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THE SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE SACRAMENT OF penance and reconc
Transcript of THE SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE SACRAMENT OF penance and reconc
Its aim is to reconcile sinners to God and the community of believers (the Church – the Body of Christ). It is a gift from a merciful God to humanity in order to reconcile the world to Himself. God is actively reconciling in the Sacrament. Reconciliation is the symbol of God and the Church who are mutually related.
A stole is a long, narrow strip of cloth worn over the shoulders, which hangs in front in equal lengths on the right and left sides.
A Raised Hand
Keys crisscrossed in the shape of an “X” are the most common symbol for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
The symbol originates with Jesus’ words to Peter, “I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19), by which He established the Sacrament of Reconciliation and gave the Church the authority to forgive sins
THE SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE SACRAMENT OF penance and reconciliation
The stole is the primary symbol of the ordained priesthood. It is the priest in persona Christi, as a representative of Christ who grants Sacramental absolution. Christ is the High Priest behind the priest.
The stole signifies the priest’s authority to preside over the Sacraments in general, and his authority to absolve sins in particular. When a priest hears confessions, he wears a purple stole, which symbolizes repentance and sorrow.
During the Sacrament of Reconciliation, after the penitent makes the Act of Contrition, the priest offers the Prayer of Absolution, the blessing that removes the person’s sins, and as he does so he extends his right hand over the penitent’s head.
Sign of The Cross
The priest makes a Sign of the Cross over the penitent as he recites the final words of the Prayer of Absolution, “And I absolve you from all your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Jesus “himself bore our sins in his body upon the Cross” (1 Peter 2:24a). Jesus has reconciled all things through himself, and he has made peace by the blood of his Cross (Colossians 1:20).
Before Jesus, our Suffering Servant, was crucified, He was scourged at the pillar. “He was crushed for our sins, by His stripes we were healed; through His suffering, my Servant shall justify many, and their guilt He shall bear; He shall take away the sins of many, and win pardon for their offenses” (Isaiah 53:5,11,12). The apostle Peter reflected, “By his [Jesus’] wounds we were healed” (1 Peter 2:24).