Reconciliation is officially called the Sacrament of Penance. In the past, it was also called Confession. These titles are all aspects of the meaning of the Sacrament. The Sacrament of Penance is a celebration of God’s love and mercy. It celebrates the call to repentance after a process of conversion of heart. This includes confessing our sins and receiving the forgiveness of God through the ministry of the priest. Through this process, a person is reconciled with the Church and continues to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
How do we celebrate reconciliation?
There are three forms of the celebration of penance.
When do we celebrate reconciliation?
Individual Reconciliation (Rite I) is usually celebrated at set times during the week in parishes (often on Saturday afternoon) and may be arranged at other times by appointment. This Rite is meant to give people the opportunity for personal prayer and individual spiritual direction to enable them to ‘set their lives on track’!
Communal Reconciliation (Rite II) is usually celebrated in parish communities during Advent and Lent and at other appropriate times during the year.
Who celebrates reconciliation?
Baptised members of the Roman Catholic Church who feel called to be reconciled with God and with the faith community can take part in the sacrament of penance. This call to conversion and reconciliation occurs when one considers, judges and changes one’s life in the light of God’s love revealed in the person of Jesus Christ. Prayer and participating in the Eucharist are the regular means of asking for forgiveness and being reconciled with God and the community. However, there are times when the faithful need the sacrament of penance/reconciliation in their struggle to be forgiven and forgiving, to discover anew the gift of God’s saving action in their lives and to be strengthened to continue living as disciples of Jesus.
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