Please tell us more about the practice in Ethiopia regarding confession and communion.
No difference from what is already posted on this thread already.
After Holy Baptism:
1. Live a life according to the commandments of God. Including prayer and fasting.
2. Confess sins snd short comings as often as needed. The Soul father has a big part in how and when and how often. People are not left to decide this for themselves or to just keep confessing as a prerequisite to communion to ensure that 'confessing' is active in the person.
3. Confer with and obtain giudence form your Soul father (confessor) on a regular basis. This is very important in the Ethiopian and Coptic traditions. Absenece from your Soul fathers guidance for an extended period of time (over one month or more lets say) a person should not take communion until he has talked to and has gotten his Soul fathers guidnace and blessing. This 'may' include confession if needed. The Soul father will decide if confession is needed based on the situation. The person may also simply ask for confession and it will be granted.
4. attend the Holy Liturgy ON TIME.
5. With a contrite heart take communion.
The Ethiopian Church strictly miantains:
- Communicants must wear white. NO black or dark clothing. Black is allowed if a person is in morning. Such persons usually do not take communion until they are finished morning.
- Shoes must be removed. Actually knowone enters an Ethiopian Church in shoes....no exceptions.
- All communicants must have fasted at minimum from 12 midnight the night before. In Ethiopia many people start fasting at 6 PM Saturday until they take communion the next day. Fasting for communion means the usual no meat or animal products. We believe that covers the stomach only.
So for us we do not watch TV shows, movies, videos, games etc. Only reading of scripture or maybe a nature show or videos about a bible story if you must. This fasts the eyes.
We do not listen to music or any audio that is regarding entertainment. This fasts the ears. We listen to liturgy or psalms and the like.
We do not attend birthdays or any other kind of party while fasting. It does matter whos birthday it is or what the party is for. This fasts the mind and removes us from temptation.
We refain from idle talk. To fast the mouth and speech. Many Ethiopian faithful once the fast period begins will not talk at all (other than for prayer or an emergency) until they take communion the next day.
Basically the whole body is at a state of fasting; this includes any kind of physical relations.
- Women are required to be covered from head to toe at all times while praying and during the Holy Liturgy. This applies to guests as well. NO exceptions.
- Men are required to be cover from neck to toe. NO skin exposed but from the neck up.
The covering up allows each faithful person to be 'one ' with each other. We are 'one' body. It is wonderful to see the "sea of white" during the Holy Liturgy. You can not tell one person from the other. You can not distinquish rich or poor old or young. We say Tewahado....One nature, One faith, One Baptism, One God. WE coevr up also to remind of that our street cloths are symbols of the world and sin. So we cover our street cloths truly hoping that the Lord will look away from our sins. It is a very ancient practice. Older than Christianity. This covering tradition is national dress in Ethiopia due to the fact of the age of the tradition plus the fact that we are an Christian Orthodox country for over 1600 years.
- When recieving we use an order: The just Baptised, babies (boys first then girls), girls, boys, men, women.
- We receive on our knees. ("Every knee shall bow")
- We keep our mouths covered until we have masticated and cosumed the mystery.
- We refrain from touching non-communicants until after sun down.
If a person fails to follow the above then they are best to refrain from taking communion.
Just a small list of our tradition.