Confession: the Sacrament of Reconciliation
Confession is a sacramental act whereby those who have separated themselves from the Church are reconciled and reunited to the Christian community. Originally, the Sacrament of Confession was reserved for those who had committed grave sins of an excommunicatory nature, such as murder, adultery, or apostasy (renunciation of the Christian faith). In later times, confession also became an opportunity for individual spiritual guidance and counseling, as well as a time for confessing more minor sins of a non-excommunicatory nature.
Confession is required of Orthodox Christians when they have committed grave sins in order to be readmitted to the sacramental life of the Church. It is also recommended for all Orthodox Christians as an important aid to spiritual growth and development.