What is private confession before the pastor?

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In private conession we can confess our sins and everything that is pressing heavily upon our heart to God in the presence of the pastor. We receive pastoral advice, the comfort of God’s Word and, above all, absolution. This type of confession is a voluntary matter. We may use it also when no particular sin is causing us distress. But it offers great comfort especially to the sin-burdened soul. It must be available in the congregation at all times.

Matt. 9:2: Son, be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee.

Luther: “Where, therefore, there is a heart, that is aware of its sin, and longs for comfort, such a heart has a sure refuge in confession. In confession it finds and hears God’s Word, as God, through men, frees it from sin.”

Assignment: Read from the Small Catechsim, Luther’s brief instruction concerning the use of private confession.