celebration of first reconciliation

November 17, 2011
Church Sanctuary
Front table:
Work order:
stones, programs, take a stone sign, song sheets,
candles lit on the altar, song sheets for the priests
certificates, basket for stones, basket for cards, gift ornaments, act of contrition
on the chairs
long tables in chapel with certs and gifts, small table for stones and sign
Sound on
Table in Chapel with certificates and gifts on it
Altar – empty stone basket, prayer to say with parent
By baptismal font – prayer of blessing
As families enter, children are asked to take a stone and hold onto it during the service.
Catechists to greet families and direct them.
Sit in a pew where you see song sheets
director and small choir
presider and confessors
Gathering Song:
“We come to ask your forgiveness”
Sign of the Cross
Presider Greeting
Spontaneous greeting—and reminding families of why we have come together this evening. Talk about the
symbolism/purpose of the stones held by the First Reconciliation students. Backpack analogy (we carry
around an imaginary backpack with us and we need to ‘unload’ our burdens at the sacrament)
Opening Prayer:
Let us pray.
Lord, hear the prayers of those who call on you,
forgive the sins of those who confess to you,
and in your merciful love
give us your pardon and your peace.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Responsorial Psalm – Gospel Acclamation
Liturgy of the Word
[Please be seated.]
Introduction to reading:
My dear children, each one of us has been baptized, and so we are all sons and daughters of God. God
loves us as a Father, and he asks us to love him with all our hearts. God also wants us to be good to each
other, so that we may all live happily together.
But people do not always do what God wants. They say: “I will not obey! I am going to do as I please.”
They disobey God and do not want to listen to God. We too, often act like that.
That is what we call sin. When we sin we turn our backs on God. If we do something really serious we cut
ourselves off from God; we are complete strangers to God.
What does God do when someone turns away from him? What does he do when we leave the path of
goodness that he has shown us, when we run the risk of losing the life of grace he has given us? Does
God turn away from us when we turn away from him by our sins?
14The word of the LORD came to me: 15* Son of man, the inhabitants of Jerusalem are saying about all
your relatives, the other exiles, and all the house of Israel, “They are far away from the LORD. The land
is given to us as a possession.”f 16Therefore say: Thus says the Lord GOD: I have indeed sent them far
away among the nations, scattered them over the lands, and have been but little sanctuary for them in the
lands to which they have gone. 17Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, I will gather you from the nations
and collect you from the lands through which you were scattered, so I can give you the land of Israel.g
18They will enter it and remove all its atrocities and abominations. 19h And I will give them another
heart and a new spirit I will put within them. From their bodies I will remove the hearts of stone, and give
them hearts of flesh, 20so that they walk according to my statutes, taking care to keep my ordinances.
Thus they will be my people, and I will be their God.i 21But as for those whose hearts are devoted to their
atrocities and abominations, I will bring their conduct down upon their heads—oracle of the Lord GOD.
Presider gives Homily
Examination of Conscience: 2 readers
Please open your program and kneel for our examination of Conscience.
Let us pray together: Dear Holy Spirit,
Help me reflect on these questions honestly and prayerfully. Help me as I try to be more like
Ginger: 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?
Ginger: 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?
Ginger: 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?
Ginger: 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?
Ginger: 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?
Do I talk to God every day?
Introduce priests as they go to their stations
We would like to thank the priests that have joined us today to help us celebrate reconciliation.
At this time, as the priests move to their stations, we invite the children bring your stone, your prayer
book and to join their Catechists in the front to celebrate the sacrament. Parents and adult friends, we
invite you to spend some time in quiet in your seats, until your children rejoin you. At that point, please
come kneel before the altar for a family blessing, drop your stone in the basket, and then proceed to the
baptismal font for you to bless your child. The prayers will be provided. Adults are invited to celebrate
the sacrament of reconciliation after all of the children have finished.
Individual Confession and Absolution:
Four Priests go to stations around the perimeter of the room
At each priest station – instructions and extra act of contritions
Parents stay put in the pews in front.
Children bring their prayer books and move to front few pews in the back section of church, spread out by
Catechists will station themselves around the room and help move the children to visit with
After confession, students return to the same pew to do their Penance.
Parents will sit quietly for the time of confession in the front.
When child’s confession is done, children will return to their parents’ row.
Family goes to the altar to toss the stone and pray together, then to the baptismal font to bless their child.
Family returns to pew.
Parents can go to confession.
Concluding Prayer of Thanksgiving:
All-holy Father,
you have shown us your mercy
and made us a new creation
in the likeness of your Son.
Make us living signs of your love
for the whole world to see.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
I want to thank …
Please pick up your certificates and a small gift from the table in the Narthex on your way out.
Concluding Rite:
like patience.
May the Lord guide your hearts in the way of his love and fill you with ChristAmen.
May God give you strength to walk in the newness of life and to please him in all
May almighty God bless you,
the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit.
The Lord has freed you from your sins. Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Closing Song: Closing Song: “God’s Love is Everlasting”
Possible song options:
- We come to ask your forgiveness- Carey Landry
- God is love
- God’s Love is Everlasting
Amazing Grace
- Change Our Hearts
- Loving and Forgiving
- The Prayer of St. Francis…”Where there is injury your pardon Lord”