Even though private confession is an option in the Episcopal Church (see the video above), most people prefer the general confession that usually takes place before exchanging the peace. (It can also take place at the very beginning of the service). When we say the confession together, we acknowledge our need for God’s forgiveness in our lives and our willingness to accept that gift. We need to be aware of God’s forgiveness in our lives (1 John 1:9)
The priest pronounces absolution, this helps serve as reassurance that our sins are no longer held against us. The Christian walk should never be about waiting to see if there’s even one slip-up. A healthy view of confession and absolution helps us keep sin and forgiveness in a proper perspective.
One of the advantages of a general confession, especially when said just before exchanging the peace, is that it also gives us the opportunity to examine ourselves and make sure that we are at peace with those we will break bread with.