The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Penance)
The Sacrament of Reconciliation celebrates God’s mercy, forgiveness, and unconditional love for us. It is one of the Sacraments of Healing. Jesus Christ, through the Church, has given His Apostles the power and authority to forgive sins in His name.
“Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven the; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
Each one of us has been baptized, and so we are all sons and daughters of god. God loves us as a Father, and he asks us to love him with all our hearts. He also wants us to be good to each other, so that we may all live happily together.
But people do not always do what God wants. They say: “I will not obey! I am going to do as I please.” They disobey God and do not want to listen to him. We, too, often act like that.
That is what we call sin. When we sin we turn our backs on God. If we do something really bad we cut ourselves off from God; we are complete strangers to him.
-Rite of Penance, Appendix II
The celebration of the Sacrament of Penance includes the following:
Contrition is being truly sorry for our sins with an intention to sin no more. It is an act of conversion.
Confession is a personal acknowledgment of our sins and the act of telling them to the priest.
Penance is healing the effect of sin, and renewing our new life in Christ.
Absolution is accepting God’s forgiveness through the words and actions of the priest.