It’s never too late to return to God’s grace, especially when we’ve been living the life of the Prodigal Son before his conversion. He was hoping for his father’s mercy and forgiveness and simply to be treated as one of the servants, but his father recognized that his son who was once dead was now alive again; he who was lost was now found. (Lk. 15:32) He was not treated as a servant but welcomed back into the loving arms of his father as his son. Likewise, our Heavenly Father, through the Sacrament of Reconciliation forgives our sins and no longer treats us as servants but as friends. (Jn. 15:15)
The Sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession must be seen within the context of conversion from sin and a turn to God. Peter wept bitterly over his triple denial of Christ but received the grace of conversion and expressed it with a threefold confession of love for Jesus. Paul was converted from persecuting Christians to becoming one of the greatest disciples of Christ who ever lived. These moments of conversion were only the beginning of their lifelong commitment to living in fidelity to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Sin harms our relationship with God and damages our communion with the Church. Conversion of heart is the beginning of our journey back to God. Liturgically this happens in the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession. In the history of the Church, this Sacrament has been celebrated in different ways. Underlying the changes have always been two essentials: the acts of the penitent and the acts of Christ through the ministry of the Church. Both go hand in hand. Conversion must involve a change of heart as well as a change of actions. Neither is possible without God’s grace.
Guidelines for The Sacrament of Reconciliation
If it’s been a long time since your last confession, wait no longer to receive the saving graces of Jesus who frees us from our slavery to sin and offers us new life. To help one get started, here are the Five Precepts of the Catholic Church: “The precepts of the Church are set in the context of a moral life bound to and nourished by liturgical life. The obligatory character of these positive laws decreed by the pastoral authorities is meant to guarantee to the faithful the very necessary minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbor.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2041)
- You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor.
- You shall confess your sins at least once a year.
- You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season.
- You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church.
- You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church.
Guidelines for Receiving 1st Reconciliation
Children and Teens
Interested in preparing for your 1st Reconciliation? Excellent! Incarnation Catholic Church is very happy to help prepare you to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time. We look forward to walking with you in this preparation process!
Firstly, when children and teens prepare to receive their 1st Reconciliation, they are also prepared to receive their 1st Eucharist/1st Holy Communion. In the one year preparation process, children/teens receive both sacraments for the first time.
In order to begin the preparation process for receiving 1st Reconciliation and 1st Eucharist, children/teens must be at least 7 years of age, and they must be baptized.
If the child/teen is not yet baptized, please click here to learn more about how to have a child/teen baptized.
Before registering for the 1st Reconciliation and 1st Eucharist preparation process, children/teens must have completed one year of Faith Formation (such as attending one year of Catholic School religion classes, or one year Sunday School/CCD/Faith Formation classes). Also, during the preparation process, children/teens must also be enrolled in Faith Formation classes (or attending a Catholic school).
Concerning the 1st Reconciliation & 1st Eucharist Preparation Process for children and teens (Ages 7-17), below are the guidelines for Incarnation Catholic Church:
This preparation process is a parent and child/teen process. Both the child/teen and a parent should attend all events, unless otherwise specified.
Registration for this process is held in August-September every year.
The first event is a Parent gathering to speak about the coming year of preparation (This is a ‘parents-only’ meeting. Please do not bring children/teens to this parent gathering).
In the fall, there will be several workshops on 1st Reconciliation, and in January, the children will receive their 1st Reconciliation.
Then, there will be a Jesus Day Retreat for the children.
Next, there will be several spring workshops on 1st Eucharist, and after Easter, the children will receive their 1st Eucharist.
For more information about the 1st Reconciliation and 1st Eucharist preparation process for Children and Teens (Ages 7-17), please contact Philomena Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 885-7861.
(Ages 18 and older)
Interested in preparing for your 1st Reconciliation? Wonderful! Incarnation Catholic Church is very happy to help prepare you to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time. We look forward to walking with you in this preparation process!
Adults who wish to receive their 1st Reconciliation and 1st Eucharist prepare for these sacraments through a process called ‘The Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults’ or R.C.I.A. In the R.C.I.A. process, adults are welcomed into a journey of faith where all are given the opportunity to deepen their faith and strengthen their relationship with Christ. Once the adults have been prepared and are ready, adults receive the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist/Holy Communion at the Easter Vigil Mass (or another appropriate date). Adults receive the sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time shortly before or after the Easter Vigil Mass.
- Confession Schedule
Saturdays 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. and by appointment. Contact a clergy to make arrangements.
- Sacrament of Reconciliation
- How to Celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation
- Ten Tips for Better Confessions
- Preparing for Confession
- Reconciliation: An Experience of Forgiveness
- Why do Catholics confess their sins to a priest?
- Is Confession based on the Bible?
- I don’t feel comfortable going to Confession; what should I do?
- If I have no mortal or venial sins, should I still go?
- Is Confession by e-mail or phone allowed?
- What’s the difference between Confession and Reconciliation?
Fr. Don Calloway speaks about his life changing experience in Confession as a penitent prior to priesthood.