On May 20th, the solemn First Confession of the Sunday School students will be held in our Church.
During the last few lessons, the children were taught this important step.
Christ Is Risen! Children, we are still in the Paschal period.
In the past lesson, we talked about Church Sacraments. Who remembers how many they are? Yes, there are 7 Church Sacraments. And did you remember the sacraments? (Baptism, Marriage, Chrismation, Confession, Communion, Holy Unction, Priesthood.)
Now, should we consider how we should prepare for confession? In the last lesson we practiced how it is done. And we called it sins, which children commit when they grow older. So, everyone should remember their sins. Sometimes in preparing for confession, you can write a list of your sins to read before confession. This list is similar to the one we read in the past lesson.
And aside from this, what else should a Christian do while preparing for confession? Yes, pray more fervently. For adults and more spiritually mature people, the Church has established special “rules”. But for little children, these rules are still difficult at this time, so for now, younger confessors need to know the basic prayers. What prayers do you know?
The most important prayer for all Christians is “Our Father”. And we have also taught you the prayers “The Virgin Maiden” and “The King of Heaven.”
So, when preparing for confession on this day, we must think about God more often, and about praying. For example, if you only pray minute before going to sleep, then before confession it is worth devoting more time to this. In addition to prayers to our Lord, you can turn to your Guardian Angel, and ask him to help you in your preparation, because he will carry this great responsibility for you before God. And it will be very pleasing to him that you do not forget him at such an important time. You can also turn to your patron saint. And who is your patron saint? This is the holy name you carry.
There is another important condition before proceeding with Holy Confession and Communion. And that is very important! We must reconcile with all of our enemies and forgive everyone who has offended you. Jesus Christ in the “Our Father” prayer emphasized this: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Do you remember this? You must reconcile with your brother and sister, to apologize to your mother and father. Forget the bad aspects of your friends. Every time a person confesses, the priest asks, are you forgiving? Therefore, during the confession, we must speak the truth. God knows our hearts and what we are thinking at that moment.
And when they confessed, they said and felt during their confession “that we forgive everyone”, we still need to correct our mistakes. For example, if you have taken something without permission – you need to give it back and confess it. Then it will be a true confession. For if you simply tell your sins in confession and do not correct bad deeds, then this is not repentance, and the confession will not be true.
And yet I would like to tell you that during confession, we can ask the priest to give you advice on how to deal with difficult circumstances. For example, if there has been some kind of injustice in your life, it is worth asking the priest on how to best correct it. For example, you had a quarrel and do not know whether to forgive or trust this person. You can discuss this with the priest during confession.
Children, how many times a year do you think people should go to confession?
The Church calls on people to confess as often as possible. She also emphasizes that there are four Lenten seasons in a year. We have already talked about this with you. It is advisable to come to confession during each Lenten season. People are accustomed to going to confession only before Pascha. This is only once a year. And that is pretty bad. Because throughout the entire year, the soul of man is so polluted by sin and sick, that only once a year is not enough to cleanse us of all our sins, because many of them will be forgotten. Therefore, it is your duty to go to confession together with your parents and preferably before every great holiday. As soon as you feel that you have done something that was not right in your life, you were disobedient – go to confession and keep your souls clean.