First Reconciliation (Confession)
First Reconciliation is our very first confession. This sacrament is usually completed in 2nd grade before First Holy Communion or during RCIA for older children and adults.
What is confession?
Confession is the telling of our sins to an authorized priest for the purpose of obtaining forgiveness.
He that hideth his sins shall not prosper; but he that shall confess and forsake them shall obtain mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)
Why must we confess our sins?
We must confess our sins because Jesus Christ obliges us to do so in these words, spoken to the apostles and to their successors in the priesthood: “Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.”
Receive the Holy Ghost; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. (John 20:22-23)
After First Reconciliation, how often should we confess our sins?
We should confess our sins as often as possible. It is also a good idea to confess our sins during Advent and Lent and most certainly after committing a mortal sin.
What are the chief qualities of a good confession?
The chief qualities of a good confession are three: it must be humble, sincere, and entire. Meaning we accuse ourselves of our sins, we tell our sins honestly, and to the very best of our ability, tell everything about the sin(s) we have committed.
My First Reconciliation was a long time ago and the idea of going to confession make me nervous, what do I do when I’m in confession?
Start by saying, “Bless me father for I have sinned.” Then state how long it’s been since your last confession. The priest will guide you through, listen to his counsel and after the priest gives absolution, say the act of contrition (don’t worry if you forget it), he will assist you. The priest will then give a penance.
Why does the priest give us a penance after confession?
The priest gives us a penance after confession that we may make some atonement to God for our sins, receive help to avoid them in the future, and make some satisfaction for the temporal punishment due to them.