Sacrament of Reconciliation
This important sacrament for Catholics is available before and after Mass every Sunday (Mass times). It can also be made by appointment by calling St. Rita’s Rectory at (978) 957-5266.
That’s the way Jesus set it up on Easter Sunday evening. He told his apostles that just as God the Father had sent him — and God the Father sent him to save us from our sins — so He was sending them. He breathed on them the power of the Holy Spirit, giving them God’s power to forgive sins, since no one can forgive sins but God alone. He told them that whatever sins they forgive are forgiven and whatever sins they retain are retained (Jn 20:21-23; Mk 2:7). Since the apostles were unable to read minds, the only way that they would know which to forgive and which to retain is if people told them their sins. Jesus thus established the essential structure of the sacrament. Just as he uses priests to give us his Body and Blood at Holy Mass, so he uses them to give us His mercy and forgiveness in the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation..
How to Make a Good Confession
Sometimes Catholics are hesitant to go to confession because they worry about saying the right words or because they may not have gone in a long time. In reality, there is nothing to be scared about as priests are very willing to walk people through the sacrament and the act of contrition.
Examination of Conscience
It all starts by examining one’s own conscience. We reflect on our lives since our last confession in light of God’s commandments and the example set by Jesus’ life. A number of guides online and in print can help you walk through this reflection, including this guide from the Archdiocese of Boston: Preparing for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Going to Confession
Confession follows the same, simple format each time. See the steps and prayers in this Guide to Confession from the Archdiocese of Boston.
For those Catholics who are more comfortable making confession in their own language, here are several guides to the sacrament of reconciliation in other languages, approved by the Archdiocese of Washington and Diocese of Arlington: