Best Ways to Bare Your Soul

'How do I go to confession?' and other member questions answered by Beliefnet staff and contributors.

Have a question about religion, or about how to act at a religious ceremony? Send mail to columnists@staff.beliefnet.com.

I am Jewish and my mother passed away a year ago. We are having the unveiling soon. What would be the proper attire for me to wear at the unveiling? I am a woman.

An unveiling is a Jewish graveside service dedicating the headstone at the grave of a loved one, and usually takes place about a year after burial. While there are no hard and fast rules for unveiling attire, keep in mind two factors:the solemnity of the event, and the fact that it is held outside. While anunveiling is not generally as sad or solemn as the funeral itself, it is thelast formal service commemorating the death of a loved one, and theattendees' attire should reflect that. At the same time, it is heldgraveside, so it is not inappropriate for those in attendance to takethe weather into account when choosing an outfit for the day.

I want to go to confession. How do you do it?

Whoa there, pardner. First of all, let's look at what's bothering you. If you feel conscious of a grave wrongdoing and want to get it off your chest, there are various things you can do, only one of which would be to receive the sacrament of reconciliation (confession) at a church.

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If you're simply upset or worried about something you've done, think carefully about how that action has impacted you spiritually. Do you feel that what you've done has alienated you from others and from God (or had a negative effect on your spiritual life)? If you answer "no," or think that your action stems from deep-rooted relationship problems, you might consider counseling. Ask someone you trust for the name of a good psychotherapist or psychiatrist.

If you feel pretty sure that what's weighing on you constitutes a sin, and if you are part of a church or other house of worship, you might consider making an appointment with the congregation's leader. If you're not comfortable with that option or don't belong to a house of worship, try calling 1-800-225-5603 or going to

http://www.aapc.org/centers.htm

to find a pastoral counselor near you (more about

pastoral counselors
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