Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sacrament of Reconciliation

Sacrament of Reconciliation: (for students that have not done Holy Communion yet)

Objectives: The students will be able to
- define mortal and venial sin and give examples of each
- explain what this sacrament provides us with- an opportunity to acknowledge our sinfulness, our estrangement from God and his Church, and our need for conversion and forgiveness
- explain that sincere sorrow for sin is the most important prerequisite for celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation

Vocabulary Words: (Write words on the board and discuss with class)

sin- breaking God’s law
God’s laws- Ten Commandments
Ten Commandments- laws from God that we must always keep
mortal sin- a very serious sin that we know it is wrong and we choose to do it any way
venial sin- is a less serious sin against God
penance- the prayers or good works that the priest asks you to do after you have confessed your sins
confession- to tell the priest your sins
sacrament- one of seven ways through which God’s life enters our lives through the work of the Holy Spirit
reconciliation- making friends again after a friendship has been broken by some action or lack of action
Sacrament of Reconciliation- one of the seven sacraments. It is when you confess your sins to a priest.
absolution- the forgiveness we receive from God through the priest in the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation
contrition- the sorrow we feel when we know that we have sinned followed by the decision not to sin again
conscience- the inner voice that helps guide us to follow God’s law by doing good and avoiding evil


What are the Ten Commandments? They are laws from God that we must always keep. Let’s name the Ten Commandments and what they really mean. (Write each commandment on the board and discuss.)

Examination of Conscience:

Discussion: Ask the questions to the students and discuss with them.

So who were the first sinners? Adam and Eve.

What did they do? God told them to not eat from the Tree of Knowledge and they did not listen.

Do you do Confession yet? No

When can you do it? In second grade (or whenever your church does First Holy Communion) or after you have been baptized and have done RCIA.

Who do you make your confession to? A priest.

How often should you go to confession? At least once a year. If it is a mortal sin, as soon as possible. Any Catholic who has done a mortal sin cannot receive Holy Communion until they go to confession (receiving sacramental absolution). A mortal sin is a grievous offense against the law of God. This sin is called mortal, or deadly because it deprives the sinner of sanctifying grace, the supernatural life of the soul. To make a sin mortal these three things are necessary: (Tick off each thing necessary on your fingers to emphasize them to the students) First, we have done something that is seriously wrong. Second, we knew it was seriously wrong, and; third, we freely and willingly chose to do it. This means that mortal sins cannot be done "accidentally." If one of these conditions is missing, the sin is not mortal.

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 done on purpose by the sinner and thus are truly a rejection of God’s law and love.

A venial sin is a lesser sin that can be forgiven in other ways, but it is good to confess them in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We receive special help to overcome them in this sacrament. The priest can help us to get to the cause of our sins and bad habits.

Why do we do confess our sins? We tell what our sins are so we can look at our sins and take responsibility for them. It opens ourselves to God and to the communion of the Church in order to make a new future possible. When we recognize that we have offended God who is all deserving of our love, we sense the need to make things right. We need to know that our sins are forgiven. There is something in our human nature that calls out to know that our sins are forgiven. Confession is the visible sign (something you can see) of God's mercy that gives us the clear understanding that God has forgiven us. You must also be truly sorry for your sins and not want to do them again.

What should you do BEFORE you make your confession? We should prepare ourselves for a good confession by taking time not only to examine our conscience but, to excite in our hearts sincere sorrow for out sins and a firm purpose not to commit them again.

Who do we confess our sins to? A priest. Only a priest can hear confessions and give absolution.

What do you do during confession?

1. Greeting: The priest welcomes you warmly and greets you with kindness.

2. Sign of the Cross: Then you make the Sign of the Cross, which the priest may also make.

3. Confess your sins: You say, “Forgive me father, for I have sinned. It has been (say how long) since my last confession. My sins are (state your sins)” and after you are done say, “For these and all my sins I am truly sorry.”

What happens after we confess our sins to the priest? The priest may then speak to you. He may try to help you to see the source of your sinful actions. Usually, we're sinful because we're selfish. He will also remind and comfort you of God's love for you. He will then propose an act of penance, which you accept to make satisfaction for sin and to amend your life.

What is penance?
1. Penance with a capital P is the sacrament in which all sins committed after Baptism are forgiven through the power received by the priest from Christ.
2. The prayers or good works that the priest asks you to do after you have confessed your sins.

Why do I receive penance? Forgiveness takes away sin, but it does not get rid of all the behaviors caused by sin. While we are not capable of truly satisfying God for the evil we have done and its consequences, we therefore must make satisfaction for our sin through some action or prayer that will show our desire to make amends and to repair something of the disorder, damage, or harm which our sinful actions have done. The penance that is given to you takes into account your personal situation and serves to support your spiritual good. The penance also depends on how bad the sin is. It may be a prayer, an offering, works of mercy, sacrifices or service to another. But this penance is in a real way our share in the Cross and helps us to be more closely joined to Christ.

Then what happens? The person says a prayer expressing sorrow for his/her sins, such as the Act of Contrition.

Then what happens? The priest will extend his hand toward you, or perhaps lay his hands on your head as he prays the Church's Prayer of Absolution:

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.
R/. Amen.

Do you leave then? No, you wait for dismissal. The priest may pray a short closing prayer with you. He may also simply say, “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.” Your response can be very natural ... a simple “Amen,” or “Thank You” ... “Have a good day”. Then go to spend some time considering your Penance.

Why do we continue to need forgiveness if we are already saved? Even though we have been baptized and our sins have been washed away and have been forgiven, we must continue to return to the sacrament of Penance to cleanse ourselves of sin and receive God's mercy. We are always in need of God's forgiveness through the sacrament of Penance if we are to grow in a life of grace.

But isn't there something I can take along, so I won't feel like I'm forgetting something? Certainly! Some people bring a little piece of paper to help them remember what to say.

Can our sins be forgiven without sorrow? No. Even if we confess on sins and the priest gives us absolution, our sins will not be forgiven by God if we do not have sincere sorrow in our hearts. Sincere sorrow for sin is the most important prerequisite for celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Without it, your sins cannot be forgiven by God.

If it has been a long time since you have been to confession, will your sins be forgiven? Yes. God will always forgive us if we are truly sorry for our sins.


Introduce video: So how do you go to confession? Here is a short video to show you what to do.

Crafts: Reconciliation Craft for Catholic Kids

Introduce craft: How well do you know the Ten Commandments? Let’s find out.

Ten Commandments Tablets


Act of Contrition Board Game- For 2 Players or 2 Teams

The idea is to answer questions about the Act of Contrition so players can roll the dice and move their pieces up and down the road attempting to capture their opponent’s pieces. The form of capture is unique because the captured piece is not immediately removed but instead is placed under the capturing piece. The capturing piece is placed on top of the captured piece to form a stack (if you capture an opponent’s piece, their playing piece is placed under yours). On his next turn the capturing player starts to move the stack of pieces back along the road towards his home position the number of spaces indicated by the throw count. When the capturing player reaches the home position the captured piece is removed from the board.

Introduce game: What is the Sacrament of Reconciliation? It is the sacrament by which sins committed after Baptism are forgiven through the absolution (forgiveness) of the priest.

Reconciliation File Folder Game: The objective of the game is to identify which one of the Ten Commandments the sin broke.

Introduction: What are sins? Breaking God’s law. What are God’s laws? The Ten Commandments. So what are the Ten Commandments? They are laws from God that we must always keep.

Players place their marker on START. The players roll the dice and follow the directions on the space they land on. If they land on a “?”, the player to their right draws a card and reads the question out loud (only use the questions that are age appropriate for your students). On each card is a question about sins and the player must tell which commandment the sin broke (they may say the commandment number or the commandment). Younger students can say whether or not it is a sin and why. If they answer correctly, they receive 1 token (milk caps, poker chips, etc.). If they are not correct, they do not receive one. When a player gets to the end of one game board, they keep going on the second game board and continue to FINISH. All players must land on FINISH with the exact number. When the player reaches FINISH they will count their tokens. After all players have made it to FINISH, the player with the most tokens wins.


Introduce snack: At Mount Sinai what did God give Moses that the people must always keep? The Ten Commandments. ‘O’bey Donuts
Tell the children that we must obey God's Commandments and God's rules. The donut represents the letter "O" in obey.

Puzzles, Mazes, Worksheets:

A Scriptural Examination of Conscience- In this exercise, you will make your own guide for an examination of conscience base on some key Scriptures. (100 Activities Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church by Ellen Rossini, page 99). Worksheets for the Sacrament of Reconciliation
Click on the activities to download and print. Reconciliation (word search) Grade 3 Puzzle (Grade 4)
Use the code below to complete the sentence below. Then unscramble the letters in the circles to answer the questions at the bottom of the page.
1. Jesus tells us about God's forgiveness and love.
2. We receive God's forgiveness in the sacrament of reconciliation.
3. We celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
4. Reconciliation brings peace and unity.

What do we call the person seeking forgiveness in the sacrament of Reconciliation? penitent Wheel of Reconciliation (Grade 5)
Distribute the activity sheets. Read the directions aloud. Using a paper clip and the tip of a pen or pencil, demonstrate how to make the spinner for the game. Encourage the students to use their We Believe texts to help them write their questions for the "Wheel of Reconciliation" game. Give the students time to complete the each part of the "wheel" with a question about the sacrament of Reconciliation. Then, have students work with a partner to play the game. Partners should exchange "wheels" and take turns by "spinning" and recording their answers. When all questions have been answered on each "wheel" ask the partners to use their We Believe texts to help score and tally each others' answers. Correct answers are worth one point. All Sins Forgiven (A message is revealed in this puzzle.) Solution Seeking Forgiveness (crossword)

100 Activities Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church: For Grades 1 to 8 by Ellen Rossini, page 68- The Conscience: God’s Voice Within- Using the following clues, complete the puzzle below.

A Scriptural Examination of Conscience- In this exercise, you will make your own guide for an examination of conscience base on some key Scriptures. (100 Activities Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church by Ellen Rossini, page 99). Worksheets for the Sacrament of Reconciliation
Click on the activities to download and print. Test your knowledge of the Sacrament of Baptism, Sacrament of Reconciliation, Holy Eucharist and Parts of the Holy Mass. Reconciliation: A Sacrament of Healing & Forgiveness (Matching Worksheet) Reconciliation: Shower for the Soul Reconciliation

This worksheet is free, however it is only to be used for classroom and personal use. It may not be published on any websites or other electronic media, or distributed in newsletters, bulletins, or any other form or sold for profit.

Reconciliation Worksheet- Follow the directions and fill in the blanks to find out what the message says below.

Homework: Prayers and Take Home Sheet (It is in MS Word and can be changed any way you like according to your student’s abilities.)


Delia said...

Thank you so much for all of this information. Your game looks great! I'm looking forward to using your material with my first communion class. Thanks again! Delia.

Amazing_Grace said...


I hope your students like it! :)

There are lots more games posted at: (This is the mother group that you must join first to receive emails and such).

Then there is:
Old Creative Kingdom- File folder games pertaining to the Old Testament.
New Creative Kingdom- File folder games pertaining to the New Testament.
Other Creative Kingdom- File folder games that relate to other Christian subjects: Holidays, Church, Liturgy, Prayer, Rosary, Sacraments, Saints, Stations of the Cross, etc.
Creative Kingdom of Games N More- Games and other materials that relate to Bible stories (Old & New Testament) or other Christian subjects. Games include: Bingo, Memory, Go Fish, Sequencing, Card Games, Can Games, etc.
Creative Kingdom for Learning- This group makes and posts educational religious file folder games, crafts, worksheets, etc. The Christian educational materials will also include Math, Science, Social Studies, Reading, Language Arts, etc. with a Biblical focus.

Katie Brady said...

May I repost your Reconciliation and Advent lesson plan on my blog I will make sure it is posted as your lesson plan and add a link to your blog! I am really trying to help our military catechist like myself to use websites like yours to make our jobs easier and more fulfilling! Keep up the great work you are doing!! Katie Brady

Katie Brady said...

wait I got my website wrong it is
Katie Brady

Amazing_Grace said...

Katie Brady- Please just post the title of the lessons and the link to it. :)

I too teach CCD for the military diocese. I have been searching for blogs by military catechist and I am so happy that we finally found each other!

charolette levario said...

This is my first time teaching and I have no idea what I'm doing. I was only a helper, but the original teacher was never prepared. Any advice is welcome. This is a lot of great ideas. I love these kids and God knows what he's doing.

charolette levario said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Amazing_Grace said...



I also have 2 yahoo groups that you might be interested in:

In the groups we share what info and experience we have. :)