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prayers of penance
  self-punishment, prayer, or other atonement (action to make up for wrong-doing)


a religious sacrament (practice) often called confession involving confession, forgiveness, and atonement
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penance penances penanced
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  • prayers of penance
  • A foreign policy of penance was counterproductive.
  • Public self-whipping as penance for sins was common in Europe until the Renaissance.
  • It’s not penance if there isn’t genuine sorrow for wrong-doing.

  • Show more
  • In my mind, I’d already served my penance.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  A Walk to Remember
  • I shouted, "there will be no punishment, there will be no penance!"
    Rudolfo Anaya  --  Bless Me, Ultima
  • I knelt at the altar rail and said my penance.
    David Almond  --  Clay
  • This person, the boy her mother was holding as if he were her penance, was not Sebastian, who had tormented and murdered and wrought destruction.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Heavenly Fire
  • All that and any other penance you desire.
    Patrick Rothfuss  --  The Name of the Wind
  • But I found myself instead struggling for breath, the simple draw of it, my still weakened lungs smarting with each gasp, and whatever life-spirit I possessed at that moment I felt desperate to abdicate, if but for empathy and the wish for a penance that would likely never come.
    Chang-rae Lee  --  A Gesture Life

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  • It was her penance to go back, not her due.
    Ellen Raskin  --  The Westing Game
  • In the Army that situation would have been taken care of in a matter of a few painful minutes, with a months-long penance by the transgressor to follow.
    David Baldacci  --  Zero Day
  • "I feel I’ve done my penance.
    Katja Millay  --  The Sea of Tranquility
  • He held them one by one against his chest, giving the black man an anxious open-mouthed smile every time, and then looking down at what he was showing, so that, with his head bowed over his drawings, and with the cringe that was already there, he looked like a man doing penance, displaying one sin after another.
    V.S. Naipaul  --  A Bend in the River
  • Then at last I saw Nathan slowly sink to his knees on the hard pavement, where, surrounding Sophie’s legs with his arms, he remained motionless for what seemed an interminable time, frozen in an attitude of devotion, or fealty, or penance, or supplication—or all of these.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • "You wouldna do so either, if you’d been made to do penance for it by lying for three hours at midnight on the stone floor of a chapel in February, wearing nothin’ but your shirt," answered mv patient.
    Diana Gabaldon  --  Outlander
  • The other was like a chunk of burnt pine-log he was carrying along as a penance for some obscure sin.
    Ray Bradbury  --  Fahrenheit 451
  • "His idea of penance," Nana said.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  A Thousand Splendid Suns
  • Honor, fault, penance, those are real to us, and they have nothing to do with religion and everything to do with who we are.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Bones
  • They did not look like workers, they looked like a chain gang serving an unspeakable penance for some unspeakable crime.
    Ayn Rand  --  The Fountainhead
  • Being always the first to spot flaws and transgressions, it falls upon Father to deliver penance.
    Barbara Kingsolver  --  The Poisonwood Bible
  • Perhaps he sought a measure of penance in the hardship of the journey.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  And The Mountains Echoed
  • You’ll quickly lose a hand in ’penance.’
    Christopher Paolini  --  Eragon
  • Not talking to him was her penance for what had happened to Simon.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Ashes
  • It is probable that there was an idea of penance in this mode of occupation, and that she offered up a real sacrifice of enjoyment in devoting so many hours to such rude handiwork.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • They prayed and fasted and did penance-—all in an effort to hasten his coming.
    Chaim Potok  --  The Chosen
  • Be that as it may, if our good senator was a political sinner, he was in a fair way to expiate it by his night’s penance.
    Harriet Beecher Stowe  --  Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  • One hour, he told himself, grateful that the Teacher had given him time to carry out the necessary penance before entering a house of God.
    Dan Brown  --  The Da Vinci Code
  • But I’m hardly going to come to give Mr. Heathcliff pleasure; whatever reason he may have for ordering Linton to undergo this penance.
    Emily Bronte  --  Wuthering Heights
  • I’d do penance for being wicked that way.
    Lucy Maud Montgomery  --  Anne Of Green Gables
  • I am the first man who would not do penance for my virtues or let them be used as the tools of my destruction.
    Ayn Rand  --  Atlas Shrugged
  • A frowzy mourning of soot and smoke attired this forlorn creation of Barnard, and it had strewn ashes on its head, and was undergoing penance and humiliation as a mere dust-hole.
    Charles Dickens  --  Great Expectations
  • For your penance say three Hail Marys, three Our Fathers, and say a special prayer for me.
    Frank McCourt  --  Angela’s Ashes
  • It seemed like wilful ill-nature, or a voluntary penance, for on these occasions it was not merely a few formal inquiries and an awkward pause and then away, but he actually thought it necessary to turn back and walk with her.
    Jane Austen  --  Pride and Prejudice
  • The Angel of the candy counter had found me out at last, and was exacting excruciating penance for all the stolen Milky Ways, Mounds, Mr. Goodbars and Hersheys with Almonds.
    Maya Angelou  --  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  • Saint Serena, on her knees, doing penance.
    Margaret Atwood  --  The Handmaid’s Tale
  • I think that after the war there will have to be some great penance done for the killing.
    Ernest Hemingway  --  For Whom the Bell Tolls
  • He was still, indeed, doing penance for it.
    Willa Cather  --  My Antonia
  • But if Love be a God, it follows thence That he knows all, and certain it remains No God loves cruelty; then who ordains This penance that enthrals while it torments?
    Miguel de Cervantes  --  Don Quixote
  • Poor Jo looked abashed, and silently chafed the end of her nose with the stiff handkerchief, as if performing a penance for her misdemeanors.
    Louisa May Alcott  --  Little Women
  • Into being a priest, into this arrogance, into this spirituality, his self had retreated, there it sat firmly and grew, while he thought he would kill it by fasting and penance.
    Hermann Hesse  --  Siddhartha
  • Grieve not that I am fallen to this for you, For herein Fortune shows herself more kind Than is her custom: it is still her use To let the wretched man outlive his wealth, To view with hollow eye and wrinkled brow An age of poverty; from which lingering penance Of such misery doth she cut me off.
    William Shakespeare  --  The Merchant of Venice
  • "That is no light part of my penance," pursued the Ghost.
    Charles Dickens  --  A Christmas Carol
  • She went to Mrs. Goddard’s accordingly the very next day, to undergo the necessary penance of communication; and a severe one it was.
    Jane Austen  --  Emma
  • She had lain cheek and jowl with the concept of penance since she had been old enough to reason.
    Stephen King  --  Carrie
  • ’It would be no great penance,’ said Rosa Dartle, ’for your crimes.
    Charles Dickens  --  David Copperfield
  • The follies and disloyalty committed in his youth were to be expiated by a long and painful penance, ere he could be restored to the full enjoyment of the confidence of his ancient people; and without confidence there could be no authority in an Indian tribe.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Last of the Mohicans
  • He had brought it with him, and was told to take it to the Pope as a penance—he became very holy after that.
    T. H. White  --  The Once and Future King
  • And, for her penance, there would be the dreadful sight of Melanie’s face changing from fond love and trust to incredulous horror and repulsion.
    Margaret Mitchell  --  Gone with the Wind
  • No crime or transgression had been actually named and no penance had been actually set.
    William Faulkner  --  Light in August
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Associated words [difficulty]:   penance [2] , penitent [3]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Classic Literature, Religion & Spirtuality, Religion - Christianity
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