Starting tomorrow, 24 Hours for the Lord Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Confessions will continue for a 24 hour period. In anticipation of this, here are 9 steps to learn before heading to your parish.
- Preparation: Take time to prepare. Begin with prayer and reflect on your life. How have you neglected to live Christ’s commands? As you “examine your conscience”, you might want to review the Ten Commandments or the Beatitudes. (Ex 20:2-17: Dt 5:6-21: Mt 5:3-10: Lk 6:20-26)
- Greeting: The priest will welcome you, give you a short blessing or read a Scripture passage.
- The Sign of the Cross: Together, you and the priest will make the Sign of the Cross. You will begin your confession with: “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been (days, months, years) since my last confession.”
- Confession: Confess all your sins to the priest. If you are unsure, ask the priest for help. When you are finished, conclude with these words, “I am sorry for these and all my sins.”
- Penance: The priest will propose an act of penance. The penance might be a prayer, a work of mercy, or act of charity. He might also counsel you on how to better live a Christian life.
- Act of Contrition: After the priest has conferred your penance, pray and Act of Contrition, expressing sorrow for your sins and resolving to sin no more.
- Absolution: The priest will extend his hands over your head and pronounce the words of absolution. You respond, “Amen”.
- Praise: The priest will usually praise the Mercy of God and will invite you to do the same.
- Dismissal: The priest will conclude the sacrament, often saying, “Go in peace.”
If it has been a while since your last confession, do not fret, the priest will help guide you.