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eagles
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« on: November 15, 2014, 07:28:46 PM »

At our Church the Priest has ,since I was there , had confessions on Sunday morning prior to Liturgy , as well as on Wed . We are required to have confession prior to EVERY time we want communion . Now he has stated we MUST attend Saturday night service or no Communion on Sunday . He says this the RULE of the ROC . I know we should go Saturday but is this really THE RULE ?
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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2014, 12:44:33 AM »

I know we should go Saturday but is this really THE RULE ?

He says this the RULE of the ROC .

I don't really know what else to tell you.  Practices differ, but it's his call in his parish for all practical purposes, unless you want to consult the local bishop.
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2014, 02:32:24 AM »

I agree but he is saying its NOT his call but the rule of the Russian Church , I want to know is it or is it not a rule of the Russian church ?
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2014, 08:55:44 AM »

I agree but he is saying its NOT his call but the rule of the Russian Church , I want to know is it or is it not a rule of the Russian church ?

It's definitely the norm in the ROC.  Whether it's a rule written down in a book, does it matter?  Your priest is more knowledgeable of this than me.
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2014, 09:40:47 AM »

I believe that this is the general practice. The ideal being confession before or after Vigil, or if elderly, infirm, or living more than 1 hour from the parish confessing on Sunday morning before DL. There is still some room for pastoral discretion, for instance before Nativity or Pascha our priest usually gives us a week or so before the feast and says don't come back unless you kill somebody.
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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2014, 10:05:33 AM »

Thank you and YES , telling the truth matters  Shocked If its a ROC rule then going to another Church is not an option . I can fully appreciate a Priest saying these are MY rules in this Parish , BUT if he says , sorry I have no choice its the Rules of the ROC and I MUST comply and so must you .  its a fair question as if this is the case . I know people who have been Orthodox since Birth and went to Sunday  confession and Liturgy for 25 years with out going Sat and had no issues  at other churches both Greek and Russian so its confusing . I was simply hoping perhaps a some one here knew the hard and fast rules. Plus up until a week ago this was not the case here. I think the "rule " aspect was used in a context that  , there are no confessions to be held on Sunday Morning by rule , hence you must come Saturday for confession and service to receive communion  on Sunday. Perhaps the rule is on Sunday am confessions but the end result was come Saturday or else no communion and we are required to have confession before every communion . Maybe I could ask is having confession on Sunday morning , not allowed by the ROc as another part of the question . We have distance , $ and health issues here and those were expressed but so far did not seem to matter in this new edict .
« Last Edit: November 16, 2014, 10:18:20 AM by eagles » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2014, 12:02:42 PM »

When I attended a ROCOR Church, I had to be confessed the within the last 7 days to commune, but I did live 100 miles to get to church, and they accepted confession by any Orthodox Priest during that time---probably by economia.
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« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2014, 09:33:02 PM »

The priest has a lot to do on Sunday mornings, and it is very unfortunate when services start late due to last minute confessions.

telling the truth matters  Shocked If its a ROC rule then going to another Church is not an option . I can fully appreciate a Priest saying these are MY rules in this Parish , BUT if he says , sorry I have no choice its the Rules of the ROC and I MUST comply and so must you .

Even though I said I think there is room for pastoral discretion, I thinking implying that your priest is lying to you is step too far. Your priest didn't make up the standard Russian practice on his own.

I know people who have been Orthodox since Birth and went to Sunday  confession and Liturgy for 25 years with out going Sat and had no issues  at other churches both Greek and Russian so its confusing


Think of what they've missed not hearing the canons of Matins and other educational parts of Vespers and Matins for 25 years.

Speak with your priest if you feel coming on Saturday night is impossible for you, but try to understand where he is coming from.
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« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2014, 10:35:22 PM »

In ROCOR in both the US and Germany, the standard I've seen is one Confession - one Communion, preferably the night before, but also on the Sunday - just try to get there early enough. The confession can maybe "keep" for two or three days, but it's not the norm.

In a Moscow Patriarchate parish in the US, people went to Communion more than once per Confession, at least during Bright Week, and our Archpriest seemed to be surprised when I made a point of telling him that I had confessed the day before Communion while I was in another city, when I had already confessed to him about two weeks earlier. That may have been a misunderstanding, though.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2014, 10:37:43 PM by Georgii » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2014, 11:14:49 PM »

My priest in my old ROCOR parish relaxed the one Confession one Communion rule to one Confession per week, normally done during the Vigil services on Saturday, which was also required to Communion
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« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2014, 02:35:24 AM »

Thank you all , i will be sadly looking for a new church. We have a small parish and today maybe there was 25  people at church . Four of us could not make Saturday night and in the sermon the priest made it a point to humiliate the four of us in turn who did not go . I had send him an email telling him my wife had no strength for  night time service and the Sunday morning after surviving two bouts of cancer but told him of course we would abide by his rules and he screamed out looking at me , and then I get this email saying these are my rules , WHO IN THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE , I AM THE PRIEST one man who has a bad leg and cant stand all that time , walks with a cane and has volunteered to be over see his senior community group , he looks at him and says , so was bingo more important , another who is a real estate agent , a new one and helps him a lot in many ways ,he  says , so where you trying to get a deal ? I pray you do so you can actually tithe . He hammered this on and on and ,made me sick , my wife in tears finishing by saying , every time I do this I loose about four people . hope not though. We are new to Orthodoxy , just been going about 15 months , babtised in April and this was our church . Very hurt by the public humiliation . Can not go back , no other church in the area , feel betrayed and sad . I hope this is not normal behavior for a priest in public
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« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2014, 02:48:12 AM »

I hope this is not normal behavior for a priest in public

It isn't. No priest has the right to treat people so badly. He might be in a position of authority, but he is also a servant of the people who attend the church in which he serves. Sadly, in my decades in the Church, I have come across one or two priests like this.  Sad Tongue

Such priests usually don't last long if they continue with such behavior. Sooner or later, his bishop will hear of what he is doing, and sort it out. Don't let someone like that destroy your faith. Find another Orthodox parish, and I hope the priest there will treat people better.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 02:49:01 AM by LBK » Logged
Georgii
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« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2014, 03:51:30 AM »

This may not be what you want to hear or need to hear right now, but it is important for you to pray for this priest's salvation. He will have to give an accounting for your souls, too at the Dread Judgement Seat of Christ. Good, bad or indifferent, our priests bear a great burden.

Lord have mercy.
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« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2014, 09:27:00 AM »

Sorry to hear that, that does not sound normal. 84% (21/25) Vigil attendance sounds pretty good, I think a lot of priests would be jealous.
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« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2014, 09:37:25 AM »

If I were Russian Orthodox, it sounds like I would never receive the Mysteries. I'm always busy Saturday nights and I'm only able to go to Confession once every month or two. I only ever fast on Lenten Fridays because my wife dislikes it. Am I to understand that Russian Orthodox priests are bound by their tradition to not give me Holy Communion (supposing I were Orthodox)?
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« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2014, 10:02:10 AM »

Thank you ALL. Yes I will pray for him , yes it has hurt my desire to go  to church , at all. There is no other church in my city (Orthodox ) . I can travel some long distance to another one and may try once or twice a month but right now I don't want to become vulnerable to another ego maniac who uses catch words ,like you all know I am no good , Just an old good for nothing etc to deflect after such outbursts as if that makes it all ok . He is an Archpriest and has been for decades so not sure anyone will change this in him .
.
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« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2014, 10:06:54 AM »

Thank you all , i will be sadly looking for a new church. We have a small parish and today maybe there was 25  people at church . Four of us could not make Saturday night and in the sermon the priest made it a point to humiliate the four of us in turn who did not go . I had send him an email telling him my wife had no strength for  night time service and the Sunday morning after surviving two bouts of cancer but told him of course we would abide by his rules and he screamed out looking at me , and then I get this email saying these are my rules , WHO IN THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE , I AM THE PRIEST one man who has a bad leg and cant stand all that time , walks with a cane and has volunteered to be over see his senior community group , he looks at him and says , so was bingo more important , another who is a real estate agent , a new one and helps him a lot in many ways ,he  says , so where you trying to get a deal ? I pray you do so you can actually tithe . He hammered this on and on and ,made me sick , my wife in tears finishing by saying , every time I do this I loose about four people . hope not though. We are new to Orthodoxy , just been going about 15 months , babtised in April and this was our church . Very hurt by the public humiliation . Can not go back , no other church in the area , feel betrayed and sad . I hope this is not normal behavior for a priest in public

Do two things. First your Bishop must be advised of the behavior of his priest. It will be more effective if the priest's  actions and words are precisely  outlined and attested to by as many parishioners who were impacted and who are willing to sign their names.  Second, notify the parish council as to why you are no longer able to support the parish.

Most Orthodox priests are most certainly NOT like the man you describe. As one from a multigenerational family of priests such behaviors embarrass and anger me to the core.

We rail online about the "heterodox". Well, in my book, behavior as you describe is both "heterodox"and far more dangerous to our faith than the strident voice of any non Orthodox preacher as such behavior destroys Faith from the core.
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« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2014, 10:11:31 AM »

This may not be what you want to hear or need to hear right now, but it is important for you to pray for this priest's salvation. He will have to give an accounting for your souls, too at the Dread Judgement Seat of Christ. Good, bad or indifferent, our priests bear a great burden.

Lord have mercy.

The priest does not account for you individually at Judgment. Just yesterday our Bishop spoke of this.  The burden placed on bishops and priests is to account for how they , bishops and priests, account for how they ministered to the souls placed in their care. He distinguished this from our own individual accountability in stressing the heavy burden placed by God on priests in this life and at judgment.

By all means pray for him, but do not idly accept his abuse.
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« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2014, 10:13:43 AM »

Just because he is a venerable and aged Archpriest does not excuse his outbursts. Perhaps they are age related?
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« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2014, 10:48:36 AM »

If I were Russian Orthodox, it sounds like I would never receive the Mysteries. I'm always busy Saturday nights and I'm only able to go to Confession once every month or two. ...  Am I to understand that Russian Orthodox priests are bound by their tradition to not give me Holy Communion (supposing I were Orthodox)?

I wouldn't say they are bound by their tradition to not give you Holy communion, but they are bound to ensuring that you are prepared. If you are new or visiting and would like to commune it is good idea to try to make this known to priest ahead of time (call, email, in person before service begins), and they will let you know what they require for preparation. With advanced notice, and good reason I think most priests would be able to work out a way for you to make an arrangement other than Saturday night confession, but bringing it up 5 minutes before Divine Liturgy is supposed to start is a bad idea if haven't made prior arrangements.

The Russian church tends to have less frequent communion, but is trying to move in the direction of more frequent communion. On a typical Sunday, not a major feast day, most adults are probably not communing. It used to be common for laity to not receive communion more than 1-2 times per year. So now a minimum of 4x per year, once during each fasting period, is recommended. To those who are used to communing weekly 4x/year might sound incredibly low, but the purpose of that recommendation is actually to INCREASE the frequency of communion. There is also additional practices that often go into preparing for communion, many will observe a 3 day strict fast (even outside of fasting periods) and read multiple supplicatory canons and akathists along with the pre-communion prayers. Our priest recommends monthly confession and communion. He also does not encourage the 3 day fast, unless it is already part of someone’s personal piety and meaningful to them. With the extra “work” that goes into preparing, there is some worry of people thinking that they “earning” communion, but if one pays attention to words in the canon of repentance and preparatory prayers that shouldn’t be an issue. One should make confession out of a desire to “turn from his ways and live” not just confessing so that he can commune.

I think legitimate arguments can be made for more and less frequent communion. I think both sides should recognize the motivation for the other’s practice: both are motivated a sincere desire to place value and importance on communion.
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« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2014, 10:52:37 AM »

^ I'm not taking issue with either ROCOR' s rules regarding reception of  Communion or the practice of the Russian tradition. Rather, I am responding to the OP' s concerns about the specific  priest's behavior if they are as the OP stated.
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« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2014, 11:03:49 AM »

Reading this thread makes me think that Antioch are a bunch of hippie Liberodox.......

PP
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« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2014, 11:57:43 AM »

Sorry to hear that, that does not sound normal. 84% (21/25) Vigil attendance sounds pretty good, I think a lot of priests would be jealous.

I know my priest would.  Saturday evening vigil may have <25% of our parish.

Reading this thread makes me think that Antioch are a bunch of hippie Liberodox.......

PP

LOL!
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« Reply #23 on: November 17, 2014, 04:47:21 PM »

Thank all again . I am not a visitor this was my Parrish and it all changed on his whim in one weeks time.yes maybe age is a factor , no excuse to me , retire if you cant do better . I am praying for him . Another parishioner called me and said he and his wife were truly sorry as well m he serves behind the doors to the priest. He has a little girl who attends and he said to me they often do not know if they want their little girl subjected to this negativity. He said but to leave is what the evil one wants . I told him the influence of the evil one through the actions I saw is what concerns me . This priest is always preaching in order to be forgiven a person must ask for the forgiveness to the offended and then not repeat the actions m change . So now I want to see id he follows his own advice and calls those offended , asks forgiveness and pledges to not violate a trust from the parishioners again .IF he does this I will give him a second chance and return. if not I will report the actions as suggested . Even though as bad as he was to us , that feels underhanded . But it is necessary to help others I suppose . I hope he just uses some of that humility he is always preaching on and does the right thing . That is another subject but it seems the message he always preaching is no one is any good , say you are nothing . it seems wrong to me . yes we sin and have faults but made in Gods image we cant be no good nothings and act like it all the time . Seems that is a another way to control the flock ? I would rather hear the message we are wonderful creations , made in the image of God with unlimited potential if we turn to Christ and fight our sinful tendencies . is that wrong ? he always adds after he tells us we should act like we are nothing , that EVERYONE KNOWS HOW ROTTEN I AM . I do understand not bragging etc but is it some vital teaching of the Orthodox faith to act and feel low and as we are nothing and know nothing ?
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« Reply #24 on: Today at 01:55:28 AM »

It was interesting going from St. Michael's Cathedral in Sitka, AK to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox in Spokane, it was the closest Orthodox parish near me and in walking distance back in 2006; and when I went to Great Vespers on Saturday there was only a couple people there for the Mystery of Repentance.  I asked Father Stephen why there was not that many people for Repentance and he said the Greek tradition is that it is not required before every communion and thus few Greeks do it.  At the Cathedral in Sitka, almost all regular attenders were at Great Vespers on Saturday for Repentance and I was used to this tradition and the tradition of priests making sure their sheep were confessed before receiving the Body and Blood.  But, the Greek usage in this matter is equally Orthodox so maybe you could go to a friendly Greek Church.  I actually loved my time at Holy Trinity and the priest even went to St. Vlad's with Father Nicholas, the priest who had received me into Orthodoxy.   
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« Reply #25 on: Today at 01:59:41 AM »

That is another subject but it seems the message he always preaching is no one is any good , say you are nothing . it seems wrong to me . yes we sin and have faults but made in Gods image we cant be no good nothings and act like it all the time . Seems that is a another way to control the flock ? I would rather hear the message we are wonderful creations , made in the image of God with unlimited potential if we turn to Christ and fight our sinful tendencies . is that wrong ? he always adds after he tells us we should act like we are nothing , that EVERYONE KNOWS HOW ROTTEN I AM . I do understand not bragging etc but is it some vital teaching of the Orthodox faith to act and feel low and as we are nothing and know nothing ?

No, it most definitely is not. That sounds more like Jonathan Edwards "Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God"-style Calvinism to me (I had to read that sermon in English class at my public high school. Because of its historical value).
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« Reply #26 on: Today at 06:20:01 AM »

Alexander Schmemann wrote a very learned essay on the whole topic of confession and communion.
It can be found by googling alexanderschmemann/his writings   -   among 20-30 other essays by him.
Briefly, he says that Confession - as a separate Mystery, is necessary for only the most serious sins, in order to be 're-admitted' back into the fold of the Church.
The sins of 'everyday life' are sufficiently and fully confessed during the Liturgy, and the fact of our Lord's forgiveness is stressed as well.
One does not come to Communion 'unprepared' - assuming a repentant heart and the intention to do better in the future.
Indeed, after the epiclesis - the calling down of the Holy Spirit in the prayer of consecration, the priest says - 'that they' -the Body and Blood of Christ- may be to those who partake for the purification of soul, for  the remission of sins.' Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.
This theme continues right up to the administration of the Sacred Mystery Itself to the individual communicant.
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« Reply #27 on: Today at 11:14:50 AM »

Thanks to all . Weekly confessions before every communion seemed strenuous at times . I found myself agonizing over what to tell him ,so often .  Did I have a bad thought of some one or get angry ? He has no remorse for his actions , he has never apologized. One who expressed concern to him over this behavior was brushed off. One person called me trying to cover it up ,  imploring  me not to mention his actions to anyone !!! To say nothing or it was gossip and work of the devil . My wife and I are visiting an OAC Church this Sunday which is far away from us but where many others who were driven out of our last church have gone and are very happy there.  We will at least be able to attend there every few weeks in good weather . I am glad  his constant yelling at everyone to humble down and act worthless are not part of the belief . Seems to me to be more of a control tactic he uses .
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« Reply #28 on: Today at 11:47:16 AM »

perhaps he should take his own advice?
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