The Rite for Reconciliation of Several Penitents with Individual Confession and Absolution is one of the legitimate options of the Rite of Penance afforded to all the faithful on occasion, particularly during the seasons of Advent and Lent.
Communal celebration shows more clearly the ecclesial nature of penance. When a number of penitents assemble at the same time to receive sacramental reconciliation, the Word of God is proclaimed, followed by an examination of conscience.
If necessary, several priests should be available in suitable places to hear individual confessions and to reconcile the penitents. After confessing and being absolved individually, all join in praising God together.
The physical arrangements for celebration of this Second Form shall enable individuals to confess either face-to-face or anonymously.
During the communal liturgy, there shall be the usual distribution of liturgical roles.
This form of the celebration of the sacrament demands proper and thorough liturgical planning. As with all forms, the basic format of the Rite shall be followed, however, considerable variety is possible in terms of Scriptural texts, themes, visual and other specific components of the liturgical action. Communal prayer and singing are integral components of this form.
Pastoral prudence may suggest adapting the celebration of the rite appropriate for the particular group participating in the sacrament. (e.g. School children, confirmation retreats, those with physical challenges, etc.)
The Rite of Penance, with its Appendices should be used as the primary resource in planning penitential celebrations.
When using the Second Form, penitents must make individual integral confession of their sins, and absolution is always to be given individually.