Confession is often the most neglected sacrament of our church. As all the sacraments, it has been given to us to aid us toward Salvation. Helping your child(ren) learn about confession is vital to their growth as Christians. Below are some things you can be doing as a family to help your child(ren) prepare for Confession and understand the importance of seeking forgiveness.
In the Our faith section of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website, you can read more about confession:
An excellent book for parents to better understand confession is Forgotten Medicine: The Mystery of Repentance by Archmandrite Seraphim Aleksiev. For children, Making Things Right by Jeannie Timko Leichner can help you to teach them about this sacrament. Both of these books can be ordered from Light and Life Publishing at www.light-n-life.com or by calling (952) 925-3888.
Read through the Ten Commandments as a family. One by one, brainstorm the different things that fall under each commandment. Have a quiet (alone with God) time after this activity. Give everyone a piece of paper, a pen (for really young children give them crayons to draw) and an envelope. Have everyone write out their sins and seal them in the envelope. Schedule a time for everyone to go to confession with their envelopes. After confession, have a 'Prodigal's Return' celebration as a family. If you can, light a fire in the fireplace and have everyone carefully put their envelopes in the fire.
A good habit to begin is asking forgiveness from family members Saturday evening or on Sunday morning before attending liturgy. It is a beautiful way to start the morning and it sets a good example for them seeking forgiveness from each other.
Is your parish recording its Holy Week services, retreats, and ministry in photos and video? Share them with us!
The Church is a place where true relationships with God and one another are nurtured and sustained. These resources help to bring more aspects of our faith into the home and to bring more families into the Church.