History and Theology
The forgiveness of sins is intrinsically linked to the mission of Jesus Christ and his Church. Jesus forgave sins often as part of his earthly ministry (see for example Mark 2:1-12). He also gave the power to forgive sins to his apostles (Matthew 18:15-20). This power was passed on from the apostles to their disciples, which in turn was passed on to their disciples, all the way to our bishop, who passes it on to his priests. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and we are all in need of forgiveness. We remember that sin is never in a vacuum. In other words, our sins not only affects us and our relationship to God, but it also affects our relationship to others in our community. We are called to confess our sins to one another in the scriptures (James 5:16) and we should confess our sins to the ones who have the power, through the Holy Spirit, to forgive those sins.
Therefore, as Catholics we seek forgiveness in the sacrament of Reconciliation. In this sacrament, the priest, who has been given the power to forgive sins by Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit, absolves us and reconciles us to God and to the community.
Preparation for the Sacrament
Everyone preparing to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation should examine their conscience and determine where they have fallen short in their relationship with God and others. Examinations of conscience can be found online or through apps on your phone to assist you.
1st Reconciliation for Children
Children preparing for their 1st Reconciliation should be enrolled in Elementary Faith Formation. In the Diocese of Raleigh, sacramental preparation is a two year process. Usually 1st Reconciliation is received in 2nd grade, so a child must be enrolled in Faith Formation in 1st grade to receive their sacraments in 2nd grade. For sacramental preparation for children we use the “Call to Celebrate” curriculum through Our Sunday Visitor. Children will typically receive their 1st Reconciliation during the Advent Season.
1st Reconciliation for Adults
Adults who have not received their 1st Reconciliation will need to join the Catholic Church through the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). The RCIA is a process of spiritual growth and learning about Catholicism. Through the RCIA, you are invited to enter into a relationship with God and the Church. Those who go through the RCIA and wish to become Christians are baptized. If you are already baptized and want to become Catholic, you will prepare for your Confirmation and 1st Eucharist. You will receive your 1st Reconciliation during this preparation. Contact Tim in our parish office to join RCIA. (919-848-1533).
Opportunities for Reconciliation at St. Luke’s
Fr. Rob hears confessions every Saturday from 4:00-5:00pm and every Tuesday from 9:00-9:30am. You can also schedule an appointment by calling the parish office (919-848-1533). Additionally, penance services are held during the Advent and Lenten seasons where many priests are available to hear your confession.