ABSOLUTION. In the Anglican Church the authoritative declaration, by a Bishop or Priest, of God's pardon to the truly penitent. "All the office and power of man in it is only to minister the external form, but the internal power and grace of remission of sins is properly God's." (Bingham.)

There are three forms of absolution in our Prayer Book, viz., in the Order for Morning and Evening Prayer; in the Communion Service, and in the Office for the Visitation of the Sick. It is to be noticed in each case that Confession precedes Absolution. The Scriptural authority for Absolution is found in Matt. xvi.19; xviii.18; John xx.23; 1 Cor. v.3-5; 2 Cor. ii.10.

St. Jerome compares the office of the Christian Priest in Absolution, with that of the Jewish Priest in cases of cleansing from leprosy.