Is it required that sins be specified and confessed vocally?
I’m told that there have been Penance Services when:
- the person writes down their sins on a piece of paper
- the person takes the list forward to the priest, who reads it
- the person vocally expresses sorrow for sinning (but does not vocally specify the sins)
- the priest gives the person absolution
- then the person burns the list
Afterwards, there is some sort of communal penance prayer.
Is this OK or do the sins need to be confessed vocally?
I referred to the “Circular Letter concerning the integrity of the Sacrament of Penance”, where I read the following:
In accord with the law and practice of the Church, the faithful must orally confess their sins (auricular confession) , except in cases of true physical or moral impossibility (e.g., extreme illness or physical condition inhibiting speech, speech impediment, etc.). This disposition would exclude communal celebrations of the sacrament in which penitents are invited to present a written list of sins to the priest confessor. It should be noted that such innovations also risk compromising the inviolable seal of sacramental confession.
I want to be sure that I’m reading this correctly. I think the way they use the word “disposition” is throwing me a bit. Is this saying that communal celebrations with written lists are NOT to be considered exceptions to the norm (like the ones previously mentioned) and therefore not allowed?