Confession & the Pastoral Care of Souls

We receive the Word of God individually from our pastor to comfort us when we are troubled by our sins, to strengthen us when we struggle in this life, and to give us counsel and guidance from God’s Word. Our pastor cares for each of our members, not only through the public preaching and teaching of the Word of God, but also by bringing that Word into our homes, when we hospitalized or homebound, or when our conscience is burdened by sorrow, grief, or shame.

  • The Congregation at Prayer – a weekly guide for meditation upon the Word of God and prayer for use by individuals and in homes.
  • Pastoral counsel from the Word of God
  • Private Absolution
  • Visitation to the sick, homebound, and distressed.

Absolution strengthens your faith, comforts your conscience, and gives you the courage to confess your sins and sinfulness. Most importantly, it declares that the Lord keeps no record of sin, that there is forgiveness with Him, that He removes our transgressions from us, and remembers our sin no more (Psalm 130:3-4; 103:12; Jeremiah 31:34).

“Confession has two parts: first, that we confess our sins, and second, that we receive absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself”

Small Catechism

Private or Individual Absolution is regularly offered during penitential seasons and is always available by contacting Pastor Gillespie.

Brief Instruction on Private Confession and Absolution

  • Please enter the sanctuary quietly if no one is giving their confession.
  • Prior to your confession, you may prepare using the booklet in the narthex, “How to Prepare for Individual Confession and Absolution.” (PDF)
  • You may also choose to meditate on the Ten Commandments (see LSB pp. 321-322) or the penitential Psalms (Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, or 143) to focus your repentance.
  • You may also choose to meditate on Luther’s instruction concerning confession in the Small Catechism (see LSB p. 326).
  • You do not need to confess every sin, only the ones by which you are especially burdened.
  • The reason you come is not solely confession but to hear your Lord’s absolution through the mouth of the pastor.
  • When you are ready, come forward and kneel at the altar rail if able before the open hymnal.