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    Sacraments of Healing Penance

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    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.


  • *Definition of Sacrament:An efficacious sign of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the church, by which divine life is dispensed to us through the work of the Holy Spirit (CCC #1131, 774).

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    Christ is the Sacrament of God

    Jesus is the Primordial Sacrament of the Father.

    By being the "Primordial Sacrament", Jesus Christ is much more than simply the originator of the Sacraments.

    He is at once the SOURCE, the PRIMARY AGENT and theGOAL of all sacramental activity.

    As GOAL of all sacraments, Christ is the perfection toward which our life on earth tends.

  • *As SOURCE, Christ is the one in whom all the sacraments are rooted and from whom they derive their efficacy.

    As PRIMARY AGENT, he is the one who, through the actions and words of the minister celebrating the various sacraments, baptizes, confirms, forgives, and reconciles, heals, offers himself in sacrifice, binds in faithful love and consecrates for service.

    As GOAL of all sacraments, Christ is the perfection toward which our life on earth tends.

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    Church is the Sacrament of Christ

    Since the Church, in Christ, is in the nature of sacrament a sign and instrument, that is of communion with God, and of unity among all men (people). (L.G)

    Rising from the dead he sent his life-giving Spirit, upon his disciples and through him (the Holy Spirit) set up his Body which is the church, as the universal sacrament of salvation (L.G. 48)

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    From Christ and the Church flow the Seven Sacraments

    * Initiation: Baptism Confirmation and Eucharist.* Healing: Penance and Anointing* Vocation: Marriage and Holy Orders.

    The Seven Sacraments are privileged moments of a present encounter between Christ, the church community, and individuals through the power of the Holy Spirit in faith for the life of the world. The sacraments give the grace they signify.

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    Sacrament of Penance:Subject Matter of Penance is Sin.Mortal Sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of Gods law; it turns man away from God, who is his ultimate end and his beatitude, by preferring an inferior good to him. [CCC 1855]Venial Sin allows charity to subsist even though it offends and wounds it. [CCC 1855]Object of Penance is Grace.1. Instrumental, efficient causality: (Thomas Aquinas) 2. Moral causality.3. Occasional causality.

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    Questions for consideration in simulated Rite of Penance

    Did the Confessor follow the rubrics in celebrating the sacrament? For the confessor: if not, explain your pastoral adaptation of the rubric.

    2. What theological questions were raised in the celebration of the sacrament? (e.g. Images of God, role of the confessor, moral issues and the like.)

    3. Did the confessor exhibit an appropriate pastoral style?

    4. Was it truly an experience of prayer? Why or why not?

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    In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, Peace be with you, and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord, and he said to them again, Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so am I sending you. After saying this he breathed on them and said: Receive the Holy Spirit. For those sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those sins you retain, they are retained.(Jn. : 20: 19-23).

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    And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Jn. 20:19-23)

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    Names for the Sacrament of Penance:

    Penance - Paying Back Confession - Owning UpReconciliation - Bank Balance Healing - Healing Relationships with God, self, others, and creation.

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    History of the Sacrament of Penance

    The Church has carried out Christ's ministry of forgiveness and reconciliation since the time of Christ but its celebration has changed.

    Three main periods in the history of the Sacrament:

    1. The Early Church

    2. Introduction of Canonical Penance

    3. Rise of Private Penance

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    Baptism was the only sacrament of forgiveness. Christians confessed to one another and overcame sin by fasting, praying, and charitable works.


    By 300 early Church faced severe persecutions. Some people abandon their faith. After the persecutions some wanted to return to the community. People could not baptize again.

    System of canonical penance developed for serious sins * Adultery (against the family) * Murder (against the community) * Apostasy (against the faith)

    Serious sinners entered order of Order of Penitents.

  • *Public Penance:Extended period of time from a few weeks to several years Excluded from celebrating the Eucharist with communityRequired to perform works of penance Period of Canonical penance often ended at end of LentSins were forgiven by a Bishop People were reunited with the community. Because of the severity of the penitential process, the sacrament would be put off until deathbed. By the 6th century the sacrament was seen as preparation for death rather than as an aid to living a Christian life.


    New development in Ireland in the 6th century by Irish Monks: Monks had practice of confessing their sins to a spiritual director from whom they would receive direction and assurance of God's mercy and forgiveness, and often received common penances. Lay people began to seek spiritual advice form the monks: What developed was a system of forgiveness of sin that was private and repeatable. "Penitentials" books were developed that would help the confessors assign appropriate penances for specific sins. In 1215 the Fourth Lateran Council decreed that every Christian who reached the age of reason must make a private confession of grave sins once a year.

  • *Penitential celebrations are gatherings of the people of God to hear the proclamation of God's word. #36

    Care should be taken that the faithful do not confuse these celebrations with the celebration of the sacrament of penance. Penitential celebrations are very helpful in promoting conversion of life and purification of heart. It is desirable to arrange such services especially for these purposes: - to foster the spirit of penance within the Christian community; - to help the faithful to prepare for confession which can be made individually later at a convenient time; - to help children gradually to form their conscience about sin in human life and about freedom from sin through Christ; - to help catechumens during their conversion. #37

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    Requirements for the validity of the Sacrament of Penance:

    Confession of sin.Contrition for sin.Absolution of sin.Satisfaction for sin.

  • *Rite of Penance 1973

    Rite for Reconciliation of Individual Penitents

    Reception of Penitent. GreetingSign of the CrossInvitation to trust in GodReading of the Word of God. Confession of Sins & Acceptance of Satisfaction. Prayer of the Penitent (Act of contrition). AbsolutionProclamation of praise of God and Dismissal

  • *2. Rite for Reconciliation of Several Penitents with Individual Confession and Absolution: Introductory RitesSongGreetingIntroductionOpening prayer Celebration of the Word of God1st ReadingResponsorial Psalm2nd ReadingGospel AcclamationsGospelHomilyExamination of conscience

  • *Rite of Reconciliation:General Confession of Sins Litany or PsalmLords PrayerIndividual Confession and AbsolutionProclamation of Praise for Gods MercyConcluding Prayer of thanksgiving. Concluding Rite:BlessingsDismissal

  • *Rite for Reconciliation of Several Penitents & General Absolution:

    Introductory Rites:Song GreetingIntroductionOpening prayer Celebration of the Word of God:1st ReadingResponsorial Psalm2nd ReadingGospel AcclamationsGospelHomilyGeneral Confession:Sign of PenanceGeneral Confession of SinsLitany or SongLords PrayerGeneral AbsolutionProclamation of Praise and ConclusionSong or hymnBlessingDismissal

  • *Scriptural Examples of Forgiveness & Reconciliation:

    Lost Sheep [Luke 15:4-7]Prodigal Son [Luke 15:11-32]Samaritan Woman [John 4: 5- 26]Zacchaeus [Luke 19: 1-10]Woman caught in Adultery [John 8: 3-11]Good Thief [Luke 23: 39-43]

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    Practice the living out of the sacrament in ones life: Being a reconciling and forgiving person with spouse and family & community.when any one of us chooses to act as Jesus was known to act, we too become living sacraments in our world. When I forgive my brother or sister from my heart, I become a sacrament of forgiveness; I unveil the face of God who forgives, just as Jesus himself did.(Beguerie and Duchesneau, How to Understand the Sacraments)

  • *Simulation of the Sacrament of Penance.

    Did the Confessor follow the rubrics in celebrating the sacrament? For the confessor: if not, explain your pa


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