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In the Anglican tradition, confession of sin and the assurance of forgiveness is a normal part of corporate worship.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is an additional means for a person to repent of their sin, and to be assured of God’s forgiveness. In our Worshipping Community, it happens in the following way:
You make an appointment with the Rector, or come to the church building at one of the publicly advertised times during Lent or Advent.
You are greeted at the door by the priest (you may need to wait until the person before you is finished), and sit or kneel in the front row of pews. The priest sits nearby in a chair.
You follow the formal liturgy from A Prayer Book For Australia, hearing from the scriptures and making a general confession of sin.
You are invited to name any particular errors or omissions before God. You may wish to give lots of detail, or very little. Sometimes people come with a prepared list or statement. The priest may give advice or encouragement, or ‘unpack’ any concerns you may have.
The Priest assures you of God’s forgiveness.
You both conclude with prayer, and you leave when you are ready.
Please feel confident that every priest is bound – by their ordination vows, canon law and their conscience – not to reveal any information revealed to them in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Should you feel more comfortable talking with a priest who is not ‘local’, please speak to the Rector who will be very willing to make arrangements for you to speak to another priest.