“and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. ‘As the Father sent me, so am I sending you”. “After saying this he breathed on them and said: Receive the Holy Spirit”. “If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone’s sins, they are retained”.
(John 20: 21-23)
To reconcile is to re-unite, to bring back to harmony, to heal. The Christian perspective seeks reconciliation with God and with one another.
Reconciliation is also known as Confession or Penance.
Because of human weakness, the Lord instituted a special sacrament of penance for the pardon of sins committed after baptism and the Church has faithfully celebrated the sacrament throughout the centuries in varying ways, but retaining its essential elements. Adequate catechesis and preparation must precede this sacrament for the first time.
A follower of Christ who has sinned, but who has been moved by the Holy Spirit to come to the Sacrament of Penance should above all be converted to God with his whole heart. This inner conversion of heart embraces sorrow for sin and the intent to lead a new life. It is expressed through confession made to the Church, due satisfaction and amendment of life. God grants pardon for sin through the Church, which works by the ministry of priests.
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‘The Sacrament of Penance is one of two sacraments of healing (the other being the Anointing of the Sick). Penance is a sacrament of forgiveness and celebrates God’s love and mercy towards us. It is about acknowledging and naming those times when we know we have done wrong, and then making peace and restoring the relationships with those who have been affected by our poor choices. The Sacrament of Penance is celebrated through the Rites of Reconciliation.’ Flame of Faith website
The Three Rites of Reconciliation
First Rite – for the Reconciliation of Individual Penitents.
Second Rite – for Reconciliation of Several Penitents with Individual Confession and Absolution.
Third Rite – for Reconciliation with General Confession and Absolution. This Rite is not currently practised in the Archdiocese of Sydney.
First Reconciliation Program at Holy Spirit.
The Sacrament of First Reconciliation is available to children in Year 3 (or higher) who have been Baptised in the Catholic Church. Children wishing to be enrolled in the program will need to attend the Enrolment Meeting. The date of Enrolment Meeting is advertised in the Church Bulletin.
Following registration the child and parent must attend preparation classes as well as Sunday Mass. Classes are held in the Church on weekday evenings.
Reconciliation Times at Holy Spirit
In the Church on Saturday 10.30am to 11.30am or by appointment.