Jesus came that we might be saved. He brought healing to us – both physical healing in many miracles and, more importantly, spiritual healing. He saves us from sin. We have been reconciled to God in Christ. This spiritual healing is given to us today through Christ’s Church in what is known as the Rite of Reconciliation.
Until the Second Vatican Council, emphasis had been placed on the private aspect of Penance. The liturgical form of the sacrament highlighted the sinner and his relationship with God. In the Church today there is also a concern for the social and community aspect of the sacrament. Our failures weaken the whole community; our successes strengthen the whole community. In a sense, by being Christians we cease to be private persons. The Church is the Body of Christ, and we are the Church. Whether we realise it or not, we are deeply bound up with one another as Christians. This concept underlies the various forms of the Rite of Reconciliation.
The first form of the Rite resembles the former Rite of Penance in which the individual confesses sinfulness privately to the priest, and receives absolution and a penance. In the second form, the community assembles and in an atmosphere of prayer and humility acknowledges its failings. There is reflection on the Word of God; private confession of sins follows; and then there is a community thanksgiving for God’s mercy and pardon.
While there are set times for Reconciliation, you may choose to call the parish office and make an appointment for any time that is convenient.
First Reconciliation is for children in year 3 and above. We encourage all year 3 students at St Columba’s Primary School and any child who worships at St Columba’s but attends another school (year 3 or above) to receive the Sacrament at St Columba’s. This Sacrament is usually celebrated in the first half of the year during a special liturgy held on a Wednesday evening.
For students of St Columba’s Primary School and students of other schools, preparation for receiving First Reconciliation involves:
- Completing the Sacrament enrolment form and providing the required attachments, such as the child’s Baptism certificate (which can be obtained from the church of Baptism). The enrolment form can be obtained from the parish office or church in the weeks leading up to the Commitment Mass.
- Attending the Commitment Mass, after which students will receive their preparation workbooks and the formation of preparation groups will be discussed.
- The child and a parent/ carer attend 4 group preparation sessions, held weekly in the evening and each of an hour in length.
This year, 2019 the Commitment (Enrolment) Mass will be celebrated on Saturday 2nd March at 5pm
The Sacrament of First Reconciliation will be celebrated on Tuesday 2nd April at 7pm Notices advising of the relevant dates and inviting enrolments will appear in the parish bulletin in the weeks leading up to the Commitment Mass. Students of St Columba’s Primary School will also be advised of the relevant dates through the school.