In the Catholic Church, there are three forms of the rite of reconciliation.

The first is the private form, popularly known as confession, through which individuals ask forgiveness of personal sins and receive absolution from a priest, that is, they are assured that God has forgiven the sins that they confessed. This may be done in a traditional confessional, in a contemporary reconciliation room, or any other place that is acceptable to the penitent and the confessor.

The second is a liturgical ritual known as a reconciliation service or penance service, which is offered in many Catholic parishes during the penitential seasons of Lent and Advent. The service opens with prayers, scripture readings, and reflections on such themes as contrition, conversion, and reconciliation with God and others. This is followed by an opportunity for individual confession to a priest or other minister.

The third is called the rite of general absolution, and it is used in emergency situations where many people want to receive sacramental absolution and there are not sufficient priests or enough time to do this. The people are asked to confess their sins quietly to God, after which they are given general absolution by the priest, with the understanding that they will make a private confession of their sins to a priest in the future.

Orthodox Christians may seek spiritual counseling and assurance of God's forgiveness from a priest in any situation, but normally this is done in a church near the icon screen, and it is usually requested only when something is weighing heavily on a person's mind. Reconciliation is considered a minor sacrament in the Anglican communion, and other liturgical churches may also offer repentence rituals in addition to pastoral couneling.

Unless otherwise noted, the following videos are about Catholic rituals. Each listing contains a descriptive heading, two lines of information, and a link to the video.

Reconciliation Window

How To Go To Confession (2 min.)
A Howcast video demonstraton of the private form of the sacrament
Includes basic information about the rite and its purpose


Sacrament 4 - Confession (6 min.)

Lecture and demonstration in the Malayalam language of southern India for the
Malankara Orthodox Church, posted March 26, 2009

One would not expect to find videos of people in a confessional or reconciliation room, but recordings of parish, diocesan or school services may possibly be available.

I have not been able to locate videos of penance services or reconciliation services online.

If you can find any, or if you know of any videotapes or videodisks

that might be made available on this site, please write to me at


Last modified: Wednesday, 17 February 2016, 4:57 PM