holy Saturday in April. So I am starting to feel like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Does anyone have any suggestions so I won’t continue to feel like this for the next four months when I am fully accepted in to the church? Am I allowed to go to confession to talk to my priest but just not be absolved from my sins? Perhaps I could go to confession time, but just ask him to pray with me? Help!


#2

Praise God for the movement of the Spirit within you that gives you this desire - no, the need - for Sacramental Reconciliation. But, no, you will not, and in fact, need not, and - cannot, receive that reconciliation at the moment. Your catechists, your RCIA team, should explain, or have explained, that baptism washes you clean - washing away the stain of sin and the guilt of it.

Now, as to the other part of your question - what can you do now? Yes, I would expect that your parish priest would be happy to pray with you. You would probably want to approach him before coming to him during regularly scheduled parish times for the Sacrament to ask him how, and if, he would like for you to come to him for this. In other words, does he want to meet with you separately, or is he alright with you coming to him during regularly scheduled times (in some parishes there are many people who come for Reconciliation at regularly scheduled times, and sometimes they don’t all get to celebrate the Sacrament for lack of time, and you wouldn’t want to contribute to any deprivation for someone else, if there is some other way).

I would hope and expect that your priest will be happy to help you examine your conscience prior to your Baptism, and to pray with you, and for you, during this time. Again, speak with your RCIA director and your priest about this, though, before going to him (your priest). That way he knows what is coming, and what you are expecting.

God Bless You!


#3

[quote=RCIA STL girl]I am looking for some guidance on this one.

I am an going through RCIA right now and I have been really working on trying to identify sins and weaker points. By identifying these I can try to work on things that will help me get closer to the lord. While these two sins on my mind are mortal and I have prayed and tried to make right these wrongs. I am really trying to live a good life and do the right things. However, I continue to feel like these sins are hanging over my head.

I am frustrated because I am unbaptized, therefore cannot attend the sacrament of reconciliation. I won’t baptized, confirmed, or take communion until Holy Saturday in April. So I am starting to feel like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Does anyone have any suggestions so I won’t continue to feel like this for the next four months when I am fully accepted in to the church? Am I allowed to go to confession to talk to my priest but just not be absolved from my sins? Perhaps I could go to confession time, but just ask him to pray with me? Help!
[/quote]

You are blessed in that you are about to be as white as snow making the Sacrament of Reconciliation unnecessary prior to your Confirmation via your Baptism as you know. This being said, our Pastor has everyone in RCIA come to him for a “Confession”. The only difference is that yours will not be Sacramental but allows you to go thru the process so in addition to knowing in your heart and soul that you are clean, you’ll also have gone thru the mental excercise. Does that make sence?

In any case, tell your Pastor this is what you desire (if it is) and get his reaction. As in all things, talking to your Pastor is the best advice I can ever give and then accept his counsel.


#4

Welcome Home!

I understand exactly how you feel. I was not baptized when I went through RCIA at about age 25. So I had quite a little stack of sin built up by then and had the same feelings.

Just remember that when you are baptized not only is original sin removed, but also any sins you’ve committed in the past and all temporal punishment for sins committed.

You cannot receive the Sacrament of Confession until then, but there are some other things you can do in the mean time.

I would suggest praying before the Blessed Sacrament and make an act of perfect contrition. That is, to ask for God’s forgiveness out of perfect love for Jesus, not just out of fear of eternal punishment. Talking to priest is also an excellent idea.

Just remember, that God is well aware of your intensions and your love for Him. His mercy is boundless. Trust in it.


#5

I’m not an expert about those coming into the faith but let me give you a few helpful suggestions:

First, don’t worry that if you die before you’re baptized that you’re going to go to hell. The same type of question that gets asked is “What if someone in a state of mortal sin dies on their way to confession? Will they go to hell?” Jesus Christ did not come down to earth and suffer and die on a Cross so that he could “cheat” us out of our eternal salvation. So try to put that worry out of your mind.

Second, try to make an act of perfect contrition:

1452When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called “perfect” (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible.51

Whenever you fall into a state of mortal sin you should repent and do this as soon as possible. This may seem rather hard to do (and you don’t have the certainty of God’s forgiveness as you do in the Sacrament of Penance) but I still recommend making one. Remember, perfect contrition can be achieved even if you still fear eternal damnation. Being sorry for offending and all good God should be your motivation (i.e. you’d be sorry even if there was no punishment.)

Remember, if you’ve never been Baptized Batism will not only forgive original sin but any personal sin and punishment due to sins!

1263 By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin.66 In those who have been reborn nothing remains that would impede their entry into the Kingdom of God, neither Adam’s sin, nor personal sin, nor the consequences of sin, the gravest of which is separation from God.

So if you are Baptized and then die a few seconds later (without sinning) you’re on the elevator strait to heaven.

Am I allowed to go to confession to talk to my priest but just not be absolved from my sins?

I would recommend you talk things over with your priest. Although you can’t receive absolution getting these things off your chest might help you.

Also if you haven’t already been told about it I recommend the Catechism:
scborromeo.org/ccc/ccc_toc.htm

I wish you well on your journey home.


#6

[quote=RCIA STL girl]stuck between a rock and a hard place.
[/quote]

Your really not stuck but in a good place. You are experiencing repentance and as a Catechumen (one who has officially gone through the Rite of Acceptance into the order of Catechumens) you should pray and reflect and learn to say an “Act of Contrition.” If you were to die suddenly before your Baptism your sins are forgiven and you would receive the grace of Baptism outside the Sacrament, through “Baptism of Desire” because you proclaimed your desire for Baptism during the Rite.


#7

Wow! I hope your hunger for reconciliation will never diminish. It is wonderful that you are feeling this way during our Season of Advent where we are all to prepare…make straight our paths, level the mountains…and reconcile with the Lord. I hope your desire to stay close to the Lord will never waver and you will receive this incredible sacrament regularly. You may be the light & inspiration for those around you to see how you will benefit from the grace offered through penance and absolution. God bless you on your journey!


#8

I was in your position when I was going through RCIA. I had a particular sin that was weighing very heavily on me, and when I couldn’t stand it anymore, I found a priest I felt I could trust (after praying to God that He would send me a priest to trust with this) and talked to him. I felt so much better after that.


#9

[quote=RCIA STL girl]I am looking for some guidance on this one.

I
Does anyone have any suggestions so I won’t continue to feel like this for the next four months when I am fully accepted in to the church? Am I allowed to go to confession to talk to my priest but just not be absolved from my sins? Perhaps I could go to confession time, but just ask him to pray with me? Help!
[/quote]

make an appoinment with the priest, and discuss exactly what has been going on in your spiritual life. What you are experiencing is precisely what is supposed to happen during RCIA – conversion, recognition of sin, and turning away from sin. The Church in its wisdom has been preparing you for this and leading you toward this, and the rites of Lent–scrutinies and exorcisms–deal directly with this movement. A priest is supposed to be part of (actually leading) your RCIA team because it is his role to deal with this movement in your soul pastorally, and to help you discern the conversion process you are undergoing. Please meet wtih him right away.


#10

A big thank you to everyone who responded to this thread I started. I prayed a bit more about it and then called and made an appointment with my priest.

Today we sat down and talked through it all. It really felt great to not only get this off my chest, but it was reassuring that I could go to him again to talk. I feel SO much better now! I am confident that this is all a part of the plan of what I am supposed to learn throughout the RCIA process. We all have to suffer from our sins in some degree or another, just as Jesus did for us.

:slight_smile: God Bless and I wish you the Merriest Christmas season! :wink:


#11

I just want to clarify if unbaptized catechumens still don't participate in the Rite of Reconciliation. Ours is coming up but supposedly all of us are going to do it. In my reading here, it looks like the unbaptized don't do this until after baptism, communion and confirmation (because baptism cleanses away our sins). I just want to verify before approaching the RCIA director!


#12

[quote="SeekNFind, post:11, topic:41336"]
I just want to clarify if unbaptized catechumens still don't participate in the Rite of Reconciliation. Ours is coming up but supposedly all of us are going to do it. In my reading here, it looks like the unbaptized don't do this until after baptism, communion and confirmation (because baptism cleanses away our sins). I just want to verify before approaching the RCIA director!

[/quote]

I'm in RCIA too and last Sunday we discussed the Rite Of Reconciliation. Our director told us that those of us who have been previously baptized (like me - I'm converting from a Protestant denomination) need to go to confession before the Easter Vigil. However, he noted that those in our group who have not been baptized do not need to go to confession.


#13

[quote="Balian, post:12, topic:41336"]
I'm in RCIA too and last Sunday we discussed the Rite Of Reconciliation. Our director told us that those of us who have been previously baptized (like me - I'm converting from a Protestant denomination) need to go to confession before the Easter Vigil. However, he noted that those in our group who have not been baptized do not need to go to confession.

[/quote]

OK thanks. They didn't make this distinction in my class. Oh well, I will ask them.


#14

[quote="SeekNFind, post:11, topic:41336"]
I just want to clarify if unbaptized catechumens still don't participate in the Rite of Reconciliation. Ours is coming up but supposedly all of us are going to do it. In my reading here, it looks like the unbaptized don't do this until after baptism, communion and confirmation (because baptism cleanses away our sins). I just want to verify before approaching the RCIA director!

[/quote]

Confession is also required if the person is to receive a Conditional Baptism (the validity of their prior baptism can not be proven).


#15

=RCIA STL girl;1152817]I am looking for some guidance on this one.

I am an going through RCIA right now and I have been really working on trying to identify sins and weaker points. By identifying these I can try to work on things that will help me get closer to the lord. While these two sins on my mind are mortal and I have prayed and tried to make right these wrongs. I am really trying to live a good life and do the right things. However, I continue to feel like these sins are hanging over my head.

I am frustrated because I am unbaptized, therefore cannot attend the sacrament of reconciliation. I won’t baptized, confirmed, or take communion until Holy Saturday in April. So I am starting to feel like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Does anyone have any suggestions so I won’t continue to feel like this for the next four months when I am fully accepted in to the church? Am I allowed to go to confession to talk to my priest but just not be absolved from my sins? Perhaps I could go to confession time, but just ask him to pray with me? Help!

Technically one can and may. BUT I would suggest it would be far better to DICUSS this with your pastor BEFORE doing it. Just call and make an appointment with him.:slight_smile:

As a FYI: while you’re waiting to put your mind at rest make a GOOD, sincere Act of Sorrow between you and God and back it up with a sincere effort to avoid with God’s help these sins in the futhre. Our God is a God of Mercy and Love; and a God of incomprenehsible patience. Look at how long He waited for Noah to build the Ark, and the 40 years of the Exodus. God Will read you’re mind and heart and BE AT PEACE.:thumbsup:

God Bless you, and WELCOME HOME!

Pat
PJM here on the Forum
If you have any other questions send me a private message.


#16

You’re responding to someone from 2005 so presumably she has been baptized by now. But I’m still curious how one “can and may” participate in the sacrament of Reconciliation when she hasn’t received the sacrament of Baptism. Baptism comes before any of the other sacraments.


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