Mystery of Reconciliation

Do the eastern churches have the same manner of confession that we do in the west?

The manner of confession differs from Eastern Church to Eastern Church. I am most familiar with the form of confession used by the Byzantine Churches, both Catholic and Orthodox. In this form of confession the penitent confesses his or her sins before an icon of Christ. The priest stands or sits by the penitent’s side while the confession is made. Then the priest places his Epitrachelion (stole) over the penitent’s head, and recites the prayer of absolution. In some parishes the confession is made before the icon on the iconostasis.

However, some Byzantine Catholic Churches have adopted the Latin form of the sacrament in past centuries. There is a gradual movement to restore the traditional Byzantine form.

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