Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Lent is often thought of as a penitential season. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, where we are reminded that we are dust and unto dust we shall return, and continuing throughout, there’s a strong sense of sacrifice and penance. It’s also a good time for us to recognize our sinfulness and seek the Lord’s mercy through the
Sacrament of Reconciliation. I’d like to discuss two aspects of our experience of confessions that might look a little different this year.
The first thing that is different is likely something that most people wouldn’t even notice. That said, it’s quite important to the process and the actual Sacrament of Penance. Perhaps the most critical part of any confession outside of the act of confessing sins is the prayer of absolution that the priests says in order for those sins to be forgiven. Starting this Lent and going into full force later this year, there is a new translation of absolution to be used. As extraordinary as that might sound, it follows new translations going all the way back to 2012 with the Mass. Since then, every couple of years, another one of the Sacraments has a new translation for the
ceremony and ritual. It’s happened with Matrimony, Baptism, and now Penance. The rest of confession has not changed, either in format or in formula. Rest assured, you need not learn a new and different Act of Contrition.
Rather, the major change is a more direct translation of the original Latin for the Prayer of Absolution. It’s really only two parts that have changed, which to be honest, makes it harder for me to make the switch. And so, please be aware that a slight change has been made and have a little patience with us priests as we make this
alteration and perhaps stumble a little with the wording until we get used to it.
The second change is another relative minor one. We will once again be having a Day of Confessions, next Saturday, March 25th starting at 9:30 AM with a Penance Service and going through the regular time on Saturdays, 4:30 PM. The difference comes with doing a bit of Eucharistic Adoration as part of the day as well.
Tying into the initiative 24 Hours for the Lord and the Eucharistic Revival, we will do Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in the context of the Penance Service and have Benediction at 4:30. And so, I encourage all of us to take advantage of the opportunity to receive Reconciliation with the various priests throughout the course of the day and to spend some time with our Eucharistic Lord with some time in Adoration. And depending on how things go, we see if this is something we can make a more regular part of Days of Confession.
Peace and Goodness,