From early centuries, though the"> From early centuries, though the">

The Penitential Season of Lent


From early centuries, though the duration of Lent varied, the season has been a time of penance. Many children make their first reconciliation at this time. According to the Code of Canon Law (989), “After having reached the age of discretion, each member of the faithful is obliged to confess faithfully his or her grave sins at least once a year.” And so, adults and children who have already made their first confession often participate in the sacrament of Penance during the season of Lent.

What is the Sacrament of Penance?

Penance, also called confession or reconciliation, is not merely a ceremony or function, but a sacrament, as it is an outward sign instituted by Christ to impart grace to the soul. The form of the sacrament has not changed in many centuries; though in the past confessions were often made publicly. As an outward sign, the sacrament involves a person presenting him or herself in a penitent manner to the priest and confessing his or her sins, and the priest pronouncing absolution and imposing satisfaction. The Catholic Encyclopedia describes the actions as a judicial process, wherein “the penitent is at once the accuser, the person accused, and the witness, while the priest pronounces judgment and sentence.”

Requirements for Validity:

There are two central requirements for one to be absolved:

1. One must be truly sorry for each of the sins he or she committed.

2. He or she must have a firm intention not to commit them again.

Other Clarifications About the Sacrament of Penance:

  • Penance is not a mere human invention devised by the Church; it is the ordinary means appointed by Christ for the remission of sin.

  • No priest simply as an individual man has power to forgive sins. This power belongs to God alone; but He can and does exercise it through the ministration of men.

  • The mere “telling of one's sins” does not suffice to obtain their forgiveness. Without sincere sorrow and purpose of amendment, confession avails nothing, the pronouncement of absolution is of no effect, and the guilt of the sinner is greater than before.

  • This sacrament as a dispensation of Divine mercy facilitates the pardoning of sin; it by no means renders sin less hateful or its consequences less dreadful to the Christian mind.

  • Christ, though merciful, is also just and exacting. Furthermore, however painful or humiliating confession may be, it is but a light penalty for the violation of God's law. Finally, those who are in earnest about their salvation count no hardship too great whereby they can win back God's friendship.

Sources: The Catholic Encyclopedia and Wikipedia.


Search for an Article


Search results for lent:

List display as list Grid display as grid  Go back one page.Page  1 2 3 4 Go forward one page.
Displaying 13-24 of 48 items.
Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Add to order

Little Way of Advent
The Little Way of Advent - Paperback 
Price: $12.99
Add to order

Biblical Catholic Answers for John Calvin
Biblical Catholic Answers for John Calvin - PDF Digital Book 
Price: $4.95
This is a digital download.
Add to order

Hayes & Finch Shroud of Turin Chasuble
View gift details

Family Prayers For Lent
Family Prayers For Lent - Paperback 
Price: $7.99
This item carries the Aquinas and More Good Faith Guarantee.
Add to order

Our Daily Bread
Our Daily Bread - Paperback 
Price: $24.95
This item carries the Aquinas and More Good Faith Guarantee. This Item Carries an imprimatur.
Add to order

Lenten Journey with Jesus Christ and St Paul of the Cross
Add to order

Daybreaks - Paperback 
Price: $1.25
Add to order

Great Lent
Great Lent - Paperback 
Price: $16.00
Add to order

Cross Girls Fitted T-Shirt Large
Cross Girls Fitted T-Shirt Large
Price: $16.46 $21.95 (25% discount)
Add to order

Purple St. Andrew's Yoke Chasuble with Chi-Rho
View gift details

Swimming With Scapulars
Swimming With Scapulars - Paperback 
Price: $12.95
This item carries the Aquinas and More Good Faith Guarantee.
Add to order

Go back one page.Page  1 2 3 4 Go forward one page.
Displaying 13-24 of 48 items.

Find a Wish List
Find a Registry

We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, Checks, Money Orders and Paypal.

Nextag Seller

By using our site you agree to our terms of use.
All content copyright 2014.
Special Features

Save 15% and learn more about Catholicism
In our newsletter

/ ( mm / dd )