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« Reply #45 on: September 27, 2007, 08:01:10 AM »

When I lived in Athens, our very active parish priests held - and I bet they still do - confession sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, at certain hours throughout the day. Personally I  never had the issue of frequency addressed  to me by any priest, that is to say, noone has ever made a point of telling me how often I should confess, still they did make a point of telling me that, under my "then" personal circumstances, I could receive Holy Communion every Sunday without a problem. I did not go to Confession evey week though.
I think confession is as much an individual issue as salvation, and its frequency is up to the individual´s spiritual needs, conditions and the opinion of the individual´s spiritual guide in a similar way to medical treatment. I do find a point in the article, I mentioned a few posts above about when it is advisable to confess. In the parish I sometimes attend the liturgy nowadays, there is a big percentage of Russian and Slavs. I have seen that before the Holy Communion, they actually gather at the smaller door on the left hand side of the Templo, kneel and there a priest with his petrahili or stole, placing it on one or two of them, actually prays something that to me sounds like the prayer of the Confession. I cannot hear very well I must say though because the rest of us, still stand and attend the service which is predominantly Greek. As I have only met this practice in this church, I gathered it is Russian or Slav and it is a way of confession. I may be mistaken of course because in the Greek Church I have only encountered the one-to-one Confession.If someone can enlighten me on this practice, I will be very glad.
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« Reply #46 on: September 27, 2007, 08:09:09 AM »

In my parish, while we tried in the past to have a 'regular confession time' on Saturdays, we actually recieved more penitents throughout the week from parishioners who would call up a priest and make an appointment at their convenience. My personal feeling is that this practice makes for a better confession experience because there really is not a time constraint, and so the priest and penitent can spend as much time as they need to in their examination and discussion.

We do on occaison have pentitents arrive during Orthros for confession. These pentitents are, without exception, either of Slavic background or were catchised at a church with a Slavic background.
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« Reply #47 on: September 27, 2007, 02:09:02 PM »

In my parish, while we tried in the past to have a 'regular confession time' on Saturdays, we actually recieved more penitents throughout the week from parishioners who would call up a priest and make an appointment at their convenience. My personal feeling is that this practice makes for a better confession experience because there really is not a time constraint, and so the priest and penitent can spend as much time as they need to in their examination and discussion.

Doesn't that amount in reallllllllly long office hours?  I work across the street from my parish, but I don't do this call-in thing because I don't want to busy him while people call him about donations, maintenance, getting old (1/4 to 1/3 of the parish is over 60), etc.

Quote
We do on occaison have pentitents arrive during Orthros for confession. These pentitents are, without exception, either of Slavic background or were catchised at a church with a Slavic background.

In the case of a Sunday morning confession, what section of the order of confession is used?
I've seen two cases:
1)
Priest: Blessed is our God....
Penitent: Amen.
~then goes the confession....~
Priest: May God who pardoned Nathan....having no further cares for the sins you have confessed, depart in peace.
Penitent: Amen.

2)
Priest: O Lord Jesus Christ.....
Penitent: Amen.
~confession~
Priest: .....I absolve you, in the Name.....
Penitent: Amen.
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« Reply #48 on: September 27, 2007, 03:04:14 PM »

Number 2......I guess...I think....at my parish at least....I have no clue.
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« Reply #49 on: September 27, 2007, 06:54:09 PM »

I seriously can't wait for confession I feel it's something I've needed all my life! In Melbourne (Australia) there are mainly first generation Greeks and creeping 2nd generation and because of this is a handful of English speaking Greek Orthodox priests so it is intimidating for the younger generation who there grandparents pretty much scold them for not going to the "local" church if they can let alone to another priest who can actually speak English. 
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« Reply #50 on: September 27, 2007, 07:36:15 PM »

I see, I am starting to get it, I think.

I assume that the reason that it is not required before one receives communion is because Orthodox don't have the different catagories of sins like Mortal and Venial.

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« Reply #51 on: September 27, 2007, 07:38:10 PM »

Or am I wrong on this Huh.
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« Reply #52 on: September 27, 2007, 07:38:18 PM »

Even though that parish is without a priest, they are having Reader's Services (services without a priest), yes?
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« Reply #53 on: September 27, 2007, 07:40:08 PM »


I assume that the reason that it is not required before one receives communion is because Orthodox don't have the different catagories of sins like Mortal and Venial.


That's not why we do confession before Communion (and you are mostly right on not having those categories for sin).
We confess, apologize and pray to do the best we can to prepare to receive Jesus Christ.

But we are never ready.  We pray that like the burning bush of old, we will receive the Lord and not be consumed.
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« Reply #54 on: September 27, 2007, 07:45:18 PM »

Even though that parish is without a priest, they are having Reader's Services (services without a priest), yes?

Yes I know I have been attending those, occasionaly the Priest from Butte MT come sinto town do celebrate the liturgy too.
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« Reply #55 on: September 27, 2007, 07:49:53 PM »

That's not why we do confession before Communion (and you are mostly right on not having those categories for sin).
We confess, apologize and pray to do the best we can to prepare to receive Jesus Christ.

But we are never ready.  We pray that like the burning bush of old, we will receive the Lord and not be consumed.

This is all so different then the way I am used to (the RC way) its almost a whole knew way of looking at confession it will take some getting used to.

A big difference is the not having catagories of sins, that always made things easy as to what sins need to be confessed.
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« Reply #56 on: September 27, 2007, 08:06:28 PM »

Orthodoxy takes a lot of the legalism away from the Catholics so you will have to change a lot of your views about certain practices and sacraments. I hope your journey brings you closer to God Antony
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« Reply #57 on: September 27, 2007, 08:15:19 PM »

Hello all I am new to the forum and new to Orthodoxy. I am a Catholic of the Roman persuasion and have been considering Orthodoxy for a few months now. Unfortunatly I live in Montana and the Greek OC in my town has been without a Priest since May.

Ahh, I'm thinking you must be in the Missoula area.  Greetings from a Montanan-in-exile Back East.  Smiley

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« Reply #58 on: September 27, 2007, 08:30:03 PM »

My confessor says "Daily in prayer, and at least every 4-6 weeks at church.  But don't wait to come in when something is bothering you or you have a hard time dealing with something."

I used to confess every Sunday, but that practice became more legalistic. 

Talk to the priest about it. 

Peace!
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« Reply #59 on: September 27, 2007, 08:45:06 PM »

I see, I am starting to get it, I think.

I assume that the reason that it is not required before one receives communion is because Orthodox don't have the different catagories of sins like Mortal and Venial.

Well actually most Russians do require Confession before every Communion.  We in Orthodoxy, however, see every sin as serious because all sins destroy our relationship with God (granted some sins may destroy our relationship with God more than others, but all of them hurt us).  So it is important to continually repent Smiley

BTW, welcome to the forum!
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« Reply #60 on: September 27, 2007, 09:02:43 PM »

I'm surprized to hear that so many of you confess so often. I alway thought that we confess when we have a need to. When sin has affected our lives in a way that spiritual growth has stop or when serious sin has caused a break in communion with Christ. Most of the time our Parish offers a General Confession.
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« Reply #61 on: September 28, 2007, 02:29:26 PM »

I'm surprized to hear that so many of you confess so often. I alway thought that we confess when we have a need to. When sin has affected our lives in a way that spiritual growth has stop or when serious sin has caused a break in communion with Christ. Most of the time our Parish offers a General Confession.

Every sin is serious; every sin hinders our spiritual growth; every time we sin there is a need to repent, confess, and seek forgiveness.

Part of Orthodoxy is the prayer rule of each person, which should lead him towards a deep sense of repentence....
Here's a prayer I recommend when one needs to do some soul-searching and discern what sins lay in his heart....

Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian
to the Most Holy Spirit


O Lord, Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, have compassion and mercy on Thy sinful servant and pardon my unworthiness, and forgive me all the sins that I humanly committed today, and not only humanly but even worse than a beast - my voluntary sins, known and unknown, from my youth and from evil suggestions, and from my brazenness, and from boredom. If I have sworn by Thy Name or blasphemed it in thought, blamed or reproached anyone, or in my anger have detracted or slandered anyone, or grieved anyone, or if I have got angry about anything, or have told a lie, if I have slept unnecessarily, or if a beggar has come to me and I despised or neglected him, or if I have troubled my brother or quarrelled with him, or if I have condemned anyone, or have boasted, or have been proud, or lost my temper with anyone, or if when standing in prayer my mind has been distracted by the glamour of this world, or if I have had depraved thoughts or have overeaten, or have drunk excessively, or have laughed frivolously, or have thought evil, or have seen the attraction of someone and been wounded by it in my heart, or said indecent things, or made fun of my brother's sin when my own faults are countless, or been neglectful of prayer, or have done some other wrong that I cannot remember - for I have done all this and much more - have mercy, my Lord and Creator, on me Thy wretched and unworthy servant, and absolve and forgive and deliver me in Thy goodness and love for men, so that, lustful, sinful and wretched as I am, I may lie down and sleep and rest in peace. And I shall worship, praise and glorify Thy most honourable Name, with the Father and His only-begotten Son, now and ever, and for all ages. Amen.

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« Reply #62 on: September 28, 2007, 03:48:30 PM »

Every sin is serious; every sin hinders our spiritual growth; every time we sin there is a need to repent, confess, and seek forgiveness.


Come on now. That's not true.

1 John 5:17
All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.


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« Reply #63 on: September 28, 2007, 05:11:15 PM »

Hello all I am new to the forum and new to Orthodoxy. I am a Catholic of the Roman persuasion and have been considering Orthodoxy for a few months now. Anyway my question is how often are Orthodox supposed to go to confession?

Hi Anthony,

I am a former Roman Catholic, now Orthodox for only three short years.  For my peace and comfort, I confess every 4 weeks.  I struggle with severe depression and anxiety.  Regular participation in the sacraments (Confession, the Holy Mysteries, anointing with oil on Feast Days etc.) are integral to my emotional stability. 

I love confession...absolutely love it.  I cannot even begin to describe how I feel before and after.  There is a burden that gets weightier and weightier as each week passes, sometimes so much so that I speak with my spiritual father more frequently.  But when I confess, that burden is lifted and it is left where I sat (or knelt).

My spiritual father and I prefer to confess "monastic style" as he calls it.  We sit facing one another.  It is more like a conversation than presenting a list of things that are my "sins."  Though I do jot down a list of things that I want to confess.  Then I burn it when done.  Usually he hones in on one thing that I say, or perhaps a couple and we "talk" about it.  Actually, he talks...I listen very, very carefully, especially to what he says right at the beginning.

There are no "penance" prayers (at least in my meager experience) like I was given in Roman Catholicism. 

It has been all very gently, patient, loving, and comfortable.  I suspect you would find it to be so as well.

faithfully, athanasia
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« Reply #64 on: September 28, 2007, 05:20:32 PM »

Come on now. That's not true.

1 John 5:17
All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.




Did not Christ come to save us from our sins and grant us great mercy by his resurrection?  Does his mercy not extend to every sin?
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« Reply #65 on: September 28, 2007, 08:36:44 PM »

I seriously can't wait for confession I feel it's something I've needed all my life! In Melbourne (Australia) there are mainly first generation Greeks and creeping 2nd generation and because of this is a handful of English speaking Greek Orthodox priests so it is intimidating for the younger generation who there grandparents pretty much scold them for not going to the "local" church if they can let alone to another priest who can actually speak English. 

Good for you!  Keep that mindset as long as you can.  That's a sentiment I can't say I share... it takes every ounce of willpower to force myself to confession.  I always feel better afterward and usually say, "Wow, I'm going to confession more often, this is great!"  And then six months pass. 
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« Reply #66 on: September 28, 2007, 09:44:33 PM »

Come on now. That's not true.

1 John 5:17
All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.

Demetrios,

I think you misunderstand the post you just quoted.  Just because a sin doesn’t lead to death doesn’t mean the sin isn’t serious and doesn’t require confession and repentance.  Some sins don't lead to death, but ALL sins hinder spiritual growth.
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« Reply #67 on: September 29, 2007, 03:41:31 PM »

From the Parallel Thread:  Confession, how often?

Part of Orthodoxy is the prayer rule of each person, which should lead him towards a deep sense of repentence....
Here's a prayer I recommend when one needs to do some soul-searching and discern what sins lay in his heart....

Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian
to the Most Holy Spirit


O Lord, Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, have compassion and mercy on Thy sinful servant and pardon my unworthiness, and forgive me all the sins that I humanly committed today, and not only humanly but even worse than a beast - my voluntary sins, known and unknown, from my youth and from evil suggestions, and from my brazenness, and from boredom. If I have sworn by Thy Name or blasphemed it in thought, blamed or reproached anyone, or in my anger have detracted or slandered anyone, or grieved anyone, or if I have got angry about anything, or have told a lie, if I have slept unnecessarily, or if a beggar has come to me and I despised or neglected him, or if I have troubled my brother or quarrelled with him, or if I have condemned anyone, or have boasted, or have been proud, or lost my temper with anyone, or if when standing in prayer my mind has been distracted by the glamour of this world, or if I have had depraved thoughts or have overeaten, or have drunk excessively, or have laughed frivolously, or have thought evil, or have seen the attraction of someone and been wounded by it in my heart, or said indecent things, or made fun of my brother's sin when my own faults are countless, or been neglectful of prayer, or have done some other wrong that I cannot remember - for I have done all this and much more - have mercy, my Lord and Creator, on me Thy wretched and unworthy servant, and absolve and forgive and deliver me in Thy goodness and love for men, so that, lustful, sinful and wretched as I am, I may lie down and sleep and rest in peace. And I shall worship, praise and glorify Thy most honourable Name, with the Father and His only-begotten Son, now and ever, and for all ages. Amen.
I've discovered Psalm 139 (138 according to the Septuagint) to be a great prayer in my personal preparation for confession.  Completing this Psalm of praise of God's intimate knowledge of our very essences (very commonly read in defense of the unborn against abortion) we see these two verses:

Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
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« Reply #68 on: September 29, 2007, 11:10:09 PM »

Orthodoxy takes a lot of the legalism away from the Catholics so you will have to change a lot of your views about certain practices and sacraments. I hope your journey brings you closer to God Antony

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« Reply #69 on: September 29, 2007, 11:13:44 PM »

Ahh, I'm thinking you must be in the Missoula area.  Greetings from a Montanan-in-exile Back East.  Smiley

Ebor

Yep I certainly am. Iv'e lived in Missoula my whole life. Where were you from in Montana?
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« Reply #70 on: September 29, 2007, 11:16:43 PM »

Well actually most Russians do require Confession before every Communion.  We in Orthodoxy, however, see every sin as serious because all sins destroy our relationship with God (granted some sins may destroy our relationship with God more than others, but all of them hurt us).  So it is important to continually repent Smiley

BTW, welcome to the forum!

Thank you. Any clue why the Russians require it more than the Greek?
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« Reply #71 on: September 29, 2007, 11:19:42 PM »

Hi Anthony,

I am a former Roman Catholic, now Orthodox for only three short years.  For my peace and comfort, I confess every 4 weeks.  I struggle with severe depression and anxiety.  Regular participation in the sacraments (Confession, the Holy Mysteries, anointing with oil on Feast Days etc.) are integral to my emotional stability. 

I love confession...absolutely love it.  I cannot even begin to describe how I feel before and after.  There is a burden that gets weightier and weightier as each week passes, sometimes so much so that I speak with my spiritual father more frequently.  But when I confess, that burden is lifted and it is left where I sat (or knelt).

My spiritual father and I prefer to confess "monastic style" as he calls it.  We sit facing one another.  It is more like a conversation than presenting a list of things that are my "sins."  Though I do jot down a list of things that I want to confess.  Then I burn it when done.  Usually he hones in on one thing that I say, or perhaps a couple and we "talk" about it.  Actually, he talks...I listen very, very carefully, especially to what he says right at the beginning.

There are no "penance" prayers (at least in my meager experience) like I was given in Roman Catholicism. 

It has been all very gently, patient, loving, and comfortable.  I suspect you would find it to be so as well.

faithfully, athanasia

Hello, just curious as a former Catholic how long did it take you to begin to look at confession different (in the Orthodox way) I imagine it can take quite a while.
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« Reply #72 on: September 30, 2007, 07:20:13 AM »

Hello, just curious as a former Catholic how long did it take you to begin to look at confession different (in the Orthodox way) I imagine it can take quite a while.

To be honest Anthony, it was such a relief to have a place to unburden myself without being afraid, it took till about the 3rd time of confession to look at it differently.

It also helped that there was 25 years of Protestantism between Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy.

I grew up Roman Catholic (till age 20), was Protestant for 25 years, and have been Orthodox for 3 years.

My greater struggle has been, and continues to be, that all the "bad" things that are happening in my life are not God punishing me for being a "bad" girl.  To just accept "God Loves me" has been very difficult.


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« Reply #73 on: September 30, 2007, 09:39:07 PM »

Thank you. Any clue why the Russians require it more than the Greek?

The independent development of local Church tradition.  Confession was emphasized more with the Russians (either because they wanted to from the get-go, or it was more compatible with Russian culture, or the people had no focus on it - something like that) than it was with the Greeks, to the point of stating that confession must be had before each reception of the Eucharist.  The Greeks, OTOH, stated that confession was important to be at frequently, but not necessarily a 1:1 ratio with communion.  The problem in Greece, however, developed that many of the priests didn't have even a college education, and the bishops saw a spiritual immaturity that led to the reduction in the number of priests who are permitted to hear confession.  This carried over to this country, which is why some Greeks don't know that it is Orthodox to go to confession.  The GOA is fighting to bring it back into the cultural consciousness and full liturgical life.
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« Reply #74 on: October 01, 2007, 09:20:47 AM »

Demetrios,

I think you misunderstand the post you just quoted.  Just because a sin doesn’t lead to death doesn’t mean the sin isn’t serious and doesn’t require confession and repentance.  Some sins don't lead to death, but ALL sins hinder spiritual growth.


I agree that all sin is serious. I just don't see the need for constant confession.
 If you are suffering from a particular sin and have bin absolved from it many times and yet continue repeating it.  It has taken over your life. Your not free, no matter how many times your on the alter. Unless a change occurs.
   I'll give you another example. You can try to quit smoking many times. But until you actually quit your still a smoker.
There is no sense confessing unless change is made.
   To me spiritual growth is nothing more than becoming the image of Christ.
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« Reply #75 on: October 01, 2007, 09:54:48 AM »

Come on now. That's not true.

If sin is separation from God, then it is true, since without God we have nothing to sustain life.  Constant confession?  I don't know.  But frequent confession is necessary; the more frequent, the less intense and the shorter it is, and the more effective it is in spurring life change (which is part of the purpose).

My objection is only to those who would say that confession is required in a 1:1 ratio with reception of communion.  That is a different issue altogether.
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« Reply #76 on: October 01, 2007, 10:17:23 AM »

I agree that all sin is serious. I just don't see the need for constant confession.
 If you are suffering from a particular sin and have bin absolved from it many times and yet continue repeating it.  It has taken over your life. Your not free, no matter how many times your on the alter. Unless a change occurs.
When a sin has become a habit, that is precisely when we need frequent Confession. A person who has a chronic illness should see the doctor more frequently than someone who has an acute illness. Confession is a sign of metanoia- from "meta" and "nous" ("to change one's nous"). We can't change our life without changing our nous. Confession in the presence of a witness (the Priest) helps keep us honest, and our metanoia (repentance) genuine.
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« Reply #77 on: October 01, 2007, 10:22:32 AM »

When a sin has become a habit, that is precisely when we need frequent Confession. A person who has a chronic illness should see the doctor more frequently than someone who has an acute illness. Confession is a sign of metanoia- from "meta" and "nous" ("to change one's nous"). We can't change our life without changing our nous. Confession in the presence of a witness (the Priest) helps keep us honest, and our metanoia (repentance) genuine.

Right - and sometimes, even if one confession doesn't change the habit (which would be the ideal), if the frequent confession changes the habit over time, then Glory to God for working through men in such a way!
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« Reply #78 on: October 01, 2007, 10:29:47 AM »

This is all so different then the way I am used to (the RC way) its almost a whole knew way of looking at confession it will take some getting used to.

A big difference is the not having catagories of sins, that always made things easy as to what sins need to be confessed.

You sure about that? "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word, and my soul shall be healed."

Confession is not legalism, properly understood. There ARE certain classes of sin---think of the Ten Commandments, which are the backbone of what we call "grave" sin. The early (and later) Church prescribed different penances for different sins because sins had varying detrimental effects on one's partaking in the Divine Nature. "Mortal sin" is a concept we get from 1 John 5:16-17. As our Catechism says, "For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: "Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.'" This is basically the same kind of sin for which a man in the early Church could be kept from Communion for an extended period of time, even after repentance.

So, while there is some general agreement on what sins are of grave matter (based in the Ten Commandments and St. Paul's "sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance"), mortal sin requires prayerful discernment by the penitent and his confessor. It is not cut and dry, which is why the Church wants us to go to confession regularly and confess all sins of which we are aware. But understanding mortal sin is a help in discerning whether you should head to the Communion rail or not. If I said a sharp word out of impatience at somebody this week, would I go to Communion (repentantly, of course)? Most likely. If I abused someone else's body via fornication or my own via masturbation, I most certainly would not until I went to confession.

In EO terms, a venial sin is like catching a cold. A mortal sin is like catching pneumonia.



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« Reply #79 on: October 01, 2007, 10:36:56 AM »

In EO terms, a venial sin is like catching a cold. A mortal sin is like catching pneumonia.
Wrong. As my own Bishop puts it in his theology courses at St. Andrews theological college: in EO terms, there is no difference between drowning under 1 metre of water and drowning under 100 metres of water- you still drown.
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« Reply #80 on: October 01, 2007, 10:37:52 AM »

I'm surprized to hear that so many of you confess so often. I alway thought that we confess when we have a need to. When sin has affected our lives in a way that spiritual growth has stop or when serious sin has caused a break in communion with Christ.

That is our mortal sin.

I agree with you. I confess (sacramentally; I confess alone very day) more often when I am more beset by sin or temptation. There is no special schedule---when I need to confess, believe me, I know it. I am convicted of it in my heart.
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« Reply #81 on: October 01, 2007, 10:41:40 AM »

Wrong. As my own Bishop puts it in his theology courses at St. Andrews theological college: in EO terms, there is no difference between drowning under 1 metre of water and drowning under 100 metres of water- you still drown.

Nope, that's only true if the sinner is unrepentant. Of course, all sin unrepented leads to death.

If you believe that, I certainly hope you go to confession before every single partaking of Communion, because the slightest sin of carelessness will bury you.



1 John 5:17
All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.



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« Reply #82 on: October 01, 2007, 10:46:52 AM »

Demetrios,

I think you misunderstand the post you just quoted.  Just because a sin doesn’t lead to death doesn’t mean the sin isn’t serious and doesn’t require confession and repentance.  Some sins don't lead to death, but ALL sins hinder spiritual growth.


Of course, that's true. I don't think anyone here is denying that. All sin damages our communion with Christ. Some, however, rupture it. I confess all sins I can think of, even minor ones, in confession---as well as on my own. Just because a lesser sin doesn't bar me from Communion doesn't mean it isn't wrong or injurious to my relationship with Christ. But if I treated all sin equally (which is both un-scriptural and against the tradition of the Church), confession would have to be a requirement before every Mass.
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« Reply #83 on: October 01, 2007, 10:53:46 AM »

Nope, that's only true if the sinner is unrepentant. 

No, it's true all the time.  We don't drown because Christ reaches out His arm to save even the sinner.  When we're unrepentant, we push His arm away.  Regardless, we should still do all we can to keep from drowning, even if we believe that Christ is always there to save us.

If you believe that, I certainly hope you go to confession before every single partaking of Communion, because the slightest sin of carelessness will bury you. 

An abomination of sacramental theology.  Communion is not dependent on confession.  Partaking of it is for "the remission of sins and life everlasting."  Frequent confession is required, to affect true repentance from sin; but the sins of day-to-day life, while still being serious (in that they separate us from our loving God), require a change in life and the striving for the Christian life. 

Going to the doctor's office everyday for a cold is an abuse, not therapy.  In the same way we who are not monks were intended to integrate the advice of our spiritual fathers into our lives and strive to live better, not constantly go to them as a crutch, or to wallow in self-pity.

In order to be part of the community (according to the Ecumenical Councils) one must frequently commune - so what is needed more than Confession before each Communion is a dedicated striving for the Christian life.  This would serve one better than weekly confession.
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« Reply #84 on: October 01, 2007, 10:55:31 AM »

When a sin has become a habit, that is precisely when we need frequent Confession. A person who has a chronic illness should see the doctor more frequently than someone who has an acute illness. Confession is a sign of metanoia- from "meta" and "nous" ("to change one's nous"). We can't change our life without changing our nous. Confession in the presence of a witness (the Priest) helps keep us honest, and our metanoia (repentance) genuine.

I am in full agreement with this. That's how the Evil One works, by telling someone trapped in a vicious cycle of sin that it is pointless and shameful to go to confession when he is just going to do it again, that God's patience has run out.
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« Reply #85 on: October 01, 2007, 10:57:57 AM »

Nope, that's only true if the sinner is unrepentant.

Hmmm. Who should I hold to be the better and more authoritative teacher of the doctrines of the Orthodox Church?
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« Reply #86 on: October 01, 2007, 10:58:34 AM »

An abomination of sacramental theology.  Communion is not dependent on confession.  Partaking of it is for "the remission of sins and life everlasting."  Frequent confession is required, to affect true repentance from sin; but the sins of day-to-day life, while still being serious (in that they separate us from our loving God), require a change in life and the striving for the Christian life. 

Going to the doctor's office everyday for a cold is an abuse, not therapy.  In the same way we who are not monks were intended to integrate the advice of our spiritual fathers into our lives and strive to live better, not constantly go to them as a crutch, or to wallow in self-pity.

In order to be part of the community (according to the Ecumenical Councils) one must frequently commune - so what is needed more than Confession before each Communion is a dedicated striving for the Christian life.  This would serve one better than weekly confession.

This is true. That's why I said, you really must go to the doctor's office for pneumonia. You also should if the cold lingers for an extended period of time.
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« Reply #87 on: October 01, 2007, 10:59:44 AM »

Hmmm. Who should I hold to be the better and more authoritative teacher of the doctrines of the Orthodox Church?
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Nice!
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« Reply #88 on: October 01, 2007, 11:01:23 AM »

This is true. That's why I said, you really must go to the doctor's office for pneumonia. You also should if the cold lingers for an extended period of time. 

Right.  But frequent checkups are also good, even if one isn't showing symptoms.  Confession is like primary-care: the better utilized it is, the better quality health we will enjoy, the earlier diagnosis of serious illness we'll receive, and the longer life we'll live.
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« Reply #89 on: October 01, 2007, 11:02:12 AM »

Hmmm. Who should I hold to be the better and more authoritative teacher of the doctrines of the Orthodox Church?
 _____________________
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LUBELTRI     []      STYLIANOS
\______/     []      \______/
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      =================

My dispute was not with Stylianos, it was with your use of his quotation out of the context of this discussion. Of course without the mercy of God and Christ's atonement, all sin causes us to drown. Christ has thrown us a life-preserver, which we hold on to. But some sins or habits of sin are the equivalent of slipping completely out of the life preserver, and these are the sins which should be confessed sacramentally before partaking of Communion.
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