Skit for Confession

Here is a skit I made up for my "cloistered brothers."  It is written specifically for those in formation for Lay Dominicans and those in RCIA.  Remember these men are in prison.  Yesterday's post was the plan for the evening.  This skit will be the last item on the list.  I need your input.  Do you think the mock confessions are apropros for the men's situation (prison)?  Also what do you think of the last penitent?  Is it inappropriate?  Should it be eliminated?

Sacrament of Reconciliation
Props:  two chairs, purple stole
Characters:  narrator, confessor,  3 penitents
Scene: Confessional—two chairs facing each other

Narrator: This is a simulation of different types of confessions.  The first is the no nonsense, just the facts type of confession.  The penitent will just give a list of sins.  The second type of confession is someone working on one area of his life.  The penitent needs spiritual direction.  The third type is …well, different.
The Confessor is sitting and waiting with purple stole.
The penitent comes and sits across from the priest.

1 Penitent: Bless me Father for I have sinned.  (Make sign of the cross.) It has been two months since my last confession. Here are my sins: I lack patience and often bark at people.  Sometimes I make hurtful, snarky remarks when someone asks me a simple question, particularly my cellmate.  I seem to have become very selfish and self-centered because I don’t even have the patience to listen to them.  I’m inattentive to other’s problems.  I’m also angry and jealous when I see others have more than I.  I’ve also been looking at porn and I’m afraid I’m getting addicted because I keep looking for more opportunities to look and fantasize and I don’t want it to get out of control.  I’m trying to stop.  Well, that’s enough.  That’s what I wanted to tell you.  And I am sorry for these sins and all the sins of my life.  I ask for forgiveness, absolution and penance.

Confessor: Well, let’s step back and see what’s going on in your life that has made you angry and impatient.  Has anything changed in your life?

1 Penitent:  No Father.

Confessor:  Have you had bad news from home or the prison administration?
1 Penitent:  No, no Father.

Confessor:  It just might be the porn.  It’s making you uncomfortable, anxious, and you’re slipping in deeper and afraid you can’t stop.  You’ve lost control and it’s becoming an obsession so that when friends speak or make demands on you, you react by snapping at everyone.  Am I right?

1 Penitent:  Maybe.  I don’t know.

Confessor: You have to quit the porn.

1 Penitent:  I want to.  I want to stop.

Confessor:  Do you think you can throw the junk away?  Can you walk away from situations where you see it? 

1 Penitent:  I’ll certainly try.

Confessor:  How about putting your mother’s face in the picture?  Your grandmother’s?

1 Penitent:  Ah…that might do it.

Confessor:  What I want you to do is pray to Jesus for strength to resist temptation?  Ask Mary for help?  Do you know the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel?

1 Penitent:  No Father

Confessor:  That’s your penance.  Look up the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel and pray it.  Meditate upon it.  You’ll understand why, when you pray it.  Now make a good act of contrition.

1 Penitent: O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee and I detest all my sins because of Thy just punishments, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more and avoid the near occasions of sin. Amen.

Confessor:  May God the Father of Mercies, who through the death of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, give you pardon and peace.  And, now, I absolve you from all of your sins, In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 1 Penitent makes sign of the cross.

1 Penitent: Amen

Confessor: Go in peace.

1 Penitent: Thank you Father.

Narrator: This is only one example of confession.  If you don’t know an act of contrition just tell the priest and say I'm really sorry for all my sins and, because I love God, I will try not to sin anymore”
        In this next scene, the penitent doesn’t give a list of sins.  He confesses frequently because he says his last confession  was a week ago.  This penitent is looking for spiritual direction, especially if he always goes to the same priest, who know s him well.

Second Scene

The  2 penitent comes and sits across from the priest

2 Penitent:  Bless me Father for I have sinned.  (Make sign of the cross.) It has been one week since my last confession.  I’d like to confess my feelings of helplessness, anger, and frustration towards my wife.  She’s getting into heroin again and won’t listen to me.  When I get mad she stays away.  I don’t know what to do.

Confessor:  I can feel your sorrow and frustration.  You have no control over the situation.  Prayer is really your only recourse.  Pray for yourself.  Pray that you can think clearly and influence her wisely.  Pray for her that she will see what she is doing and step away from it.  Pray for help, for intervention.  Perhaps in prayer, you will think of someone or some way to help her.  I will pray for you two, too.
      Is there anything else you want to tell confess?

2 Penitent:  No Father

Confessor:  For your penance say three Hail Mary’s and make a good act of contrition.

2 Penitent:  O my Jesus, I am sorry for offending You because I have hurt You and Your Church.  I firmly intend, to make up for my sins and to sin no more. Amen.

Confessor:  May God the Father of Mercies, who through the death of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, give you pardon and peace.  And, now, I absolve you from all of your sins, In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 2 Penitent makes sign of the cross.

2 Penitent: Amen


2 Penitent: Thank you Father.

Narrator:  You have seen two types of confessions: one who gives a list of his sins, and the other who is working on correcting one area of his life.  The priest will help you confess whichever way is the most comfortable.  Just ask the confessor for help.  Here is the last scene.

Scene Three

The 3 penitent rushes quite hastily to the seat.

3 Penitent:  Hey Father, I just had sex with three women at the same time!

Confessor:  Whoa, wait a minute.  When was your last confession?

3 Penitent:  Confession?  This is my first time here.

Confessor:  Oh, this is your first confession.  You need to tell me that.  Have you examined your conscience?

3 Penitent:  I don’t know what you’re talking about?  I just wanted to tell you that I had sex with 3 women at the same time.

Confessor:  Are you sorry for this?

3 Penitent:  Hell, no.  I’m proud of it!

Confessor:  In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the penitent must have sorrow for his or her sins, must confess them to a priest, and must do satisfaction for the sins.  This is what all Catholics do.

3 Penitent:  But I’m not Catholic.

Confessor:  Then why are you here?

3 Penitent:  Because I’m 95 years old and just had sex with three woman at the same time (Stand up and as he leaves he says.)  I’m telling everybody.

Confessor:  Stands up and explains. The Sacrament of Reconciliation, sometimes called the Sacrament of Penance or Confession, forgives the sins of baptized persons committed after baptism. 

 Narrator: The Sacrament of Reconciliation restores the gift of God’s grace after it has been lost by mortal sin or weakened by venial sin.  In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the penitent has a personal encounter with Jesus Christ who is represented by the priest in the confessional.

Confessor:      As members of Christ’s Body, everything we do affects the whole body.  Sin wounds and weakens the Body of Christ; the healing we receive in this Sacrament restores health and strength to the Church, as well as to ourselves.

Narrator:  The last penitent, penitent # 3 was not sorry.

  In fact, he didn’t see any sin at all.  We don’t know if anyone was hurt by his actions; it’s only a humorous story after all.  He was so far away from God that he only thought of himself.  Lust is selfish, self-seeking and hurtful.  His sin besides being fornication or adultery was more worship of himself and whatever whim entered his head. 

Narrator:  No absolution for penitent # 3.  He didn’t fulfill the requirements: 

Confessor:  He was not sincere and honest.

Narrator:  He wasn’t sorry—not repentant.

Confessor: He didn’t resolve to do better.

Narrator:  He is not reconciled with God.

Confessor:  But these are only mock confessions.  The real Sacrament of Reconciliation is one of the reasons we should be glad we’re Catholic.  Getting rid of guilt, and hearing from the priest’s mouth that your sins are forgiven is a blessing we all crave.  We can see, hear, and feel the grace of absolution as surely as we can taste the Body of Christ in the Eucharist.

Narrator:  Thanks be to God.

Everyone:   Amen!


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