Private Council / Confession

Private Council

Our Chaplain is available to offer spiritual council or to simply be a listening ear and to pray or to discuss questions of our faith in Jesus Christ.  Please feel free to call our Chaplain or to arrange a time for an appointment please call our  Administrative Assistant.

Confession

CorbelRectangle2All may; some should; none must.

In the Anglican Tradition all Christians are expected to regularly confess their sins before God.  We do this privately but also in public worship, where we remember specific sins when saying the general confession in our liturgy.  Sacramental or “auricular” confession before a priest is not required in the Anglican tradition (“none must”), though it is understood as a profound spiritual gift and is strongly encouraged for those whose consciences continue to be troubled (“some should”).  The Reconciliation of a Penitent, more commonly called Confession, is available for all who desire it  (“all may”).

The ministration of the complete forgiveness of God that has been made possible through the work of Christ is available sacramentally through the apostolic ministry of priests and bishops. The specific ministry of absolution is declared by Jesus to his apostles in John chapter 20 when He appears to them after His resurrection, breathes on them the Holy Spirit, and proclaims: “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (v. 23). As it is in the broad catholic world, absolution may be pronounced only by a bishop or priest.

Sin damages and alters a Christian’s relationship with God and only through contrition and repentance can that relationship be restored.  The Church has always taught that a Christian can confess his or her sin – any sin – directly to God and receive all the grace that God has to offer. But what we often forget is how difficult it can be to face honestly the sin in our life and to come to a real point of sorrow about them and a true desire to change. Thus, the gift of private confession allows the Christian to name his or her sins in the presence of a priest (representing to the penitent both the Church as well as God) and come Rembrandt-_Return_of_the_Prodigal_Son_-_Google_Art_Projectcpface-to-face with them in the light of God in a way that we scarcely do on our own.

For the priest to be able to offer absolution, the penitent must give evidence of due contrition (sorrow for one’s actions), a firm intention of amendment of life, and when necessary, a willingness to make restitution.  After the confession is made, the priest gives such counsel and encouragement as are needed and pronounces absolution.  Before giving absolution, the priest may assign to the penitent what is often called “penance” – a psalm, prayer, or hymn to be said, or something to be done, as a sign of penitence and act of thanksgiving.

The content of a confession is not normally a matter of subsequent discussion.  The secrecy of a confession is morally absolute for the confessor, and must under no circumstances be broken.

All this is from God,
who through Christ reconciled us to himself
and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is,
in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself,
not counting their trespasses against them,
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ,
God making his appeal through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ,
be reconciled to God.

2 Corinthians 5:18-20