Re: [liturgy-l] Bless Me Father For I Have Sinned...
We too have "Corporate Confession," usually held at
the beginning of the liturgy (though that placement in
the ordo is optional), in which the faithful are given
space to silently reflect upon their sins and confess
them to God. The practice of Individual Confession of
sins to another person (note: I never did make the
claim that it had to be to a priest/clergy... Clergy
are, perhaps, ideal people to seek out, though...)
does not supplant nor invalidate this corporate rite,
it enhances it.
We "do not have to..." confess verbally to a priest
"in order to..." recieve frogiveness. However,
hearing absolution spoken to our specific sins is a
powerful experience. A theology prof at Wartburg
Seminary put it to me this way (and I think he's right
on the money...): I know my wife loves me. She
proves it every day by what she does. But I still
need to hear the words, "I Love You."
We too, need to hear the words "You are forgiven" even
though we know that God forgives us. When we fail to
say the words or listen to them, it's like a marriage
when the spouses fail to say "I love you." The
relationship becomes colder and more distant. That's
what I fear happens when protestants fail to take
advantage of verbal confession.
It's not something we "have to do..." in order to
"recive forgiveness." It's a confirmation of what God
does for us.
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
--- James <jarp198604@...> wrote:
> In the Episcopal Church, "Reconciliation of a
> Penitent" is a holy
> discipline, which the faithful can use, in order to
> clear their
> consciences and receive absolution for their sins.
> Again, it is optional. During The Holy Eucharist,
> we have the
> General Confession of Sin and Absolution. We kneel
> down in silence,
> express sorrow for our sins, recite the prayer,
> receive absolution,
> and are made more worthy to receive The Holy
> I have not made a private, auricular Confession
> since July of 2004.
> When I was a Roman Catholic, every Saturday night, I
> would drive to
> the local parish, confess my sins, receive
> absolution, say my
> penance, and pray that I would not sin again before
> Sunday Mass.
> I often thought, with fear and trembling, that if I
> died before my
> next Confession, especially if I sinned, I would be
> cast into the
> depths of Hell.
> Therefore, I was in a constant cycle of confessing
> my sins,
> receiving absolution, and saying penance.
> Personally, it was not
> beneficial to my mental health or my self-esteem.
> In the Episcopal tradition, I rejoice in the fact
> that I am not
> bound to confess my sins to the priest, in order to
> forgiveness. I can be forgiven in three ways:
> 1. Auricular Confession to a Priest.
> 2. Personal Confession to God.
> 3. General Confession and Absolution in Liturgy.
> In the High Church Protestant tradition, Confession
> ought to be
> offered to the faithful, but it should never be
> mandated. There are
> just some people, who are not comfortable with using
> this sacrament
> or sacramental rite.
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- Yes...this comment from my priest at my first confession didn't help
motivate me to confess regularly, either. Thank you for your guidance
as to what's a sin; this will help me prepare for my long-overdue
On 2/12/06, Frank Senn <fcsenn@...> wrote:
> Whar a serious "no-no" the priest committed! You don't evaluate the seriousness of the sin in the confessional. If it is something that gets in the way of one's relationship with God or other people, it is a sin. You hear it out and pronounce the absolution.
Scott R. Knitter
Edgewater, Chicago, Illinois USA
mailto:scottknitter@... - http://scottknitter.blog-city.com