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My husband went through RCIA about 8 years ago and I went to every class with him. Never was the sacreament of reconciliation discussed, and in fact, he never has been to confession (I haven’t gone in years, either). I am starting to feel that I should be going, and I just want to know why there is not more emphasis or encouragement to go.
Nobody went to confession before recieving First Communion?
Sounds like you RCIA has severe problems.
Hi Jean,

RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) deals specifically with the sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation). I can’t imagine any course of study preparing adults for these important sacraments to exclude Reconciliation in preparation of the reception of Eucharist. Then again, some programs are stronger than others depending on who is teaching the class.

Confession is such a source of grace that if we don’t take advantage of it frequently we’re cheating ourselves. I didn’t understand this for a long time and settled for the communal reconcilation services presented twice a year in my parish.

I would suggest that you make an appointment to speak with your pastor and ask for his guidance.

God Bless!
Was he baptized or confirmed after RCIA? If baptized, someone did him a monumental disservice by not teaching reconciliation. If he was confirmed without reconciliation, we need to find the parties responsible and punish severely. :mad:

My understanding is that it is sinful not to attend the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least once per year.

Can. 989

“All the faithful who have reached the age of discretion are bound faithfully to confess their grave sins at least once a year.”

In addition to simply fulfilling your obligations as practicing Catholics, you are missing out on the tremendous graces to be obtained through the celebration of this sacrament. Meet with your Parish Priest ASAP and discuss these events with him. Soon you’ll be in that little booth frequently! It’s fun!
Ths is something so serious, it needs to be taken up with the head of RCIA, the pastor, the deanery and the Bishop.
Confession is a wonderful sacrament and I strongly urge you to follow your inclination and go. Encourage your husband to come with you. My pastor has told me that Reconciliation is the most underused of the sacraments and he encourages us to attend regularly.

I still get nervous about going to confession during the week before I know I will go, even though I usually attend every 2-3 months at a minnimum. I grew up protestant and this sacrament was one of the final issues I had to make peace with before I became Catholic. Even though my feelings of contrition and nervousness build in the days leading up to the sacrament there is no way to describe the sense of happiness I feel as I walk out of the confessional. Please give serious consideration to taking regular advantage of this wonderful opportunity Christ has left us in his Church.
If you’ve never been baptized, then you don’t need confession before first communion, 'cause the baptism wipes out your sin. But, it would be required if you had been baptized in another church and were being confirmed into the Church.

Anyways, going to Confession isn’t that hard. A lot easier than a job interview or a colonoscopy! The priest I go to makes it pretty easy. I get a little tongue tied, and probably go into too much detail, but he never interupts my little speech and always gives good advise. And, the incredible feeling afterward is worth it!
I had this same problem in my parish. The DRE said that it wasn’t necessary to have Reconciliation prior to First Communion. On the contrary, Canon 914 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, as well as article 1457 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church require all first Communicants to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation prior to Eucharist.

In other Catholic Rites (i.e. non-Roman), first communion is given at the same time as Baptism (with the understanding that they are both sacraments of initiation), and confession is foregone since Baptism forgives all sins (and even the temporal punishments due them!). If your husband was baptised as well as confirmed, he would not have been required to receive reconciliation.

Hopefully this will help. I would like also to voice my encouragement that you will attend confession as soon as possible. It has been said that the two gateways into Heaven are the Altar and the Confessional. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is a wonderful source of Grace that no one should deprive themselves of. It is a humbling experience to be sure, but you would not believe how cleansed you will feel once you receive absolution. Also, on a practical note, I encourage anyone to attempt to go to confession at least once a month, whether they “need” it or not, so that it is a familiar thing. If we commit a mortal sin, it is much more likely that we’ll be able to face confession if it’s something we do regularly.
My understanding is that it is sinful not to attend the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least once per year.

Can. 989

“All the faithful who have reached the age of discretion are bound faithfully to confess their grave sins at least once a year.”
Notice that the canon reads “grave sins”. This is similar to saying mortal, with the exception that for a sin to be mortal, one must knowingly engage in it. If the worst we’ve done is tell a couple white lies or perhaps acted uncharitably, or some similar venial sin, it would not be a sin to not receive reconciliation in a given year. Personally, I don’t take my chances, but I thought I’d try and clarify that.
I’ve noticed in our RCIA process, the problem with confession arises in this way: Those being Baptized do not of course receive first confession before baptism and first communion. Then, while RCIA continues at least through Pentecost, some nevertheless quit attending after having been baptized, and so an opportunity to receive the sacrament of confession *within the RCIA process * never presents itself. In the absence of ongoing instruction it is quite easy for some of these new Catholics to simply disregard the sacrament. It’s not easy to decide when and how to make a first confession on your own.
I cannot overstate in importance of confession, you need to be going more than once a year, or not at all. Venial sins don’t break your relationship with God like mortal ones do but they damage it and over time they can damage it alot. I recomend going to confession every month. But to get started go once every 3 months. Baby steps, but do go as soon a possible. And like these other people said, you need to deal with this RCIA.
When I started receiving communion, we all went to confession the day before. That was a starting point. During our classes for first ccommunion we were commended to go as often as possible. I always admired a close friend of mine who went every week. After our first communion, I must have been going once every two months or so.

At the moment I have recommended for myself to go every month. There are times when I go even more often. Going for confession is such a relief for me.

Unfortunately there are more people who go for communion without confessing for ages. That is not spiritually healthy. My advice Jean is that you take the very first opportunity to go for confession.
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