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Preparation For First Confession

For the past several months we have been preparing our son to receive the Sacrament of his First Reconciliation. Preparing our children for the reception of their Sacraments is amongst the most precious responsibilities as Catholic parents entrusted to us.

Preparing a child for First Reconciliation involves lots of discussion, study and prayer.  As Jack Jack is our seventh child to prepare for his Sacraments we have a well rehearsed ‘game plan’ by now.  Sharing it here in the hope that it may be helpful for other families in the same situation.

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Preparation for First Holy Communion
Preparation for Confirmation

To Know/Understand:

  • To understand what sin is
  • To understand how sin offends God
  • To understand that when we sin we are saying “No” to God
  • To understand how our “No” makes God feel
  • To know the story of Adam and Eve
  • To understand the importance of saying “Yes” to God
  • To know the story of Mary’s ‘Fiat’ to God
  • To understand the consequences of sin
  • To understand the difference between original and actual sin
  • To understand the difference between mortal and venial sin
  • To know the 3 criteria for a sin to be mortal and the 2 criteria for venial sins
  • To know all 10 commandments
  • To know the story of Moses and the 10 Commandments
  • To understand which sins fall under which Commandment
  • To understand and appreciate the beauty of the Sacrament of Reconciliation
  • To know the story of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord
  • To know the story of the Prodigal Son
  • To understand the Gift of His Redemption to us
  • To desire to reconcile himself/herself with God
  • To know how often a Catholic must attend Reconciliation
  • To know how to examine his/her conscience
  • To know and be able to follow the five steps for a good Confession (Examine your conscience, Be sincerely sorry for your sins, Confess your sins, Resolve to amend your life, To do your  penance)
  • To practice and be comfortable with the format for receiving Reconciliation

Prayers to Know:

  • Sign of the Cross
  • Our Father
  • Hail Mary
  • Glory Be
  • Act of Contrition
First Confession Booklet:

A couple of years ago I made a First Confession Booklet to help remind our daughter during Confession of what she needed to do.  At the time she was a very basic reader, so the visual  prompts helped her remember.   The two blank pages are for the child to write/draw his sins for memory prompting.  Be sure to print to booklet size and you have to shuffle the pages to staple them into order.

–  Stories of Adam and Eve,  Moses and the 10 Commandments, The Annunciation(Mary’s Fiat), The Prodigal Son and The Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord.

Both Children’s Bibles are excellent.  Interestingly my childhood copy of the Golden Bible says, ‘Catholic Children’s’ which is the exact same copy as the Golden Children’s Bible.  We can’t chose between  the two, so we use both. 

St Joseph First Communion Catechism
We use this gem for First Confession and First Holy Communion.  Completely solid and thorough. Creation, Fall, Redemption and the Sacraments.  The question/answer format is extremely helpful to be certain the child understands.

My Confession – Daniel A. Lord SJ
One of Fr Lord’s delightful little Gloria Books, written to a child’s level but solidly jammed packed.  Discusses sin and how it makes Jesus weep, when Christ gave the power to forgive sins to the Apostles and in turn priests.  Examination of Conscience, sorrow for our sins, Confession and Penance.  A gem!

My Jesus and I – Aloysius Heeg
Text is thorough but easily understood, each chapter concludes with three sets of questions. One corresponding to the chapter, one to the Baltimore Catechsim and one review.  Solid. Read Margaret’s review for further info.

10 Commandments
Learning the Commandments has been so easy this year as we’ve played a memory game from The Catholic Toolbox.  Another easy way is singing along with the  Songs of Daughters of St Paul – the 10 Commandments song.

The Most Beautiful Thing in the World – Susan Brindle
The youngest angel in Heaven is sent on a quest to find the most beautiful thing on earth.  Is it a red rose, birds and butterfliew, puppies and kittens, a beautiful baby?. No.  Finally the angel visits a church and finds the answer.  The Sacrament of Confession.  Though I’m not a Brindle fan, we find the books too wordy, this would be our favourite.

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  • Theresa @ OrdinaryLovely

    Thanks for sharing these resources, especially the list to know/understand at the beginning and the booklet you created!! Once I get some fresh printer ink, I'm planning to use it with our oldest two! A friend of mine who is a religious sister, recently gave me clever idea that we're also hoping to start soon – a child's examination of conscience (to be used before bed each night) followed by the Act of Contrition that s/he will be learning – helps to establish the habit of the examine and the memorization of the Act of Contrition.

  • Theresa @ OrdinaryLovely

    just back here again "picking your brain" so to speak… You spoke so highly of the Daniel Lord Confession book, but I can't seem to find it anywhere. Do you know where I could find a copy? Thanks! (I'll certainly check back here for a reply, but if you'd prefer not to clutter up your blog with comments, feel free to email me – tmknecht[at]yahoo[dot]com )

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