Confession (or Reconciliation or Penance) is the Sacrament in which we receive forgiveness from Christ. We repent and confess our sins, and are absolved of sin through the ministry of a priest, who acts in the person of Christ when he pronounces the words "I absolve you from your sins in the name of Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit".
“On the evening of that day, the first day of the week,” Jesus showed himself to his apostles. “He breathed on them, and said to them: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained”‘ John 20:19, 22-23
Confession is important because it is the normal way we can be forgiven for serious sins committed after Baptism. Sin damages our relationship with God and with the Church. It is this Sacrament that reconciles us once again with God. Regular confession is important because it helps us to come close to Christ and develop a mature conscience. The act of confessing itself bestows healing and a sense of release from the burden of sin.
‘ ... we cannot comprehend the goodness of God towards us in instituting this great Sacrament of Penance. If we had had a favour to ask of Our Lord, we should never have thought of asking Him that. But He foresaw our frailty and our inconstancy in well-doing, and His love induced Him to do what we should not have dared to ask.’
St Jean-Marie Vianney
If we have missed Mass on Sundays or Holy Days of Obligation or have committed a serious sin, it is important to go to Confession before receiving Holy Communion. In Confession, the penitent is asked to confess their sins, express contrition, and by penance seek to amend their lives. It is a journey of beauty through which we seek to die to the old self and be born again in Christ who is all beauty, bestowed upon us in Baptism.
Visit our Mass times page to find out when Confession is available in the church.
Confessions can also be made by personal appointment with a priest. Normally, Confession happens in the confessional or, by choice or the challenge of access, the priest can move to a bench.
For children or adults who have never been to Confession, it is advisable to make an appointment for catechetical classes with the parish priest. For those who are already Baptised but are wishing to receive either First Holy Communion or Confirmation, it is necessary that you first receive the Sacrament of Confession.
If you have not received the Sacrament of Confession for several years, do not be afraid. The priest is there to help. When you go to Confession, simply tell the priest that it has been a long time and ask him for guidance.