In this chapter we are helping the children to understand that Jesus always helped people to make a change. Saying sorry/forgiveness is about sorting things out, and rebuilding friendships, as we saw in Chapter 3. But forgiveness is also about using the opportunity to make things right – to make a life-change in order to move towards a better future, by choosing a better path.
We also look at what takes place during the Sacrament itself – what actually happens when we go to see a priest to receive this Sacrament. When we “confess” our sins – meaning we confide in the priest (who is standing in the place of Jesus) – we should do so with confidence that the blessing we receive gives us the help for the times we “get it wrong” and new strength to “get it right”. Do remember that, your child’s First Reconciliation is one of the seven Sacraments and an essential step to be able to receive First Holy Communion. It is a Sacrament they can receive as often as they like. It is a beautiful gift that can be revisited again and again.
NB Please remember, the children will only be making their First Reconciliations in April, so use this chapter as an introduction to this amazing Sacrament and keep practicing forgiveness and self-reflection during daily life. The themes of God’s love and forgiveness are also central to our faith and at the heart of the Mass, so you will find a number of links as we go through the content of the children’s book. We will provide you with a recap sheet about Reconciliation and the Reconciliation Service itself nearer the time.