An approach to God made in humility, openness, submission. It is laying one's sins before God with the assurance that God will show mercy
Public confession is practiced regularly in liturgical churches.
The sacrament of Confession (uisually private) is less widely practiced, except in Roman Catholicism. (It is also called Reconciliation of a Penitent.)
Purposes of confession:
- To restore oneself to right relationship with God and with other people, especially one's faith community.
- To remove the burden of guilt, so that one can life freely
- To make amends to God and, emboldened by that, to make amends to those hurt by one's sin.
- Roles of the confessor:
- To listen with a non-judgmental attitude
- To provide a safe place where people can face their frailties
- To provide the assurance of forgiveness
- To call the penitent to new life and wholeness.
Personal confession, made in one's prayer time, has merit, too. The key is honesty with oneself.
The pastor needs to set aside regular times to hear confessions.