It isn’t easy to confront the awareness that we’ve done wrong, but it’s a necessary part of being fully human. We’ve hurt others, made unethical choices, and betrayed a trust or responsibility, or ignored evils and injustices when we could have made a difference. Jesus taught us to live in right relationship with God, with neighbor (and everyone is our neighbor), and with the world, and this involves growth over time as we live and work and make common cause with others.
Christian life is support of one another in this growth, supported by prayer, study, and the companionship of others. We also support one another in acknowledging when we’ve been wrong and in seeking the grace of God which leads to renewal and forgiveness of one another.
Our Sunday and weekday services of Holy Eucharist include a “general confession,” a time for each of us together in community to recognize that we’ve gotten things wrong both by what we do and by what we leave undone. We confess this and ask for Christ’s forgiveness. All of us are encouraged to reflect before worship on what aspects of our lives should be silently offered to God at this time in order to receive the gift of forgiveness and renewal.
There are times when individuals will find a need for something more particular and personal than this time of “general confession.” We may, because of a troubled conscience, need further help in acknowledging our wrongs and seeking forgiveness. In these cases the priests of the church will meet on a confidential basis with individuals to compassionately share the burden – as one sinner with another – and to ask God’s forgiveness and the grace for a renewed life. This “rite of reconciliation” is not required of anyone, but provided for those who find it healing. Some make it a regular part of their spiritual lives, while others seek it out occasionally or in special circumstances.
If you would like to participate in the rite of reconciliation, or to learn more about it, speak to one of our priests.