Dear Second Grade Parents,
Attached you will find a letter from Mr. Kane announcing January 25 as the date for our First Reconciliation. You have my sincere apologies for not notifying you of the date sooner. I met with Fr. Berberian and Mr. Kane yesterday to arrange the date. I'm told that a parent meeting for school and parish parents will occur after First Reconciliation on a date not yet announced.
Please be assured that we have been discussing reconciliation since September. All year we've been talking about good choices and bad choices and how we must take responsibility for the choices we make. Students will bring home their religion books on Friday so that families may have a chance to read the chapters that help us prepare for this sacrament. Please have children return the books on Monday for use in school. (They are paperback, heavy and easily ripped which is why they don't come home more frequently.)
Between now and the 25th you can expect a small amount of religion homework. I will send home additional parent information/resources as I find it appropriate. I'll Xerox the back of the religion book for home reference.
What will happen on the 25th? Parents and children will sit together in the church. After the Welcome, a Reading and an Examination of Conscience individual second graders will confess their sins. Parents (or another family adult) will introduce the child to the priest and then step back so that the second grader may speak privately to the priest. Fr. Berberian assures me that he doesn't expect memorization of the Act of Contrition - it can be read. After the child receives absolution he'll return you to pray and sit quietly and respectfully while others have their turn.
What can you do at home? Talk about your experiences (hopefully positive, not frightening) with this sacrament. Practice the Act of Contrition with your child. The one in our religion book stops at "leads me to sin." I've included the last line Our Savior… because most penance resources add this line.
Bless you all,
Act of Contrition
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. Amen.