THE SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION

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1 THE SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION The Sacrament of Reconciliation has three elements; conversion, confession and celebration. Like all things that matter in our spiritual life, forgiveness comes as a pure gift from God. Create in me a clean heart O God, Renew a steadfast spirit within me First Reconciliation Parent Information Psalm 51:10 Parents are the primary educators of their children in developing their image of who God is, in developing their relationship with God, and in seeing the place God has in their lives. Parents are required to attend a Parent Orientation Meeting for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Eucharist. Parents and students work together on a First Reconciliation home study book. The home study books are distributed at the parent meeting. Parents and children will attend a preparation class Mock Reconciliation in the church. The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be celebrated with a Communal Penance Service; beginning with the Liturgy of the Word and the priest will lead the children through an examination of conscience. The children will go to individual confession. The children will be seated with parents before and after Reconciliation.

2 Important Dates for Reconciliation: Parent Meeting for Reconciliation/Eucharist: Wednesday, October 17 th, 2012 at 6:30pm in Herbert Hall. (Parents Only) Parent/Child Reconciliation Preparation Class/Mock Reconciliation: Sunday, January 27 th, 2013 at 10:30am in the church. Sacrament of First Reconciliation: Saturday, February 9 th, 2013 in the church. Please note the time of Reconciliation: If your child attends on Wednesday at 4:00pm, home school, or Catholic school, the Celebration of First Reconciliation will be from 9:00-11:00am. Please arrive by 8:45am. If your child attends on Sundays at 10:30am, the Celebration of First Reconciliation will be from 1:00-3:00pm. Please arrive by 12:45pm. Father I have sinned against Heaven and You. Luke 15 The Prodigal Son This story is based on the Gospel of Luke 15: A powerful example of Reconciliation and God s unconditional love for us.

3 There was a loving father who had two sons. One day the younger son asked for his share of his family s money. The father gave it to him, and the son left home. The son spent all of his money with his friends. And when his money was gone, his friends left him. He had nowhere to live and no money to buy clothes or food. The son thought about his selfish choices. He remembered his father s love. He decided to go home and ask his father for forgiveness. When the young man was almost home, his father saw him on the road. The father ran out to welcome his son. The young man said, Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I know longer deserve to be called your son (Luke15:21) The father was very happy to see his son. He called for a servant to bring a robe to replace his ragged clothes. Then the father gathered his family and friends for a celebration. The older son was coming home from his work in the fields. He heard the music and saw the dancing. The older son called his father s servant and asked what was happening. The servant told him about the return of the younger son. The older son became very angry and refused to go inside. His father came outside and began to plead with him.

4 My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was lost and has been found. (Luke: 15:31-32) Scripture Connection: Reconciliation and the Prodigal Son The Parable of the Prodigal Son connects the four components of the Rite of Reconciliation. When the younger son left home, he may have been excited at first. But then he began to feel bad about the poor choices he had made. This is called an examination of conscience. He was sorry and did not want to act this way again. This is called contrition. (when we pray the Act of Contrition) When he returned home he told his father he was sorry. He told his father about the hurtful and selfish choices he had made. This is called confession. (when we tell the priest our sins) The younger son was willing to do whatever he needed to do to show his sorrow and to make up for his choices. A prayer or kind act that we do to show God we are sorry is called penance. (the priest gives prayers or an action as penance) The father forgave his son and even had a celebration for him. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, God forgives our sins through the actions and words of the priest. This is called absolution. (the sacramental gift of absolution reminds us of God s unconditional love for us)

5 RITE OF RECONCILIATION Make the Sign of the Cross with the Priest: Child: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Bless me, Father for I have sinned and I am sorry The child speaks with the priest about his/her sins. The priest speaks with the child. Listen carefully to the priest. Pray the Act of Contrition. Oh my God I am sorry for my sins, I promise to try to sin no more. And amend my life. The priest prays with the child and gives him/her absolution. The child makes the Sign of the Cross when the priest gives absolution. Thanksgiving for God s forgiveness. Priest: The peace of the Lord be with you. Child: And with your Spirit. (Shake hands with each other) Child returns quietly to their seat to pray their penance. The First Reconciliation Service is for the children and parents only. The children and parents will sit together in different sections of the church; leaving the first five pews empty to assure privacy for Reconciliation. The Reconciliation Service will begin with a Liturgy of the Word and then the children will make their First Reconciliation. The priests will sit around the three sides of the sanctuary area, and the children approach the priest in the area they are sitting. After your child has received the Sacrament of Reconciliation and prayed their penance, you may leave the church quietly. A Reception/Celebration will follow in Room 316/317 in your honor!

6 Parent s Pledge Parent involvement is of great importance in the preparation of children in the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Eucharist. We ask that parents commit to the following promises: I promise to see that my child attends Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. I promise to see that my child attends all catechetical sessions and complete all home study assignments. I promise to support my child in the preparation of First Reconciliation and First Eucharist in the Sacramental life of the church, whenever possible, as a witness to my child. I promise to help my child learn the basic prayers of our faith: the Sign of the Cross, the Lord s Prayer, the Hail Mary, Glory Be to the Father, and the Act of the Contrition. I promise to pray for my child throughout this time of preparation. I promise to continue sharing, with the help of the Holy Spirit, the gift of myself and the gift of faith with the parish community, after this Sacramental preparation has ended. I promise to be involved in my child s continuous religious education by attending PSR classes or enrolling in a Catholic school. Baptism Through Baptism, God shares His life with us. We become children of God and members of the church. Baptism is the first sacrament of initiation in which we are cleansed of original sin with Holy Water and anointed with the Holy Oil of Chrism. The priest or deacon blesses us in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit. When we

7 are baptized, we are receiving the Gift of the Holy Spirit for the first time. If your child was NOT BAPTIZED AT ST. CATHERINE OF SIENA, please provide us with a copy of your child s baptismal certificate. If you are unable to locate the original certificate, simply phone the church where your child was baptized and they will send you a copy. This is due by November 1 st..

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