Go in Peace

The Art of Hearing Confessions

Julia Gatta, Martin L. Smith

Oct/2012, 144 Pages, Paperback, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9780819220882



Helps develop the pastoral skills needed for hearing confessions.

Although the sacramental Rite of Reconciliation is included in many Anglican prayer books, nothing has been written expressly Anglicans since the 1980s that focuses on the pastoral skills required for this ministry. This book combines and passes on the teaching, coaching, skill development, and accumulated pastoral wisdom that has not been widely accessible or well integrated into clergy training.

Realistic transcripts and "verbatims" of sample confessions and counseling sessions involving a wide range of people makes this a unique ministry resource for most seminaries and theological colleges, plus clergy in general-including Lutheran pastors who use the rite of "Individual Confession and Absolution" in the Lutheran Book of Worship.

Julia Gatta is Bishop Frank A. Juhan Professor of Pastoral Theology at the School of Theology at Sewanee. Her previous books include The Nearness of God: Parish Ministry as Spiritual Practice and, with Martin L. Smith, Go in Peace: The Art of Hearing Confessions. She is a spiritual director, retreat conductor, and Episcopal priest who served for 25 years in the Diocese of Connecticut. She holds a Master of Divinity degree from the Episcopal Divinity School and doctoral degree in medieval studies from Cornell.

Martin L. Smith is the author of a number of popular books on the spiritual life, including A Season for the Spirit, The Word is Very Near You, and Compass and Stars. Former member of the Society of St. John the Evangelist, he recently retired as senior associate rector of St Columba's, Washington DC. He lives in Washington, D.C.

“With striking clarity and tenderness, Gatta and Smith carry their readers into the very midst of God’s mysterious power to undo what has grown broken or disfigured, illusory or heartless in human lives. Because this saving and healing action of God is so compelling through the words of this book, the authors’ wisdom and practical advice are transformational. All who are involved in the sacramental ministry of reconciliation or spiritual direction will be grateful for this book.”—Mark A. McIntosh, Van Mildert Professor of Divinity, Durham University and Canon Residentiary of Durham Cathedral

“As the churches struggle to articulate a spirituality that is scriptural, creedal, and accessible, the authors of this excellent handbook remind us that what is ancient can also be timely. Affirmed by the long experience of Christians and the well-tested insights of modern psychotherapists, sacramental confession grew out of unblinking self-knowledge and pastoral compassion, and Christians over the centuries have learned that facing and being reconciled with the truth about oneself brings both healing and humility."—E. Rozanne Elder, Director, Center for Cistercian and Monastic Studies, Western Michigan University

“Julia Gatta and Martin Smith are eminently qualified, both as experienced priests and penitents, to offer guidance to members of the clergy who are unfamiliar with or unprepared to offer this ministry of healing and reconciliation. . . . Go in Peace is not simply about imparting a pastoral competency, but an invitation to those who are ordained as ministers of word and sacrament to avail themselves of this sacramental encounter with the risen Christ for their own soul’s health.”—Frank T. Griswold, XXV Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church


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