ADVENT RECONCILIATION SERVICE

This advent we are all called to wake up and to realise the damage that has been done to our planet and to our brothers and sisters. We are called to wake up and see that we each have a part to play in correcting the damage that has already been done to the world. We are called to begin the journey to 2030. This Advent the journey to 2030 invites parishes to begin the journey by hosting a reconciliation service,Christmas film screening, book club or alternative Christmas fair. 

We are all hypocrites when it comes to our ecological crisis. We all contribute to our ecological Crisis and often fail to see this. Recognising this hypocrisy is a huge first step in growing in virtue and should not be a stumbling block to us moving forward, on the contrary, they allow us to identify areas of ourselves and our society that need to change in order for us to live in love of God, Neighbour and Nature. It is this recognition of our own responsibilities that means we are becoming more awake. This advent we need to look at the way we treat the world around us and this reconciliation service is a way of ‘waking up’ and making a change. 

WHAT DO YOU NEED?

  • Download the event leaders pack below. Print the poster to advertise the event.

YOU WILL ALSO NEED:

  • Jam Jars (without jam in) and Candles (tealights are easiest) to make a beautiful reflective atmosphere.
  • Ecological examination of conscience cards and/or poster sets. These are available from the Ecological Conversion Group shop (printed on FSC recycled board). www.theecg.org/shop The Ecological Conversion Group resources are also available to download and print from their website if budgets are too tight: www.theecg.org/eco-examen
  • Regular examination of conscience cards are also useful. This may be the first time in a long while some attendees have been to confession. If you do not have these already in the parish you can buy them from Crown of Thorns here:
  • Priests! If your parish is doing a reconciliation service anyway simply ask if you can use the ecological reflections. If you cannot find priests then you could always host the service yourself as a reflection rather than reconciliation service. 
  • Music. Ask your parish music group to provide some gentle reflective music. Failing this some recorded Taize chants are ideal. 

RUNNING THE EVENT

  1. Hopefully you will have already downloaded the poster, added the details of your service, put it up on your church notice board and put the event in the newsletter and have announced it at church? Great.
  2. Find your dimly lit church and decorate it with candles in jam jars. This adds a beautiful and reflective and Christmassy atmosphere. You could even host a workshop for the children to decorate these lanterns beforehand.
  3. Use the guided reflection for the service.
  4. Invite those gathered to use the examination of conscience to prepare to be reconciled to the Lord in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We have created an examination of conscience exercise that allows you to see what in your day you have done well. and what in your day you would like to improve on tomorrow. Where are you on your Journey to ecological conversion?
  5. This exercise works very well as a group discussion (if you have no priest) using the poster version, as prayer stations or as a personal reflection during a reconciliation service. During this point the music plays. 
  6. Space to reflect on examination of conscience and go to confession.
  7. Close with a final song or blessing by the Priest who is present.