Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation


We offer:  Saturdays at 3:30 PM

Rembrandt’s Return of the Prodigal Son

Go and sin no more!

“The Father has shown forth his mercy by reconciling the world to himself in Christ and by making peace for all things on earth and in heaven by the blood of Christ on the cross (cf. 2 Cor 5:18ff; Col 1:20). The Son of God made man lived among men in order to free them from the slavery of sin (cf. Jn 8:34-36) and to call them out of darkness into his wonderful light (cf. 1 Pt 2:9). He therefore began his work on earth by preaching repentance and saying: “Turn away from sin and believe the good news” (Mk 1:15). This invitation to repentance, which had often been sounded by the prophets, prepared the hearts of men for the coming of the Kingdom of God through the voice of John the Baptism who came “preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Mk 1:4).  Jesus, however, not only exhorted men to repentance so that they should abandon their sins and turn wholeheartedly to the Lord (cf. Lk 15), but he also welcomed sinners and reconciled them with the Father (cf. Lk 5:20, 27-32; 7:48). Moreover, by healing the sick he signified his power to forgive sin (Mt 9:2-8). Finally, he himself died for our sins and rose again for our justification (cf. Rom 4:25). Therefore, on the night he was betrayed and began his saving passion, he instituted the sacrifice of the new covenant in his blood for the forgiveness of sins (cf. Mt 26:28).” (The Rite of Penance, 1)

Celebrating the Sacrament of Penance & Reconciliation

PREPARATION – The period of time in which you examine your conscience, comparing your life with the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, and the example of Christ.

GOING TO CONFESSION – After the priest has greeted you, you begin with the Sign of the Cross.  You may wish to indicate facts about your life (such as your state in life), the time of the last confession, difficulties in leading the Christian life, and anything else that might help the priest.

CONFESSION OF SINS – Confess your sins. Mortal sins are to be confessed by name, number and kind. When you are finished, say, “I am sorry for these and all my sins.”

COUNSEL – The priest will offer you a word of advice and encouragement to continue follow the Christian life. And he will ask you to receive a penance, which may include prayer, self-denial, or the works of mercy.

PRAYER OF SORROW – Next you make the act of contrition. There are several versions of the act of contrition that you may choose from. It can be as simple as the Gospel phrase, “Lord Jesus, have mercy on me a sinner.” You may want to express in your own words sorrow for your sin, how the sin has ruptured your relationship with God, and your dependence upon God’s grace to start anew, do penance, and amend your life. Or, you may choose to use one of the traditional prayers.

ABSOLUTION – The priest will extend his hands over you and say the words of absolution and you bless yourself when he says, “I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” You respond. “Amen.”

PROCLAMATION OF PRAISE – The priest may then say a prayer of praise to God such as, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.” To which you respond, “His mercy endures forever.” Then you are dismissed, “Go in peace,” responding, “Thanks be to God!”

When is Penance and Reconciliation offered for you at Saint Joseph’s Parish?

Saturday: 3:30 PM

*Schedule subject to change. Check weekly bulletin.

Children preparing for First Holy Communion celebrate the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation the January prior.

If you have a question concerning the requirements for the reception of Penance and Reconciliation, please contact the Religious Education Office at 766-2472.