Third, the priest represents the Church and the people we have sinned against. In the early days of the Church, people publicly confessed sin at the beginning of Mass and were absolved. Much to our relief, for centuries now we have had private confession.
Interesting, I did not know that...as a non Catholic is the publich confession still done anywhere?
I belong to Wisconsin Synod and we practice this. In addition we are able to confess to our minister privately and are STRONGLY encouraged to confess in private confession to God and ask for forgiveness...
Blessings to you and yours in our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus...
|1449 The formula of absolution used in the Latin Church expresses the essential elements of this sacrament: the Father of mercies is the source of all forgiveness. He effects the reconciliation of sinners through the Passover of his Son and the gift of his Spirit, through the prayer and ministry of the Church: