Monday, March 31, 2014

Have you been shriven yet?

Shrove Tuesday was a bust here.  Snow and ice turned the day into a stay home day for most folk.  Very hard to eat the fat (Fat Tuesday) when you are stuck at home.  But the shriven part of Shrove Tuesday does not need Lent or any particular day.  It is something good all the time.  To shrive isto hear the confession of a penitent, to impose a penance upon a penitent and grant sacramental absolution, or to confess one's sins in order to obtain sacramental forgiveness.

It may be something that we Lutherans have forgotten.  No one has done more to restore private confession and absolution to Lutheran practice than the Rev. Dr. Kenneth Korby.  Listen to him speak of the practice and its value both to the penitent and to the Church.

Private Confession is the unspoken and unappreciated part of the Catechisms of Luther. Though Lutheran hymnals include a rite for Individual (Private) Confession, those pages are the most underused pages of every hymnal.  If you do not believe me, check out the pages of an old Lutheran hymnal that has sat in the pew and been worn down.  What pages are the most pristine left in the old book?  If it was true in Dr. Korby's time at Seminary, it was also true of my own time.  Private Confession has a history of silence among Lutherans.  Some falsely approach it suspiciously as a Roman Catholic holdover.

I cannot improve upon the words of Dr. Korby.  They remain words which convict me so many years after I first met the man and heard his call to a restored and renewed practice of private confession.  So this Lent, take some time and listen to him.


Confession and Forgiveness, Part 1.

Confession and Forgiveness, Part 2.

Confession and Forgiveness, Part 3.

Confession and Forgiveness, Part 3.


1 comment:

Rev. Kevin Vogts said...

By the way, the phrase "short shrift" also comes from the verb "shrive." If a priest heard confession and gave absolution only perfunctorily, the penitent was said to have "gotten the short shrift."