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Reconciliation of a Penitent 

The 1979 BCP is the first American Prayer Book to provide forms for the Reconciliation of a Penitent as a separate office. Form One (p. 447) is shorter and less elaborate than Form Two (p. 449), which includes material similar to the Byzantine form for confession. Form Two begins with verses from Psalm 51 and the Trisagion, and it includes scriptural words of comfort. A rubric in Form Two also directs that the priest lay a hand upon the penitent's head or extend a hand over the penitent at the absolution. This gesture also may be used at the absolution in Form One. The secrecy of the confession is morally absolute for the confessor and must not be broken (BCP, p. 446). 

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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