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Question 287

Do you think we should have Confession before lent begins or whilst we are in lent?

 

Answer to Question 287

 

I think people should go to confession whenever they feel the need to confess and not because it is something that everyone does during lent. People use the Sacrament of Confession as a "passport" for Holy Communion. In other words they have no true feelings of repentance but simply go to confession to get their spiritual fathers consent to partake of Holy Communion at Pascha. In practice, most people who come for confession during Lent rarely show signs of repentance and read their sins from a piece of paper. Writing down our thoughts on paper is a good way to remember our sins, but it should be used only to help us remember and not to be read as though reading a shopping list. This formality arises because they have become so accustomed to regular confession that it has become just another duty that "good" Christians are obliged to do and receive a passport to access Holy Communion. It doesn't make much difference if you have confession before or during lent or both, what does matter is how we use the Sacrament. Am I going to confession because I truly repent of the sins I have committed or am I going because it is my duty as a "Good Christian"?