“Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you. And when he said this, he breathed on them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained’”(John 20:21-23, NAB).
The Sacrament of Reconciliation (also called the Sacrament of Confession or Penance) is a great gift to Catholics. Receiving this sacrament frequently makes our hearts pure, so that we may more worthily receive our Lord in the Eucharist. For this reason, children prepare to receive First Reconciliation prior to receiving their First Holy Communion.
Preparation and practices for families:
- Bring your child to Mass each week and discuss the Mass with your child afterward…i.e. what color was the priest’s chasuble this week, do you remember which Gospel we read from today, what was something that you remembered about Mass today…incense used? Music? etc.
- For those families who are attending classes in the building, bring your child to class on time each week and encourage your child to complete homework. If your child will be absent, contact the catechist for work to be completed.
- For those families who are homeschooling this year, check and discuss your child’s weekly coursework, and make sure your child understands the material.
- Pray with your child each day.
- Help your child to learn all of the designated prayers through 2nd grade (see the prayer booklet provided at the beginning of the year).
- Practice the proper way to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Act of Contrition with your child before First Penance. It is also helpful for your child to be familiar with the Ten Commandments before First Penance.
- Work to grow together with your child in knowledge and love for the great gift of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. If possible, take your child with you when you go to confession (not into the confessional, of course!), so that he/she becomes more familiar and comfortable with this sacrament. When children see that their parents go to God for forgiveness, they are assured of His mercy for themselves.
Required paperwork: Baptismal record on file in the RE office.