The Sacrament of Reconciliation as a Celebration of God's Love and Forgiveness
Submitted by Fr. Chuck on Mon, 03/23/2009 - 10:25pm.
At St. Pius V we will celebrate Communal Reconciliation this Saturday, March 28, at 6:30 pm. Everyone is invited.
After the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church changed the name of the Sacrament of Penance, also known as Confession, to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Church leaders wanted to emphasize the sacrament's purpose of reconciling us to God, restoring our relation with the God of love; a relation which has been broken by our sin.
The Church also wanted to highlight the sacrament as a celebration of God's loving mercy and forgiveness as opposed to our weakness. Thus, the sacrament is a joyful celebration of God's love rather than a discouraging and mournful remembering of our sinfulness.
The Church also established three different forms for celebrating the sacrament:
- the traditional confession of sins between one penitent and a priest, followed by absolution;
- the communal celebration of God's love through reading and reflection on the Word of God, with prayer and song, followed by each individual's confession of only serious sin or one other sin and individual absolution;
- a communal celebration which does not include individual confession nor individual absolution - everything occurs in a communal manner (this third form is generally reserved for special circumstances where individual confession and absolution are not easily accomplished).
At.St. Pius V we celebrate the second form of reconciliation and hundreds of people participate. It is a joyful celebration of God's loving mercy. Everyone is invited this Saturday, March 28, at 6:30 p.m.
Charles W. Dahm, O.P.