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The Sacrament of Penance & Reconciliation

The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation

Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification.                             - Catechism of the Catholic Church


The Sacrament of Reconciliation

A brief presentation in Pictures and Quotations - by Catholic News Agency


The Sacrament of Penance

Short video by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.


That Catholic Show - I Confess

An explanation of the sacrament of reconciliation.



Confession 101 - part one

What is it & how to do it (even if it's been a long time) 
From Busted Halo, online magazine for spiritual seekers


Confession 101 - part two


What is it & how to do it (even if it's been a long time)



Act of Contrition

An act of contrition is a prayer that expresses sorrow for sin.  It is prayed during the sacrament of penance.  The act of contrition may be a memorized prayer, or be read from a prayer card, or be prayed in one's own words.  Here are three versions:  

My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.
In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good,
I have sinned against You whom I should love above all things.
I firmly intend, with Your help, to do penance,
to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.
Your Son, Jesus Christ, suffered and died for us.
In His name, my God, have mercy. Amen! 


Lord Jesus, Son of God,
have mercy on me, a sinner.


Lord God,
in your goodness have mercy on me.
Do not look on my sins, but take away all my guilt.
Create in me a clean heart and renew within me an upright spirit.



Formula of Absolution

The words of absolution spoken by the priest in the sacrament express the essential elements of the sacrament:

  • God, the Father of mercies,
    through the death and the resurrection of his Son
    has reconciled the world to himself
    and sent the Holy Spirit among us
    for the forgiveness of sins;
    through the ministry of the Church
    may God give you pardon and peace,
    and I absolve you from your sins
    in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.



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The Archdiocese of Milwaukee

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