Advent is a season of preparation. We are preparing both for the celebration of the Lord’s birthday and for His return in glory. In between this first and final coming of the Lord is the preparation for meeting Him each and every day in prayer and good works.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation (also referred to as Penance or Confession) is a way of meeting the Lord now and preparing for the celebration of Christmas as we await His return in glory. At the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), the church revised the way we celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In 1973, a new ritual was promulgated that not only revised the rite for individual confession but also added a rite for reconciliation of several penitents with individual confession. This emphasized the relation of the sacrament to the community.
With a communal celebration of Reconciliation, with private confession and absolution, the Assembly is nourished by the proclamation of the Word and spiritual song. People receive the support and prayer of the community as they confess their sins to one of several priests present. Communal reconciliation reminds us that our sin affects others and that others will forgive the wrong we’ve done.
Our parish Advent Communal Reconciliation Service will be Saturday, December 16 at 10:00 AM. If you cannot make that, St. Barbara’s in Black Diamond is having the communal service on Thursday, December 14 at 7:00 PM. St. Theresa’s in Federal Way has theirs on Friday, December 15 at 7:00 PM.