Reconciliation of a Penitent, or Penance, is the rite in which those who repent of their sins may confess them to God in the presence of a priest, and receive the assurance of pardon and the grace of absolution. ~ The Book of Common Prayer, p. 861
Though many people find their needs met by the General Confession that we say communally in the liturgy, some find it spiritually helpful occasionally to seek out individual confession with a priest. The Episcopal Church offers this sacramental rite, not as an obligation, but as a means of grace (see the BCP, beginning on p. 446). The Anglican approach to the practice of individual confession is summed up well in an oft-heard maxim: “All may, some should, none must.” The Prayer Book states that this rite is not meant to be confined to extraordinary circumstances, but is to be offered as part of the regular sacramental life of the church, “available for all who desire it.” The intention involved in preparing for such a confession, and in hearing the words of absolution spoken for “even my sins” can be a powerful experience of Christ’s grace.
If you would like to schedule a confession, or if you would like simply to have a conversation about this sacrament and its use, contact Fr. Clay.