Requirements For First Penance Of


Children should be encouraged to prepare for the Sacrament of Penance/Reconciliation as they near the age of seven.
Celebration of First Penance is to precede the celebration of First Eucharist. (CCC, no. 1457).
Parents are to be intimately involved in preparations for a child’s first reception of the Sacrament of Penance/Reconciliation.
Children at an early age should learn about and receive this precious gift. Children at the age of seven are certainly capable of
understanding what is right, what is kind and charitable and what is evil, incorrect, uncharitable and selfish. The Sacrament of
Penance/Reconciliation is a positive instrument in developing a genuinely Christian moral sense in a child; it helps the child to
want to do good, to be kind, but also to understand that when one fails, it is not the end; we can turn to God for forgiveness, for
help, for the strength to try again.


For the celebration of First Penance/Reconciliation with individual confession and absolution for several children celebrating
The Sacrament should be celebrated as part of a Liturgy of the Word and may include signs, symbols, music, readings and
prayers suitable to the age of those participating.
The celebration should be planned by parish and catechetical leadership.
Each child should have the option of anonymous or face to face confession.
Each child should be fully able to participate in the liturgical celebration as completely as possible.

After the initial celebration, regular opportunities for celebration of the Sacrament of Penance/Reconciliation should be made
available to children who have celebrated first Penance.

Parishes must provide ongoing catechesis on the Sacrament of Penance/Reconciliation as well as ongoing opportunities for
celebration of the Sacrament for these children and for their families.
Please contact the Faith Formation Office for information regarding preparation and reception of this Sacrament.
Phone:  225-7320
Email: or jamie.o'
    Confession is a sacrament instituted by Jesus Christ in
his love and mercy. It is here that we meet the loving Jesus who
offers sinners forgiveness for offenses committed against God and
neighbor. At the same time, Confession permits sinners to
reconcile with the Church, which also is wounded by our sins.
The sacrament, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church
notes, is known by many names. The liturgical rite is officially
called the Rite of Penance & Reconciliation.
   “…the sacrament of conversion because it makes
sacramentally present Jesus’ call to conversion, the first step in
returning to the Father from whom one has strayed by sin” (CCC
no. 1423).
   “…the sacrament of Penance, since it consecrates the
Christian sinner's personal and ecclesial steps of conversion,
penance, and satisfaction” (CCC no. 1423).
   “…the sacrament of confession, since the disclosure or
confession of sins to a priest is an essential element of this
sacrament. In a profound sense it is also a ‘confession’ —
acknowledgment and praise— of the holiness of God and of his
mercy toward sinful man” (CCC no. 1424).
   “…the sacrament of forgiveness, since by the priest's
sacramental absolution God grants the penitent ‘pardon and
peace’” (CCC no. 1424).
   “…the sacrament of Reconciliation, because it imparts to
the sinner the love of God who reconciles: ‘Be reconciled to God.’
He who lives by God’s merciful love is ready to respond to the
Lord’s call: ‘Go; first be reconciled to your brother’” (CCC no.
A guide to the sacrament of Penance
Examination of Conscience

     Why do we have to confess our sins to a
priest? Can’t we just pray to God for forgiveness? If I
sin but no one is affected then can I say, “no harm, no
These questions and more are answered in this
edition of “Sacraments 101,” a web video series
geared for those who’d like an introduction or
refresher course on these important, tangible Catholic
experiences of God.
The Sacrament of Penance (aka Reconciliation)
is one of the healing sacraments, and celebrates the
loving embrace of God when we turn toward him and
away from our sins.
St. Lawrence Catholic Church
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Rochester, NY 14626
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