Just a quick ‘thank you’ for your posts on Confession. Went to first confession today (I’m a RCIA gearing up for the Easter Vigil). I was terrified. As a forty-something fella with a ‘chequered past’ my list was LOOOONG and – to put it bluntly – embarrassing. So I went to our Diocesan Cathedral instead of my Parish Church (more anonymous). The priest was lovely. Really helped me through it and was hugely encouraging. I’m so glad to put all that lot behind me so I can focus on the future. I’m definitely in the Confession & Eucharist early & often camp now! Thank you so much for encouraging the use Of this VITAL sacrament.
My work here is done.
Congratulations for making your first confession!
I am glad you added that point about anonymity making the experience easier.
This adult’s experience of 1st Confession spurs me to add a note or two.
I suspect that this person was able to deal with the anxiety of making that first confession in part because he had learned some useful things about the meaning and effects of the sacrament about what to do.
It is important when helping adult converts to get ready for first confession to give them a format and prayers they can memorize so that they know exactly what to do when they start. Structure can relieve anxiety.
If this is true for adults, imagine how important it is for children?
Children need structure. If adults are sometimes experience some fear when they don’t know what to do in important, solemn, formal moments, children can be reduced to paralysis.
It is cruel to bring children to do things of the religious nature without proper preparation. Children are innately religious little creatures. They know when something is important. They want to do the right thing. Help them by having them memorize well the prayers and the order of things.
For the love of God, give adult coverts and children alike an exact, traditional template, structure for what to do and say in the confessional!