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What Is the Sacrament of Penance?


Confessionals at Santiago de Compostela

Definition: The Sacrament of Penance is another name (rarely used today) for the Sacrament of Confession. Whereas "Confession" stresses the action of the believer in the sacrament, "Penance" expresses the proper attitude with which one should approach the sacrament—with sorrow for one's sins, a desire to atone for them, and a firm resolve not to commit them again.

Also Known As: The Sacrament of Confession, the Sacrament of Reconciliation

Examples: "In the past, the Sacrament of Confession was often called the Sacrament of Penance."

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