Penitence requires confession that a person broke a rule of the church, fraternal order or household. Penitence represents submission to an authority. In order to earn foregiveness, the penitent may perform extra chores and agree to a punishment. Such punishment may be given in public or private, e.g. a small chapel in a monastery or nunnery where discipline is given to novices.
Penitence as a ritual in consensual spanking
In consensual spanking, penitence is part of a ritual that includes confession to one's dominant, punishment and foregiveness. A punishment may include extra chores, corner time and a spanking on the bare buttocks. Confession by the spankee may be a device to initiate a spanking ritual.
After the confession, the spanker may bring out tears of remorse from the spankee. In other words, a long, harsh spanking is administered. After completing the entire punishment including corner time, foregiveness is granted. Within a family setting such a ritual is also known as domestic discipline.