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Author Topic: Child's First Confession  (Read 2298 times) Average Rating: 0
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TinaG
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« on: July 03, 2007, 01:31:43 PM »

I couldn't find anything on a search of the topic of a child's first confession.  I would appreciate some guidelines and suggestions for my 7 1/2 yo son.  The Sunday school class usually prepares for first confession during Great Lent, but I'm wondering if he should wait till next year or is that too long.  What's the usual age and how did you as parents prepare your children? 
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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2007, 04:14:46 PM »

A great question. My parents never prepared me. I did it on my own, motivated as an altarboy. Age: 11
My best friend, an ACROD priest, recently told me of a "First Confession" being celebrated in his parish. I sort of looked dumb...huh? Is this a Slavic thing or a Latinization, I asked Pani. "Slavic thing", she guessed. Now I need to know more.
Need some input here.
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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2007, 05:37:22 PM »

Aristokles, I am not sure that it's a Slavic tradition. In the Ukrainian Orthodox parish that I visited when I lived in Seattle, they never celebrated children's first confessions. On the other hand, it was, indeed, a custom to celebrate those in the Eastern Rite Catholic parish (Seattle's Zarvanysya Mother of God Ukrainian Greek Catholic parish). So, it might be "latinization," after all.

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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2007, 07:18:07 AM »

I suspect you are correct, a Latinization. But an innocuous one. One of the major factors when the original parishes of ACROD rejoined Orthodoxy was that the EP made no requirement whatsoever that these small "t" traditions, acquired over 300 years, be changed.
The biggies such as "First Communion" have been officially eliminated over the years since 1937. This one, however, seems like a nice one and a good way to reinforce to both youth and adults confession as a sacrament.
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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2007, 09:24:56 AM »

I've never heard of a "first confession" either.  Interesting though, if you can find more info on it.
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« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2007, 11:01:16 AM »

I've seen this done at an Antiochian parish.  I think that we take it for granted that children will just automatically take to confession, or worse, confession is neglected and they never develop a routine of going to regular confession.  Having an organized first confession, after having been prepared by the Sunday school class as to what it's about and how to do it actually seems like a good idea.  If you examine the practice, I don't see anything un-Orthodox about it despite it being a common practice in the west.
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« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2007, 11:14:00 AM »

Slightly off topic, but still related, one of the biggest factors here is parents teaching by their own example.
A couple of years ago my Dad and I were discussing priests' compensation. Dad stated that in the old days parish priests derived a large portion of their income from confession 'honorariums' - tips. This stood to reason from his perspective as he grew up in the 1920s and 1930s when the older generation were from the 'old country' and continued their practices. These changed here  over time especially with larger salaries. Now, with confession so rare, at least in the Greek parishes I know (certainly not in our ACROD parish where it's weekly, still), children are not exposed to proper teaching - praxis.
I wonder if a "first Confession' celebration is as expensive as a Greek Christening (maybe, and only maybe, outdone by a 'big fat wedding'?
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"Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides
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