The Process of the Sacrament of Reconciliation
The Sacrament of Reconciliation consists of three different rites. These rites are called the Individual Confession, The Communal Celebration and the General Absolution in a Communal Rite of Reconciliation . Although they all have different names, they follow almost the same process.
Individual Confession: (General/Basic Process)
The first rite is the individual confession that trails the following process:
- Examination of Conscience: This stage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is where the person examines, identifies and realises his/hers sins in preparation for confession. Here the person chooses their Sin that they want forgiveness most for, from the priest and God.
- Confession: This second part of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is probably one of the key points in this Sacrament. This is where the person confesses his/her sins and wrong doings to the Priest. It is a part of the Priest’s job not to tell anyone these Confessions even if the crime is very serious.
- Repentance: This part of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is where the person openly asks the Priest and God mainly for forgiveness. This is where the person says sorry for commiting the Sins to God.
- Intention to Make Reparation: This is one of the most important stages in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This is where he/she tries not to commit sins again and that he/she openly accepts all the things the Priest order him/her to do so that they could renew their lives and the bad choices they had made in the past. This is where the person tries to amend their mistakes. Some examples of Reparation are: Praying the Rosary and doing good things to others.
- Absolution: This is last and final part of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where the Priest will formally forgive the person of his/hers wrong doings. This is where the person agrees to live on a renewed life and to not commit the same sins again.
The Communal Celebration:
This second rite follows the same as the Individual Confession but is done openly in the Church with other people. The process goes as:
- It has the same preparation as the Individual Confession.
- Community usually gathers with an opening hymn, a greeting by the priest and prayer representing forgiveness. A brief homily is also said to encourage the people to examine themselves and what they have done.
- Each person goes up Individually and receives Absolution from the Priest.
General Absolution in a Communal Rite of Reconciliation:
The third Rite also follows the same process as the Individual Confession but is usually used in very special circumstances. Usually in Wars or Emergencies.
- Has the same preparation as second rite with hymns, scripture readings and a homily.
- Individuals do not go to speak to the Priest but gives a general Absolution while the people privately reflect on their own Sins.
- People who attend this Rite must have a large sadness for their Sins and a determination to lead a better life.