Preparing for Reconciliation

First Reconciliation

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

Act of Contrition (or Prayer of the Penitent) “Alternate version from the Rite of Penance

Scroll Through Our Journey

With the start of the new year, we return to our CCD class and begin to prepare for the first “Reconciliation.” I am using various resources in addition to our text to enrich the student’s learning experience. The original artwork– which I copied for the painting below– is from the cover of God’s Gift Reconciliation. My watercolor will be used to talk with the students about the symbols of Reconciliation as we begin our first discussion. I will invite the students to do a “symbols” art project using pastels on purple construction paper. Please check back, as our journey together is documented here.

“Thank you, God, for giving me the Sacrament of Reconciliation as a sign of your love and presence in my life.”

God’s Gift Reconciliation page v



A Traditional First Holy Communion Book

Saint Joseph First Communion Catechism by Bennet Kelley was first published in 1963. The illustrations and language are from that time. The information for First Holy Communion and first Reconciliation are very helpful. Amazon features it as the “#1 Best Seller in children’s religious books. It costs on $3.75 on Amazon Prime. It will be very useful in preparing my students for Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. I found the recommendation on

First Holy Communion

Excellent CD– Catechism Through Songs


Catholic Songs for Children teaches the foundation of Catholicism through music. The first time I listened to it, I wondered if today’s children could hear the story through the dated music. After my second and third time listening to it in the car, I was singing away. It is very helpful for teaching the catechism of the faith.

Helpful Ten Commandments for Children

The Ten Commandments

The children’s version of The Ten Commandments in this book is the best I have read. It is relevant to children and addresses the issues they confront on a daily basis. Our class is passing this book among the families to read to their children at home. It is an excellent preparation for first Reconciliation.

A Child’s Guide to Reconciliation

Child's Guide to Reconciliation
Child’s Guide to Reconciliation

By Elizabeth Ficocelli
Illustrated By Anne Catherine Blake

1. Love God with all your heart.
2. Use God’s name with respect and love.
3. Keep Sundays special and holy.
4. Love and obey your mother and father.
5. Treat God’s creations kindly.
6. Respect your body as a gift from God.
7. Don’t take things that don’t belong to you.
8. Always tell the truth.
9. Don’t be jealous or greedy.
10. Help others who are in need.

Examination of Conscience for Young Children

CatholicIcing.Com has wonderful material for First Reconciliation. We will be using “Five Steps to a Good Confession” by Lacy of Catholic Icing and her practice cards for First Confession. Both can be purchased as downloads for $1 each on her website.

Raising (and Teaching) Little Saints has free downloads of “An Act of Contrition and “An Examination of Conscience.” We are using both in our classroom to get the children prepared for First Reconciliation. They are both child-friendly and helpful.

Our Five Steps Handout


Based on text from Catholic Icing

The Reconciliation cards and “Steps for Good Confession” graphic were designed by Kim N. Buckley.

The Order of Confession


We Believe & Celebrate First Penance

First Penance by Sadlier Sacrament Program pages, 62-63, explains what happens when a child celebrates the Sacrament of Reconciliation face to face with a priest:

“The priest welcomes you, and you both make the sign of the cross.”
“You listen as the priest shares a Bible story about God’s forgiveness.”
“You confess your sins to the priest.”
“You and the priest talk about making right choices.”
“The priest gives a penance to you. You will do your penance after the celebration of the sacrament.”
“You pray an act of contrition. You tell God you are sorry for your sins and that you will try to not sin again.”
“You receive absolution. The priest stretches his right hand over your head and says the words of absolution.”
“In God’s name your sins are forgiven by the priest.”
“You and the priest praise and thank God for his love and forgiveness.”
“The priest tells you, ‘Go in peace.'”

Our Third Grade text, Our Life With Jesus, Faith and Life Series 3, states on page 71,

“When we hear the words of absolution, we know that Jesus Himself is forgiving us through the priest. He says, “I absolve you from your sins in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” We accept the absolution by answering, ‘Amen.'”

The Words of Absolution

from page 71 Our Life With Jesus

“God, the Father of mercies, through the death and 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.”