The Sacrament of Reconciliation is a sacrament of healing.
When I go to confess myself, it’s to be healed,
To heal my soul, heal my heart
And what I have done and what is going wrong in my life.
In the Christian Profession of Faith, we proclaim: « I believe in only one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. » In fact, baptism frees us from the evil that we may have done, the evil that is in us, by plunging us into the love of God that was manifested to us through Jesus-Christ.
But, even after baptism, we may experience weakness as well as attraction towards things that we know are not good. When this attraction dominates us, and we are not able to resist it, we develop attitudes and do things that we know contradicts our baptism. What do we do then?
In his great mercy, Christ has provided a ministry of healing for his Church. According to the Gospel of John, the morning of his resurrection, Jesus appeared to the Apostles. « He breathed on them and said: “Receive the Holy Spirit; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained.” »
The sacrament of reconciliation and penitence, commonly called confession, allows us to renew the grace of our baptism. Indeed, during the baptism, I rejected evil, (or someone did it in my name), before being baptized « in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit ». In confession, I reject the evil that I admit having done – sin – and I am pardoned « in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit ».
In the Archdiocese of Gatineau, we can celebrate this sacrament under two formats.
The individual format consists of a personal meeting with a priest. The priests often make themselves available for these meetings before Masses during the week, and sometimes on Sundays. Or they plan regular hours for this sacrament, and they announce them in the parish bulletin. Or even, they make themselves available on demand. Consult your parish for more information on this subject.
The community format consists of a Liturgy of the Word celebrated as a group, followed by a period of reflection and communal prayer. A brief meeting with a priest allows us to name the sins that we admit having committed, and then receive absolution. We then take the time to praise the Lord for his mercy. These community celebrations are often organized for regions during Advent or Lent, or during parish retreats. Again, you can consult your parish for more information.
Here is a series of questions and answers
THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE AND RECONCILIATION
- What is This Sacrament Called?
- Why a Sacrament of Reconciliation after Baptism?
- The Conversion of the Baptized
- Interior Penance
- The Many Forms of Penance in Christian Life
- The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation
- The Acts of the Penitent
- The Minister of This Sacrament
- The Effects of This Sacrament
- The Celebration of the Sacrament of Penance