“I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have greatly sinned…”
“Lord, give me the grace to make a good confession. Grant me enlightenment to know my sins, humility to confess them sincerely, and the resolve to do better. O Virgin Mary, come to my aid.”
Source: A Missal for Children Page 88
For Parents to Teach to their Children
Our Liturgical Guide–Magnifikid! March 3, 2019 Vol.16. Part 4. Section 2
Excerpt from MagnifiKid! Pages 8-9 “This Week’s Spotlight”
Words can be sinful
“In one of the forms of the Penitential Act at the start of the Mass, we confess that we have sinned. We can sin in our thoughts, words, actions, or inactions. We are often careless with our thoughts and words, and we forget that they can offend God and deeply hurt others. We can sin with words through complaining, gossip, lies, bullying, criticism. foul language, blasphemy, breaking promises, and so on. Saint Paul reminds us, ‘Never let evil talk pass your lips: say only the good things people need to hear, things that really help them. Do nothing that will sadden the Holy Spirit…’ (See Ephesians 4:29-30).”
We Learn to Confess Our Sins In Church–Penitential Act
At the beginning of the Mass, after the Procession, the priest says, “Brethren (brothers and sisters), let us acknowledge our sins,/ and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.”
Our response is:
“I confess to almighty God
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have greatly sinned,
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done,
and in what I have failed to do,
And, striking their breast, they say:
through my fault, through my fault,
through my most grievous fault;
Then they continue:
therefore I ask blessed Mary,
All the Angels and Saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.”
The priest concludes,
“May almighty God have mercy
on us,/ forgive us our sins,/ and bring us
to everlasting life.”
A Missal for Children tells us on page 16:
“The I confess to almighty God is a very helpful prayer. Read it often to learn it by heart. It will help you to express your sorrow for your sins, or when you confess your sins to a priest in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.”
“An Act of Contrition” Prayer
Another prayer that can be read out loud or from memory is called, “An Act of Contrition.” “Contrition” means to feel sad about something we have done, and to feel the need to apologize. Since we were all born with a conscience, we know right from wrong. When we do something we know is wrong, it makes our hearts feel heavy. Sometimes we confide in someone, like Mom or Dad, and it makes us feel better. When we make a confession to a priest, the priest has the authority from Jesus, to forgive us and reconcile us to God (re-connect, make whole again) and to heal the broken relationship with God. The priest will give the person who is confessing, a “penance” which is a prayer or a small act to do, such as, apologize to a loved one. The penance is small enough that we can do it, but big enough that it has special meaning. After the penance, the priest will give you “absolution.” This means that you are forgiven and the sin is no longer with you.
You can take in a card in with you to First Confession and read from it, if this practice is permitted for First Reconciliation in your church:
You can also read or memorize the “Jesus Prayer” on the bottom of the card.
Practice The Actions Of Confession with a Family Member
“The Seal of Confession”
“The priest who hears your confession may never repeat what you say. The sins you mention are a sacred secret between you and God. They are protected by the ‘Seal of Confession.’ The priest can’t tell your friends or parents or anyone else. He can’t bring them up again to you in private. Besides, he doesn’t want to tell anyone. He is not there to punish you, but to heal you.”
Source: Magnifikid!, March 6, 2019, Vol. 16. Part 3. Section 3. Pages 4-5
“An Examination of Conscience”
The “Ten Commandments” are our guide to whether we have sinned, or not.
“When we choose not to love each other like Jesus wants us to, it’s called a sin. A sin is not a mistake or an accident. Mistakes and accidents are not done on purpose. A sin is something we choose, even though we know it’s wrong. Sin hurts our relationship with God and each other. It pulls us away from God’s Family.”
Source: Child’s Guide to Reconciliation Page 7
We Learn Through Writing
Five Steps to A Good Confession–Text From CatholicIcing.com
Easy to do at home with or without a template. Click to print template following printer prompts at bottom of page. Or, provide a large piece of white construction paper and a pencil for the child to trace their hand. Markers, stickers, and a black sharpie are great for decorating easily. Above each finger the child can write in Sharpie: 1. “Admit your sins.” 2. “Be sorry.” 3. Don’t repeat them.” (The child who decorated this added the “it”)! 4. “Tell your sins to a priest.” 5. “Do the penance given to you.” Decorate the poster and hang it prominently for all to see.
Click to Print Confession Template
This graphic design was made by Kim N. Buckley, as is all of the graphic art on SundaySchoolUpdates.com.
We Learn Through Art–“Jesus In the Garden of Gethsemane”
This art project can be done as a watercolor painting, a drawing with crayons, colored pencils, or done as a collage, as I have done here. The oil pastels are fun and fast! You can make quick shapes and color large areas by taking off the paper on the pastel and rubbing it on its side against the paper. Then cut out your shapes and paste them onto a separate piece of paper. I colored the background first, then added the trees, steps, moon, figure of Jesus, etc. The objective is for the children to imagine the scene and the very sad moment for Jesus.
Suggested Homework Activities
Learn About Jesus Through the Mysteries of the Rosary
Please read the Bible passage for one of the Sorrowful Mysteries each Sunday for the next five weeks. Help your child name them.
The Sorrowful Mysteries (These are recited Tuesdays and Fridays)
- “THE AGONY IN THE GARDEN (Luke 22:43)
- THE SCOURGING AT THE PILLAR (John 19:1)
- THE CROWNING WITH THORNS (Matthew 27:28-29)
- THE CARRYING OF THE CROSS (Mark 15:22)
- THE CRUCIFIXION” (John 19:25-27)
The First Sorrowful Mystery: “THE AGONY IN THE GARDEN”
- “Jesus comes with his disciples to Gethsemani: ‘Stay here, while I go yonder and pray.
- Entering the garden with Peter, James, and John, Jesus prays, ‘My soul is sorrowful unto death.’
- Jesus sees the sins of all mankind, whose guilt He has taken upon Himself.
- He sees the wrath of the Father which His sufferings must appease.
- So great is his anguish that His sweat becomes as drops of blood falling to the ground.
- An angel appears to Him from heaven to strengthen Him.
- ‘Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet, not My will but Yours be done.’
- Finding the disciples asleep: ‘Could you not watch one hour with me?’
- Jesus is betrayed by Judas, cruelly bound and led away.
- Father, by the merits of the agony of Jesus in the Garden, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”
Source: The Sorrowful Mysteries from Rosary-Center.org