The sacrament of reconciliation (also called confession) is available to all on request. If you would like to speak with Fr Daryl about making a confidential confession please use the details on the Contact page. Please note do NOT provide details you wish to confess via email, confidentiality is only assured when the confession is made in person.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation also goes by the name of 'Penance' and, more colloquially, 'Confession'. The Sacrament deals with sins committed after Baptism (as Baptism washes all sin away), and is a vital Spiritual discipline as we seek to form ourselves in the image of Christ.
From the catechism: 120. What is absolution? After repenting and confessing my sins to God in the presence of a priest, the priest declares God’s forgiveness to me with authority given by God. (John 20:22-23; James 5:15-16) 121. What grace does God give to you in absolution? In absolution, God conveys to me his pardon through the cross, thus declaring to me reconciliation and peace with him, and bestowing upon me the assurance of his grace and salvation.
What three actions are necessary for a penitent rightly to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
1. Repentance. True repentance from sin begins with contrition - genuine sorrow for the sin committed, for without contrition there is no real desire for forgiveness and for the amendment of life. Repentance literally means to change our mind or orientation -or better to convert to God's way instead of ours! That means we must be so genuine in our contrition and our desire for reconciliation and forgiveness that we are willing to change the very direction of our lives and the focus of our heart and desires.
2. Confession. If we are truly repentant, truly contrite for our sins, we will naturally confess our sins, that is, we will acknowledge before God our sins and trespasses in order that we may be forgiven. Real confession is self-accusation, the truthful and honest admission of speaking, acting, and thinking wrongly. The fact that we confess our sins demonstrates that we are really sorry for our sins, we really are repentant. Confession, a sincere and sorrowful acknowledgement to God of our sins, is the proof of contrition, and of our desire to be forgiven and to be granted the grace to change. For this reason, God requires us to confess our sins to Him. 'If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins' (1 St John 1.9). In confession of sins, we are set free from slavery to sin: we take responsibility for our sins and reopen ourselves to the grace and mercy of God. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, one should confess all known and remembered serious sins committed since one's last Confession. We should not withhold any known sins, for 'if we, as sick persons, are unwilling to disclose every wound to the doctor, the medicine cannot heal what it does not know' (St Jerome). Regular reception of this Sacrament helps us to develop a right conscience, and empowers us to fight temptation and evil desires. In Reconciliation, we are healed, sanctified and transformed by Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. In the Anglican Church of Australia, this is the Confession prayer used in the sacrament of reconciliation: Loving and merciful God, I confess to you and your Church that I have sinned in thought, word, and deed through my own fault; and especially have I sinned in this way… [sins are confessed]
For these sins I am truly sorry, and by your grace firmly intend to amend my life. I ask your forgiveness, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
However you are welcome to confess using this or any other prayer as long as you are genuine in your desire to come before God and seek his forgiveness.
3. Amendment of life. We must forsake sin and actually seek to change our lives— this is the ultimate test of genuine repentance; amendment is the sustained and determined resolve to sin no more and to live a better and holier life. If we have hurt others, we must make restitution for the injuries done. Real repentance demands that we do better, and change, by God's grace. In the Sacrament, before Absolution is given, the Priest may give the penitent an act to perform, such as a prayer or a reading from Scripture, as a sign of the repentant person's willingness to change: this is called a 'penance.' Doing the penance demonstrates our willingness to amend our lives and manifests our union with the Crucified Lord— it helps us to contemplate the change which is required for the health of our soul; our spiritual father gives it to us for our own good.