Sunday School Updates–Week Nineteen–“Ready for First Reconciliation”

For Parents To Teach To Their Children

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“Three Types of Crosses”

Reconciliation Preparation:

A year ago, I had a First Holy Communion class. The children had their First Confessions in December. We were all together in the church for First Reconciliation with lots of other classes, teachers and parents. No one had ever heard of “social distancing” or even the word “Covid.” By March, Religious Education classes had to stop meeting as a group and the church was closed.

Here we are a year later, preparing for First Reconciliation with a whole new type of situation. I give a monthly ZOOM class for parents who are “homeschooling” religious education. I receive their weekly homework assignments, and send weekly educational emails. It has worked out. Students will make their confessions in a week and everyone will be prepared. The church will be used only for a few children at a time to make their penance, usually praying “An Act of Contrition.” Kids will wait outside and confessions will be made with social distancing. And, we carry on.

I thought families with children preparing for First Confession would like to see what my students and their families are reviewing before they receive the Sacrament. I hope you will find the information helpful.

Sincerely, Connie Goldin


An Act of Contrition

There are more than one “Acts of Contrition.” If you taught your child or children the version that you learned, but it is different from the one in the book you are using, that is okay. The wording may be slightly different, but the message of the prayer is the same.
An Act of Contrition


Explain to your child, the meaning of “God’s Grace.”
“Grace is a participation in the life of God.” 
Please talk to your child about the Sacrament of Reconciliation explaining to them, that Reconciliation is a gift from God, put into action by Jesus.
“A sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace.”  Source:
Read:The Prodigal Son in your family Bible or in a Catholic Children’s Bible. (It’s about forgiveness!)
P.S. (Prodigal means “wasteful.”)

Help Your Child/Children Practice Making a Confession

Practice and preparation makes your child or children more confident and less nervous! 
The Process:
“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. (Say, “Amen.”)
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.’”
What the Priest Says:
“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.”

“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.’”

Source: “Celebrating the Sacrament of and Reconciliation” from Believe Celebrate Live Reconciliation by Sadlier Sacrament Program pages, 62-64, 

“My Gifts of Reconciliation from God

Talk to Your Child/Children About the Gifts from Confession:
Relief, Peace, Joy, Hope, Love, Mercy, Forgiveness, Grace, Healing, New Life, etc.
Remind your child that this is not a test or a competition. First Reconciliation is a special moment in their growing relationship with God.

Our Art Project–A Reconciliation Heart

This heavy stock paper heart is a blank template available in most craft stores. I painted it in child’s poster paint, adding texture to the paint using a semi-dry brush to add streaks. Then I used the same type of paint to splatter the lavender heart. Since purple is the Liturgical Color for Penance, I thought painting a lavender heart was a good way to say for children to “Thank You” to God after their First Reconciliation.


Suggested Homework Activities–Week Nineteen

Invite your child to write out “An Act of Contrition” in hand writing or printing. There is a connection in memorizing or remembering material by writing the information by hand, as opposed to using a computer.

Here is the simplest form of  “An Act of Contrition” that I have seen:

“Dear God, I am sorry for all my sins.

I am sorry for the wrong things I have done.

I am sorry for the good things I have failed to do.

I will do better with your help. Amen.”

Liturgical Colors