Confession, Psalm of

Confession, Psalm Of, is a name applied in the early Christian Church to Psalm 51, as being peculiarly appropriate to the case of one confessing his sins. Confessional. A stone chair found in the catacombs has been presumed to have been thus used. A small recess at the foot of the dormitory stairs of St. Albans, and a stone chair with two armed warders, in the south-arm area of the transept at Gloucester, and two wooden structures at Bishop's Cannings and Tavistock, are said to have served as confessionals. The usual place was a seat in the chancel, in the face of day, and open to all passers-by; the modern closed boxes are of recent introduction. In 1378, women were confessed without the chancel veil, and in an open place, that they might be seen, though not heard, by the people. Men confessed at Easter, Pentecost, and Christmas. Bedyll, writing to Cromwell, recommended the walling up of "the places where the friars heard outward confessions of all comers at certain times of the year." 'Probably these apertures were in friary churches, in the form of low side windows. One of the 14th or 15th century remains at Nuremberg. It consists of several canopied compartments; the central was occupied by the priest, and the lateral portions by penitents, who entered by the outermost doors. An open metal screen fills the apertures only half-way up. In England confession was ordinarily made openly in the chancel, the priest sitting in the stall on the north-east side, and the penitent kneeling before him. RogerVan der Weyde, who died 1464, painted a confessional chair as standing on the north side of the nave, next the stairs to the chancel, and outside the rood- screen. In Flemish churches, and St. Helen's, Bishonssgate, orifices in the wall served as confessionals,

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