“If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just,
to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all iniquity.”
- 1 John 1: 9
Penance is the sacrament by which an individual turns back to God and received forgiveness. Sin is anything that distances us from God and penance is a way to come back to Him. It is a common misconception that the act of penance is a one-time event, where one moment we are in sin and unforgiven and the next moment (in the blink of an eye, if you would), we are forgiven and our sins are wiped away. Penance is an on going process that can take minutes or can take years, depending on the gravity of the sin.
The Church Father compare sin to an illness and penance as a cure. Depending on the illness, the doctor prescribes a certain remedy. He will not prescribe the same cure for a cough and for a headache, likewise, each sin has a certain way of curing it. This is why private confession is crucial to spiritual growth and renewal. true penance cannot take place without private confession.
If you have questions or would like to perform a service, please contact Fr. Ghevond.