A Guide to the Rite of Confession
Table of Contents:
The Act of Confession
Introduction: Our Holy DutyEdit
As Priests of the Church, we are not only the teachers and healers of our people; we are the spiritual leaders, with many a concern given over to the welfare of those who follow the Blessed Light’s teachings. Our task is to ensure that their mental, emotional, physical and spiritual needs are met, so as to promote a happy and healthy population as the Light instructs us.
There are varying ways that we, as priests, abide by this holy duty in the occurrences of our daily lives. The most common and easily adapted one is the Sacrament of Penance, otherwise known as a Confession, whereupon an individual divulges the secrets of their sins. This method is particularly therapeutic, as often talking about a problem can help to resolve it, both mentally and emotionally – thus the first two of their needs are met.
The Act of ConfessionEdit
Confession should take place somewhere that is quiet and without distraction. Northshire Abbey offers alcoves for this very reason, though the environment is left up to the individual Confessor and sinner.
To begin, the confession is opened by a simple prayer, administered to the sinner while he or she kneels at the priest's feet.
"O Benevolent Light, we stand humble before thee.
We ask that you grant (sinner's name) clarity of mind and courage of tongue, that he/she may confess their sins truly and without fear of your holy retribution.
Once the opening prayer has been spoken, have the sinner stand or seat themselves where available and encourage them to speak freely on all their issues; whether they be direct sins, troubles of the mind, dark or worrying thoughts.
Whatever fears, troubles or sins may be spoken remember this:
It is not our duty to judge, but to listen and guide; whatever a man’s sins may be, we shall not condemn him, but rather seek to forgive him.
Once the sinner is done confession, encourage them to kneel once more and administer the Prayer of Absolution.
"O Blessed Light, forgive (name) of his/her sins.
Forgive him/her the sins of his/her youth and the sins of age; the sins of his/her soul and the sins of his/her body.
His/her secrets and his/herwhispering sins, the sins she/he has done to please him/herself and the sins she/has has done to please others.
Forgive those sins which we know, and the sins which we know not; forgive them, Blessed Light; forgive them all of Thy great goodness.
Lead this one unto the proper path, which he/she shall walk in good grace of the Light and nevermore be disgraced by sins committed.
Let it be so. Amen."
Once the closing prayer has been said, it is the Confessor's duty to administer a penance as dictated by the Light.
Penance is left up to the individual, but the general rule of thumb is that the more severe the confession, the harder the punishment.
Murder and violence should be met with Mortification of the Flesh, as an example: where a sinner takes pain upon him/herself in a manner befitting the act of violence committed.
A vain woman might find penance in the cutting of her long, perfectly groomed hair, or perhaps required to burn a favorite dress; a man might be required to shave his head bald or dress in shabby clothes for a week. The rich and greedy might offer their services/money to a charity.
A Confessor is encouraged to use good judgement while deciding penance. For those who are sickly or weak, pregnant or injured, the old and young, penance should be tempered.
Remember always to treat the Sacrament of Penance with the respect it deserves: the path to redemption is never an easy one, and even we as priests are not immune to sin.
Be compassionate towards those who seek absolvement, and administer penance with due humility.
- By Mother Shara Adelie