Growing Up Catholic
Session Five: At Home This Week
Being Sorry & Asking for Forgiveness
We are sorry because we hurt each other and our friendship with God.
We are truly sorry when we are aware we hurt others, are willing to admit it, never want to do it again and promise to change and be more loving.
Contrition has three parts: realizing what we did was wrong, being sorry for it, and promising to be better.
Rite of Reconciliation
The Act of Contrition is a prayer we say in the Sacrament of Reconciliation after we confess our sins, to say we're sorry and don't want to sin again.
Absolution is when the priest offers you God's forgiveness after you have confessed your sins.
Confession: How To Do It!
Here is a great walk-through of the steps of the sacrament, with Fr. Dave Dwyer of Busted Halo. With humor, he answers questions and addresses concerns.
This is a great video to watch with your child.
Preparing for Reconciliation
The Sacrament of Reconciliation can feel a bit scary to a child who is celebrating it for the first time. (Some adults even feel nervous or a little scared still when they go to confession, especially if they haven't done it in a long time!) You can help by making sure your child knows the prayers and knows what will happen.
Rehearsing the Sacrament
Review with your child the steps for this sacrament. We recommend role-playing with your child. The first time you can play the role of the priest, and the next time your child can play that role. You could pick some silly things to confess to make it a little more fun.
Assure your child that it is normal to be nervous or scared. You can tell them of a time when you were nervous or scared before going to confession.
Also, help your child to memorize an Act of Contrition (see the Session 3 page for versions to memorize). Your child may also be given a penance, which could involve praying the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be. Make sure they know these prayers as well.
As the parent of a child in this process, we urge you to celebrate this sacrament yourself around the same time as your child since you are asking them to do this. It is important role-modeling.