Penance Timeline by Connor McGrath

  • Period: 100 to 200

    Early Church

    The Early Church divided sins into Lesser Sins and Greater Sins
    Lesser sins could be forgiven through Prayer
    Greater Sins required Reconciliation
    However, it could only be recieved once in your life
  • Period: 200 to 300

    Early Church Continued

    Reconciliation involved the entire community
    Penitents would confess their sins to the entire community
    They were ordered to make sacrifices to the Roman Gods
    if they did, they could only be redeemed on their deathbed
  • 325

    Council of Nicea

    Forgiveness of sins fell under the Bishops authority
    a penitent is someone who "fell without compulsion"
  • Period: 400 to 500

    Fifth Century

    Augustine defined three types of reconciliation
    1. Remission of all previous sin through Batism
    2. daily remission through prayer
    3. foral one-time repentance of Public Penance
  • Period: 400 to 500

    fifth century

    most towns had a monk or friar
    the townspeople would befriend them and support them with food, goods etc
    the people would visit the monk and talk to them about their sins
    this was the beginning of "confession
  • 589

    Third Council of Toledo

    treid to maintain the old system of reconciliation
    rejected the Celtic approach
  • Aug 17, 650

    Council of Chalons-sur-Saone

    Approved the Celtic Monastic practice and tried to establish Episcol control over it
    fewer Christians practiced penance because it was Too severe
  • Period: Aug 17, 1000 to Aug 17, 1200

    tenth, eleventh centuries

    more and more people were performing confession
    since the clergy was ill-formed, the Church released booka on what a "sin" was
    Sins were either Venial or Mortal
    Venial was a small sin which cold be forgiven
    Mortal was life-threatening and involved murder etc
  • Aug 17, 1215

    Fourth Lateran Council

    At least once a year, all people should confess their sins to a priest
    Sanctions were imposed for breaking the secrecy of confession
    Repeated absolution was deemed neccessary for proper christian life
  • Aug 17, 1439

    Council of Florence

    This defiend what the sacrament of Penance
    The words "I absolve you" were the most important words
    Priest has the authority to forgive sins
  • Aug 17, 1551

    Council of Trent

    Two kinds of contrition
    1. Perfect ( sorrow of the soul)
    2. Imperfect ( arises from consideration of the consequences i.e hell)
    All mortal sins had to be specifically told and identified individually
  • Period: to

    The Twentieth Century

  • Period: to

    The Confession Box

    the confession box was small and dark
    confession was anonymous
    there was a sliding screen which could be kept closed
    the area was soundproof and it was completely private
  • Second Vatican Councl

    released a document "Lumen Gentium"
    penitents are reconciled with the church which they "wounded" with their sins
    a renewed sense was made between God and the Community
  • Ordo Paenitentiae (Order of Penance)

    Written by Pope Paul VI
    Introduced the name "Sacrament of Reconciliation"
    Three rites for celebrating the sacrament
    1. Individual penitents
    2. many penitents absolved individually
    3. many penitents making a group confession