Racism and the importance of communal repentance

Sarahbeth Caplin – Social Repentance v. Racism

Sarahbeth Caplin


One Jewish concept that carried over into Christianity is that of communal repentance. In ancient times, the sins of a community were atoned for with blood sacrifices. Today, communal repentance takes place one day a year on Yom Kippur, where Jews gather in synagogue to recognize the sins that were committed during the past year. It’s the rare Jewish holiday that is somber rather than celebratory, and is not known for feasting.

In the Anglican church, communal repentance is done on a weekly basis, with the following recitation from the Book of Common Prayer:

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