Every year our 2nd year formation students make the walk to the sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Eucharist. This page is here to provide resources to all RE families to help your children prepare for the sacrament of Reconciliation whether this will be their first time or you are going together again as a family.
When discussing the sacrament with your child it is helpful to use the key words they will be hearing in class.
Sign: something we see, hear, touch or taste that stands for something else and points to something more important (example: at Thanksgiving we see fancy dishes, we smell turkey cooking, we hear the voices of family, and all these things point to Thanksgiving, a time when we thank God for all God’s gifts)
Sacrament: a powerful sign through which Jesus shares God’s life and love with us in the community of the Church
Sin: Freely choosing to do something that we know is wrong/disobeying God’s law on purpose; also: failing to do something we know is right
Conscience: the ability to know right from wrong, which should be developed over time by continuing to make loving choices and participating in the sacrament of Reconciliation when we fail to make loving choices
Absolution: the forgiveness of sins through the words and actions of the priest, who is a stand-in both for Christ and for the whole Christian community
Examination of Conscience: a structured series of questions that helps us name and understand the sins we have committed so that we can confess them in the sacrament.
Examination of Conscience Links
Faith Sharing Opportunities
- Share with your child a time that you apologized for something you had done wrong and how good it made you feel.
- If you have committed a sin against one of your children, take the time to apologize. This shows children that apologizing for sins committed is not something that only children do towards adults but that it is a two-way street.
- Plan together how you are going to celebrate together after the sacrament
- Pray together as a family before you come to church that the Holy Spirit will be alive in your hearts and will help you make a good confession.
- Go out either that night or another night in the week when the family can all get together and celebrate your child’s (and perhaps your own) participation in the sacrament
- Discuss the experience of the sacrament with your child. How did it feel to confess your sins? How did it feel to be welcomed back by Jesus?
- Read stories of Reconciliation from the New Testament (Luke 7:36-39& 44-47, Luke 10:25-28, Luke 15:4-7, Luke 15: 17-24, Luke 19:1-10, Matthew 25:31-32, 41-45)
- Watch this video to better understand why we confess: Sacraments 101