The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession/Penance)
Jesus declared to the Apostles, “Receive the Holy Spirit; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven and whose sins you shall retain, are retained.” (John 20: 22-23)
Reconciliation is a sacrament one receives for the forgiveness of sins committed after Baptism. The effects of this sacrament include the restoration of sanctifying grace (if mortal sins have been confessed) and it increases sanctifying grace among those who already possess it. Reconciliation remits the eternal punishment of sin and lessens the temporal punishments due to sin and helps people to avoid sins in the future.
A penitent must have contrition/sorrow for their sins, confess their sins to a priest, and carry out the penance given.
To prepare for the reception of this sacrament, a person should examine their conscience and recall how long it has been since their last confession.
Once in the confessional, all mortal sins must be confessed (along with how frequently those sins have been committed.) The chief qualities of a good confession are humility, sincerity, and entirety; enabling a person to experience a sense of peace and a clear conscience.
Catholics are required to confess their sins at least once per year, but are encouraged to confess their sins more frequently especially if they are struggling to overcome particular sins.
Reconciliation is offered at Holy Cross every Saturday following the 11:30 a.m. Mass.
For information regarding First Reconciliation at Holy Cross, please contact Debi Matthews, Coordinator of Religious Education. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.