Confession also known as the sacrament of Penance or Reconciliation is a sacrament of healing, like the anointing of the sick. In the past, the Church tended to concentrate on sin but, thankfully nowadays the emphasis is more on forgiveness than wrongdoing.
The ancient Greeks used the word hamartia ἁμαρτία which means to ‘miss the mark’. If we think of our lives and our actions as trying to do the right thing there are times when we will get it right and times when we won’t. The Greeks saw these occasions as ‘missing the mark’. We miss the mark, its part of life; in our relationships with loved ones at home, at school, at play and at work. When our relationships with others aren’t going well, chances are we won’t feel good about ourselves and the knock on is that we don’t feel good about God. Its at times like this that we all need healing in our live.
During the sacrament, towards the end the priest prays the Prayer of Absolution, part of that prayer is; ‘may God grant you pardon and peace’ this is all that God wants for each and every one of us in our lives but there can be a 1000 things preventing us from having that peace, that pardon in our lives. Confession, Penance, Reconciliation (whatever you prefer to call the sacrament) allows us the time to reflect on our lives, our relationships, how we feel about others, about God and importantly how we feel about ourselves.
Like the Father in the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) the father keeps watch for his lost son each day and when he spots him on the horizon he runs to him, embraces him and welcomes him home.
“God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy.”
― Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium: The Joy of the Gospel
Confessions take place in the Sacred Heart Church, Templemore each Saturday morning after 10am Mass and after the vigil Mass each Saturday evening at 7pm. During Advent and Lent Penitential services take place throughout the parish.
If its been some time since you’ve been to confession and you’ve forgotten or aren’t too sure how it goes just say this to the priest who is happy to welcome you and will be delighted to guide you through the sacrament.