God so loved the world
At the heart of the Christian Faith is the love of God. God loved the world so much that he sent his Only Son into the world not to condemn the world but that the world may be saved through him.
His saving death brings forgiveness for all and, in all and every way, we put our trust in Christ’s Reath and Resurrection, his power over sin and death.
In Holy Baptism, we are washed clean of all our sins but we know that none of us is perfect, and we continue to make mistakes, we go astray, we sin.
One way in which some people find it helpful to express their sorrow to God and to receive a fresh expression of God’s loving forgiveness is through the Sacrament of Confession (or Reconciliation)
The penitent approaches this sacrament in a spirit of sorrow and humility but also trusting in the loving forgiveness of God. In the presence of a priest, he or she expresses this sorrow, names the sins and asks God for pardon, and from the priest advice, counsel and absolution.
Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”John 20:21-23
The sacrament is celebrated with utmost privacy, and the priest is bound by the seal of the confessional.
If you have never made your Confession before, you may find it useful to talk to the priest first so that you can feel at ease and prepared.
An outline of Confession
Penitent: Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.
Priest: The Lord be in your heart and on your lips, that you may make a true confession of your sins in the Name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Penitent: I confess to Almighty God, to Blessed Mary Ever-Virgin, to all the Saints and to you, Father, that I have sinned in thought, word, deed, and omission, through my own fault. I remember especially the following sins…
Tell the priest when you made your last confession and then confess your sins, after which you say:
For these and all my other sins which I cannot now remember, I am truly sorry; I firmly resolve not to sin again, and humbly ask pardon of God, and of you, counsel and absolution in his name.
The Priest may now give counsel and give a penance, followed by:
Our Lord Jesus Christ who has left power to his Church to absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe in him, of his great mercy forgive you all your offences; and by his authority committed to me, I absolve you from all your sins: In the Name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
May the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the merits of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of all the Saints make whatsoever good you have done, or evil you have endured, be unto you for the forgiveness of sins, the increase of grace, and the reward of eternal life: And the blessing of Almighty God, the Father, and the + Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always. Amen.
The Lord has put away your sin. Go in peace; and pray for me a sinner too.
The Sacrament of Confession / Reconciliation is available at St Mary’s every Saturday at 11am or by arrangement with the parish priest