BCRE 2020-2021 Sacrament of First Reconciliation

First Sacraments Parent Meeting Video

Thank you to those who were able to attend the Zoom Meeting for First Sacraments. If you were unable to attend, please refer to the video recording of the meeting in which we speak about the preparation programs for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist.

Click Here to view the video of the BCRE First Sacraments Meeting held on December 9th, 2020.

Sacrament of First Reconciliation Sign Up

BCRE has implemented the use of Sign Up Genius for your convenience in choosing the event that best fits your schedule. Please choose one Sacrament of Reconciliation Celebration date and time from those listed. All Sacrament of Reconciliation Celebrations are held at St. Theresa Church.

Click Here to sign up for the Sacrament of First Reconciliation.

Reconciliation Assignments

Completed Reconciliation Activity Booklets should be turned in on the day of your child’s scheduled Sacrament of First Reconciliation Celebration.

Click Here for the First Reconciliation Suggested Schedule 2020-2021.
You can use the suggested schedule as a checklist for completing the eight assignments to prepare for this upcoming sacrament.
Below is an example of one of the eight assignments to be completed and turned in at your child’s scheduled Sacrament of First Reconciliation:

Please be sure to bring your child’s COMPLETED Blue Reconciliation Worksheets for Chapters 1 through 8 inside their Blue Reconciliation Folder with you and your child to the Sacrament of First Reconciliation you have registered to attend.

All folders MUST be labeled with your child’s first and last names.

You may drop off your child’s folder with all completed Reconciliation Activity Booklets in the bin OUTSIDE, in front of the BCRE Office entrance (far right of St. Theresa Parish Hall) labeled “First Sacraments Completed Assignments” on the day of your child’s Sacrament of Reconciliation, then proceed to St. Theresa Church for your child to receive his/her scheduled Sacrament of First Reconciliation.

FAQ
How do I know my child is ready to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
  • A child must be baptized, has reached the age of reason (normally considered to be seven years of age), and has been properly catechized
  • A child needs to know and understand:
    • The difference between right and wrong.
    • That accidents or mistakes are not sins.
    • When we deliberately choose to do what is wrong and turn away from God, we sin.
    • God is loving and merciful. God will always forgive us if we ask.
    • Jesus has given us the sacrament of Reconciliation through which our sins are forgiven and we receive the grace to live as God’s children.
    • We must be willing to forgive others, just as God forgives us.
What time should we be there?
  • We asking families to kindly arrive at least 5-10 minutes prior to your child’s scheduled time.

What do we do once we get there?
  • Upon arriving please:
  1. Drop off your child’s Completed Blue Reconciliation Folder in the bin OUTSIDE, in front of the BCRE Office entrance (far right of St. Theresa Parish Hall, behind St. Theresa Church)
  2. Check in at St. Theresa Church by signing your name on the attendance sheet
  3. Quietly wait in a pew inside St. Theresa Church
  4. Child receives Reconciliation with priest while adult remains in pew
  5. Child returns to pew for Penance (child recites prayers)
  6. Quietly leave church

How long do we need to stay?
  • After your child completes his or her First Reconciliation with the priest they will return to the their pew to complete their prayers for penance. Once your child has completed their penance, you and your family are free to leave.
  • We ask that you please leave quietly as other children will still be waiting their turn and we want to be respectful of all children.

What should my child wear?
  • The attire for the Sacrament of First Reconciliation is your Sunday Best! This is a special event in the faith journey of your child, so children should dress up for this special moment. We wish to put our best foot forward for Jesus!

Who can attend my child’s Sacrament of First Reconciliation?
  • Due to COVID-19, each child may only come with the child’s parents or guardians.
  • FAMILY MEMBERS FROM OTHER HOUSEHOLDS (examples include grandparents, godparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) will NOT be able to attend this Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Does my child need to bring anything?
  • Please see “Reconciliation Resources” discussed below in this email for important printables for your child to bring as an aide during their Sacrament of First Reconciliation.
How can I help my child if they are feeling nervous?
  • It is quite natural to be excited as well as nervous to experience this next step in their journey of faith. Some children become more nervous than others. If you feel your child is a bit more anxious, consider having your child write on the back of their “My First Confessions Printable” what they plan to say to the priest. They can take this paper with them when they receive their sacrament to help them feel more confident.
  • As a reminder, you are welcome to wait with them in the pew and to help calm their nerves as you feel they need that extra support until it is actually their turn and they will then need to complete the sacrament on their own.

Will my child have to receive Reconciliation face-to-face with the priest?
  • Your child will be able to choose how they receive their individual Confession, as well as the priest to whom they go. They can receive face-to-face or they can go to confession anonymously in reconciliation room with the option to confess either face-to-face or behind an opaque screen.
What is something I can do to help prepare my child for First Reconciliation?
  • Complete the Blue Reconciliation Worksheets for Chapters 1-8
  • Review the “Reconciliation Resources” found below in this email

How can I encourage my child to continue to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation in the future?
  • Plan a family party or special dinner to celebrate your child’s first reconciliation. By acknowledging the importance of this event, you convey its value into the future.
  • During this time of preparation, you are talking with your child about what constitutes a sin. Continue these conversations as your child grows older.
  • As a family, plan to participate in parish celebrations of reconciliation during Lent and Advent each year.
  • What is your attitude toward this sacrament? As a parent, if you participate in the sacrament of reconciliation, your child will most likely want to do so as well.

FAQ from children at past Reconciliation Workshops
Why do I need to go to Reconciliation?
  • Every time we sin, we hurt ourselves, other people and God. The Sacrament of Reconciliation was given to us by Christ to help us reconcile with Christ and His Church.  Through the Sacrament, we acknowledge our sins, express our sorrow in a meaningful way, receive the forgiveness of Christ and his Church, make reparation for what we have done and resolve to do better in the future.
    The rite for the Sacrament of Reconciliation involves four parts: contrition, confession, penance and absolution.

    • Contrition: a sincere sorrow for having offended God and the most important act of the penitent. There can be no forgiveness of sin if we do not have sorrow and a firm resolve not to repeat our sin.
    • Confession: confronting our sins in a profound way to God by speaking about them —aloud— to the priest.
    • Penance: an important part of our healing is the “penance” the priest imposes in reparation for our sins.
    • Absolution: the priest speaks the words by which “God, the Father of Mercies” reconciles a sinner to Himself through the merits of the Cross.

What if I feel nervous about going to the sacrament?
  • Remember, first, that in the sacrament you are fundamentally talking to God through the priest. God loves you, wishes to forgive you, and desires to embrace you with the joy with which the prodigal son was embraced in Jesus’ parable (Luke 15:11-32). Moreover, know that you will not say anything that the priest has not heard before. Do not be afraid. If you are nervous, please just tell the priest that you’re nervous and he will help you.
    • Click here to watch a Youtube on the Prodigal Son
Can the priest tell anyone my sins?
  • No. A priest can never reveal the sins a person has confessed. This is known as the “Seal of confession,” which admits of no exceptions (CCC 1467). If a priest were to violate the seal of confession he would be automatically excommunicated (CIC 1388). Over the centuries several priests have died and many have been imprisoned because they refused, even under threat of torture and execution, to break the inviolable seal of confession. This is one of the most beautiful aspects of the sacrament and of the priesthood: the priest who hears our confession, in order to protect the secrets we have whispered to God through him, will allow himself to be imprisoned, tortured or even killed. That’s how seriously he and the Church take the seal and the sacrament.

Won’t the priest remember what I said? I’m embarrassed and don’t want him to think badly of me.
  • The priest’s purpose is not to keep a check-list on people, but to be an instrument of Christ in receiving someone’s sorrow, bringing forgiveness and helping the people move forward. A priest hears a large number of confessions. He is not there to judge the person, but rather the nature of the sin, and to offer counsel and encouragement to overcome the sin and to grow spiritually. He too goes to confession, so he knows how it feels to confront one’s own sins and ask for forgiveness.

Are my sins really forgiven?
  • If you have sincerely confessed your sins and the priest speaks the words of absolution, you have been forgiven!  You are free to start fresh! 

Reconciliation Resources

Unfortunately due to COVID-19 we are unable to offer the Sacrament of First Reconciliation Workshop as we have done in the years past. As such, I have included some resources that will be helpful in preparing your child for his/her upcoming Sacrament of Reconciliation. 
  • My First Confession Printable
    • Please be sure to bring this printable with you to your child’s Sacrament of First Reconciliation. 
    • This is the script children will read from during their Reconciliation.
    • Your child does not need to have this script nor the Act of Contrition memorized.
    • Use this printable to practice at home by having a grownup pretend to be the priest as your child reads the script. Your child may omit telling the grownup his/her sins and instead reflect upon them in their mind, and save that part for the actual Sacrament of First Reconciliation.
  • Examination of Conscience for Kids Printable
    • This will help your child think of his/her sins to share with the priest.
    • Your child may bring this printable to his/her scheduled Sacrament of First Reconciliation to recall his/her sins. (And/or your child may write on the back of their “My First Confession Printable” his/her sins to be forgiven.)
  • Catholic Prayer Booklet
    • Please have your child review these four prayers {Our Father, Hail May, Glory Be, and Guardian Angel Prayer} in preparation for penance.
    • Your child does not need to have these prayers memorized.
    • Your child may bring this booklet or a prayer book to his/her scheduled Sacrament of First Reconciliation and read the prayers that the priest assigns your child as penance.
Below are some short video clips from Brother Francis related to the Sacrament of First Reconciliation:

 

Youtube Video: An Object Lesson on How Jesus Takes Away Our Sins
 

Youtube Video: An Object Lesson on “The Weight of Our Sins”
 

Youtube Video: An animated version of “How Do I Go To Confession”
 

Youtube Video: An example of a child’s mock First Reconciliation