“Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”
The Sacrament of Penance or Reconciliation (commonly called Confession, Reconciliation or Penance) in which the faithful obtain divine mercy for the sins committed against God and neighbor and are reconciled with the community of the Church. By this sacrament Christians are freed from sins committed after Baptism. Sin is an offense against God, a rupture of communion with God and damages communion with the Church. For this reason, conversion and wholeness entails both God’s forgiveness and reconciliation with the Church, which are expressed in the liturgy of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
View this video about Reconciliation (Penance), which has been prepared by the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops. It gives a clear description of the theology and the way we celebrate this Sacrament.
Reconciliation is a child’s first opportunity to prepare and accept Christ through active participation in Religious Education. This first acceptance and reception of a Sacrament is a major step in a child’s life but the parents guide their way as they are the first mentors for the children.
In the Diocese of Grand Island, each parish gathers the second grade students together to celebrate and receive this Sacrament.
On the day of Reconciliation Celebration, the parents accompany the child to the rite of Reconciliation which allows the parents and child to accept the responsibility of Reconciliation and light the Baptismal Candle to remind them of their light of faith. As each Candidate takes their turn, the parents take the child to the Reconciliation room and introduce the child to the Priest.
The Celebration is open to the rest of the family as the pastor and assisting priest allow the parents and other family members the same opportunity to celebrate with the recipient and receive the Sacrament as well.