CONFESSION (SACRAMENT OF PENANCE)
3:00-3:45 p.m. (except in Summer)
Other confessions available by appointment. Please call our parish office at (413) 283-6030.
Confessions are heard in English & Polish.
All sin is an offense against God and a rejection of his perfect love and justice. Yet, Jesus makes a distinction between two types of sins. The most serious and grave sins are called mortal sins. Mortal sins destroy the grace of God in the heart of the sinner. By their very grave nature, a mortal sin cuts our relationship off from God and turns man away from his creator. St. Paul’s letter to the Hebrews tell us that “if we sin willfully after having the knowledge of the truth, there is now left no sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:26).
The second type of sin, venial sin, that of less grave matter, does not cut us off from Christ. However, venial sin does weaken grace in the soul and damages our relationship with God. A person who frequently indulges in venial sin is very likely to collapse into mortal sin if they persist in their evil ways.
In order for a sin to be mortal, it must meet three conditions:
Mortal sin is a sin of grave matter
Mortal sin is committed with full knowledge of the sinner
Mortal sin is committed with deliberate consent of the sinner
This means that mortal sins cannot be done “accidentally.” A person who commits a mortal sin is one who knows that their sin is wrong, but still deliberately commits the sin anyway. This means that mortal sins are “premeditated” by the sinner and thus are truly a rejection of God’s law and love.
Please examine your conscience before approaching the Sacrament of Penance. Examinations of Conscience can be found here:
HOW TO MAKE ONE'S CONFESSION
Upon Entering the Confessional:
"Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.
It has been ___________ (days, weeks, months, years) since my last confession."
Then you tell your sins. All mortal sins must be confessed in order and number to make a good confession. Venial sins may be confessed, and it is a very beneficial to do so on a spiritual level.
When you have finished, add:
"For these and all the sins that I can’t remember, and all the sins of my past life (you can specify one or another), I ask pardon of God and penance and absolution of you, Father."
The priest then may give you some words of advice followed by your penance.
"As penance..." or "In reparation..." and indicates a prayer or a good deed I should do. If what he asks you is too difficult or impossible for you (a prayer you do not know), you must tell him right away!
Then, you say your Act of Contrition. The priest may ask you to pray this aloud:
An Act of Contrition
"O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who art so good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen."
The priest gives the absolution* and you do your penance in a timely manner.
Before leaving, say to the priest:
"Thank you, Father."
*Absolution will be one of the following two options:
Ordinary Form: "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. Amen."
Extraordinary Form: "May our Lord Jesus Christ absolve you; and I, by His authority, absolve you from every bond of excommunication (suspension) and interdict, in as much as I am able and you require. Thereupon, I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, + and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."