Saturday after 6.00 pm Mass.

What is the Sacrament of Reconciliation?

  “I came to call sinners”

As we read the Gospel we learn that Jesus brought healing to so many people, He calmed so many storms in peoples live, He gave repentant sinners new hope. He did not condemn.

In our society so many of us are searching so many places for healing and peace. Jesus offers it freely to us in the sacrament of Penance/Confession. When did you last ask for pardon and peace in Confession?

The Sacrament of Penance is also known as the ‘Sacrament of Reconciliation’ or traditionally called ‘Confession’. It is the rite by which sins are confessed and forgiven. Sin is failure to recognise and love God in the way we think, speak or act. Sin is also not just a failure to love God directly but also a failure to love one another. This is referred to as “the community sense of sin”.

Contrition, a genuine sense of sorrow for ones sins.

Confession, humbly telling your sins to a priest in Confession

Promise to make amends

Absolution, people are forgiven their sins by the words and actions of the priest.

Words of Absolution said by the priest in Confession:

God the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of His Son has reconciled the world and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins. Through the ministry of the church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Forms Of Celebration

The sacrament can be celebrated in a one-to-one encounter with a priest: this is known as ‘individual confession’. Many parishes also organise ‘Penitential Services’ at special times; e.g. Advent, Lent and Parish Missions. In this form of celebration, which is communal, people prepare as a community and many priests hear the confessions individually and people receive absolution individually.


Penance is a sign of sorrow and a commitment to try to make amends. It is also a sign of our sincerity to change our lives. This is what is meant by conversion. When the Sacrament is a communal celebration, the penance is said as a community, once all have had the opportunity to confess. When celebrated in the traditional one-to-one form, a penance is given and the person takes on that penance privately.

Act of Sorrow:

O my God I thank you for loving me.

I am sorry for my sins, for not loving You and not loving others.

Help me to live like Jesus and not to sin again. Amen.