Repentance is a change of thought and action to correct a wrong and gain forgiveness from a person who is wronged. It typically includes an admission of guilt, a feeling of regret or remorse for doing wrong, a promise or resolve not to repeat the offense, and an attempt to make restitution for the wrong, or in some way to reverse the harmful effects of the wrong where possible.

A public display of repentance, used in history up to the 19th century, mostly in a cleric or church-related context, was to sit on the repentance-stool.

Repentance, penitence, contrition and remorseEdit

The terms repentance and penitence are almost synonymous. A person who repents is also called a penitent, and their action of self-punishment or self-humiliation to demonstrate their state of repentance is called penance.

The terms contrition and remorse are almost synonymous too, but while repentance and penitence are typically used in a religious sense or context, contrition and remorse are more neutral and are preferably used in secular contexts.

See alsoEdit

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