All May, None Must, Some Should
The Reconciliation of a Penitent is one of the most powerful services in the Book of Common Prayer. Known more colloquially as “Confession,” the Sacrament of Reconciliation, found beginning on page 447 of the prayer book, is an opportunity to identify and confess serious sins or sinful trends in one’s life and receive the promise of God’s forgiveness. While every service of Holy Eucharist includes a time of corporate confession, there is something especially powerful about identifying specific ways that one has dishonored the image of God in oneself and others. Participating in the Sacrament of Reconciliation is not a requirement, but it can be a source of particular comfort to those who are struggling with the reality of sin in their life. The Episcopal Church’s approach to the Sacrament of Reconciliation can be summarized succinctly: “all may; none must; some should.”
Lent is a season of self-examination, penitence, renewal. As such, it is a particularly good time to experience the Sacrament of Reconciliation. During the season of Lent, clergy will be available on Thursdays at 12:30 p.m. in the chapel for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Clergy will also be available to hear confessions at 12:30 Monday through Thursday during Holy Week (April 3 through April 6), and from 1:00 to 3:00 on Good Friday (April 7). If you would like to have your confession heard, wait in the pews near the baptismal font and you will be brought to the chapel by a priest. At the beginning of the service, the priest will usually walk the penitent through the service. The Sacrament of Reconciliation rarely takes more than ten minutes. Matters discussed within the context of the Sacrament of Reconciliation are treated with the strictest confidentiality.
We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to experience a service that is rooted in a profound awareness of God’s grace.