Our Lady of the Lake Church is not a church for perfect people! (priest included!) There are times when all of us fall short of fully living as Christ and the Church call us to live. Fortunately, the sacrament of penance (also called reconciliation) offers an opportunity for us to acknowledge our sinfulness and experience the forgiveness of a loving and merciful God. There are two forms of the sacrament which are normally offered as options for parishioners:
(1) Individual Confession and Absolution
In this form, an individual meets privately with the priest, prays with him, confesses his/her sins and through the prayer of absolution is offered the forgiveness of God. Every Saturday from 3:00 – 3:30 pm, the priest is available in the chapel of reconciliation (confessional) to celebrate this sacrament. [The chapel of reconciliation is in the same area of the church as the tabernacle, directly across from it.] In addition, if a parishioner so chooses, he or she may set up another time to meet with the priest to celebrate the sacrament. Often this option is taken if a penitent desires a longer period of conversation and prayer.
(2) Communal Penance
In this form, the community of faith comes together as they do at Mass to first hear the Good News about God’s love and mercy. After some scripture readings, a homily and period of reflection, individuals are invited to approach a priest (normally there are several) to privately confess their sins. As they do so, other members of the assembly — either preparing to confess or returning to their place after confessing — pray and sing together for the others in the celebration. These communal celebrations usually occur twice a year, always once in Lent and often during Advent. Sometimes they are done together with one or more of the other churches in Euclid.