Tonight is Little Girl’s First Confession. She is really nervous about speaking to the priest (she is incredibly shy around adults), but is looking forward to being forgiven. Unfortunately, children making their first Confession at our parish do not have the option of an anonymous Confession; they must make a face-to-face Confession. I sincerely wish that they weren’t forced into that (not to mention that it would make it easier for me to partake of the Sacrament tonight if I could go into the Confessional – er, Reconciliation Room – and sit behind a screen). I know Little Girl is probably more nervous because of the face-to-face nature of the whole thing, as well.
If I were a better parent, I would have advocated three years ago for an “in the box” Confession option at the First Reconciliation Service. I’ll have to make the suggestion to the DRE for elementary kids for future years. Honestly, if I’d been away for years (and I have been, at times), I’d be hard-pressed to sit face-to-face with a priest. I’m nervous enough as it is! I am completely flustered when I can’t be behind the screen! (And, yeah, I miss the box. Everyone seems to make fun of it these days, but I like the box, thankyouverymuch!)
Besides, the children actually have the right to an anonymous Confession.
Anyway, I have a page set up with her examination of conscience and a small card with the Act of Contrition (what the religious ed. department here would call the “adult version”) for her to bring tonight. And I’ll be praying for her. Bunches. If you could, please send up a prayer for her, too. It’s not easy for a shy child to talk to grown-ups.