The Elizabethan is a monthly update of parish and ministry happenings. Any items for the newsletter should be sent by the fourth Friday of the month to the church office email address:

To read the entire March 2019 newsletter click on this link >> Elizabethan 3-19

From Fr. John: Reconciliation of a Penitent at St. Elizabeth The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, encourages all Anglicans to adopt the practice of taking part in the “Reconciliation of a Penitent.” If that phrase sounds unfamiliar, you might recognize it as “going to confession.” Many people associate the sacrament with Roman Catholicism, but we, too, have a version of the ritual. Or, more accurately, we have access to at least two forms of the rite.

The Book of Common Prayer defines the sacramental ritual, the Reconciliation of a Penitent, or Penance, as “the rite in which those who repent of their sins may confess them to God in the presence of a priest, and receive the assurance of pardon and the grace of absolution. “(BCP 361)

Unlike the Roman Catholic version, Anglican priests typically meet parishioners to hear confession face to face, in their own offices or church naves, without such trappings as confessional booths. The ritual can also be done in homes or hospitals, depending on circumstances. Archbishop Welby comes from the evangelical wing of Anglicanism, which may be why he describes private confession as “…really uncomfortable.” And he acknowledges his own personal struggles: “I’m an Archbishop; I know about the absence of humility. I struggle with it.” Yet, more importantly, he also recognizes that “through it God releases forgiveness and absolution and a sense of cleansing.”


The sacrament of reconciliation not only can be a significant encounter with Christ who pardons, heals and embraces us, it can reunite us with the church with all her glory and flaws, and can mark a dramatic milestone or shift in spiritual growth along the path of Christian spiritual practice. Episcopalians can make their confession anytime, though the season of Lent is particularly appropriate as we prepare ourselves for Pascha. If you would like to make a confession, please let Fr. John know and he will schedule a mutually acceptable time with you.

Read more in the newsletter >> Elizabethan 3-19

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