I don't think we need the examples of Protestants or St John of Kronstadt in order to justify the idea of a "non-private" confession when this is more or less built in to all Liturgies in all the major rites, including the Byzantine, even if here it is in a very limited, "blink and you miss it" way. There are reasons for this.
Would you mind posting the texts of these "general confession" moments in the different Eastern liturgies, starting with the Byzantine? I just can't think of what you are referring to.
Sure, but I won't start with the Byzantine. In this rite, the "general confession" element is the least pronounced: I see it because I'm familiar with the Syriac rite from which the Byzantine rite developed.
In the Syriac Liturgy, after the reading of the Gospel, there is a unit of prayer which, collectively, is called Husoyo
(Absolution/Remission). It consists of three prayers: a "preface" (Proemion
) to the main prayer (Sedro
), with an invariable prayer of forgiveness (Husoyo
) read in between the two. There are many Sedre
(each with its proper Proemion
), and all are prayers of preparation for the offering of the sacrifice. This unit is concluded with a form of absolution which is not exactly the same as that used in the sacrament of Confession, but its content is similar. If you scroll down about halfway, you can read an example of this here
(there are many other Sedre
on that site). This unit of three prayers also occurs during Vespers and Matins on days when the Liturgy is to be served, since these services form part of the preparation for the Liturgy, and in all cases, the prayers are said with the offering of incense, which is a sacrifice offered for the forgiveness of sins.
In the Byzantine Liturgy, at roughly the same point (after the Gospel and before the Great Entrance), there are two prayers of the faithful ("We thank thee, O Lord God of Hosts" and "Again and oftentimes we fall down before thee") and a prayer during the Cherubic Hymn ("None is worthy") which, in their basic content and structure, are analogous. There is also an offering of incense.
I cannot speak to historic Byzantine practice, but from what I was taught about Syriac Liturgy, this unit wasn't simply "penitential" but was also sacramental. It didn't replace the sacrament of Confession, but for those who committed sins which did not "require" Confession (and at that time, Confession was more for "the really big sins"), this prayer and its absolution was a sort of "general confession" which effected the reconciliation of the congregation with God and one another (which is why the Kiss of Peace occurs soon after). It may have also been the time for the reconciliation of penitents. Whether Byzantine practice had anything similar or merely adapted the prayer/structure for its own purposes, I do believe they are related.
In the Armenian tradition, private Confession is rare, though not unheard of, but there is a form of general confession included within the celebration of the Liturgy. It consists of a prayer attributed to St Ephrem in which the penitent confesses what has come to be known as the seven deadly sins "and all their forms", a request for forgiveness from God, absolution from the priest, and re-admittance to the holy mysteries, followed by the priest's absolution. In my experience, most parishes do this right before Communion, but I have seen it done before the beginning of the Liturgy. In either case, it is identified with and referred to as the sacrament of Confession.
In the Coptic tradition, private Confession is standard, but IIRC the same prayers which are used for the prayer of absolution in private, sacramental Confession are incorporated into the order of Vespers/Matins and the Liturgy, and they are at least connected by proximity to the offering of incense.
I am not familiar with Ethiopian practice, but I suspect it is similar to Coptic.
In the Roman rite, of course, there is the Confiteor
recited during the prayers at the foot of the altar, once by the celebrant followed by a response recited by the ministers, then once by the ministers followed by a response and an absolution recited by the priest. This unit is sometimes repeated right before Communion.