Religion Past and Present

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Confession of Sins
(949 words)

[German Version]

As a constituent of repentance and confession, the confession of sins has a poimenic function, although its liturgical configuration shows that it was originally intended as a preparation for the reception of communion. While the early liturgies usually emphasized the importance of the reconciliation required by Matt 5:23f. as a prerequisite to the offering of sacrifice, the mandatory linking of confession and Eucharist established itself as a characteristic feature of Roman Catholicism from the Fourth Lateran Council onward: As an act of repentance and reconcil…

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Schwier, Helmut, “Confession of Sins”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 25 January 2020 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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