First Reconciliation is a significant part of the spiritual journey. Meaningful preparation for the sacrament at home may lay a healthy foundation for our children’s future handling of shortcoming and errors. 
Asking parents throughout liturgies what they wish mostly for their children, the constant response, across all congregations, is happiness.
The need to protect children from disappointment and rejection is an instinctive response of a compassionate heart.
Yet, tears and failures are inseparable from healthy growth. The Sacrament of Reconciliation may become a great source of help when facing challenges and difficulties.


Ways of preparing at home:

1. Help your child to understand the sacrament
2. Familiarise your child with the rite
3. Look at parts of the sacrament


1. Help your child to understand the sacrament
Last year, the Sacramental Team hosted an online preparation gathering for Parents and children preparing for the sacrament of reconciliation.
Some parts of the recording may help you host the conversation at your home.
Natalia shares an experience of a life-changing confession
Father Gerard uses sign language to explain the Act of Sorrow
*PLEASE REMEMBER YOU ARE WATCHING A RECORDING FROM THE LAST YEAR, so ignore all the dates and details irrelevant for the journey this year.
We gently recommend every Family to also commit to the “Come to the Table of the Lord” programme provided by iCatholic.
In three videos (about 30-35 min each), the programme explains the basics of the sacrament.
Part 1 focuses on the sacrament of Reconciliation


2. Familiarise your child with the rite
First Reconciliation Services in 2023 will be built around the Parable of Merciful Father (known better as a story of the Prodigal Son (see below). We are moving away from that title, as both sons in the story were in deep need of Father’s healing love and no son was better than the other).
Please arrive 10 minutes before the scheduled service so that we can gather in the church and begin on time.
We are asking parents to bring your child’s baptismal shawl. If the baptismal shawl is not available, please have any white shawl with you.
We begin with an opening prayer and reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 15:11-32 NLT translation, see below). The celebrant on the day will link the Gospel with the sacrament.
Next, we begin the individual confessions.
Parents/guardians present their child to the priest and step back to allow the child to make their first confession.
Once the individual confession of your child is over, you are the one to welcome the child with a loving hug and wrap their baptismal shawl around them, as a sign of renewing the relationship with God, oneself and others.
It is important that your child is familiar with the rite. Please look at the First Reconciliation Rite below and listen to Father John advising on the preparation routine*
*PLEASE REMEMBER YOU ARE WATCHING A RECORDING FROM THE LAST YEAR, so ignore all the dates and details irrelevant for the current journey.
3. Look at parts of the sacrament
To make a confession, we need to recognize our shortcomings. We share A CHILD-FRIENDLY EXAMEN to help you prepare your child for their First Reconciliation.

The priest will offer PENANCE.
PENANCE is like a medicine healing our relationship with God, with ourselves and with others.
It may be a prayer or an act showing that we feel really sorry about something we have said or done.
By giving us penance, the priest helps us make up for not showing love to God, ourselves, or others.
WOULD YOUR CHILD REMEMBER THEIR PENANCE? You may want to follow up with your child and help them complete the act.

RESOLUTION is like a ray of sun warming up our relationship with God, ourselves, and others.
See some examples of great resolutions and help your child to make their choice of what to focus on first
o Look for Jesus at mass
o Play with someone who has been left out
o Begin and finish your day with a prayer
o Review your clothes and toys to see if you can share with those in need
o Show patience at times you need to wait
o Say sorry when you say or do something wrong
o Say “thank you” to God and others for each gift of the day.



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