Confession is one of the Seven Holy Sacraments* of the Church. In confession, the priest represents Christ.
Christ told His Apostles, “Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you retain, they are retained” (John 20:22-23). He clearly endows His Apostles with the power of absolution, which has been passed down to their successors, priests. This is a great gift to people and a grave responsibility for priests. Though they are sinners like us, the grace they receive in Holy Orders, enables them to offer words of spiritual healing and forgiveness.
The roots of oral confession are found throughout the Bible beginning with the story of Adam and Eve. After they ate the forbidden fruit, God asked them what happened. Though He was aware of their misdeed, God knew it was necessary for them to express their sin aloud in order to be fully aware of its destructive effect on their relationship with God and each other.
Holy Confession consists of:
1. An examination of conscience, coupled with prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you recall the sins committed since your last confession and reveal to you the attitudes which are the cause of your sinfulness. Our Church teaches that all sins are damaging to our relationships
and to our spiritual health. Serious (mortal) sins should be confessed as soon as possible, and the less serious ones should not be ignored, as their accumulated effects can be just as damaging.
2. Repentance, contrition.
3. Confession, absolution.
A good confession results in inexpressible joy. Just as tune-ups keep your car running well, Holy Confession, your "spiritual tune-up," helps maintain a healthy soul by providing an opportunity for introspection and restoration of Divine forgiveness.
*Seven Holy Sacraments: Baptism, Chrismation, Confession, Eucharist, Marriage, Holy Orders, Anointing of the Sick.
Read More About Confession:
Tips for a Good Confession
Confession & Communion Q&A
How to Make a Good Confession
Why Go to Confession?
Confession of Sin to a Priest
Even if a room is closed, it is necessary to dust it after a week.” St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio) on Confession
Spring feast reminds us that life begins at conception
The Annunciation (Blahovishchenya meaning “good news”) is observed on Mar. 25/Apr. 7. This feast commemorates Archangel Gabriel’s visit to Mary nine months before Jesus’ birth.
The angel said to Mary: “Rejoice! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women…you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name ‘Jesus’ (Luke 1:26-38).
Puzzled, Mary asked, “How can this be, seeing I am a virgin?” Gabriel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come on you...for with God, nothing will be impossible.” Mary answered: “Let it be to me according to Your word.”
Though Mary could have refused God’s plan for her, she immediately accepted it. Her response is exemplary, as we all have a decision to make when we discern God’s plan for us.
Blahovischenya marks the start of Jesus’ life in the flesh. In the Tropar (hymn) for this Feast we sing: “Today is the beginning of our salvation, and the revelation of the eternal mystery!” These words confirm that life begins at conception and are very important for us to remember in the midst of the current moral confusion surrounding abortion and euthanasia.
So significant is Blahovishchenya that even if it falls on Great Friday or Easter Sunday, it is celebrated along with the feast of that day.
In Ukraine, Blahovishchenya is said to be the day when spring decisively vanquishes winter; only after this feast, farmers are permitted, with God’s blessing, to start tilling the soil.