Lent Penitential 5
To celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation, as a
preparation for Easter
The Act of Sorrow written large
Areas of the school where priests can speak to individual children
towards the end of the service
A tape of children's hymns to play while children are waiting in the
hall to speak to a priest
A sheet of Sorry Prayers (see Ideas section) for children to say while
waiting to see a priest
The theme of this service is 'self-sacrifice'.
If several priests are present, the parts can be shared amongst them
This would be possible in a school which is fed by a number of parishes
Depending on the number of children, it might be best for the children
to return to class after the service and then to return to the hall for
Confessions/Blessings (for non-Catholics) a class at a time
This service can be adapted for Advent, by changing just a few words
HYMN: 'Give me Joy' (Celebration Hymnal
for Everyone number 84)
PRIEST: Peace and joy to the friends of
Jesus, who gather here to ask forgiveness for their sins. Peace be with
ALL: And with your spirit.
PRIEST: If you were walking down the
street and you met a prince, how would you behave? You would probably
be very polite and courteous. You would be on your best behaviour. If
that son of a king wanted anything, you would be quick to help. But we
don't often meet princes - or do we? Some people call God, our Father,
a King - so we are all "sons" of a King. The person sitting beside you
now is a "prince".
How do you treat that person? Here is a poem to help you think about
CHILD 1: As I run down the street in the
As I walk through the park in the spring,
All the people I meet have a secret,
For each one is the son of a king.
From the milkman collecting his bottles,
To the boy swinging high on his swing,
They belong to our heavenly Father;
So each one is the son of a king.
And wherever the people may come from,
Say, Jamaica, Dundee or Peking,
We can look for a family likeness,
For they all are the sons of a king.
So whenever we meet other people,
As we go through the world wondering,
We must give them our trust and affection,
For each one is the son of a king.
PRIEST: As it says in the poem, we all
belong to one family. We are all brothers and sisters - and God is our
Father. Brothers and sisters often do things which upset each other.
When we do this, we upset God as well, because fathers do not like
seeing their children unhappy.
Father, when we do wrong, we know that you wait patiently and lovingly
for us to say sorry - then you give us a new chance to be friends with
you and with others. Help us to be aware of the times when we say no to
you and hurt others. Amen.
PRIEST: The poem also says that we are all
"sons of a King". Princes usually inherit a kingdom. Jesus said that,
if we try to be good, one day the kingdom of heaven will be ours - we
will one day be with God in heaven.
Father, we know that if we leave our old ways behind, we will live a
life which is far more valuable. Help us to behave like and treat
everybody as "princes", so that one day we will be with you in heaven.
PRIEST: Jesus described the kingdom of
heaven to his followers. He said it is like a rich man who spends all
his money on buying one very beautiful pearl. Here is a modern account
of that story.
CHILD 2: THE PRECIOUS PEARL
There is a man who buys and sells things. He is called a merchant. He
has a fine fur coat and a felt hat with a floppy feather. It is his
The house he lives in is huge. It has five floors and a fishpond with a
fountain in the front garden.
The merchant has everything he wants. He has fifteen rooms filled with
furniture. He has four freezers full of food - and three fridges full
of drinks. There is more money under his mattress than you could ever
imagine. Much more! Yes, the merchant has everything he wants, until ...
One day, in a shop window, he sees something very special - a wonderful
500 thousand pounds - says the shopkeeper. It is even more money than
the merchant has under his mattress. But he wants that pearl more than
anything in the world.
He hurries home. He has a plan. He sells his furniture, his freezers,
his fridges, his house, his fountain and his fishpond. He even sells
his fur coat, but he keeps his felt hat. It is his favourite. He
bundles all his money into a wheelbarrow and trundles off to buy the
pearl. Oh dear! He is still 6 pounds short. Sell me your hat for 6
pounds says the shopkeeper. The merchant laughs. He hands over his hat
and takes the pearl. Hooray! The pearl is his at last.
PRIEST: The merchant gave up everything he
had and ended up with something very beautiful. If we give up our old
ways, we can inherit the kingdom of heaven.
We should think about our old ways - the things which stop us being
like princes and true children of a loving God.
We think about the things we have done to please God.
Were there times when we know that Jesus would have liked us to do more?
Are there things we did that we know we should not have done?
Are there things we know that we should have done, but didn't do?
The response is "We are sorry."
There are many times when we say no to God our Father... Response
If we have been mean... Response
If we have told lies... Response
If we have stolen something... Response
If we have damaged something on purpose... Response
If we have been disobedient... Response
If we have lost our patience with somebody... Response
If we have caused trouble at school... Response
If we have started rows at home... Response
If we have been careless about saying our prayers... Response
If we have done anything to harm God's family... Response
Together let us say sorry for these times when we have said no to God:
ALL: 0 my God, I thank you for loving me.
I am sorry for all my sins,
For not loving others and not loving you.
Help me to live like Jesus and not sin again.
PRIEST: With Jesus our brother we join in
prayer to Our Father and ask him to forgive us our sins.
ALL: Our Father...
PRIEST: Jesus wants us all to live in his
way, a way of love, forgiveness and peace.
Let us now make a sign of peace - with a friend, or somebody we would
like to be friends with ...
(Sign of Peace)
Go in peace to love one another.
PRIEST: Go in peace to forgive one another.
PRIEST: Go in peace to love and serve our
Lord Jesus Christ.
PRIEST: May the blessing of almighty God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit be upon you now and forever.
HYMN: 'Peace, perfect Peace' by K. Mayhew
(Celebration Hymnal for Everyone number 597) or 'Peace is flowing like
a River' (Celebration Hymnal for Everyone number 595)
FOLLOWED BY AN OPPORTUNITY FOR CONFESSION, OR A
BLESSING FOR NON-CATHOLICS.