Reconciliation within the Roman Catholic Tradition

Reconciliation is bringing again the relationship of God with a Catholic into unity, harmony, or agreement which has been alienated. Individual Reconciliation is usually celebrated at specific times during the week and could also be arranged through an appointment. The RIte is to give people the opportunity for personal prayer and individual spiritual direction to enable them the ‘set their lives on track’. 

Reconciliation for Individual Penitents is celebrated by an individual person in the presence of the priest. The place where this sacrament takes place is usually a Reconciliation Room, which used to be named as a “Confessional”. In the centre of the space of the person and the priest there is a bible, a crucifix and a candle. The person have the choice to sit facing the priest during this sacrament or to sit behind a screen and remain anonymous. The Rite begins with a greeting, followed by words of encouragement from the priest. 

After short reading from scripture, the person then reflects on their circumstances and confesses their sins and seeks reconciliation. The priest offers advice and gives a penance that is meant to help in starting a new life and to remedy any weaknesses. The priest pronounces absolution and the rite concludes with a short thanksgiving.


Reconciliation in St Mary's Parish, Williamstown