Me: Bless me Father for I have sinned. Priest: Yes child, continue. Me: Today I inhaled two grilled Hebrew National Kosher All Beef Franks with diced red onion and Gludens spicy brown mustard on a soft Sara Lee bun. Priest: This is pretty despicable....For penance keep a running tab of Hail Mary's and Our Father's in succession until I can get back with you, I need to consult the Bishop on this one.
In a sacramental understanding of the term, "penance" applies to the whole activity from confession to absolution.