Online Catholic First Confession Classes - With Certificates of Completion
What Is First Confession?
Our Lord gave His disciples "power and authority" (Luke 9:1), and later, He gave them the unique power to forgive sins (John 20:21-23).
"[Jesus] said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained." (John 20:21-23)
In those words, Our Lord Jesus Christ instituted the Sacrament of Confession which is also known as both the Sacrament of Penance as well as the Sacrament of Reconciliation. These words of Our Lord were not a symbolic act but one of true and lasting importance. Truly, by these words, the Sacrament of Penance was instituted as the Church dogmatically teaches. First Confession is therefore a Catholics first time confessing his or her sins to a Catholic priest and receiving absolution (i.e., true foregiveness). As with the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, a Catholic will receive the Sacrament of Confession hundreds of times or more in the course of a lifetime.
Is First Reconciliation the Same as First Communion?
No. A Sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace. There are seven Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, and Matrimony. All the Sacraments were instituted by Our Lord, and they can never be increased or decreased in number. First Confession is a baptized Catholics first time confessing his or her sins and receiving absolution. It always happens around the time of a Catholic's First Holy Communion since we are requried to never, for any reason, receive Holy Communion with mortal sin on our souls. We should also confess any and all venial sins too before receiving Holy Communion. As a result, First Confession occurs shortly before First Communion since, during a Catholic's entire life, he or she will often receive Confession before receiving our Lord's Body and Blood in Holy Communion.
What Do You Say At First Confession?
The Catechism teaches that for a Confession to be authentic and our sins to be forgiven, we must confess all mortal sins. If we willingly do not confess a mortal sin, our sins are not forgiven. For a sin to be mortal, it must fulfill three categories: It must be serious matter (against one of the Commandments) The individual must know it's wrong when he/she does it. And thirdly, the individual must have full control of will (ex. he or she is not dreaming or forced to do it). A First Confession is no different from every other Confession of sins to a priest - it is special just because it is the first time someone receives God's actual graces and forgiveness in the Sacrament.
Remember, that Confession is essential for reception of the Most Holy Eucharist. The Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Our Savior, is the most supreme gift. The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. If we are in a state of mortal sin we are forbidden to receive the Eucharist before Confession. As St. Paul writes: "Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord" (1 Corinthians 11:27). As a result, we will receive Confession often throuhgout our lives. We must go to Confession at least once a year after we make our First Confession; however, it is recommended to go at least every two weeks. If you have mortal sins on your soul, you should go to Confession even sooner. Heaven is not possible to anyone who dies with mortal sin on his or her soul.
The format for what to say at a First Confession is the exact same as what to say at any Confession. The only exception is at the beginning. For the rest of your life you will start your confession with the words: "Bless me, father for I have sinned. It has been [insert time (e.g., 2 weeks)] since my last Confession..." But for someone's First Confession, simply say "Bless me, father for I have sinned. This is my first confession..." The rest is the same.
How Long Are Catholic First Confession Classes?
Catholic First Confession classes are usually paired with First Holy Communion Classes, which typically last one year. Some places require a two-year preparation. First Confession classes are often taken as part of a student's 2nd grade Catholic education classes. There are First Confession classes for all ages though including adolescents and even adults. CatechismClass.com offers flexible, online First Confession and First Holy Communion preparation course that can be completed at a student's own pace. Most students easily complete our course in just a few months since it is conveniently online and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our courses are still complete and faithfully Catholic. All students who complete our courses receive a certificate of completion
What Is Taught In Catholic First Confession Class?
Students learn what about the necessity of Confession for the forgiveness of sins in God's plan of salvation, the essential elements required for a valid Confession, the horror of what sin is and why we need forgiveness, the how-to process for making your confession, and the benefits of living a life of grace with frequent confession.
The matter for Sacramental Confession requires four elements which all must be present for a pentitent to receive forgiveness. There are unfortunately few First Confession Programs that spend time on all four parts. For instance, mortal sins must be confessed in kind, number, and any circumstances that change the gravity or nature of the sin. As the Code of Canon Law promulgated in 1983 states: “A member of the Christian faithful is obliged to confess in kind and number all grave sins committed after baptism and not yet remitted directly through the keys of the Church nor acknowledged in individual confession, of which the person has knowledge after diligent examination of conscience.”
Deliberately concealing a known mortal sin in Confession is a sacrilege, as is downplaying the number of times a particular mortal sin was committed when the penitent knows he committed the sin more often. It is acceptable to say you committed a certain sin approximately a certain number of times or even say phrases like “a handful of times” – but not if you know for certain that you actually committed it, for example, exactly five times. The Catechism of the Council of Trent warns: “It is a grievous offense willfully to conceal a mortal sin in Confession, because we thereby tell a lie to the Holy Ghost and make our Confession worthless. He who has willfully concealed a mortal sin in Confession must not only confess it but must also repeat all the sins he has committed since his last worthy Confession.” This and much, more more is covered in our online First Confession classes.
Can I Make My First Confession Online?
No. As with all Sacraments, the actual reception of the Sacrament must be in person from a Catholic priest. The Pontifical Council on Social Communications on the Church and the Internet published a document in 2002 that says, “virtual reality cannot substitute for the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, nor the sacramental reality of the other sacraments, nor the worship shared in a human community of flesh and bones....Sacraments on the Internet do not exist....Even religious experiences that are possible there through the grace of God are insufficient if they are separated from interaction in the real world with other persons of faith.”
Can I Study for My First Confession Online?
Yes! CatechismClass.com is a leading provider of online, self-study courses to help individuals (both adults and children) study for their Sacraments since our founding back in 2004. After passing our affordable Sacramental Preparation Coursework, your account will be reviewed to ensure you have passed all required course materials. After review and successful completion of a course of study, students will receive a CatechismClass.com Certificate. This certificate can be presented to your priest and parish to show passage of our First Confession preparation classes. Use the link below to find the particular program of study you need to earn our certificate of completion. Our course is also an excellent way for parents to help their children prepare while at home for their Sacraments, in conjunction with parish-based formation programs.