Sacrament Of Reconciliation For Kids
By Julian & Frances
Once, a boy stole some money from his father’s wallet, so that he could buy some chocolates which he loved eating. However after he bought them, he found he could not really enjoy them because he knew what he did was wrong. Over the next few days he was burdened with a heavy heart and was unhappy. He decided it was time to confess what he did to his father and that he would also make amends by offering to pay for the chocolates with his pocket money. He promised his father that he would never steal again and asked for an appropriate punishment. He expected his father to be angry but instead found him calm and even smiling. Because the son was totally honest with his confession combined with the promise of never to commit the sin again is the purest form of repentance. The confession restored his father’s faith in him and so hugged him with great affection. The son unburdened his conscience with his confession and by doing so reconciled with his father.
When we sin, we go against the commandments of God and alienate (turn away) ourselves from him. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation we reorientate ourselves and reunite ( together again)with God.
Let us now talk a little about sin and God’s commandments …
What is Sin?
Sin is the conscious thought,act or deed we do against the teachings of the Church and God our heavenly father.
Before we go into the commandments proper we should try to understand first what the commandments are all about.
One way of understanding the commandments is to think of the rules of a game. What happens when we break the rules? People get upset because no one plays the game correctly, we end up losing the joy and happiness the game would have brought us otherwise.
Another way to look at it is to think of the commandments as signposts from God, giving us direction to our destination to be with him. If we do not follow the signs, we start to lose our way and become bitter and sad when we cannot find our way back to him.
The Ten Commandments for Younger Kids
Ten Commmandments for Kids (Exodus 20:1-17)
1. Have no other gods but God.
- Do not worship statues.
- Be careful with God’s name.
- Keep Sunday special.
- Honor your father and mother.
- Do not murder.
- Keep your marriage promises.
- Do not steal.
- Do not lie.
10. Do not covet. (To wish for longingly)
The Ten Commandments for Older Kids
The Ten Commandments
Exodus Chapter 20
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image
3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
5. Honor your father and your mother
6. You shall not murder.
7.You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.
10. You shall not covet
Mat 22:37-40 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE
Is to reflect and find out your sins…
Here is an examination of conscience for children using the Lord’s Prayer as a guideline.
An Examination of Conscience for Children using The Lord’s Prayer.
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name.
· Do I think about God every day?
· Do I say my prayers?
· Do I pay attention and participate at Mass?
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be
done on earth as it is in heaven.
· Am I kind to others?
· Do I do what Jesus wants me to do?
· Do I share with others?
· Am I helpful to my family?
· Do I show respect to my teachers and classmates?
Give us this day our daily bread
· Do I remember to say thank you?
· Am I sometimes greedy?
· Do I appreciate the good things I have in my life?
· Do I think of ways to help those who have no food?
· Do I take things that don’t belong to me?
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
· Do I say I’m sorry when I have been wrong?
· Do I forgive and forget when someone does something bad to me?
· Do I help solve problems between my friends or do I cause more trouble?
· Do I say bad things about people who have hurt me?
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
· Do I play fairly in sports and games?
· Do I cheat in school?
· Do I tell the truth?
· Do I set a good example by my kindness?
· Do I let other kids tempt me to do things I know I shouldn’t do?
Here is another way to examine your conscience by reflecting on your responsibilities.
Responsibilities to God:
Have I prayed every day?
Have I prayed my morning prayers and night prayers?
Have I prayed with my parents and family?
Have I been moody and rebellious about praying and going to
church on Sunday?
Have I asked the Holy Spirit to help me whenever I have been
tempted to sin? Have I asked the Holy Spirit to help me do
what is right?
Responsibilities to others:
Have I been obedient and respectful to my parents?
Have I lied or been deceitful to them or to others?
Have I been arrogant, stubborn or rebellious?
Have I talked back to parents, teachers or other adults?
Have I pouted and been moody?
Have I been selfish toward my parents, brothers,sisters and teachers, or my friends and schoolmates?
Have I gotten angry at them? Have I hit anyone?
Have I held grudges or not forgiven others?
Have I treated other children with respect or have I made fun of them and called them names?
Have I used bad language?
Have I stolen anything? Have I returned it?
Have I performed my responsibilities, such as homework and household chores?
Have I been helpful and affectionate toward my family? Have
I been kind and generous with my friends?
So What is the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is the process or steps we take in order to reunite ourselves with God. In essence it is:
“The invitation to the door of forgiveness, freedom of sin and of guilt and with that; Peace”
Before we open the door we prepare ourselves by reflection or examining our conscience and think about what we are going to do to stop doing the wrong doings. When we are ready, we open the door to face and talk to God through his disciple (the priest). We confess (in all honesty) our sins and tell him what we will do to make amends and how truly sorry we are by saying the act of contrition. When we are done we are given absolution (forgiveness) through the power of the Holy Spirit and are reunited with God.
Below is an illustration (picture)
A Step By Step Guide To Making Your Confession Through The Sacrament Of Reconciliation
· Prepare yourself by reflecting on your sins and what you are going to do to try and stop repeating the sin. Only when you are ready, do you proceed to the Confessional.
- Kneel, make the sign of the cross and say, “Bless me Father for I have sinned.”
- Tell the father how long it has been since you last confessed. Egs.” It has been 1 month since my last confession.” If it is your first time then just say “this is my first confession.”
- Tell the father your sins and how you have hurt God your loving father and when you have finished say “For these and all my sins, I am truly sorry.” Then tell the father how you are going to repent. (so as not to commit the sin again) egs. I will reflect on how Jesus died on the cross for me each time I am tempted to use bad words.
- Listen to the Father if he has any advice for you, after which he will give you absolution.
- Say the Act of Contrition.
- Listen to the words of the Father as he gives you absolution.
- Thank the Father out of politeness and respect and you might even say “Bless you Father”
- Go quietly
The Act Of Contrition (How Sorry You Are For Your Sins)
Here are a few different ones to choose from, only choose one to say. If you know how to and want to, you can say your own.
· Oh my God, I am so sorry that I have sinned against you. Because You are so good and with the help of your grace, I will not sin again.
· God our Father, I thank You for loving me. I am sorry for all my sins, for what I have done and for what I have failed to do. I will sincerely try to love You and others in everything I do and say. Help me walk in your light today and always.
· Father , I have sinned against you and am not worthy to be called your son/daughter. Be merciful to me, a sinner.
· Lord God, in your goodness have mercy on me, do not look on my sins but take away all my guilt. Create in me a clean heart and renew within me an upright spirit.
· O my God, I am heartily sorry for all my sins, because they offend You, who are infinitely good, and I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace not to sin again.
· Lord Jesus Christ, You are the Lamb of God; You take away the sins of the world. Through the grace of the Holy Spirit restore me to friendship with Your Father, cleanse me from every stain of sin in the blood you shed for me, for the glory of your name.
· Lord Jesus, You chose to be called the friend of sinners. By your saving death and resurrection free me from my sins. May your peace take root in my heart and bring forth a harvest of love.