Reconciliation

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is celebrated every Saturday from 4:00 pm to 4:45 pm and Sunday from 4:30 pm to 4:45 pm in the church before the 5:00 pm Mass, or by appointment. Please contact the parish office at 419-625-3698 to make an appointment.

Tri-Parish Communal Reconciliation Services for Advent and Lent:

Please check for date and time on the scrolling upcoming events on our home page.

First Reconciliation Parish Information:

It is usually in the second grade that children prepare for the first reception of this sacrament along with First Eucharist. A pre-requisite is the completion of Level One of Religious Education either through Sandusky Central Catholic School (SCCS) or through Parish School of Religion (PSR). Usually a child does this in grade one. The children will be preparing for the Sacrament of Reconciliation in the fall. First Communion preparation will take place as usual in the spring. The Diocese of Toledo has asked all parishes to prepare children for the reception of Reconciliation before the preparation for First Communion.

Visit the AmericanCatholic.org’s Reconciliation page to learn more about this sacrament.

Quick Click Guide:

INFREQUENT CATHOLICS GUIDE TO RECONCILIATION

“If we could meet Jesus today, we would expect to be received with love and compassion, because he is perfect and knows what it is to forgive. Instead, we confess to an ordinary human being who represents Jesus Christ sacramentally. We can expect the priest to receive us with love and care and compassion as well—not because he is sinless, but because he knows what it is to need forgiveness.” — United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ -Subcommittee for the Jubilee Year 2000

The Infrequent Catholic’s Guide to Reconciliation and Confession

If your first confession was your last… or you can’t remember how long it’s been since your last confession… if you’re perplexed, afraid, uncomfortable or just plain don’t know how or why Catholics celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Confession, we invite you to read below or ask to meet with a Parish Staff person to receive help in understanding and reviewing the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Holy Angels Parish offers the Sacrament of Reconciliation

  • Every Saturday from 4:00 pm to 4:45 pm and Sunday from 4:30 pm to 4:45 pm in the Reconciliation Room, which is located on the left side of the front of church.
  • By appointment with Father
  • Communal Penance Services at one of the three Catholic Parishes in Sandusky during Advent and Lent.

Facts About Reconciliation

  • Up to half of active Catholics celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation on a regular basis; in the majority of cases, once or twice a year. Some do so more frequently; about a third do rarely, if ever.
  • The most popular times for Catholics to celebrate Reconciliation are during the seasons of Advent and Lent, in preparation for Christmas and Easter.
  • Catholics are required to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation and confess their sins to a priest when they have committed mortal sin. However, most Catholics today celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation because they want to, not because they have to.
  • There are various formats for celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Some Catholics prefer a more personal occasion when they meet privately with the priest; others prefer a more public occasion when the parish community gathers to celebrate together.
  • In any case, the person’s confession of sin always takes place privately with the priest. You may do this face-to-face or behind a screen in the Reconciliation Room.
  • Most Catholics today prefer to celebrate Reconciliation with a priest they know and who knows them. In fact, many Catholics find Reconciliation most helpful when it takes place in the context of continuing spiritual direction with a priest they know and trust.
  • The Seal of Confession: Every priest who hears confessions is bound to keep absolute secrecy regarding the sins that his penitents have confessed to him.
  • Most parishes schedule private confessions about 45 minutes before weekend Masses; most parishes schedule communal celebrations during Advent and Lent.
  • You may celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation any time by making an appointment with a parish priest.
  • In the absence of mortal sin, you do not have to confess all your bad behavior. You may choose to confess the behavior which is most hurtful to yourself, others, or society; the behavior you are most sorry for; or the behavior you most want to change.
  • You may always visit with the priest about important issues or questions in your spiritual or personal life, but it is best to do this at a time when others are not waiting to see the priest.
  • You should find the Sacrament of Reconciliation a helpful spiritual experience.
  • You should always come away from Reconciliation with a sense of God’s mercy, more than a sense of your own guilt.

How to Celebrate Reconciliation

[Adapted from Celebrating the Sacrament of Penance–Questions and Answers. U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on the Liturgy (2002)]

1. Preparation—Before going to confession, the penitent compares his or her life with the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, and the example of Christ and then prays to God for forgiveness. We call this an Examination of Conscience. (See Guides to Moral Living)
2. Going to Confession—After the priest welcomes you, both of you make the sign of the cross. Then you may wish to indicate facts about your life, the time of the last confession, difficulties in leading the Christian life, and anything else that may help the priest.
3. The Word of God—You or the priest may read one of the suggested scriptural passages.
4. Confession of Sins and the Act of Penance—Confess your sins. The priest then offers suitable advice and imposes an act of penance or satisfaction, which may include prayer, self-denial, or works of mercy.
5. Prayer of the Penitent—Pray a prayer expressing sorrow for your sins and resolving not to sin again. Most Reconciliation Rooms have printed versions for your use. (Two suggested prayers are given here; you may also use a traditional “Act of Contrition” or a personal Act of Sorrow):

My God,
I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.
In choosing to do wrong
and failing to do good,
I have sinned against you
whom I should love above all things.
I firmly intend, with your help,
to do penance,
to sin no more,
and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.
Our Savior Jesus Christ
suffered and died for us.
In his name, my God, have mercy.
(Rite of Penance, no. 45)

(or)

Lord Jesus Christ,
you are the Lamb of God;
you take away the sins of the world.
Through the grace of the Holy Spirit
restore me to friendship with your Father,
cleanse me from every stain of sin
in the blood you shed for me,
and raise me to new life
for the glory of your name.
(Rite of Penance, no. 91)

6. Absolution—The priest extends his hands over your head and pronounces the formula of absolution, making the sign of the cross over your head during the final words. You answer, “Amen.”
7. Proclamation of Praise—Praise the mercy of God and give Him thanks in a short invocation taken from Scripture, such as “Rejoice in the Lord and sing for joy, friends of God” (Ps 32:1-7, 10-11), “The Lord has remembered his mercy” (Lk 1:46-55), or “Blessed be God who chose us in Christ”        (Eph 1:3-10) (Rite of Penance, no. 206).
8. Dismissal—The priest dismisses you with the command to go in peace. Continue to express your conversion through a life renewed according to the Gospel and more and more steeped in the love of God.
9. Penance– Return to the pew and pray your penance, while also giving thanks to God for the gift of forgiveness and unconditional love.

Scriptural Reflections on Reconciliation

Hebrew Testament

  • Deuteronomy 6:3-9—Love the Lord your God with your whole heart.
  • Sirach 28:1-7—Forgive your neighbor when he hurts you, and then your sins will be forgiven when you pray.
  • Isaiah 55:1-11—Let the wicked man forsake his way and return to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him because he is generous in forgiving.
  • Jeremiah 7:21-26—Listen to my voice, and I will be your God, and you will be my people.
  • Ezekiel 18:20-32—If a wicked man turns away from his sins, he shall live and not die.
  • Hosea 14:2-10— Israel , return to the Lord your God.
  • Joel 2:12-19—Return to me with your whole heart.
  • Micah 6:1-4, 4-6—Do right and love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.
  • Psalm 25—R. (16a): Turn to me, Lord, and have mercy.
  • Psalm 51— R. (14a): Give back to me the joy of your salvation.
  • Psalm 95—R. (8a): If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
  • Psalm 130—R. (7bc): With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.

Christian Testament

  • Matthew 3:1-12—Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.
  • Luke 19:1-10—The Son of Man has come to seek out and save what was lost.
  • John 8:1-11—Go and sin no more.
  • Romans 6:16-23—The wages of sin is death; the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17-21—God reconciled the world to Himself through Christ.
  • Ephesians 5:1-14—You were once in darkness; now you are light in the Lord, so walk as children of light.
  • 1 John 1:5-10, 2:1-2—If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all injustice.

Guides to Moral Living

TEN COMMANDMENTS

(Based on Exodus 10:1-17; Deuteronomy 5:7-21)

The Ten Commandments are traditional and fundamental guides to ethical living. They represent a kind of foundation for human society, regardless of its religious convictions.

1. I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods before Me.
2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
3. Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.
4. Honor your father and your mother.
5. You shall not kill.
6. You shall not commit adultery.
7.You shall not steal.
8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
9. You shall not desire your neighbor’s wife.
10. You shall not desire your neighbor’s goods.

 

THE GREAT COMMANDMENT

(Matthew 22: 37-39)

The Great Commandment represents a kind of bridge between the Old and New Covenants. It summarizes both the old and the new law.

Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second like unto it is this, Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.

 

THE BEATITUDES

(Luke 6:20-26)

The Beatitudes are more a statement of fact than a command. They represent how things are in God’s eyes, and challenge us to live accordingly.

Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.
But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.
Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.
Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.

 

FINAL JUDGEMENT

(Matthew 25:31-26)

This is the most explicit and specific indication Jesus gave of what matters most in God’s judgment of human behavior.

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.”

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you invited me in,
I needed clothes and you clothed me,
I was sick and you looked after me,
I was in prison and you came to visit me.

 

TRADITIONAL GUIDES

Corporal Works of Mercy

Feed the hungry
Give drink to the thirsty
Clothe the naked
Shelter the homeless
Visit the sick
Visit those in prison
Bury the dead

Spiritual Works of Mercy

Convert the sinner
Instruct the ignorant
Counsel the doubtful
Comfort the sorrowful
Bear wrongs patiently
Forgive injuries
Pray for the living and the dead

Seven Cardinal Virtues

faith, hope, charity, prudence, justice, fortitude, temperance

Seven Deadly Sins

lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride

What Is Mortal Sin?

In the past, Catholic teaching distinguished between two types or degrees of sin: venial and mortal. More recently, many Catholic moral theologians and pastors distinguish human sinfulness into three categories: venial, serious and mortal.

Catholics are obliged to confess mortal sin in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. According to a long-standing teaching of the Church, behavior is mortally sinful if it fulfils three criteria:

  • It must consist of a serious matter. In other words, the behavior must do serious physical or spiritual harm which severely damages or destroys oneself, another person, the community, or God’s creation.
  • The individual must fully understand how serious the behavior is.
  • The individual must freely choose to perform the behavior.

Special Conditions

Irregular Marriage

Persons in an irregular marriage (Catholics married outside the Church and previously married persons who remarry without an annulment) may not celebrate Reconciliation or the other sacraments, unless in danger of death. A person in an irregular marriage can resume celebrating the sacraments after obtaining a Decree of Invalidity (an annulment) and validating the civil marriage. Under certain conditions, some Catholics living in an irregular marriage may resume celebrating the sacraments with the approval of their pastor. Catholics in an irregular marriage should discuss their personal circumstances with a priest before making assumptions about their status.