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Religious Glossary - common terms used related to Religion

Penance - Penance is the actual name of the Catholic Sacrament of Reconciliation/ Confession. In this Sacrament, the penitent (sinner) accuses himself of his sins to an ordained priest. The priest may then offer advice and imposes a particular penance to be performed. The penitent then prays an Act of Contrition, the priest administers absolution, thus formally forgiving the penitent of his sins, and finally sends him out with words of dismissal. (wikipedia)

A Catholic sacrament; repentance and confession and satisfaction and absolution.

A form of punishment whereby one who has confessed his sins to a priest can obtain absolution.