Prayer of Absolution
From the Desk of Father David
Dear Friends in Christ,
This month we had adults and children make their Sacrament of Penance, also known as the rite of Reconciliation, for the first time. I would like to focus on the Prayer of Absolution. The Priest stretches out his hand as a sign of God showering His blessings upon the penitent as he says:
God the Father of Mercies, through the death and resurrection of His Son has reconciled the world to Himself. Sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins. Through the ministry of the Church may God grant you pardon and peace and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
This prayer invites us to recognize that the heart of God, the Father, is orientated toward saving us so much that He would send his Son to teach and ultimately die and rise for us. The Holy Spirit is given to continue the ministry of forgiveness. The Church’s mission is to continue this great work of reconciliation. Therefore, it is through this ministry the priest prays for the two great gifts of pardon and Christ’s peace to be bestowed on the person. As members of the Church, we are also called to do what we can to forgive those who have wronged us and to work toward reconciliation in our families, in our parish, and communities. In Acts of the Apostles, we see that when the Apostles are dealing with conflicts they engaged frequently in prayer and open and honest dialogue in an atmosphere of seeking God’s will. These are key elements that all of us can use to bring about reconciliation.
May Almighty God give us a grateful heart for His reconciliation and enable us to work for reconciliation in our families and parish.
In Easter joy,