The Church celebrates Reconciliation as one of its seven sacraments. At St. Mary's, private confessions are heard on Saturday afternoons from 3:30 - 4:30 PM or by appointment. Communal reconciliation services are held during Advent and Lent.
(If you have not been to private confession, you may want to use this as a guide. You will have the option of confessing from behind a screen or sitting in a chair which faces the priest.)
· Greet the priest and tell him about how long it has been since your last confession and any other important information, like” this is my first confession” or” I’m joining the church this Easter”, or” I’ve been away from the Church ”
· Tell Father one or two of the most significant sins or issues that you are dealing with. You can say something like “I’m really struggling with my temper – it seems I’m yelling at the kids all the time.” Or “I’ve been lying to my parents and sneaking out to do something that they wouldn’t want me to do.”
Penitents who are in the state of mortal sin must confess each mortal sin to the priest.
· Say you are sorry and ask for God’s forgiveness.
· The priest may talk with you a little and then he may give you a penance and say the words of absolution. You say “AMEN”.
· When you have finished, Father will exchange a greeting of peace with you. If you are going to confession face-to-face, this may be done with a handshake. Father will say “Peace be with you…” You answer, “and also with you” or some similar words.
· If Father asks you to say an act of contrition, you can say “Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner” or use another act of contrition that you know.
Once you have left the Reconciliation Room you will have the opportunity to stay in the church or chapel to pray longer. It may be possible for you to complete the penance that the priest has given you at that time.