PENANCE – WHAT IS IT?
Penance is one of the two Sacraments of Healing, Anointing of the Sick being the other.
It is also known as the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession. Confession is what we do (We Confess our sins to God in the person of the Priest) Penance is what it is!
It is the means by which:
• we say sorry to God and to the whole Church community – represented by the priest;
• we receive God’s forgiveness and healing and we are reconciled with the community (the Church),
• we also receive from God, the grace to start over with a clean slate.
WHAT HAPPENS IN PENANCE?
The Sacrament of Penance is very simple. We come to God, represented by the priest and we tell God of the times when we did not live the way God would want us to, we ask for forgiveness and healing of our weaknesses and we promise to try better. We then receive God’s forgiveness and are reconciled to God and the Church.
Why the Church, can’t I confess my sins directly to God and be forgiven? Yes, but sometimes our mistakes (sins) have implications beyond ourselves and can affect our relationships within the community of the Church, so we ask the community for forgiveness. The priest is the community’s official representative.
CELEBRATING THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE/RECONCILIATION FOR THE FIRST TIME.
As part of preparation for Eucharist, children will also be prepared to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance/Reconciliation (First Confession).
Adults can avail of the Sacrament by contacting any of the priests of the parish. We also have Penitential Services twice a year usually during Lent and Advent.