Christopher’s First Reconciliation (formerly known as First Confession) took place last Wednesday.
As I mentioned, he said he’d been saving up something big to tell the priest for “a few years”, and I was pretty curious about what he considered big. When we got to the church, we sat behind some good friends, and we talked about Christopher’s Big Secret (C didn’t mind) and then settled in for the mass. It was a fairly short mass, punctuated by the wiggling feet and bodies of about 80 nervous children. The priest made a solid effort to be funny and put the kids at ease, and I think it worked.
And wow, they had their system down. They had 6 priests set up in different spots, and ushers to get the kiddos in line to confess. While Christopher was in line, the husband of the family I was talking to looked at me and said, “It would be awesome if, when Christopher gets back there and talks, they ring a little bell and shout, ‘We have a winner!’ And then they ask for his parents to stand up.”
Yes, awesome. My response? “I shall deny him three times.”
Ah, church humor.
When their daughter came back from “celebrating” her reconciliation (church’s phrasing) she had to do her penance – one Hail Mary. Her older sister nudged her and asked, “Are you sure you told him everything?”
After a while, Christopher came back to his seat, and wow – he looked relieved and happy. He said he was glad it was over, but he also said, “I’m glad I could finally get rid of that one.”
This was kind of an interesting surprise to me. I’ve always been super skeptical of the idea of confessing to a priest. But I like that it had a positive psychological impact on C; sometimes it does feel good just to talk to someone.
His penance, by the way, was also to say one Hail Mary. I’m pretty sure the priests were going pretty easy on the kids, to encourage them to continue to “celebrate” reconciliation over time.
Here’s a sweet picture of C getting ready to pray.