Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Parish Mission Day 3: The Easter Candle

Oh boy, Tuesday's mission night was one I was looking forward to. I thought this service might have the potential to heal those who are away from the church. The Sacrament of reconciliation is all about healing. Music was provided by the praise and worship choir. Any one who knows me knows that that type of worship music is not my cup of tea. I'd rather leave the guitars and drums outside. I am afraid that I can not give a fair assessment of their performance because I am rather biased.

The preacher spoke about the Sacrament of Reconciliation and why it is one of the strengths of our church. He shared some of his experiences and then people were invited to come up for reconciliation.

4 priests were stationed around the front of the church (like for communion) and we all stood in line and waited out turn. This is where it gets a bit problematic for me. It was announced that the priests would be using an abbreviated form of the absolution. It went something like this: "Your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit." I was not aware that there was an abbreviated form of absolution. At no point were the words "I absolve you of your sin" spoken. I thought these words were required. If someone who knows more than me can enlighten me on the rubrics please correct me if I am wrong.

Anyway, we did a short examination of conscience and then stood in line while the praise and worship band played on. I'm not sure why we would have praise and worship music at a reconciliation service. It seems a little out of place. I said my confession, got the abbreviated absolution and then went back to pray my three "Our Fathers" that was assigned to everyone as penance. The only problem was that the praise and worship band made it hard for me to concentrate on the prayer so I took my penance home with me and said them before bed. I'm not sure what we received was a valid Sacrament, but I decided that I should do my penance anyway. Besides, you can never do too much penance, can you?

I'm not sure why they needed to shorten the absolution prayer anyway. The people were there and they were not going to go away. Why do we cut corners on Sacrament, why rush it? It's important.

Wednesday's symbol is bread. I will not be able to attend the whole mission because as faith formation teachers my wife and I will be in the church basement working with the children.

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