CONFESSION - (1) The avowal or verbal witness of faith in Christ, leading to salvation (Rom. 10:9). (2) The sacrament of the forgiveness of sins, whereby the repentant sinner confesses his sins to Christ in the presence of the priest, who pronounces God's absolution of those sins (1 John; John 20:22, 23; 1 John 1:9).
CONFESSION is the open admission of known sins before God and man. It means literally "to agree with" God concerning our sins. Saint James admonishes us to confess our sins to God before one another (James 5:16). We are also exhorted to confess our sins directly to God (1 John 1:9). The Orthodox Church has always followed the New Testament practices of confession before a priest, as well as private confession to the Lord. Confession is one of the most significant means of repenting and of receiving assurance that even our worst sins are truly forgiven. It is also one of our most powerful aids for forsaking and overcoming those sins.