The end of summer and the start of the school year is a most approriate time to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance. In order to help teens prepare, make a plan to review the steps for “How to Go to Confession.”
- Spend some time examining your conscience. Consider your actions and attitudes in each area of your life (e.g., faith, family, school, work, social relationships). As yourself: Is this area of my life pleasing to God? What needs to be reconciled with God? With others? With myself?
- Sincerely tell God that you are sorry for your sins. Ask God for forgiveness and for the grace you will need to change what needs changing in your life. Promie God that you will try to live according to his will for you.
- Approach the area for confession Wait at an appropriate distance until it is your turn.
- Make the Sign of the Cross with the priest. He may say: “May God who has enlightened every heart, help you to know your sins and trust his mercy.” You reply: “Amen.”
- Confess your sins to the priest. Simply and directly talk to him about the areas of sin in our life that need God’s healing touch.
- The priest will ask you to express your contrition or sorrow and to pray an Act of Contrition. Pray an Act of Contrition you have committed to memory. See page 00 for an example.
- The priest will talk to you about your life, encourage you to be more faithful to God in the future, and help you decided what to do to make up for your sins—your penance.
- The priest will then extend his hands over your head and pray a prayer of absolution for your sins. You respond: “Amen.”
- The priest will wish you peace. Thank him and leave.
- Go to a quiet place in church and pray your prayer of penance. Then spend some time quietly thanking God for the gift of forgiveness.
A very creative review for celebrating the sacrament is presented by Outside da Box media. Check it out here.