Confession


#1

I was wondering how far the sacrament of confession as it is performed today traces back to the early Church? Thanks


#2

It all depends on what you mean by "as it is performed today". The essentials of the sacrament have remained the same since the time of the Apostles. Some aspects of how it is often practiced today, such as face to face private confession (as opposed to private confession separated from the priest by a screen or veil or something else), date only to the last few decades at least as common practices. There have been continuous, or at least sporadic, developments throughout history in between.


#3

The Sacrament is from Christ. How it was practiced has changed over the centuries though.


#4

I have some questions about confession too, here’s one. Does a person confess to the same priest everytime so he can get to know a person or is it random?


#5

[quote="truthquester, post:4, topic:324212"]
I have some questions about confession too, here's one. Does a person confess to the same priest everytime so he can get to know a person or is it random?

[/quote]

It is best if you do stick with a regular confessor who you confess to each time, but it is certainly not required.


#6

[quote="truthquester, post:4, topic:324212"]
I have some questions about confession too, here's one. Does a person confess to the same priest every time so he can get to know a person or is it random?

[/quote]

It depends upon whether you do confession face to face or not. If you have a screen, then of course the priest is not going to know you at all (well, I think they do get to know our voices as we come to confession regularly). Many of us older folks who have used the screen variety of confession do not feel at all comfortable with talking face to face with the priest, but our kids have only known face to face and think using a screen is just weird.

If you are dealing with particular sins that tend to recur in your life, then if possible, it is good to see the same priest, because he will surely get to know you and be able to advise you more personally. And if you are scrupulous it is absolutely CRITICAL that you find a spiritual advisor to help you form your conscience correctly. This could be your confessor/priest, or someone else like a deacon or a counselor who is familiar with scruples.

I hope that answered your question. It can be very helpful to get to know one particular priest in confession.


#7

[quote="Aelred_Minor, post:2, topic:324212"]
It all depends on what you mean by "as it is performed today". The essentials of the sacrament have remained the same since the time of the Apostles. Some aspects of how it is often practiced today, such as face to face private confession (as opposed to private confession separated from the priest by a screen or veil or something else), date only to the last few decades at least as common practices. There have been continuous, or at least sporadic, developments throughout history in between.

[/quote]

Also, unless I am mistaken, the sacrament was originally performed in public - meaning in front of the whole church - rather than private confession with just the confessor and the Priest. Although the form my be different but the sacrament and grace received is the same.


#8

[quote="CatholicServant, post:7, topic:324212"]
Also, unless I am mistaken, the sacrament was originally performed in public - meaning in front of the whole church - rather than private confession with just the confessor and the Priest. Although the form my be different but the sacrament and grace received is the same.

[/quote]

Yes that was the common form, at least as far as what is recorded, for the first several centuries.


#9

How does one approach a Confessor with a sexual question? Of course embarrassment is the problem in most cases....


#10

[quote="Jokoangel, post:9, topic:324212"]
How does one approach a Confessor with a sexual question? Of course embarrassment is the problem in most cases....

[/quote]

Sexuality in all its permutations is a huge part of human life, and clergy are very much human beings and so not exempt. A significant part of pretty much every hour of confession and advice during which parishioners and priest interact certainly is occupied by matters to do with sexuality.

What I'm saying is, firstly priests have literally heard it all before, and secondly they are well prepared for the fact that their advice will inevitably be sought about such topics. So there is no reason for embarrassment.


#11

[quote="wkj_123, post:1, topic:324212"]
I was wondering how far the sacrament of confession as it is performed today traces back to the early Church? Thanks

[/quote]

The Sacrament itself was instituted by Jesus, who told the Apostles - that the sins they forgive, will be forgiven, and the sins they don't forgive, won't be. The Bishops are their successors so Bishops and priests have this authority.

The form of the Sacrament and the details has changed over time, but the essential part - where the priest says that he absolves the person of sin, - is found in both the East and the West.


#12

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