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Penance/ Confession

Sunday- before each Mass
Monday 6.30-7.30pm St Anne’s Church
Thursday 7.30-8.30 St Patrick’s Church

Confession is a Sacrament instituted by Jesus Christ in His love and mercy to offer sinners forgiveness for offences against God and against other people. Confession brings reconciliation between God and the penitent, between the penitent and others, and to the individual penitent.

One goes to Confession privately behind a screen. Preparation for the Sacrament of Penance consists of a good examination of conscience. This examination, guided by the Ten Commandments, prepares one to confess sins to the priest. Confession presumes the penitent is truly sorry with a firm resolve not to sin again.

Confession begins with the (1) Sign of the Cross and the penitent greeting the priest with the words, (2) “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. My last confession was ….” (weeks, months, years).

The penitent (3) confesses sins to the priest, who stands in the name of Christ and the Church. The priest will help you make a good confession. If you are unsure or uneasy, ask the priest to help. Place your trust in God, a merciful Father who wants to forgive you. Following the confession of sins, say, (4) “For these and all my sins I am truly sorry.”

The priest will assign you a (5) penance. The penance takes into account your personal situation and supports your spiritual good. It may be a prayer, an offering, works of mercy, service, or sacrifice; whatever the penance, the individual is joined in some way to Christ and the Cross.

The penitent will then pray an (6) Act of Contrition. This prayer expresses true sorrow for the sins confessed. This prayer may be expressed in one’s own words or one may use one of the formal prayers of sorrow.

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, 
and I detest all my sins 
because I fear the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, 
but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, 
Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. 
I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, 
to sin no more 
and to avoid the near occasions of sin. Amen.

The priest, acting in the person of Christ, will absolve you from your sins by saying the prayer of (7) Absolution. As the prayer is ending, the penitent makes the (8) Sign of the Cross and responds, “Amen.”

The priest will express some (9) words of praise and blessing. The penitent leaves, completing the (10) assigned penance.