Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - Updated: 12:37 pm
All parishes in the Diocese of Pittsburgh will be open for the sacrament of reconciliation on Wednesday, Dec. 11, from 6-9 p.m. That will be the culmination of the diocese’s twice-yearly “The Light is On for You” campaign, when Catholics are urged to return to the sacrament.
The campaign is intended to reach out to Catholics who have not been to confession for years, and make it as convenient as possible for them to return.
Confessions can be heard either face-to-face or behind the anonymity of a screen. Through the sacrament, Catholics acknowledge and express sorrow for their sins, receive the forgiveness of Jesus and his church, and resolve to do better in the future.
Information — including a way to find the nearest confessional — is available on the diocesan website at www.diopitt.org/lightison.
To refresh the memory of people who may have avoided the sacrament for many years:
Begin your confession by making the sign of the cross and greeting the priest: “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.”
The priest gives you a blessing and you respond in words similar to St. Peter’s words to Christ: “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
You then continue: “My last confession was ...” (how many weeks, months or years?)
Confess all of your sins to the priest.
The priest will help you make a good confession. If you are unsure of how to confess or you feel uneasy, just ask him to help you. Answer his questions without hiding anything out of fear or shame. Place your trust in God, a merciful Father who wants to forgive you.
Following your confession of sins, say: “I am sorry for these and all of my sins.”
The priest will assign you a penance and offer advice to help you be a better Catholic.
You will then say an Act of Contrition, expressing sorrow for your sins. The priest, acting in the person of Christ, will then absolve you of your sins.
Act of Contrition
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you 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 you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen