Coming to God’s Grace

Andrew & CCD teacher

Andrew with his second grade CCD teacher after the First Confession ceremony.

On Saturday, Andrew and his CCD classmates made their first Sacrament of Reconciliation in preparation for his First Holy Communion in April. Our Pastor, Sister Elizabeth and the second grade teachers did a nice job putting together a little ceremony. First there was a song, than the children were brought up to Father to be “received.” Then there was a reading from the Gospel, a very nice homily and an examination of conscious followed by the actual private confessions. Each child picked out a rock out of a basket that represented the heaviness and burden of sin which he or she handed to Father after confessing. Then after giving the absolution, Father gave each child a soft heart to represent having a clean or “new” heart now that they were reconciled with God. After coming out of the confessional, the child had his or her baptismal candle lit and walked up to the front of church were they pinned a lamb with their name on it. They were the lamb being returned to the Good Shepherd.

It is hard to describe in words, but the ceremony was quite touching and sweet. What struck me the most though, had nothing to do with the ceremony. It had to do with the children themselves. All of them were so full of joy and excitement to be going to their Fflowerirst Confession. And the smiles they had after coming out of the confessional was almost brighter than the sun!

Their joy really got me thinking, especially with Lent beginning next week. (Yes, next week!) I don’t know about you, but I don’t always go to confession with joy in my heart. Okay, to be real, I pretty much never go to confession with joy in my heart. I go pretty regularly because I know it’s what we should do as Catholics but if I could avoid it, I probably would. And I get frustrated with repeating the same sins over and over again. (When oh when will I get my patience under control!!) You, too, or is it just me?

Those children remind me and exhort me to look at the beauty of the sacrament, to rediscover the joy of be made right with God, to remember and accept His love and grace which is offered to me each time I make Confession. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is an amazing gift from God.

With Lent coming next week, I think I am going to try and not only go to confession a little more often, but also to try and rediscover the joy of the Sacrament.

What about you? How do you experience the Sacrament of Reconciliation? Is going to confession a joy to you? How do you bring joy in celebrating this sacrament?

(Photo Credit)

Comments

  1. I think of it as an appointment with Jesus and can hardly wait to hear what He will say to me to help me “sin no more.”
    Barb Schoeneberger…recently posted…Sunday Snippets – A Catholic CarnivalMy Profile

    • SimpleCatholic says:

      That’s beautiful, Barb. I like that idea of confession as an “appointment with Jesus” which is, in fact, what it is.

  2. What a beautiful reflection! I love the service. I think I’ll forward your post to our faith formation team. I always feel like our services are a little humdrum, and of course people leave in droves so by the end no one’s left for any sort of wrapping-up. You must be in a smaller parish!
    Kathleen Basi…recently posted…What I Learn From A Kindergarten SpEd Re-EvalMy Profile

    • SimpleCatholic says:

      Thanks, Kathleen. Our parish is sort of on the small side. Our pastor is in charge of two parishes, actually, which was combined into one cofession ceremony. That means there were about 30 or 40 children who made their first Confession. However, with four priests, the whole service only lasted about an hour. 🙂

  3. I love going to confession. I see it as a celebration of God’s mercy. It is also very humbling which does not always feel good. Being a convert, it is a gift for me because I never had it.
    Great article!
    Colleen…recently posted…Deo Gratias – Pope, Lent & FamilyMy Profile

    • SimpleCatholic says:

      Thanks, Colleen. I think us “cradle Catholics” forget what a gift Confesssion and all Sacraments are sometimes. Confession certainly is a celebration of God’s mercy. It is something we should look forward to, not shy away from.

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