The Sacrament of Reconciliation was formerly known as the Sacrament of Penance and is also still commonly referred to as a child's First Confession. The emphasis in preparing children for this sacrament is based on asking the children to reflect on times when they did not live as Jesus asked them. The children may, for example, draw a picture of a time when they did not show love for others. This picture is sometimes used by the child as a prompt to talk to the priest while they are receiving the sacrament. Confessional boxes are no longer used, the child and priest sit to one side of the church.
In the sacrament of reconciliation the children receive the grace of forgiveness and repentance. In order to receive their First Communion, children must first receive the grace of forgiveness and repentance and therefore most children will undertake the Sacrament of Penance sometime in the weeks prior to their First Holy Communion. There are a number of books available to help parents prepare their children for the Sacrament of Penance - click here for some suggestions.
Children Preparing for the Sacrament of Reconciliation are expected to practice the following prayers.
O my God, I thank you for loving me.
I am sorry for all my sins,
for not loving others and not loving you.
Help me to live like Jesus
and not sin again . Amen
O my God, help me to remember the times
when I didn’t live as Jesus asked me to.
Help me to be sorry and to try again. Amen
I confess to almighty God. And to you, my brothers and sisters,
That I have sinned through my own fault,
In my thoughts and in my words,
In what I have done
And in what I have failed to do;
And I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin,
All the angels and saints,
And you my brothers and sisters
To pray for me to the Lord our God. Amen
O my God thank you for forgiving me. Help me to love others.
Help me to live as Jesus asked me to. Amen