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What the syllabus says:
Within this topic, candidates should show understanding of how and why Roman Catholics
celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation and how these beliefs influence their attitudes to
important issues relating to reconciliation in society today.
­ The Sacrament of Reconciliation
· The Rite of Reconciliation, including the symbolism
· Sin and forgiveness in the Roman Catholic Tradition
· The meaning, effects and impact of the Sacrament of Reconciliation
­ Crime and Punishment
· Causes of crime
· Types of punishment
· The main aims of punishment
· The death penalty (capital punishment), particularly Christian responses
­ Prejudice and Discrimination
· Issues relating to prejudice and discrimination: colour; disability; gender; race
and religion…read more

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Set texts:
· The Forgiving Father ­ Luke 15:11-32
­ A father has two sons. The younger son takes his share of the inheritance and wastes
it. He decides to go back to his family and ask to be a servant. His father welcomes him
with open arms and throws a party but his brother is jealous.
· The Good Samaritan ­ Luke 10:25-37
­ A man is mugged on his way to Jericho and left for dead. A priest and a lawyer pass him
by because he is unclean. The man thought the Samaritans were his enemy but a
Samaritan stops, helps him, takes him to an inn and pays for him to be looked after.
· The Unmerciful Servant ­ Matthew 18:23-3
­ A king shows a servant mercy when he cannot pay his large debt. The servant is then
violent to a man who owes him a small amount of money and puts him in jail. When the
king hears he is angry and has the servant sent away to be tortured because he did not
show mercy. Jesus says this is how we will be treated when God judges us.
· All One in Christ ­ Galatians 3:28
­ There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female; you are all one in
Christ Jesus.…read more

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The Rite of Reconciliation
RECONCILIATION: A sacrament that allows a person to repair a
relationship with God that they have damaged by sin.
· There are two types of reconciliation:
· Individual (by yourself with a priest, confessing out loud)
· Communal (as a service, confessing mentally)…read more

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Individual Reconciliation
Silent prayer and examination of conscience, calling to mind
1. Preparation
what you have done wrong.
2. Sign of Cross and
To show sacrament is focused upon the forgiving love of God.
"Bless me father for I have sinned..." Accepting responsibility
3. Confession
by telling the priest what you have done wrong.
4. Penance Given a task to earn forgiveness.
You show you are genuinely sorry by saying an Act of
5. Contrition Contrition, a prayer to show you are determined to change
with God's help.
Guilt is taken away when the priest says "I absolve you from
6. Absolution
your sins", using the authority inherited from the Apostles.…read more

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Communal Reconciliation
1. Preparation Prayers and hymns set the tone of the service.
2. Liturgy of the Word Readings focus upon the forgiving love of God.
3. Examination of Reflect upon how well you are living your life and call to mind
Conscience any sins which need forgiving.
Pray about the sins you need forgiveness from, thinking about
4. Reflection
the effects on your relationship with God and others.
The priest gives a General Absolution of venial sins and sins
5. Absolution
of omission, and guilt is taken away.
6. Thanks and Praise The community pray, reflecting on the joy of reconciliation.…read more

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