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Before going to Confession you should make a review of mortal and venial sins since your last sacramental confession, and should express sorrow for sins, hatred for sins and a firm resolution not to sin again.



Say the sins that you remember. Start with the one(s) that is most difficult to say. (In order to make a good confession the faithful must confess all mortal sins, according to kind and number.) After confessing all the sins you remember since your last good confession, you may conclude by saying, "I am sorry for these and all the sins of my past life."

In one sense it is the acknowledgment of having done something wrong, whether on purpose or not. Thus confessional texts usually provide information of a private nature previously unavailable. What a sinner tells a priest in the confessional, the documents criminals sign acknowledging what they have done, an autobiography in which the author acknowledges mistakes, and so on, are all examples of confessional texts.[2]

Not all confessions reveal wrongdoing, however. For example, a confession of love is often considered positive both by the confessor and by the recipient of the confession and is a common theme in literature.[3][4] With respect to confessions of wrongdoing, there are several specific kinds of confessions that have significance beyond the social. A legal confession involves an admission of some wrongdoing that has a legal consequence, while the concept of confession in religion varies widely across various belief systems, and is usually more akin to a ritual by which the person acknowledges thoughts or actions considered sinful or morally wrong within the confines of the confessor's religion. In some religions, confession takes the form of an oral communication to another person. Socially, however, the term may refer to admissions that are neither legally nor religiously significant.[1]

Confession often benefits the one who is confessing. Paul Wilkes characterizes confession as "a pillar of mental health" because of its ability to relieve anxieties associated with keeping secrets.[5]Confessants are more likely to confess when the expected benefits outweigh the marginal costs (when the benefit of the offense to them is high, the cost to the victim is low, and the probability of information leakage is high).[6] People may undertake social confessions in order to relieve feelings of guilt or to seek forgiveness from a wronged party, but such confessions may also serve to create social bonds between the confessant and the confessor, and may prompt the listener to reply with confessions of their own.[1] A person may therefore confess wrongdoing to another person as a means of creating such a social bond, or of extracting reciprocal information from the other person.[1] A confession may be made in a self-aggrandizing manner, as a way for the confessant to claim credit for a misdeed for the purpose of eliciting a reaction to that claim.[1]

In law, there is an exception to the hearsay rule that allows testimony concerning someone else's confession to be admitted if the statement had a great enough tendency "to expose the declarant to civil or criminal liability". The theory is that a reasonable person would not make such a false confession.[7] In U.S. law, a confession must be voluntary in order to be admissible.[8] Confessions (whether forced or otherwise) may feature in formal or informal show trials.[9]

In India sections 24 to 30 of Indian Evidence Act, 1872 deals with confession, but the word confession has not been defined in any statute. It has been judicially interpreted to mean an admission of all the ingredients of an offence. Pakala Narayan Swami v. Emperor, AIR 1939 PC 47 Section 24 mandates a confession must be voluntary. Section 25 renders invalid a confession made to a police officer.[10] Section 26 deals with confession in police custody. Section 27 provides the circumstances under which and to what extent a confession in police custody is admissible.

When any fact is deposed to as discovered in consequence of information received from a person accused of any offence, in the custody of a police officer, so much of such information, whether it amounts to a confession or not, as relates distinctly to the fact thereby discovered, may be proved.[11]This section does not apply to information given to police by an accused person who was not in custody at the time it was given.Chunda Murmu v. State of West Bengal, AIR 2012 S.C. 2160 The submission of a person to the custody of a police officer within the terms of Sec. 46(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure is a custody within the meaning of this section. The word custody in this section does not mean physical custody by arrest.As soon as the accused or the suspected person comes into the hands of police officer, he is, in the absence of clear evidence to the contrary, no longer at liberty, and is therefore in custody within the meaning of Sec. 26 and 27.

Dr. Suzanne Karan, a residency program director at the University of Rochester Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, initiated confessions sessions in residency education. In 2015, Dr. Karan published her research on confessions and it was concluded that the use of confessions sessions provided an opportunity to reflect, discuss, and admit without fear of punitive actions and allowed for early intervention on the issues that are relevant to physician trainees.[12]

In Catholic teaching, the Sacrament of Penance is the method of the Church by which individual men and women confess sins committed after baptism and have them absolved by God through the administration of a priest. The Catholic rite, obligatory at least once a year for serious sin, is usually conducted within a confessional box, booth or reconciliation room. This sacrament is known by many names, including penance, reconciliation and confession.[1] While official Church publications usually refer to the sacrament as "Penance", "Reconciliation" or "Penance and Reconciliation", many clergy and laypeople continue to use the term "Confession" in reference to the Sacrament.

The Catholic Church teaches that sacramental confession requires three "acts" on the part of the penitent: contrition (sorrow of the soul for the sins committed), disclosure of the sins (the 'confession'), and satisfaction (the 'penance', i.e. doing something to make amends for the sins).[5] The basic form of confession has not changed for centuries, although at one time confessions were made publicly.[6]

Typically, the penitent begins sacramental confession by saying, "Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It has been [time period] since my last confession."[7] The penitent must then confess what they believe to be grave and mortal sins, in both kind and number,[8] in order to be reconciled with God and the Church. The sinner may also confess venial sins; this is especially recommended if the penitent has no mortal sins to confess. According to the Catechism, "without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults (venial sins) is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church. Indeed the regular confession of our venial sins helps us form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit. By receiving more frequently through this sacrament the gift of the Father's Mercy, we are spurred to be merciful as He is merciful".[9] "When Christ's faithful strive to confess all the sins that they can remember, they undoubtedly place all of them before the divine mercy for pardon."[10]

The Catholic Church teaches, based on the Parable of the Prodigal Son, that confession is not a tribunal or criminal court, where one is condemned by God like a criminal, but a "wedding banquet hall, where the community celebrates Easter, Christ's victory over sin and death, in the joyful experience of his forgiving mercy." In confession, the church believes, God judges a person in the sense of bringing to light his or her sins, by granting the person the ability to confess his or her sins to the confessor, then grants the person repentance and, through the confessor, grants the person forgiveness. God's forgiveness restores the person to "the brightness of the white robe of baptism, a garment specifically required to participate in the [wedding] feast."[11]

In general, Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Christians choose an individual to trust as their spiritual guide. In most cases, this is the parish priest, but may also be a starets (Elder, a monastic who is well known for their advancement in the spiritual life). This person is often referred to as one's "spiritual father". Once chosen, the individual turns to their spiritual guide for advice on their spiritual development, confessing sins, and asking advice. Orthodox Christians tend to confess only to this individual and the closeness created by this bond makes the spiritual guide the most qualified in dealing with the person, so much so that no one can override what a spiritual guide tells his charges. What is confessed to one's spiritual guide is protected by the same seal as would be any priest hearing a confession. Only an ordained priest may pronounce the absolution.[citation needed]

Confession does not take place in a confessional, but normally in the main part of the church itself, usually before an analogion (lectern) set up near the iconostasion. On the analogion is placed a Gospel Book and a blessing cross. The confession often takes place before an icon of Jesus Christ. Orthodox understand that the confession is not made to the priest, but to Christ. The priest stands only as witness and guide. Before confessing, the penitent venerates the Gospel Book and blessing cross and places the thumb and first two fingers of his right hand on the feet of Christ as depicted on the cross. The confessor will often read an admonition warning the penitent to make a full confession, holding nothing back.[citation needed] 041b061a72


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