Joy in Confession: A Lenten Study

    02.23.17 | Education by Rob Courtney

    The Rev. Hillary D. Raining writes,

    "Confession gets a bad rap. It sounds like it’s full of judgment, a calculated litany of our own shortcomings. But the rite of confession in the Episcopal Church can offer deep joy and spiritual rebirth. I have personally experienced both the new life possibilities within the Rite of Reconciliation as well as what can happen when the reconciliation rite is not an option."

    Did you know you can go to "confession" in The Episcopal Church? It's called the Rite of Reconciliation in the Book of Common Prayer. Our saying about confession is that "all may, none must, some should." It's not compulsory, as it is in some Christian traditions. It is but one means of experiencing the grace of God's forgiveness--and what a powerful means it can be.

    You're invited to join me for a study of the Rev. Hillary D. Raining's forthcoming book Joy in Confession: Reclaiming Sacramental Reconciliation. Mother Raining is a colleague of mine, and her book will be published by Forward Movement in Advent of this year. St. Paul's will be one of only a few congregations granted a sneak peek this Lent, and an opportunity to offer feedback on the experience. 

    If you've never done confession, of if you've had negative experiences related to it in the past, this will be a challenging and rewarding study. I hope you'll take the opportunity to do some real self-examination this Lent in a safe and loving environment.

    The study will take place as part of our Wednesday night "Service, Supper, & Substance" beginning March 8. For the six weeks of Lent we'll explore this rite together as a way to find forgiveness, as well as spiritual and emotional healing. Since the book is a pre-release it is free for you. You can sign up on the bulletin board by the church offices, or email Fr. Rob at

    Best wishes to you for a holy and life-giving Lent.