Kolb, Robert. The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000.
Augsburg Confession XI, “Concerning Confession” p. 45.
Apology to the Augsburg Confession XI “Confession” pp. 185-287.
The eleventh article of the Augsburg Confession retains private absolution but affirms that based on Psalm 19:2 the penitent, who is unable to list all his sins, is not required to be exhaustive.
While the opponents accepted the necessity of absolution they rejected the idea that possibly not all sins would be confessed. Confession should be at least annual and the penitent must be very diligent. Melanchthon asserts that care in confession is important but that those who have confessed their sins must be forgiven thoroughly and assured of God’s promises (Kolb 2000, 186). As to frequency it was common for people to receive absolution and the Lord’s Supper frequently. For those who despise the Sacraments excommunication is applied. An exhortation to frequency is thus not needed (Kolb 2000, 186). The principle of confession omnis utriusque - every sin of every type - binds the conscience in a negative way, as the person who doubts his completeness may be driven to despair (Kolb 2000, 187). Rather, the pastor examines the penitent, hears the confession, and forgives.