The liturgical celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation of one penitent is among the seven sacraments in the church of catholic. It forms part of the mysterion of the church because it was sacrament instituted by Jesus. In the liturgical sacrament, people confess all the sins they have made after they were initially cleansed in the baptism sacrament. The priest who has the power bestowed upon him by Jesus Christ to forgive sins offers them forgiveness. This specific sacrament is prudent since an individual has the opportunity to confess his or her sin and become reconciled to the church and love of God. The current paper explores the brief history of the sacrament of reconciliation. It will also give an outline of the imperative elements of the sacrament. The paper will also address the effect and importance of the sacrament of reconciliation to the people and the church at large.
The sacrament of reconciliation mystery is based on the perception that God’s reconciliation with the world was by sending his son Jesus. Jesus Christ was made to be a man so that he could free human beings from being slaves of sin. By dying and resurrecting, the son of God fulfilled the covenant made by God with the people. Jesus, therefore, brought salvation and reconciliation to the world. The sacrament of reconciliation is normally termed as part of the mysterion because God brought salvation to the people and that is linked directly to repentance development within the gospel. God sent the Holy Spirit to the apostles after the resurrection of Jesus. This act gave them the authority to retain and forgive sins in God’s name and to preach and spread repentance. Sacramental confession is therefore, a moment of privilege and intimacy between God and Christians.
The church is always holy and requires purification
Jesus Christ gave himself to die because he loved the church. This act made the church holy. The church was united to Jesus as a bride. It was filled with his divine gift, which was his fullness and body. Through the church, Jesus Christ spreads the grace and truth upon all. The members of different churches are however, exposed to various temptations. As a result, they always fall victims to sin. Whereas, Jesus Christ, harmless, holy and undefiled knew and had no sin but came on earth solely to seek forgiveness for the sin made by human beings. The church, although with sinners at its midst, is always holy and need cleansing always. The unceasingly intent to reform and repent is also significantly imperative in the church.
Penance in liturgy and the life of church
God’s people perfect and accomplish the continual repentance in many and various ways. Indeed, the people of God share Christ’s suffering by exercising endurance in their own drawbacks, carry out work of charity and mercy, and always adopt the Gospel message outlook. As a result, God’s people come to earth as a sign of conversion to the almighty father. The aforementioned facets are celebrated and expressed by the church’s life through its liturgy as the faithful. Christians confess their sins and ask for God’s forgiveness and of their sisters and brothers. This takes place in penitential service as the word of God is proclaimed in both prayer and in penitential portions of the celebrations of Eucharist.
What is sin?
Sin is an offence against the almighty father and an end of communication with him. Sin also damages one’s communication with the church. This is why conversion has to involve reconciliation with the church and God’s forgiveness, which are accomplished and expressed liturgically through the sacrament of reconciliation and penance. In fact, sin is the source and root of alienation and division within the family of human being. The human shattered globe owes its state to sin’s presence through; terrorism and violence, the unfair resource distribution and civilization of assets, the stockpiling of atomic weapons and conventional, and the different forms of discrimination such as religions, races and cultural differences.
Venial sin and mortal sin
Church and tradition teaching establishes two types of sin when it traces its origin to the earlier centuries and the scriptures. These are the venial sin and mortal sin. Mortal means serious or grave sin. Through mortal sin, an individual rejects God and His law, and the loving covenant offered by God freely and consciously. Instead, the individual turn to other finite or created reality or even himself. This is contrary to the divine will of God. The acts of mortal sins occur in formal ways and direct in the sins of apostasy, idolatry, and atheism and in equivalent way as in every act of disobeying the commandments of God in a grave matter. By such, a free and conscious acting of his will changes the course and makes an individual in the direction opposed to God’s ways and directions. As a result, such individual separate himself or herself from God, rejects the love of communion with God and are definitely choosing to die.
An individual commits venial sin when the seriousness of the matter is less and does not need the standard ascribed by the moral law. In addition, it is when the person becomes disobedient to the moral law but having no full consent or knowledge. The venial sin however makes a charity weak and manifests an affection, which is disordered for created goods. More so, the venial sin impedes the progress of the soul in exercising the practices and virtues of the moral good. As a result, the venial sin deserves temporal punishment. Un-repented and deliberate venial sin disposes individuals to committing mortal sin. Nevertheless, the venial sin does not lead us to the opposite direction and friendship with God and the covenant between human being and God is maintained. Though according to the teachings of the church, the sacrament of penance is never seriously important for venial sin forgiveness, the sins are forgiven when an individual receive the Eucharist, through works of charity, penitential rites, acts of sorrow and through the prayer.
People’s sin in one way or the other affects others. Therefore, all sins concern other people. It can be argued that every sin is a social sin. Additionally, social sins can be defined as those that have a direct attack to an individual’s sister or brother. They can also refer to the sin of omission or commission on the area of economic, politics, and trade unionists who though bestowed with the duty to serve the society, fail to do so wisely and diligently to transform and improve the society. The last meaning of social sin depicts the relationship between different human communities. The obstinate confrontation between different nations or groups of people are good example of social sin. It should however, be noted that the social sin does not do away with the accountability of individual sin. The actual responsibility of the committed sin lies in the individual
The parts of the sacrament of penance
The first conversion took place at the baptism as the invocation and regeneration of the trinity claimed for membership in his body. People were thus, called to live here on earth as prophetic and priestly people waiting to enter the kingdom of heaven. However, people sin and Christ calls us to be converted. It is the call that draws people to the forgiveness and mercies of God provided in the sacrament of penance.
Contrition is the most significant pertinent. It is the aversion and heartfelt sorrow for the sins people commit with the intention of not sinning further.
The confession is included in the sacrament of penance. It comes from the actual and true knowledge of oneself before the almighty father and from contrition caused by sin. In regards to confession, the inner test of the heart, together with the outward accusation has to be made in the light of the mercy of God.
Many of the sin we make affects our neighbours. We are therefore, required to do our best to repair the harm caused. For instance, we should return good if stolen, restore reputation of an individual when slandered, and always compensate for injuries. Sin weakens and injures the sinner and the relationship he or she has with the neighbour and God. Absolution does away our sins but fails to remedy all disorders caused. The sinner must therefore, expiate or make satisfaction for his or her sin. The satisfaction is also referred as penance.
Nonetheless, the penance imposed by the confessor must consider the personal situation of the confessor and the spiritual good. It ought to correspond to the nature and gravity of the committed sins. It can thus include an offering, service to the neighbour, a prayer, and work of mercy, sacrifice and self-denial. Such penances draw us near to the Christ because he is the only one who forgave individual’s sin forever. The penance gives us an opportunity to become co-heirs with the Christ who was raised from death as long as we agree to suffer with him
Effect and importance of the sacrament of reconciliation
The sacrament of penance restores individuals to the grace of God and works towards joining them with God in an intimate friendship. The effect and purpose of the sacrament is to reconcile people with God. For the people who get the sacrament of penance with their religious disposition and contrite heart, the conciliation is followed by serenity and peace of conscience that has strong spiritual consolation.
The sacrament also reconciles individuals with the church. Sin has the tendency to break or damage fraternal communion. It is the role of the sacrament of penance to restore and repair it. Indeed, it heals the individuals restored to the ecclesial communion and revitalizes the impact to the church’s life.
The forgiveness of the sins that were committed after baptism is bestowed by the sacrament of penance. The latter consists of three actions of the priest’s absolution and penitent. The acts of penitent are confession of one’s sin to the priest, repentance, and the intent to make reparation.
OP 46 formula of absolution.
Cf. Council of Trent (1546): DS 1515.
Cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1545; LG 40.
Cf. Acts 2:38.
Ps 51:17; cf. Jn 6:44; 12:32; 1 Jn 4:10.
Cf. Lk 22:61; Jn 21:15-17.
St. Ambrose, ep. 41,12:PL 16,1116.
St. Clement Of Rome, Ad Cor. 7,4:PG 1,224.
Cf. SC 109-110; CIC, cann. 1249-1253; CCEO, Cann. 880-883.
Tertullian, De Paenit. 4,2:PL 1,1343; cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1542.
OP 46: formula of absolution.
Roman Catechism II,V,21; cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1673.
St. Augustine, In Jo. ev. 12,13:PL 35,1491.
Paul VI, apostolic constitution, Indulgentiarum doctrina, Norm 1.
 OP 46 formula of absolution
 Cf. Council of Trent (1546): DS 1515
 Cf. Lk 22:61; Jn 21:15-17.
 Paul VI, apostolic constitution, Indulgentiarum doctrina, Norm 1.
 Cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1545; LG 40
 St. Augustine, In Jo. ev. 12,13:PL 35,1491.
 Cf. SC 109-110; CIC, cann. 1249-1253; CCEO, Cann. 880-883.
 St. Clement Of Rome, Ad Cor. 7,4:PG 1,224.
 Tertullian, De Paenit. 4,2:PL 1,1343; cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1542.
 St. Ambrose, ep. 41,12:PL 16,1116.
 Cf. Acts 2:38.
 Ps 51:17; cf. Jn 6:44; 12:32; 1 Jn 4:10.
 OP 46: formula of absolution
 Roman Catechism II,V,21; cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1673.