Confessions are heard on Saturday mornings following the 8:00am mass and at other times by appointment (865.588.0249). During Advent and Lent, the parish celebrates a communal Rite of Reconciliation. The SHC bulletin will post this information closer to the dates.
Youth are prepared for First Penance at Sacred Heart Cathedral School and in the CCD Religious Education classes prior to making First Communion in second grade.
Adults are prepared for First Penance during the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) process and celebrate the sacrament prior to becoming Catholic.
Has it been a while since your last confession? Wondering how to prepare the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
How to Go to Confession
PREPARATION Before going to confession, take some time to prepare. Begin with prayer and reflect on your life since your last confession. How have you — in your thoughts, words, and actions — neglected to live Christ’s commands to “love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37, 39)? As a help with this “examination of conscience,” you might review the Ten Commandments or the Beatitudes (Exodus 20:2-17; Deuteronomy 5:6-21; Matthew 5:3-10; or Luke 6:20-26).
GREETING The priest will welcome you; he may say a short blessing or read a Scripture passage.
THE SIGN OF THE CROSS Together, you and the priest will make the Sign of the Cross. You may then begin your confession with these or similar words: “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been [give days, months, or years] since my last confession.”
CONFESSION Confess all your sins to the priest. If you are unsure what to say, ask the priest for help. When you are finished, conclude with these or similar words: “I am sorry for these and all my sins.”
PENANCE The priest will propose an act of penance. The penance might be prayer, a work of mercy or an act of charity. He might also counsel you on how to better live a Christian life.
ACT OF CONTRITION After the priest has conferred your penance, pray an Act of Contrition, expressing sorrow for your sins and resolving to sin no more. A suggested Act of Contrition is:
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.
(Rite of Penance, no. 45)
ABSOLUTION The priest will extend his hands over your head and pronounce the words of absolution. You respond, “Amen.”
PRAISE The priest will usually praise the mercy of God and will invite you to do the same. For example, the priest may say, “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good.” And your response would be, “His mercy endures for ever” (Rite of Penance, no. 47).
DISMISSAL The priest will conclude the sacrament, often saying, “Go in peace.”
Information provided by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.