"confession is a practice not often found in our churches. unitarian universalists have long rejected the notion of original sin, so the idea of confessing our sins publicly or through the act of prayer seems outdated. for some who grew up in churches where confession was a regular practice, being free of it is a relief. there is generally only one time during our liturgical church year that unitarian universalists will engage with a liturgical act of confession--the jewish high holy days, including yom kippur...it is our belief that it's time for unitarian universalists to reclaim the act of confession. confessing does not make one inherently bad; it simply means acknowledging that we, too, are part of the brokenness of the world and that it is our responsibility to be in right relationship with self, others, and the larger world. being in right relationship means that we make amends when necessary, and we ask for forgiveness or we offer forgiveness when it is asked for. to confess as part of our prayer life is a humbling experience that provides a counterbalance to our often heady insistence on our inherent worth and dignity. confession is a spiritual discipline and should be incorporated into our private and public prayer life."
--from worship that works: theory and practice for unitarian universalists by wayne arnason and kathleen rolenz
I'm not entirely clear how I feel about this declaration. on the one hand I can agree with the authors that refiguring how something is done is revitalizing, but on the other I am fervently against the notion that we are necessarily in need of confession (it being good for the soul and all that). and my reasoning isn't caught up in being anti-dogmatic or dropping the trappings of a religious trouseau that no longer fits. my ambivalence comes from a sense that admitting guilt, while good for one's humility, does nothing to correct errors or mistakes or trespasses, and in fact admitting it more than once simply inures one from feeling obligated to do anything about them.
the topic requires more thought.