Through Reconciliation, Christians are freed from sins committed after Baptism. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is considered the normal way to be absolved from mortal sins which, it is believed, would otherwise condemn a person to Hell.
The Sacrament has four elements, three on the part of the penitent (contrition, confession and satisfaction) and one on the part of the minister of the Sacrament (absolution).
Catholics distinguish between two types of sin: Mortal sins are a grave violation of God's law that turns man away from God. Someone who is aware of having committed mortal sins must repent of having done so, and must confess them in order to benefit from the Sacrament. Venial sins, the kind that "does not set us in direct opposition to the will and friendship of God", can be remitted by contrition and reception of other Sacraments, but they too are rightly and usefully declared in confession.
Friday: 11:30pm - 12:00pm
Saturday: 4:00pm - 4:40pm
Procedure in the Confessional
You say: "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been - (state the length of time) – since my last confession. These are my sins." Then tell your sins.
When you have finished telling your sins, you should say: "For these and all the sins of my past, I am truly sorry."
The priest now gives the necessary advice, assigns your penance and asks you to say the Act of Contrition (in some form). Then wait and listen as the priest gives the absolution.
Then say: "Thank you, Father", leave the confessional and then perform the penance assigned by the priest.
Five Steps For A Good Confession
- Examine your conscience.
- Be sincerely sorry for your sins.
- Confess your sins to a priest.
- Resolve to amend your life.
- After your confession, do the penance the priest assigns.