Confession and Forgiveness
“And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him, and kissed him” (Lk 15.20)
Many people think that confession (sometimes called the ‘sacrament of reconciliation’) is something that only Roman Catholics do. This is not true! Confession is a central practice of many Christian Churches – including the Orthodox, Lutheran, and has always been a part of Anglicanism, even after the Reformation. Sadly, the practice of confession nearly died out in the eighteenth century, but was re-discovered in the nineteenth century, and has grown in usage ever since.
Our understanding of the benefits to be gained from confession and forgiveness will be heightened if we consider for a moment just how necessary forgiveness and reconciliation is in our everyday lives. On the ordinary human level we know only too well the need to be reconciled with each other when, through our own fault, we have fallen out. We know that being reconciled with those we have wronged is not just a matter of saying ‘sorry’, putting the quarrel behind us – we want and need to be accepted back, to be given another chance, to be thought no less of – we want to make up, and to know that our sorrow is accepted.
If you have never made your confession before, it is a good idea to do this before one of the great Christian Festivals of Christmas and Easter, and the seasons of Advent and Lent are an ideal time to prepare yourself to do this.
If you would like to make your confession, or would like to speak about this, please contact us.
“all may, none must, some should”
The Most Revd Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury 1961-74