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Author Topic: Clergy Reception of Communion  (Read 1570 times) Average Rating: 0
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Twenty Nine
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« on: May 27, 2008, 03:08:29 PM »

Aside from the tradition in the OCA and other local churches where frequent communion is common, there seems to be a quite a difference in reception between the clergy and the laity in traditional churches.

Most traditional churches require that the laity, at the very least, go to confession the night before Divine Liturgy.

My question is: what is the practice for the clergy who receive at every liturgy? Do they confess each week?

Gregory
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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2008, 06:39:08 PM »

Are you asking how do the clergy recieve communion in comparison to the laity?

Or if your asking if we have to take confession like the laity; the answer is 'yes'. In the Ethiopian Church attendance at Saturday midnight prayers (vespers) is mandatory if a clergyman is to be on the Alter for the Sunday Liturgy. At this time he may speak with his confession father. But speaking with his confession father each Saturday is not mandatory 'attending' the prayer service is.



Very good question!
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« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2008, 07:45:08 PM »

Quote
Or if your asking if we have to take confession like the laity; the answer is 'yes'. In the Ethiopian Church attendance at Saturday midnight prayers (vespers) is mandatory if a clergyman is to be on the Alter for the Sunday Liturgy. At this time he may speak with his confession father. But speaking with his confession father each Saturday is not mandatory 'attending' the prayer service is.

Okay, thanks. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that clergy must attend evening service, but do not have to confess during/after the evening service in order to receive the Eucharist. So it seems that there is a difference between the laity and the clergy in this regard since the laity must confess the night before receiving the Eucharist.

If this is true, then why is there a difference between the clergy and the laity?

Gregory
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« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2008, 07:52:49 PM »

Okay, thanks. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that clergy must attend evening service, but do not have to confess during/after the evening service in order to receive the Eucharist. So it seems that there is a difference between the laity and the clergy in this regard since the laity must confess the night before receiving the Eucharist.

If this is true, then why is there a difference between the clergy and the laity?

Gregory
This was one of the inconsistencies that I remember being pointed out constantly while I was in seminary. How can the priest who may only go to confession a few times a year but is required to receive communion at the Liturgy require every one of his parishioners to come to confession before they partake?

This isn't a judgment on the priest or the laity just something that we all need to ponder as we prepare to receive the gifts.
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« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2008, 08:16:40 PM »

Okay, thanks. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that clergy must attend evening service, but do not have to confess during/after the evening service in order to receive the Eucharist. So it seems that there is a difference between the laity and the clergy in this regard since the laity must confess the night before receiving the Eucharist.

If this is true, then why is there a difference between the clergy and the laity?

Gregory
One thing to remember, though, is that Dn. Amde Tsion represents the liturgical practices of the Ethiopian churches, which may or may not be totally consistent with the Slavic practices to which you have probably been exposed in the OCA.  In this case, his practice sounds as though it may be pretty close.
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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2008, 01:25:40 AM »

One thing to remember, though, is that Dn. Amde Tsion represents the liturgical practices of the Ethiopian churches, which may or may not be totally consistent with the Slavic practices to which you have probably been exposed in the OCA.  In this case, his practice sounds as though it may be pretty close.

We (Ethiopian Orthodox) are not that much different on this issue than many other orthodox Churches eastern or oriental. I am sure we are all not the same however.

I am told that the clergy spend alot of time preparing for the liturgy with the many readings and other required pratices. This may be the reason for the difference. The point is that the clergy must confess sins just as the laity does. It is required by canon law. The frequency is not so clear to me.
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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2008, 07:08:05 AM »

One thing to remember is logistics (which I am sure the Lord takes into consideration): the parish has a confessor.  The priest has got to go out of his way to get one, unless you have a number of priests at a parish, and them confessing to one another doesn't fit the bill (at our parish the priest doesn't hear his family's confessions for similiar reasons: they may be the topic of the confession).

One Pascha a parisioner got into an argument with the priest during the sermon, which he thought made some anti-Semitic remarks (next week's Sunday school was spent in clarifying, to his, and everyone else's satisfaction). We happened to have a visiting priest, and our priest went to confesssion immediately after the sermon, before he continued the Paschal liturgy.
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« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2008, 01:28:18 PM »

One thing to remember is logistics (which I am sure the Lord takes into consideration): the parish has a confessor.  The priest has got to go out of his way to get one, unless you have a number of priests at a parish, and them confessing to one another doesn't fit the bill (at our parish the priest doesn't hear his family's confessions for similiar reasons: they may be the topic of the confession).

One Pascha a parisioner got into an argument with the priest during the sermon, which he thought made some anti-Semitic remarks (next week's Sunday school was spent in clarifying, to his, and everyone else's satisfaction). We happened to have a visiting priest, and our priest went to confesssion immediately after the sermon, before he continued the Paschal liturgy.

This was very helpful...Thanks.

The availability of other clergy to confess to is the obvious condition I failed to see and also that the nature of the confession may be an issue with another local clergyman as you said.

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"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

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« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2008, 03:59:59 PM »

Aside from the tradition in the OCA and other local churches where frequent communion is common, there seems to be a quite a difference in reception between the clergy and the laity in traditional churches.

This assumption of "traditional" really doesn't express the question in the best manner.  Define "traditional churches."  Yes that was a loaded question.  It isn't possible to categorize things into neat little categories based on externals as Americans are taught to do by the media and government based on the French Revolutionary concept of "left" and "right."

Most traditional churches require that the laity, at the very least, go to confession the night before Divine Liturgy.

Once again define traditional churches.  It is seemingly a practice that varies between priest to priest/confessor to confessor/diocese to diocese.  How and when a person goes to confession is between him, God and the father confessor.  Again this word of "traditional."  Every Eastern Orthodox parish in my diocese better follow the Deposit of Faith the "Tradition" of the church.  We pray in each liturgy that the Bishop "May rightfully dispense the Word of Truth."  This is us praying the the bishop may lead us and instruct us properly in the Deposit of Faith and the Tradition of the church and not deviate from it.  Instructing us through properly educating his clergy and ensuring what is being taught under his guard is the Deposit of Faith, the sacred Tradition of the Church.


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Twenty Nine
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« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2008, 04:46:00 PM »

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Once again define traditional churches.

Traditional, I agree, is a bad adjective. What I mean is churches that primarily use the Old Calendar. For instance, ROCOR, the Synod in Resistance, the GOC, the various Russian "Old Calendarists" (i.e. ROAC, ROCiE, etc, etc).

I wasn't trying to necessarily categorize churches into "left" and "right"; I was simply trying to identify specific jurisdictions, such as those listed above.

One could easily point to a number of confession/communion practices and claim that it is "traditional". My question was oriented more towards understanding why there is a difference between the practice of the clergy vs the laity when it comes to confession before each communion. There is much less of a difference when it comes to jurisdictions that follow the "frequent communion/no confession required before each communion" practice.

Gregory
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Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. - Philippians 4:8
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