In addition to three sacramental forms of reconciliation, the Rite of Penance also offers non-sacramental, communal penitential services. These are further options which may be afforded to the faithful.
In planning, publicizing and celebrating such non-sacramental services, care must be taken that people do not confuse these with the celebration of the sacrament of penance.
Non-sacramental penitential services provide a catechetical opportunity for catechumens and candidates during their conversion, as well as helping children gradually form their conscience about sin in human life and about freedom from sin through Christ. (See #37 Rite of Penance) These services could also be used in the following situations: RCIA, Lenten service in predominantly non-Catholic student body, Respect Life, or by an individual teacher in classroom setting.
If an ordained minister is not present, a non-ordained minister may preside at such non-sacramental penitential services.
The appendices of the Rite of Penance should be used as a resource book in planning such penitential services.