Page 1

Family Faith

Reconciliation Programme e. n" hom t o i a on liat i oes g c t n g ha eco dren?y from wom wrnon. R " il ve arl t fr oes to ch - particualrn righbe forgi d at ean e time dren lerry and h W m g all thhat chilo be so

t n et ns rni lea e hom t mea e r i a n th hat i lds r o It is and w a e y en

Sev

2010 series


Family Faith Reconciliation 2010 series Contents Front cover

UNIT ONE Session One: Parents

What is Reconciliation About? ‘Yours Truly’ What do you think? My own story

Session Two: Family

Reconciliation in the Family Johnny figure What do you think? My own story

Leader’s Guide Discussion Leaflet Take-home Take-home

Leader’s Guide for flip-chart Hand-out Hand-out

UNIT TWO Session One: Parents

What do we say...What do we hear..? Leader’s Guide Blank figure for flip-chart ‘Fr Listen’ & Paper people Hand-out A5 figures

Session Two: Family

Rehearsing Conf. with Paper People Leader’s Guide ‘Fr Listen’ & Paper people Hand-out A5 figures ‘Paulo Freire and informal education’ Hand-out for leaders Back Cover


Family Preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation

2010 Leader's Guide

Unit 1, Session One

What is Reconciliation About?

Parents' Workshop


These 2 background-support pages are inserted at the start of this 1st session booklet to outline the methods used. They also offer the leader/catechist thoughts on: 1. The way this sacrament has changed through time; 2. The importance and use of signs. In the Reconciliation pack there is a separate folder containing Additional Material. This may be useful when sessions need to be varied.

The Various Methods used in this session 1. Switching between table discussions and whole group work. Table Discussions

It is obvious that only some people feel free to talk out in a large group. Small table groups give everyone a voice. But there is more to it than that. Table discussions help people explore their own thoughts and begin to frame their opinions in words. These discussions are also a first step towards whole-group conclusions. Even when time is short, the end result is usually improved by giving a few minutes to this table exercise.

Whole-group Work

There are crucial points in the session when the participants and Presenter work together as a whole group. Though only a selection of participants speak, everyone’s ideas have taken shape by talking with others at table. So each can feel that: it is their own words which have gradually built up the ideas and so contibuted to the peak of the session.

2. Using Charts

One of the greatest challenges to the Presenter is to remain focused on the main point of the session - while using words that are coming from every part of the room. Creating a chart in three steps helps everyone to work towards a shared conclusion. 1. People call out their responses. Each contribution is accepted without criticism and written up - briefly; 2. The Presenter works with the Chart-writer to see that all ideas are recorded; 3. Starting from the chart, the Presenter then begins to talk about some of the ideas.

There is no need to use all the answers.

At this stage everyone is working towards the climax. Unused wording can be left without comment.

The point of this 3 step process

The first two steps allow the Presenter a few moments to consider the points made and pick out the most useful ones without having to respond to them immediately. (Other Team members can also see the progress and think whether they need to intervene to keep the activity on track.)

3. The Magazine Method

(The magazine, Yours Truly, is used throughout this session.)

‘Yours Truly’ gives the parents freedom to explore different ways of responding to their children. To aid this, the first two pages are entirely about fictitious situations. The parents should be discouraged from bringing up their own child-rearing practices at this point. Only after the Sue story on page 3 are they invited to describe something of their family situation. Even this piece is structured to address only their awareness of helpful rituals and patterns in their home. There should be no public suggestion that some of the parents’current practices are ‘wrong’. This only causes distress and defensiveness. Whatever changes they see would be helpful in their homes should not be discussed in public - but allowed to grow comfortably in their own minds. 2


This is a Two Unit Programme: a Unit is made up of a pair of Sessions. The first session in each Unit is for the adults themselves. The second is a family session. The focus of the first Unit is the home and how the child learns there about the human need for reconciliation with family and friends. The second Unit explores the way we acknowledge our sinfulness and experience God's forgiveness, in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Throughout this Programme, Session Guide suggestions and/or Team Notes are printed in red or blue.

Session 1 Resources Materials

Flip Chart & Felt Pens

Copies of Magazine

A copy is required for each participant.

Copies of Johnny's story &'My Own Story' take-home papers for children.

One copy for each child

Introduction The introduction reminds parents that, in the church today, this sacrament may have a different meaning and message from that taught when they were children. In today’s teaching, personal awareness of sin is the starting point Confession of sin is then the first practical step - but not the focus of the Sacrament.

The sacrament is about harmony and reconciliation.

After that brief introduction, a copy of the magazine ‘Yours Truly’ is given to each participant. A thoughtful discussion of the magazine’s contents is the main part of this whole session. 3


Reconciliation Session 1. Parents

What is Reconciliation About?

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is an experience of the wonderful forgiveness of God. To appreciate this, children need a heightened consciousness of everyday, family forgiveness. Helping their children come to that realization is the main point of this meeting with parents.

Introduction The Sacrament of Reconciliation is often a problem to us. So, before we prepare our children, we need to look at the Sacrament for ourselves. The whole Church is searching for the real meaning of this Sacrament. It used to be called Confession, and going into a confessional and telling our sins seemed to be the point. Then it was called Penance, so we thought it was about showing sorrow and saying a penance, like so many 'Hail Marys'.

Confession Penance Reconciliation

Both of these ideas were about ourselves. It could feel that we were on our own. There was litle suggestion of belonging to God - or being loved. Today we are much more aware of the Goodness of God - and of each person's personal relationship with that Good God. So the sacrament is now called Reconciliation, which means ‘being re-united’. The result of reconciliation should be harmony. We should know that we are friends with God.

How the Family can Help Your child will only make sense of this Sacrament if he/she already knows how to 'make-up' at home. Home is the best place to learn: to own up; to be forgiven; to enjoy a sense of belonging and awareness of being at peace with one another again. This magazine, Yours Truly, may help us discuss ways of understanding children’s need to put things right - and parents’ need to give helpful example! (Give out Magazines)

Team Notes Magazine , first page: different voices read out the stories

This whole session is based on reading aloud from the Magazine. Readers are needed to give participants a change from the Presenter’s voice. Moreover, people remember best the things they did or said themselves. So parents should be involved, where this is possible, as well as members of the Team.

4

All the stories are in simple straightforward language - but participants do not know that until they have seen the text! When everyone has a copy - and has had time to see the text - the idea of volunteer readers could be voiced. When it is time for a story, a moment for preparation should be offered before asking someone to begin.


What does "Reconciliation" mean to children? Seven year olds are learning all the time - particularly from what goes on at home.

It is in the home that children learn right from wrong - and what it means to be sorry and be forgiven.

The story was to be about a time when the seven year old At a Parish meeting, *knew that he or she was wrong, parents and children were asked *had a change of heart and to prepare a story together. *put things right with their parent. Here are two of their stories. Each 'story' is read and discussed separately. To start this, a different voice (a parent's?) reads Tommy and Amanda' story. 2

1 Tommy and his sister, Amanda, told this story: We fell out with Mum and went over to Grandad's house. He gave us money to go to the shop to buy ourselves sweets. But then we changed our minds. (We might say they had a change of heart.) We bought biscuits for Mum instead - and took them home to her.

• Tommy and Amanda By returning home with a "peace offering", Tom and Amanda owned up to whatever had gone wrong and said, Sorry! in action. How did they come to their change of heart? Did the cooling off time they had - away from their mother have anything to do with that change?

Brian's tale shows he knew about times when he was happier because someone else changed But he was not yet aware of the importance of times when he had to change. So the story he chose missed the whole point of the activity.

I was out playing when the icecream van came round. I shouted up to the window for money to spend. But my mother said, 'No!' I wouldn't listen to her. I went on shouting - but I didn't get it. I stopped shouting and went up to the door - and then it was alright. She gave me the money.

• Brian does not seem to remember any time when he realised he was wrong and owned up! Talk with the people near you and make up a story that a boy like Brian could tell about a time when: he knew he was wrong, owned up & showed he was sorry. How could the parent help him put his story together?

What the "Experts" say:

5

1

Both stories could happen with the same child. Seven year olds are not clear about what they, themselves, should do to put things right. They need explanation and discussion - on the spot - while the event is still in their minds.


.What

do you think?

What Might the Parent Say?

Team Notes

Discussion of Johnny’s Story

Where possibie, all Team members should take part in the conversation at table. By the time the table discussions end there will be a range of reactions to be shared.

The Presenter (and chart writer) picks up a few of the answers (which may be amusing!) for a chart The Presenter uses the different ideas on the chart to show that they could be grouped to form this sequence: a) Displeasure Children can find that owning up is greeted with wrath! (There should be a good enough sense of fun in the room for people to give amusing, yet truthful, answers expressing annoyance, frustration etc.) b) Correction Parents may be ready to follow these first reactions with suggestions about helping their children take responsibility for what they did. c) Forgiveness This subject is only noted here. But it might be helpful to introduce the idea of Restitution (eg broken window story) Time will be given to exploring Forgiveness in the discussion on Harmony restored - Reconciliation. ( Magazine Page three) The sequence leads to discussion on the role of each category in teaching the child the importance of goodness. It might be useful to illustrate the point with a story.

The response from Tony (Johnny's brother)

The workshop is focussed on the response of parents to their children. At some point it is important to look at how children learn to forgive one another, but that is an extension of the main subject - and might be left for family discussion at home.

6


'Owning up' is the 1st step to 'Making Up' Many books are written by experts on how to bring up childen. But, in the end, you have to be your own expert. Try out your skills on this story!

Johnny's Story A mother told her son, Johnny not to touch a ball belonging to his brother, Tony. Johnny later took the ball and went out to play with Jimmy, his friend. The ball went under a car and burst! Jimmy and Johnny both come up to the door with the burst ball. What do they say?

Owning up is not easy!

What Do You Think?

Do children sometimes own up by actions?

(Show the thing they have spoiled? Express regret by a cuddle? What else?)

Johnny has to learn that: 1. Taking the ball was wrong;

Parent's First Response Small children cannot make judgements by themselves. They may not see the difference between an accident and a deliberate fault - like taking a forbidden ball! The seriousness of their wrong-doing has to be reflected in the parent’s face and words.

2. This is a time when ‘sorry’ is not enough! What might the mother say to Johnny about the burst ball?

*

Forgiveness is the 2nd Step Children need to feel forgiven and loved. Every attempt at regret should be sealed with a friendly gesture - a smile, a hug, etc.

7

2

Children need to learn to forgive others. How will Tony react to Johnny and the burst ball? Will he forgive?

ay to: ts s r e arn p e l x ; can he E T n . e hem ht. . . r t ; d t e l ... l chi peop ey hur ip rig ng u ut sh th o Y abo when lation e r ca orry he re ven t be s o put ut - o be gi ment. t B ed t ge try e ura n o y c The t of en a lo


Team Notes

Magazine page Three

Parents need time and encouragement to explore this issue of forgiveness at home. Three readings introduce the idea: Making up can be a bit Smudgy! Sue’s Story; Special Correspondent.

Could Reconciliation happen like this in your house?

The Presenter should offer an easy example before opening this discussion. The story should be something within everyone’s experience, such as a cup of tea offered after a quarrel. The discussion continues at the table. Each table group is then asked if they have a story to share with everyone. A volunteer comes out and tells the tale. Sharing a few of the stories with the entire group will raise parents’awareness of their own customs.

Finding the words!

Summing up a situation cleary and briefly is not an easy task at any time! An open acceptance of the difficulty may help people to acknowledge this common human problem. Later sessions will offer some learning opportunities.

Could Johnny...

Some parents may have been taught to use names for their sins like disobedience, telling lies, etc. This short discussion should lead them to see that the children are expected - to tell briefly the story of their misbehaviour and not try to find labels for their faults.

8

(Telling only the important points of an incident requires a developed language skill. This will be addressed in Unit 2 sessions when we use Paper People.)


The Result is Reconciliation not It is

a

ys lwa

r!

clea

'Making up' can be a bit Smudgy!

Here is what one parent said:

'I don't think I often 'own up' directly - or hear words of forgiveness. That wouldn't work too well in our house - at least among the adults. I suppose we do 'make up' - but in an indirect way. When I've hurt someone I try to put things right - but it's by looks and gestures with only a few words. The response is a bit 'Smudgy' too. What is it like in your house?

Before we try to share our thoughts, read Sue's story.

Sue's Story

The little girl, Sue, came home late and the mother was, rightly, annoyed. But she got too angry - and she knew it! Sue banged out of the living room and went to her bedroom. The mother told me that she knew Sue would be making something for her; a drawing, perhaps, to show she was sorry. The mother was sorry too, so she went to the icecream van and bought sweets. Then she waited till Sue was ready. When Sue came out of her room she held out the picture and said, 'That’s for you’. The mother took the picture and showed pleasure and interest in it. Then the mother said, ‘I’ve something for you too. Come and have a sweetie and we’ll watch the T.V. together.’

A Special Correspondent comments on the story:

I was fascinated that they already knew what the other would do to make up. They had a kind of family ritual they both understood, without words.

Could Reconciliation happen like that in Your House? Do you already know what your children might do to show they want forgiveness? Do they know when you are sorry for something you have said or done? Do you have a story you can share?

Reconciliation in Words Adults may use actions to show they are sorry but they could use words if they have thought about where they were wrong and searched, in their minds, for words to express their regret. If children are to grow in understanding and judgement, they need to find their own words for their mistakes and regrets. What words could Johnny use to own up to his mother about Tony's ball?

9

3

Could Johnny say exactly the same words at his First Confession if he wanted to tell this same story ?


Team Notes

Magazine page Four

Take-Home Paper

The final part of the session prepares the parents to work with their own child at home. The 1st suggestion is a re-telling of Johnny's story - using the 3 steps to make the sequence clear.: Johnny owned up; after some discussion, his parents forgave him; They showed they were happy together again. There is a take-home paper to help with telling Johnnys story, if required. Only then are they asked to talk, as a family, about a time when the child said ‘sorry’ for doing something wrong. That event is illustrated in the same pattern as the Johnny story, using the 3 spaces in the Take-Home Paper. This activity should help the child see the three steps of: owning up; experiencing forgiveness; arriving at harmony and reconciliation.

As this adult session ends, parents are reminded that these papers should be brought back to help with the starting point for the Family Session.

*This home exercise is not easy and only a few may bring back the papers. But, like the table discussions in the session, any attempt at home will be preparation for the following Family Session.

Did you think you said ‘Sorry’?

This discussion can only be brief but there might be time for someone to offer suggestions on how to raise the child’s awareness of having a share in the problem - and a willingness to name that share!

10


Something to do at Home To make sense of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, children need to understand

Three Ideas. Give out take-home papers

Here is an activity which may help them. Share the Johnny story with your child, using the Three steps: Johnny owned up; his parents talked it through with him & forgave him; They were a happy family again.

Then talk with your child about something he/she did wrong recently. Ask them to write or draw:

1. 2.

How I owned up and showed I was sorry. What my parent said - & showed forgiveness.

3. What we both did to show that we felt happy together. If they can bring back that paper – or their own version of it – to the Family session, we’ll use their ideas as our starting point.

ught. o h t l imes? a t e m o A fin s ong, r w t i t s ge

lt Do Adu

Did you think you said "Sorry"? - when you said: Sorry, but ..........!

Parents sometimes know they should apologise, so they say, ‘I’m sorry I shouted at you’. Then they may add, ‘But it was your fault for bringing your dirty boots in.' ..or whatever. Do you ever do that? Does every apology carry an excuse?

Children will do whatever they see their parents doing. So, if we always have an excuse, they will always have an excuse! If we want them to own up - we will have to be able to do it ourselves! But it is tricky! Children should grow up understanding that wrongs are often two-sided. An apology to them should make them ready to own up to their part - if they had a share in the trouble.

4

11

How do we help them learn this?

A Family Faith Production Glasgow


2010 Edition

What does "Reconciliation" mean to children? Seven year olds are learning all the time - particularly from what goes on at home.

It is in the home that children learn right from wrong - and what it means to be sorry and be forgiven.

At a Parish meeting, parents and children were asked to prepare a story together.

The story was to be about a time when the seven year old *knew that he or she was wrong, *had a change of heart and *put things right with their parent. Here are two of their stories.

2

1 Tommy and his sister, Amanda, told this story: We fell out with Mum and went over to Grandad's house. He gave us money to go to the shop to buy ourselves sweets. But then we changed our minds. (We might say they had a change of heart.) We bought biscuits for Mum instead - and took them home to her.

• Tommy and Amanda By returning home with a "peace offering", Tom and Amanda owned up to whatever had gone wrong and said, Sorry! in action. How did they come to their change of heart? Did the cooling off time they had - away from their mother have anything to do with that change?

Brian's tale shows he knew about times when he was happier because someone else changed But he was not yet aware of the importance of times when he had to change. So the story he chose missed the whole point of the activity.

I was out playing when the icecream van came round. I shouted up to the window for money to spend. But my mother said, 'No!' I wouldn't listen to her. I went on shouting - but I didn't get it. I stopped shouting and went up to the door - and then it was alright. She gave me the money.

• Brian does not seem to remember any time when he realised he was wrong and owned up! Talk with the people near you and make up a story that a boy like Brian could tell about a time when: he knew he was wrong, owned up & showed he was sorry. How could the parent help him put his story together?

What the "Experts" say:

1

Both stories could happen with the same child. Seven year olds are not clear about what they, themselves, should do to put things right. They need explanation and discussion - on the spot - while the event is still in their minds.


'Owning up' is the 1st step to 'Making Up' Many books are written by experts on how to bring up childen. But, in the end, you have to be your own expert. Try out your skills on this story!

Johnny's Story A mother told her son, Johnny not to touch a ball belonging to his brother, Tony. Johnny later took the ball and went out to play with Jimmy, his friend. The ball went under a car and burst! Jimmy and Johnny both come up to the door with the burst ball. What do they say?

Owning up is not easy!

Do children sometimes own up by actions?

(Show the thing they have spoiled? Express regret by a cuddle? What else?)

What Do You Think? Parent's First Response

Small children cannot make judgements by themselves. They may not see the difference between an accident and a deliberate fault - like taking a forbidden ball! The seriousness of their wrong-doing Johnny has to learn that: 1. Taking the ball was wrong; has to be reflected in the parent’s face and words. 2. This is a time - when ‘sorry’ is not enough! What might the mother say to Johnny about the burst ball?

*

Forgiveness is the 2nd Step Children need to feel forgiven and loved.

Every attempt at regret should be sealed with a friendly gesture - a smile, a hug, etc.

2

Children need to learn to forgive others. How will Tony react to Johnny and the burst ball? Will he forgive?

at

E the

rts xpe

say

:

n to

ar n le

n ca ; em; t. e h r t d rt il gh ple g ch ut peo hey hu hip ri n u o ns Yo nt e ab y whe relatio r a c orr the But - given ent. e be s o put t to b ragem d e try ne cou They of en t a lo

Wh


The Result is Reconciliation !

r clea ays

It is

alw not

'Making up' can be a bit Smudgy!

Here is what one parent said:

'I don't think I often 'own up' directly - or hear words of forgiveness. That wouldn't work too well in our house - at least among the adults. I suppose we do 'make up' - but in an indirect way. When I've hurt someone I try to put things right - but it's by looks and gestures with only a few words. The response is a bit 'Smudgy' too. What is it like in your house?

Before we try to share our thoughts, read Sue's story.

Sue's Story

The little girl, Sue, came home late and the mother was, rightly, annoyed. But she got too angry - and she knew it! Sue banged out of the living room and went to her bedroom. The mother told me that she knew Sue would be making something for her; a drawing, perhaps, to show she was sorry. The mother was sorry too, so she went to the icecream van and bought sweets. Then she waited till Sue was ready. When Sue came out of her room she held out the picture and said, 'That’s for you’. The mother took the picture and showed pleasure and interest in it. Then the mother said, ‘I’ve something for you too. Come and have a sweetie and we’ll watch the T.V. together.’

A Special Correspondent comments on the story:

I was fascinated that they already knew what the other would do to make up. They had a kind of family ritual they both understood, without words.

Could Reconciliation happen like that in Your House? Do you already know what your children might do to show they want forgiveness? Do they know when you are sorry for something you have said or done? Do you have a story you can share?

Reconciliation in Words Adults may use actions to show they are sorry but they could use words if they have thought about where they were wrong and searched, in their minds, for words to express their regret. If children are to grow in understanding and judgement, they need to find their own words for their mistakes and regrets. What words could Johnny use to own up to his mother about Tony's ball?

3

Could Johnny say exactly the same words at his First Confession if he wanted to tell this same story ?


Something to do at Home To make sense of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, children need to understand

Three Ideas.

Here is an activity which may help them. Share the Johnny story with your child, using the Three steps: Johnny owned up; his parents talked it through with him & forgave him; They were a happy family again. Talk with your children about something they did wrong recently. Ask them to write or draw:

1.

How I owned up and showed I was sorry.

.2. What my parent said

to show me I was wrong and then to show forgiveness. 3. What we both did to show that we felt happy together.

ght. u o h es? t l m i a t n e i f m A ng, so o r w t i s get

lt Do Adu

Did you think you said "Sorry"? - when you said: Sorry, but ..........!

Parents sometimes know they should apologise, so they say, ‘I’m sorry I shouted at you’. Then they may add, ‘But it was your fault for bringing your dirty boots in.' ..or whatever. Do you ever do that? Does every apology carry an excuse?

Children will do whatever they see their parents doing. So, if we always have an excuse, they will always have an excuse!

4

If we want them to own up - we will have to be able to do it ourselves! But it is tricky! Children should grow up understanding that wrongs are often two-sided. An apology to them should make them ready to own up to their part - if they had a share in the trouble.

How do we help them learn this?

A Family Faith Production Glasgow


What do you think? This is Johnny and he is seven years old. One day he took his brother’s ball, when he had been told not to touch it - and he burst it! What might he say to his mother?

What might his mother say to him?

How will they show they are friends again?


My Own Story

in three parts

How I owned up

What my father or mother said to correct me then to show I was forgiven

How I felt when I was forgiven and what we did to show we were friends


UNIT ONE Session Two: Family Reconciliation in the Family Leader’s Guide Johnny figure What do you think? My own story

1

for flip-chart Hand-out Hand-out


Preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation: Family Session

2010 Leader’s Guide

Unit 1 Session 2

Reconciliation in the Family

2

Family Workshop


Materials for this session ‘Johnny’ figure, (A4 or larger); Flip-chart & pens Pencils/pens Copy of the ‘My Own Story’ blank for each child Dishes of sweets for the end. The sweets being offered should be wrapped and attractive - but they should also be quite ordinary and all the same. an example would be gold-wrapped ‘Wertherers Original ’. The focus needs to remain on the gesture, not on the gift itself.

Here is a useful table arrangement. The tables could fit any number from five to about nine. There should be no chair at the inner end. This allows all participants to face the presenter or discuss in small groups without having to move their chairs.

3


Part One: Making the Message Clear Introduction

We will begin this session by listening to stories boys and girls have brought with them. Would everyone who has brought their copy of ‘My own story’ put up their hands? Team members will come round the tables, hear your story and discuss it with you. If you don’t have a story of your own, listen in to other stories at your table. That will help you write your own story. Everyone will write a new story in a few minutes. Each story is heard, briefly. Now, for the next part, would all the children come out and sit here, please? Here is Johnny. You can see that he is in trouble. Your parents may have told you what happened. His brother had a new ball and Johnny was told not to touch it. But he took it! and he went out to play near the road with his friend, Jimmy. A few minutes later and a badly aimed kick sent the ball into the road - where a car ran over it! When he took the burst ball into the house, what was he going to say? If Johnny began with excuses, what might they be? Take answers without writing them up.

Is making excuses the right way to begin? What should Johnny do?

1. Owning up

If Johnny decides to own up, what might he say? (write up suggestions)

Should he also be saying he is sorry for what he has done? How would he do that? If sorrow has already been expressed in some answers, ring those words on the board

2. Parent’s First Response? What is his mother or father going to say? They could be very angry! Write up suggestions

You were told not to! Why did you? You know that was wrong! You’ll have to pay for it!

3. Forgiveness and Reconciliation

Johnny was shown how wrong he had been. After that, was he forgiven? How did his father or mother show Johnny that he was still loved? What did they say? Let’s talk about it I still love you.! I’m sure you’ll not do that kind of thing again!

4

Did Johnny do anything special to show he was really sorry? Wash dishes How did Johnny feel when it was all over? Give a hug Tidy up Felt good Happy Friendly Children return to sit with their parents


My Own Story Johnny’s story was made up. What about a real story? Here is one that a seven year old boy wrote. He tells his story in three parts: First, what he did wrong and how he owned up; then what his mother said about it; finally, how they were friends at the end. Owning up Mum and Dad told me not to go down a manhole. - I did! Mum saw me come out of the hole and asked me what I had done wrong. I owned up and said that I had been down the hole. What came next Mum was very cross! She explained to me the danger of going down a manhole. Forgiven - and friends again Then she said it was good that I had owned up and she gave me a hug and a kiss.

I expect that the boy who wrote about his mother’s words and actions, also did his part. I’m sure he also hugged his mother and gave her a kiss. It takes both sides to make up a quarrel. When you tell your story don’t leave out what you did to show you were sorry. Give out papers and pen/pencils

You can draw your story or write it in words, which ever you like best. Talk with your parent about something that you did that was wrong, how you owned up - and what happend next. Then plan with your father or mother how to write or draw your story in the three spaces. This activity can be slow to start, particularly where the parent was not present at the Parents’ Session or the take-home papers from that session were not used.

5

When you have finished, some of you might like to come out and read your story to us all.


Helpers go round the tables encouraging families to to begin - and then to move on through the three stages.

If you have finished , would someone be willing to read out their story? Give time for a few to finish, then begin the story reading. There is no need to keep everyone waiting for the last ones. They can go on quietly while some stories are being read.

6


Part Two: Reconciliation in action We have spent some time now with stories about ‘making friends again’ that is Reconciliation. They have all been about something that we said sorry for in the past. Putting all that down on paper was quite hard to do. Wasn’t it? What would it be like if we tried a little bit of reconciliation right now, here in this room? This time it will not only be the boys and girls who will own up and be forgiven. To help the children feel what it is like to forgive someone else, parents and children are going to say ‘sorry’ to each other. This time we will all use the same sign to show we forgive, the Sign of the Cross.

Demonstration of a Forgiveness Ritual

One of the Team will do it with me first - to show what we mean. I have to tell you that I don’t always remember what I promised to do, so you won’t be surprised at what I have to say! ‘.NAME........, I’m sorry I forgot to e-mail those papers to you. I know it was a nuisance!’ NAME......... makes the sign of the cross on my forehead and says words of his/her own choice such as: ‘It’s all right’, or We’re still friends’ etc. The whole process is repeated the other way. I use the exact same words of forgiveness.

Did you notice that the words that NAME ...... used to forgive me, were the same words that I used to forgive my friend? Now it is the turn of your family.

7


Family Forgiveness Your parents are going to ask your pardon for some little thing that went wrong at home; maybe they feel they did not listen to your side of the story, or they became too angry, or something else.

You, then, make the sign of the cross on their forehead and say whatever words you like in response. If you have two parents with you now, you’ll have two chances to forgive - and to own up! Think what nice thing you want to say to your Mum or Dad as you put that cross on their forehead.

When you have forgiven them, it will be your turn to say, ‘I’m sorry that I .....’ Your parent will listen and then make the sign of the cross on your forehead, forgiving you with the same words that you said to forgive them Ready? Parents first -Begin!

8

This activity takes very little time! Be ready to move on to the next point


When we blessed each other, just now, we used the sign of God’s forgiveness - the Sign of the Cross to show we forgave each other. Let’s now ask God to forgive us and to bless us as we make that Sign of the Cross on ourselves: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen Now when all that is done, we should be feeling good! So we will end tonight’s session with a tiny ‘feel good’ celebration. A little thing to make you go home laughing together. But, since we will finish the meeting at that point, I’d better make the announcements first! There will be two meetings in March. They will be quite different from these two in February. Now we have been looking at how we ‘make up’ at home. Next month we will see how those ideas apply to the Sacrament of Reconciliation - which the children will be receiving soon. The first one, on March 10th will be just for parents, grandparents and other adults involved.

Our Sign of ‘Togetherness’ Here we have tonight’s sign of ‘togetherness’! The dishes of sweets should now be shown.

We have taken part in Owning up and in Forgiving. The best is still to come - a way of showing we are friends again! Would one child from each table come out and stand here with the dish of sweets that is for your table? The dishes are given out. Demonstration

Would you one child with dish show us how to do this? ......... Please ask your parent to join us. When they are ready It is time now to offer your parent(s) a sweet. Next, you give the dish to your parent who will offer a sweet to you. Now it is everyone’s turn! Would all the children with sweets go back to their table to give and receive a sweet. - Then pass the dish on to the next child for their turn. Team members help people follow what to do.

9

If there are any left at the end, maybe we can have one too! Enjoy your Caring and Sharing!


What do you think? This is Johnny and he is seven years old. One day he took his brother’s ball, when he had been told not to touch it - and he burst it! What might he say to his mother?

What might his mother say to him?

How will they show they are friends again?


My Own Story

in three parts

How I owned up

What my father or mother said to correct me then to show I was forgiven

How I felt when I was forgiven and what we did to show we were friends


UNIT TWO

Session One: Parents

What do we say? What do we hear? Leader’s Guide

1

Blank figure ‘Fr Listen’ & Paper people figures

for flip-chart Hand-out A5


Unit 2 Parents’ Session

What do we Say in Confession?

What do we Hear? 2

‘Paper People’ work it out


Materials Gospel of Luke / pages with Prodigal Son story (The Leader tells the story. Another voice is required to read the quotations from St Luke.) Flipchart, pens Blu Tack Paper People: Large (A2?)’unidentified’ figure; Variety of A5 figures;. ‘Fr Listen’ mounted on A4 ‘Confessional’) Paper& pens/pencils for each small group

3

Possible aid to preparation for the Sacrament: Copies of ‘Voices in my Life’ , one for each participant.


1. What we Say in Confession

In this session we will work out, in a light hearted way, what someone might say in Confession. Let’s get this person’s help. Show the Paper Person

Is this a man or a woman? What name? What age? Married? single? In a relationship? Employed? Unemployed? At home? Interests? Social life? friends?

Tell me some good thing that he/she does.

Now tell me what is not so good.

Jimmy 35 .... busdriver helpful.... gambles...

Write up the suggestions, very briefly, as they are given.

You have offered more ideas for Jimmy than we can use. So it is time to bring some more Paper People to life! Here are people who happen to be out shopping.

Give out figures, one to each small group. (3-5 participants) and blank paper.

Work out a story for your figure Use Jimmy as a guide. Write your ideas on the blank paper. Show some real human problems in your Paper Person! When the characters are ready we will share them with one another. Someone from your group should be ready to come out and explain your Paper Person to the rest of us. 4


Give time for at least a few figures to be ready. Then begin the descriptions as the slower groups hurry to catch up.

Who have we here?

Someone describes the character of the first figure.

When all the characters have been described, move on to the main point of the session.

These people have been thinking of going to Confession. Maybe it is a long time since your character received that Sacrament. Should he/she pluck up courage and go? Before we decide about that, we need to consider how well we know these people.

If you look back at what has been written about them you will see that it is all rather superficial. It is what the outsider sees. So take back your character and see if, as a group, you can get into your Person’s mind and heart. Talk for a few moments about some behaviour that the character knows is wrong and would like to change. Go round the groups and allow them to voice their ideas.

5


Here is a priest called Fr Listen He is in the Confessional - or Reconciliation Room. It is time for someone to go and join him. Who will be first? Choose a character with enough personality to rouse attention and place it beside Fr Listen.

When we meet someone we usually greet them with something like, Hello, or, How are you?

How will we greet the priest? We need a set of words to get started in Confession. What is usual in this parish? Participants or Team members say the usual formula.

What is this Person going to say now? Could someone give us a start?

People suggest what this Paper Person might say in Confession.

Is there a Paper Person who needs a bit of help from Fr Listen to put into words what they really want to bring to God? A new figure is offered and a priest speaks for Fr Listen.

6

Take as many Characters as the time suggests. Be aware that too many can be tedious.


These Paper People went to a lot of trouble to go to Confession, didn’t they? Why did they go? Each one may have a different reason.

Talk with your neighbours and see why your Paper Person decided to go. Give time for discussion

What reasons did you find? My son is going to do it so I thought I should. I feel my life is a bit of a mess - and it was a chance to sort it out. I haven’t been for a long time. I thought the priest might help me.

You have shown that all these Paper People had reasons for going to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Some had really deep reasons. For them, apologising at home was not enough. They wanted God to be in touch with them through this sacrament.

What the sacrament gives to each one of us is a personal, loving response from God.

Jesus told a story that shows reconciliation from God’s point of view. It is a story you know well. - The Prodigal Son. 7


The Prodigal Son.

Do you remember this story of a young man who left home, spent all his money - and ended up sitting in a pigsty? Let’s get right into the story by having a local (Glasgow) ‘Prodigal Son’ Here is this young man who has been making life impossible at home. He takes everything he can get hold of and gets out to ‘do his own thing.’ After a while it all goes wrong. He finds himself sitting on the cold concrete, begging with the rain pouring down on him! He begins to see that he might be better at home. Discuss with your neighbour the thoughts that might be going through his mind about his situation. Remember he might not be ready yet to see where he had gone wrong!

Write up the phrases after some group talk

hungry wet shame pride fear hard done by

How do you think he could end up? Will he sit there until he is ill? Look for help from a Charity? Take to Drugs? Or try to get home? Keep your thoughts to yourself, for a moment, until we’ve looked at how Christ finishes his story:

St Luke’s Gospel tells us that he thought through his life up to that point. After all his useless moaning to himself about his bad luck, he came to a decision. Talking to himself was not enough. He needed to do something to show that he wanted to be back with his father - and that decision, that change of heart changed his life. What he did was to get up and walk home. As he walked he rehearsed what he would say to his father. Read chapter 15 verses 17 - 20

Then comes the surprise! He was to find that, whatever he had done, he remained a beloved son. Read first part of Verse 21

He was allowed to say ‘sorry’. But not to express the idea that he would be unacceptable as a son - and might be taken on as a servant. Read verses 21-24

The son must have been overwhelmed by this loving reception. What was his part in bringing about that result? He had walked back - he had come home. That was enough to trigger the father’s response. And so he was now reconciled to his father. They were at one. Now look at that welcome from the father’s point of view. Why did he immediately hug the boy, pour gifts on him, organise a party?

8

The only word to explain it is LOVE.The father’s love is without limit. That is the whole point of the story. This extravagant love is the reality of God.


What do we Hear? With our minds filled with that story of the Prodigal Son, let’s take up our Paper People again. The Paper People have told their stories of sin and repentance. Now, for them as for the Prodigal Son, the best is yet to come. Some people don’t recognise that fact. A priest told me that some people walk out of the Confessional when they have finished their tale. Telling their story had been the only thing on their mind. When they had done that, the Sacrament seemed to be over. But there is more - much more.. Our Father - Almighty God - like the father in the story - now pours out love & forgiveness. The priest & Team member demonstrate the words & action

The words of Absolution begin with this reassuring fact:

Priest God the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and

sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sin.

The priest is empowered by the church to bring God’s forgiveness to us. Through his human words and action we hear and see God’s absolution.

Priest

Through the ministry of the church, may God give you pardon & peace

and I absolve you from your sins

in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen. Next time we meet we will be helping the children use Paper People, as they prepare to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. But tonight is for you, the adults. Perhaps, like your Paper Person, you feel ready now to receive this Sacrament. Father will tell you, in a moment, what possibilities there are. Meanwhile, here are some ideas that might help us look at our lives. Give out copies of ‘Voices in My Life’

If possible, there should be an announcement about the availability of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

9

If there are priests ready to go straight to the confessionals, this is a very effective moment to offer the Sacrament.


Voices in My Life

Leader: First of all, let us each think of the people in our home. What does that memory make you want to say to God? Pause

Voices of My Home

(1st Reader)

Lord, thank you for the happiness in my home. Forgive me for the times I have not brought goodness or happiness to my family. Help me to forgive those who have hurt me at home. Forgive me for not spending time with you in prayer. Pause

Leader: Lord Jesus, I am grateful for the good; Response: Lord, forgive me and help me to forgive

Voices of My Social Life

(2nd Reader)

Thank you for my friends and the joy I share with them. Forgive me for the times I have hurt them, gossipped about them and refused to help them. Help me to forgive the friends who have hurt me and let me down. Pause

Leader: Lord Jesus, I am grateful for the good; Response: Lord, forgive me and help me to forgive

Voices in My Neighbourhood

(3rd Reader)

Thank you for my neighbours. Forgive me for my lack of care when others needed me. Help me to forgive the people who have made my life harder. Pause

Leader: Lord Jesus, I am grateful for the good; Response: Lord, forgive me and help me to forgive

Voices at Work

(4th Reader)

Thank you for the chance to work. Forgive me for the times when I have not been honest in my work or not co-operated with the people around me. Help me to forgive those who are disagreeable and make my work harder. Pause

Leader: Lord Jesus, I am grateful for the good; Response: Lord, forgive me and help me to forgive

Voices of the Wider World

(5th Reader)

Thank you that I am alive here, in Scotland, at this time. Forgive me for the times I have not helped to keep the city and the environment at their best. Help me to forgive those who spoil this country. Forgive me for not giving enough help to those who suffer in poorer countries thoughout the world. Pause

Leader: Lord Jesus, I am grateful for the good; Response: Lord, forgive me and help me to forgive We end now by saying together the Act of Contrition that most people know.

10


waiting in church


UNIT TWO Session Two: Family

Rehearsing Confession with Paper Children Leader’s Guide ‘Paulo Freire and informal education’ Hand-out for leaders

1


Unit2 Preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation: Family Session

Rehearsing Confession with Paper Children

Family Workshop Team Guide 2


Materials Board & pens Large figure Paper People/ Fr Listen etc as for Parents’ Session paper & pen/pencil for each child/family

3


Unit 2 Preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation: Family Session

Rehearsing Confession with‘Paper Children’ Introduction

Tonight you are going to learn a little more about the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Your parish priest has brought some of his friends to help us. (The local priest introduces the visiting priests.)

Some Paper People have also joined us tonight and they are going to Confession. Show Demonstration figure.

1. Creating the character

Here is a seven year old Paper Boy. First, we are going to decide who he is. What shall we call him? Who is in his family? What does he enjoy doing? What does he not like doing? How does he show he is a kind person? What does he do that is not so nice?

2. “Johnny” goes to Confession

4

Write up chart

Johnny 3 brothers, 1 sister football washing dishes Lets ....... play with his ball. Fights

Now “Johnny” is going to ask God to forgive him for things he has done wrong. So he is sitting quietly, by himself, trying to think what he should say to God. Place demonstration figure a little apart - but in prominent place

We are going to help him by making a list of the things he has done that were wrong. What could he have done? Do not write up these first suggestions All those things would make a long list! Maybe he would not remember it all. Let’s write out the ones he really needs to say. Write up suggestions Why did you think he needed to tell these faults? Give time for children to explain their choices. Comment, where this is useful.

Came home late Ate his sister’s sweets Picked a fight in the playground


Introductory Formula

Here is Fr. Listen. “Johnny” is going to come beside Fr. Listen and tell him what he did wrong. First, I am going to introduce him. ‘Good evening Father. This is “Johnny”. He has come to make his First Confession. How will “Johnny” begin? It is easier to start if we have words that we know by heart. Children say the formula they have been taught.

What will Fr. Listen reply to the greeting? One of the priests gives a response

Johnny tells his sins

How will “Johnny” own up to what he has done wrong? Let’s look at that list we made and take the first point. ‘I came home late’ What is the story behind that? Take some replies. It could be quite a long story. Maybe there were other people with him. But this is not the time to discuss them.

He needs to tell Father what he did that was wrong. He might say something like this. ‘I was told to come straight home. But I went round the shops with my friends. I knew I shouldn’t. Who would like to say how Johnny should confess the next one on the list: Ate his sister’s sweets? Take one or more suggestions

We’ll stop there and find out what might Fr. Listen say to that. Again, one of the priests interprets Fr Listen’s response. This includes an appropriate penance.

5


A Paper Person for each Family

1.Creating the Character

Each family is given a pen/pencil and a Paper Child mounted on a sheet of paper.

Look at the chart to remind you what we did with this first figure. Decide if your Paper Child is a boy or a girl, then choose a name. Tell your Mum or Dad what your Paper Child is like. They will help you write it down. Team members help parents/children create a character quickly, using the demonstration chart as guide. When a number of families have finished their Paper Children stop the table activity and ask everyone to face the front for a few moments to hear what they have to do next.

2. Preparing the Now the Paper Children are going to ‘Confession’. Before Fr Listen comes to your table, Paper Child for Confession take a few minutes to prepare your Paper Child. Remember to tell the story of what he or she did wrong. Make it something real. Don’t let any Paper Children just say: I told a lie.’ They should say what happened. For example: ‘I told my mother I was in my friend’s house, when I was really going round the shops.’

Children plan their Paper Child’s story within their family group. Team members give support.

6


When Fr Listen comes to your table, introduce your Paper Child to him. Speak for your Paper Child. Begin with the ‘starting’ words you have been taught to say. Then tell what he or she has done wrong. The priest will tell you what Fr Listen might say to your Paper Child.

The priests move immediately to the first tables, talking and listening to the children.

Team members work with the others, listening to the stories they have prepared.

Now lay your Paper Children down on the table and give them a rest. Let’s think about what they have done, so far: 1. They have met Fr Listen 2. They have told their sins. 3. They have listened to the Penance that Fr.Listen has given them.

Saying ‘sorry’ comes next.

When we own up to something wrong, we say that we are sorry. Your Paper Children have owned up to God, so now they say the Sorry Prayer. We will say it for them:

An Act of Sorrow

The local version is used

7


Absolution and Reconciliation Forgiveness Action

After all that, we come to the most important part of the Sacrament: Forgiveness. God forgives us through the words and actions of the priest. This is a very special and wonderful moment. Bring your Paper Children out here. Stand before Fr Listen, holding up your Paper Child. Stand quite separately, to give you the feeling that this is specially for your Paper Child. Now watch Father’s hand as he raises it to call down the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Forgiveness. Listen to the special words he says with this action. They are called: The Words of Absolution. Absolution is the Climax of the Sacrament and should be presented as a solemn drama. The priest stands with arm outstreched over the children and says the words so that the parents,too, can hear them clearly.

The Absolution God, the Father of mercy, through the death and resurrection of his Son, has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give 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.

Help your Paper Children to say together, ‘Thank you, Father!’ 8


To represent going into a bench to say their Penance, the children separate slightly from the priest

A moment of quiet Let’s think how your Paper Children feel now. When you have fallen out with your friends - and then you make up the quarrel - how do you feel? (Take some replies) So you are ready to spend time with them again? Your Paper Children have been forgiven by God. So they will want to spend some time with God. The first thing they are going to do is say the prayer they were given as a Penance. Let’s say it together...... Now, if they are really happy that God counts them as his friends, they will want to say something in their own words.

Turn your Paper Child round to yourself and keep your eyes on it. Stay very still.

Your paper person is not going to say anything aloud. This is just in your own heart, only for God to hear. Inside your head, say something to God for your Paper Child.

Let it be something loving and friendly. You might just say, ‘I love you, Jesus!’ or ‘I’m glad you love me!’ Or maybe, ‘I like being friends swith you!’ It can be anything you want to say. Pause for a moment

As a final ‘Thank You’ to God for showing us his love in this Sacrament of Reconciliation, we will end by saying the Glory Be to the Father all together. 9


waiting in church


Family Faith Reconciliation programme The Sacrament of Reconciliation is an experience of the wonderful forgiveness of God. To appreciate this, children need

a heightened consciousness of everyday, family forgiveness.

Unit One: Parents: What is Reconciliation about?

The opening session is about ‘reconciliation’ in everyday life. A child will only make sense of the Sacrament of Reconciliation if he/she already knows how to ‘make-up’ at home. A magazine ‘Yours Truly’ supports the discussion.

Family: ‘My Story’, reconciliation at home

Time is spent exploring the sequence of : owning up; being forgiven; enjoying ‘togetherness’. Children write and share their own stories.

Unit Two: Parents: What do we say in Confession? What do we hear?

In this session we use ‘Paper People’ to work out, in a light hearted way, what someone might say in Confession. A priest takes the part of ‘Fr Listen’ to give an immediate response. Then the parable of the Prodigal Son is told.

Family: Rehearsing Confession with ‘Paper Children’

Working first as a whole group, the childen create a character and suggest what might be said in Confession. The exercise is then repeated in families. The session ends with an emphasis on absolution.

This programme includes: Full material for each session Leaflets for participants

Family+Faith+Reconciliation  

Family+Faith+Reconciliation

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you