First Reconciliation Parent/Child Retreat

Welcome!

Our First Reconciliation Parent/Child Retreat activities are listed below. You can do them all in one day, or space them out over time! Make sure to take breaks and keep it fun!

We’ll begin with prayer. Bold words should be read aloud by parent or child, or both together. Remember, the words “Reconciliation,” “Penance,” and “Confession” are used interchangeably, and are all talking about the Sacrament of healing where we confess our sins and receive absolution.

Paperwork

  • If you haven’t already, please fill out the google form with information for parish record-keeping:    https://forms.gle/q5AuzazVJx3FBGRi6
  • Submit Baptismal Certificate via the form or via email/text if not baptized at St. Peter’s, St. Paul’s, St. Michael’s, or St. Joseph’s.
  • Please fill out the form at the end of this page so that I know you’ve engaged these activities.

Items needed:

Activity OneConstruction, cardstock or other piece of paper, Markers or crayons, scissors, pen or pencil.
Activity TwoMarkers or Crayons, scissors, optional: yarn or ribbon and hole-punchBookmark Printable
Activity ThreeAn open space
Activity FourOptional: dice
Activity FiveOptional: Script of Reconciliation Rite from Reconciliation Materials PacketPrintable Script

Opening Prayer

We begin our prayer in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

A reading from the gospel of Luke:

Together discuss:

  • What did you see and hear in this story? (The actual words you heard or images you saw.)
  • Are there any parts of the story that remind you of your life?
  • What do you think Jesus was trying to teach us with this parable? 

Jesus told the story of the Prodigal Son to show us that God loves us no matter what.  Even when we do things that are hurtful or wrong, God accepts us back.  He loves us just like the father in the story loves his son.  The Sacrament of Reconciliation is one way our Church helps us to show we are sorry and receive God’s forgiveness and love.

Lord Jesus, be with us today as we learn more about your love and forgiveness. Amen.

Activity One: A Handy Way to Pray

A reading from the gospel of Matthew, “‘I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.’”

  • Sacraments are a visible sign of God’s love.
  • When we do something over and over in a certain way, it can be called a ritual.
  • The Sacrament of Reconciliation is a ritual we celebrate in a certain way.

Watch the video to learn about going to Confession.

Let’s Review:

Five Steps of Reconciliation

  1. Thank God for the gifts of love and forgiveness, and then examine your conscience.
  2. Pray an act of Contrition, expressing sorry for what you have done.
  3. Promise to try to do better in the future.
  4. Confess your sins to God in the presence of the priest.
  5. Do the penance the priest gives you.

Draw and color to remember. Trace around your hand on a piece of paper then write the steps on each finger. Color and cut out your handprint!

  1. Examine your conscience.
  2. Be sorry.
  3. Plan to do better.
  4. Confess your sins.
  5. Do Penance.

Activity Two: Learning the Act of Contrition

Listen to the Bible reading about Forgiveness.

Psalm 51:3-6
  • The words of the Psalm express sorrow and forgiveness for our sins. 
  • An “Act of Contrition” is a special prayer that expresses sorrow and forgiveness.

Click the link to go to the puzzle. Put the puzzle together. Read the Act of Contrition.

preview15pieceAct of Contrition

Using the Printout, decorate your Act of Contrition bookmark. Add a ribbon or some yarn to the top if you want! Use your bookmark to help you memorize the Act of Contrition between now and your First Reconciliation!

Act of Contrition

My God, I am sorry for my sins
with all my heart.
In choosing to do wrong
and failing to do good,
I have sinned against you
whom I should love above all things.
I firmly intend, with your help,
to do penance, to sin no more,
and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. 
Our Savior Jesus Christ
suffered and died for us.
In His name, my God, have mercy.

Amen.

Activity Three: Feeling Sin and Forgiveness

For this activity, you’ll need to be in a somewhat open space. Stand close together, then play the video.

Activity Four: Reconciliation Game

Watch the video to learn how to play:

Click the image, or here to open the game!

Activity Five: Practicing Reconciliation

Parents, share a story about your First Reconciliation. What do you remember?

Talk about where the Reconciliation rooms are in your church.

Using the script below, a printed version, or the script you received in your Reconciliation Materials packet, practice the Rite of Reconciliation, taking turns being the priest and penitent. “Penitent” means the person coming to confession.

After my examination of conscience, I am ready to go to confession.
I am greeted by the priest. The priest welcomes me, and we pray the Sign of the Cross.  He invites me to trust in God who loves me.Priest: Hello _________ (name).
Penitent: Hello, Father. 
Priest: Let’s begin in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Join with Father saying and praying the Sign of the Cross.
Penitent: Bless me Father, for I have sinned.
We read the Word of God. The priest may read aloud a passage from the Bible, or he may invite me to read it.(Optional – so sometimes this doesn’t happen)
Priest: Let’s read from the Bible together
Penitent: Listens to the Bible reading or reads it aloud if Father asks.
I tell my sins to the priest. The priest helps or counsels me.  Then he gives me a penance.Priest: What would you like to share with me today?
Penitent: _________ Shares sins with Father
Priest: May ask more questions about what happened or may talk to you about ways you could make better choices next time. If this is not your first confession, tell Father how long it has been since your last confession.
Priest: For your penance, please _____. Father asks you to do something to help make right whatever was made wrong by your sins, or he asks you to pray a prayer or prayers to help you love God and other people more.  
I ask for God’s pardon. I express sorrow for my sins.  I pray an Act of Contrition or another prayer of sorrow.Priest: It’s time to say the Act of Contrition.
Penitent: My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In His name. My God have mercy.  
I receive absolution from the priest. The priest absolves me from my sins in Jesus’ name.Priest: Putting his hands over or on your head, I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.
I give thanks to God and go in peace. The priest and I thank God for his love and mercy, and then the priest says, “Go in peace.”  I leave and do the penance he gave me as soon as possible. Priest: Says a prayer of thanksgiving, ending with Go in peace.
Penitent: Thanks be to God!  
After leaving Father, find a place to say the prayers you may have received for penance, or sit quietly to think about your conversation. 

Closing Prayer

We begin our prayer in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Listen to the song, and sing along!

Share one thing you learned today, then pray together:

Dear Lord, I trust in you. Help me grow closer to you each day.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Fill Out the Form

Let me know about your experience! Fill out my form to let me know you “attended” this Retreat! There’s space on the form to ask any questions you may have.

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