Holy Week and Confession

April 19th, 2011 Post by

The first of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses is “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, “Repent” (Matthew 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.”

Confession should be a regular part of our Christian life but I’m sure I’m not alone in letting this lag far too much. My pastor is offering an additional hour tonight for private confession and absolution and I hope other churches around the country are doing something similar this week.

The Roman Catholic Church is emphasizing confession with various public relations campaigns and even a video contest. I thought I’d show one of the entries for that contest. It’s very well done. It also, I might add, showcases a distinctively Lutheran approach to Confession and Absolution, even if it’s part of a Roman Catholic contest!


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  1. April 19th, 2011 at 15:32 | #1

    We here in our parish are not the best at promoting year round C & A but every Good Friday the pastors are in thier studies from Noon until 3 PM and we invite members of the congregation to come in for private confession and absolution.


  2. April 20th, 2011 at 09:03 | #2

    Quite something. Great find. Thank you.

  3. Deborah
    April 20th, 2011 at 10:22 | #3

    Thanks for posting this! It would be great if our Synod were unified enough to get behind some kind of campaign like this. Witness, Mercy, Life Together appeals to me more as a “branding” for our synod than what we’ve had recently, so I pray we continue to head in the right direction. It’s nice to see other church bodies modeling confessional possibilities. Blessed Holy Week to you!

  4. helen
    April 20th, 2011 at 10:26 | #4

    Thanks, Mollie,
    We have neglected something valuable, I think, which is very hard to get back to when nothing was said about it from confirmation to relatively recently (by a younger Pastor).

    In my growing up years, the last person you told your sins to was the Pastor! (Well, you attempted to keep up appearances for the neighbors as well.) :(

    Some Pastors now say they have all their confirmands come, to teach them how and that it’s a good thing. Good for them!

  5. Timmy
    April 20th, 2011 at 19:52 | #5

    I’m struggling with this very thing myself. Having grown up in an LCMS congregation where it was never practiced, I find it hard to do with my own pastor. It’s nothing to do with him, but I find it a bit too personal.

  6. Matt
    April 25th, 2011 at 07:44 | #6

    Lots of us struggle with this issue. The best thing to do is to make a serious effort to learn what the scriptures and confessions have to say about the issue, and be forthright with your pastor about your fears and discomfort.

    I say from personal experience that private absolution is purest Gospel grace, applied in a dramatic and very personal way. The more uncomfortable the confession makes you, the sweeter will you find the absolution.

    The devil arouses every part of our sinful flesh to resist this precious sacrament. As hard as it is to believe, the invitation to private confession is in no way law, but purely the most comforting Gospel. Do it and see!

  7. Joe Olson
    April 25th, 2011 at 11:00 | #7

    Would be nice if the video included the absolution but it is well done.

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