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The American Church Dictionary and Cycopedia


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In the early ages of the Church the commission of grievous error in life or doctrine was, punished by exclusion from the Communion of the Church; and in order to obtain readmission, offenders were obliged to submit to a prescribed course of penitence. The regulations as to the length and manner of this discipline varied in different times and in the several branches of the Church; the administration of it was chiefly in the hands of the Bishops. It is this "godly discipline" to which reference is had in the Commination Office in the Prayer-book of the Church of England, and which is used "until the said discipline may be restored again, which is much to be wished." Penance is also regarded as one of the lesser Sacraments.

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Bibliography Information
Miller, William James. Entry for 'Penance'. The American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. 1901.

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