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Author Topic: Confession <--> Eucharist  (Read 1574 times) Average Rating: 0
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JohnC
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« on: October 21, 2008, 11:46:35 PM »


What does Orthodox dogma say about the relationship between confession and the eucharist? Do you have to have confessed within a certain period of the eucharist? (I realise this is ultimately up to the priest, but I'm interested in what latitude the priest has).

Also what is the range of experience? Are people confessing every week they have eucharist? Or confessing every 2nd or  4th week, and having eucharist every week, or what is the general range of common experience? Please state what jurisdiction you are in when you answer.




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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2008, 12:15:42 AM »

My experience is that I confess once a month, and commune every week. I am in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada.

The Russians typically require a communicant to confess every time prior to receiving the Eucharist...
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« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2008, 12:45:47 AM »

Click the tags below to see a list of threads that might help answer your question.  Most of the threads you'll find irrelevant--sorry, you have to do a little sifting--but you'll find a few good ones there.
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« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2008, 01:21:42 AM »


What does Orthodox dogma say about the relationship between confession and the eucharist? Do you have to have confessed within a certain period of the eucharist? (I realise this is ultimately up to the priest, but I'm interested in what latitude the priest has).

Also what is the range of experience? Are people confessing every week they have eucharist? Or confessing every 2nd or  4th week, and having eucharist every week, or what is the general range of common experience? Please state what jurisdiction you are in when you answer.


Really it is up to your confessor to decide this.  When people go to communion and confession is their personal business, between God and their spiritual father/confessor.
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« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2008, 12:36:20 PM »

Say a person confessed within the past few days and then has, shall we say, improper thoughts (lustful). Does that person need to confess before going to communion?
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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2008, 12:59:41 PM »


What does Orthodox dogma say about the relationship between confession and the eucharist? Do you have to have confessed within a certain period of the eucharist? (I realise this is ultimately up to the priest, but I'm interested in what latitude the priest has).

Also what is the range of experience? Are people confessing every week they have eucharist? Or confessing every 2nd or  4th week, and having eucharist every week, or what is the general range of common experience? Please state what jurisdiction you are in when you answer.

Antiochian Self-Ruled (Autonomous?) Archdiocese North America, formerly OCA.  In both, confession once a month, at least.  In the OCA I was told once every major fast was bare minimum.

Holy Communion every week.
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« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2008, 03:07:04 PM »

Say a person confessed within the past few days and then has, shall we say, improper thoughts (lustful). Does that person need to confess before going to communion?
Does a person need to be purified and made worthy to receive Communion?
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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2008, 03:11:03 PM »

What does Orthodox dogma say about the relationship between confession and the eucharist? Do you have to have confessed within a certain period of the eucharist? (I realise this is ultimately up to the priest, but I'm interested in what latitude the priest has).

Also what is the range of experience? Are people confessing every week they have eucharist? Or confessing every 2nd or  4th week, and having eucharist every week, or what is the general range of common experience? Please state what jurisdiction you are in when you answer.

This is one thing that I struggled with, because I came from the Catholic Church where there is a much clearer tie between confession and communion -- you confess if you are in a state of mortal sin, or else you can't receive communion, period. If you aren't in a state of mortal sin, you don't have to go to confession. I talked to my priest and he said it would be best to come every month or so whether I think I need it or not (but there was nothing wrong with coming more frequently if I felt I needed it).
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« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2008, 05:07:37 PM »

Say a person confessed within the past few days and then has, shall we say, improper thoughts (lustful). Does that person need to confess before going to communion?
Does a person need to be purified and made worthy to receive Communion?
I think so yes. But its hard for me as a Latin to understand the EO view since you don't have a concept of mortal or venial sin. Obviously if one has been to confession in the past month, or even week, that person has commmited some sin since that confession. Is this person prepared for communion? It seems that a person would have to go to confession on the very morning of his or her reception of communion in order to recieve it worthily. I know that this cannot be since christ came to save sinners and not the righteous. What am i missing here? This is not a challenge. I am genuinely seeking answers.
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« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2008, 07:49:44 PM »

I'm in the OCA, which requires confession during Lent and Advent. Including those two, usually 3-4 times per year. We commune whenever we are in Liturgy, which is weekly unless prevented by sickness or other condition.
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« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2008, 07:54:45 PM »

As long as you're making a strong effort for continuous daily repentance and frequent confessions, the Eucharist may be administered.  Ideally, one would like to see confessions made right before the Eucharist.  In the Coptic Church, the priest prays a prayer of absolution where he first prays quietly to Christ asking for absolution from Him and the blessing to grant absolution through the Apostolic powers, and then prays loudly to Christ on behalf of the other clergy (priests and deacons), subdeacons and all ranks below, and all the people of the Church for their absolution, and then censes the whole church (in the old days, priests would cense, going to each congregant and cleric, taking account of their confessions) and taking the censing back all the way to the altar bringing everyone's sins to the Eucharist as a symbolism of Christ bearing and purging the sins of all.

Practically, this is hard for some communities, especially since confession has also turned into a sit-down session where the priest talks with you for an hour addressing your problems, kinda like a staretz in other churches.

We always mention that in Christ washing the feet of the Apostles, this symbolizes confession before the Eucharist (i.e. the Last Supper).
« Last Edit: October 22, 2008, 07:55:59 PM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2008, 10:26:09 PM »

Say a person confessed within the past few days and then has, shall we say, improper thoughts (lustful). Does that person need to confess before going to communion?
Does a person need to be purified and made worthy to receive Communion?
I think so yes. But its hard for me as a Latin to understand the EO view since you don't have a concept of mortal or venial sin. Obviously if one has been to confession in the past month, or even week, that person has commmited some sin since that confession. Is this person prepared for communion? It seems that a person would have to go to confession on the very morning of his or her reception of communion in order to recieve it worthily. I know that this cannot be since christ came to save sinners and not the righteous. What am i missing here? This is not a challenge. I am genuinely seeking answers.
There is in Orthodoxy the belief that we are never worthy to receive Christ in the Eucharist, that He gives Himself to be our Food, regardless.  We therefore understand St. Paul to be speaking in 1 Corinthians 11:27-32 of the attitude we bring to the Chalice.  Am I truly penitent even for sins of which I am ignorant, or am I intentionally withholding known sins from confession?  Have I attempted, as best as I am able, to reconcile myself with my neighbor whom I have offended, or does animosity toward another continue to exist?  Have I humbled myself before God in the prayers of general confession that the Church prays communally before partaking of the Cup?  I think this is the beginning of what it means to receive Holy Communion in a worthy manner.  Of course I won't be sinless--after all, when the priest offers me Communion, he does so stating explicitly that I "receive the precious Body and Blood of Christ for the remission of [my] sins and unto life everlasting."  What matters is that I'm penitent.
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« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2008, 10:42:12 PM »

I think so yes. But its hard for me as a Latin to understand the EO view since you don't have a concept of mortal or venial sin.

Relax.  The modern Orthodox view of confession was adopted from the RCC during the early modern period.  Check out Erickson (_The Challenges of Our Past_) and Schmemann (_Great Lent:  Journey to Pascha_) for the historical details.  If you think you detect some inconveniences, you're right.
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« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2008, 10:45:25 PM »

I think so yes. But its hard for me as a Latin to understand the EO view since you don't have a concept of mortal or venial sin.

Relax.  The modern Orthodox view of confession was adopted from the RCC during the early modern period.
But we still don't have a concept of mortal vs. venial sin, which appears to be the foundation of the differences Papist sees.
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« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2008, 11:21:10 PM »

I think so yes. But its hard for me as a Latin to understand the EO view since you don't have a concept of mortal or venial sin.

Relax.  The modern Orthodox view of confession was adopted from the RCC during the early modern period.
But we still don't have a concept of mortal vs. venial sin, which appears to be the foundation of the differences Papist sees.

Ya...we also don't have such a concept.  We do have degrees of a person in sin.  The more you're encroached in a certain sin, the more serious it is.  It's like the difference between theft and extreme greed, a bit of anger and complete wrath, a little desire and total lust, etc.  And the more one is drunk in sin, the more one can be numb from the sin, in denial of sin, and completely addicted to sin.

Nevertheless sin is sin.  A drop of ink or a whole bottle of ink still defiles the glass of water.

God bless.
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« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2008, 12:03:41 AM »

I think so yes. But its hard for me as a Latin to understand the EO view since you don't have a concept of mortal or venial sin.

Relax.  The modern Orthodox view of confession was adopted from the RCC during the early modern period.
But we still don't have a concept of mortal vs. venial sin, which appears to be the foundation of the differences Papist sees.

The pre-RC view is that certain sins require one to be reconciled to the church (denial of the faith, murder etc.); that is as close as we get to distinguishing mortal and venial.
The RC view is that we need to be prepared for Communion by confession.  The Othodox pre-Communion prayers make it pretty explicit that what the RC and modern Orthodox churches posits as the reason for confessing before Communion--cleansing from sins--is the reason for Communion--cleansing from sins.  In this respect and perhaps in others the discrepancy of Orthodoxy and received RC custom is tolerably clear.  The result is that it is nearly inevitable that people imagine that they are worthy to receive Communion (because they would not be worthy if they hadn't confessed).  Also, one finds that people don't go to Communion frequently--in violation of an early canon which anathematized Christians who did not approach the chalice.  Does anybody remember which canon that is? 
DanM
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« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2008, 12:08:34 AM »


What does Orthodox dogma say about the relationship between confession and the eucharist? Do you have to have confessed within a certain period of the eucharist? (I realise this is ultimately up to the priest, but I'm interested in what latitude the priest has).

Also what is the range of experience? Are people confessing every week they have eucharist? Or confessing every 2nd or  4th week, and having eucharist every week, or what is the general range of common experience? Please state what jurisdiction you are in when you answer.
Just bringing the OP back into focus...  If you really want to discuss the Roman Catholic perspective of the relationship between Confession and Communion, please let me know so I can move part or all of this thread to the Orthodox-Catholic board.  Otherwise, let us please focus our discussion on the Orthodox doctrinal position on this topic, in keeping with the OP's wishes.  Thank you.
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« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2008, 01:16:55 AM »

Say a person confessed within the past few days and then has, shall we say, improper thoughts (lustful). Does that person need to confess before going to communion?
Does a person need to be purified and made worthy to receive Communion?

Only if we accept RC premises.  Who on earth is worthy to receive Communion?  Is a patient worthy to receive medicine?  Am I worthy to drink water after exercising? 
The legalism implied by your question--which I assume was not naively posed--would be shocking if it weren't so common. 
Have I possibly misunderstood you?
DanM
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« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2008, 03:08:48 AM »

Say a person confessed within the past few days and then has, shall we say, improper thoughts (lustful). Does that person need to confess before going to communion?
Does a person need to be purified and made worthy to receive Communion?

Only if we accept RC premises.  Who on earth is worthy to receive Communion?  Is a patient worthy to receive medicine?  Am I worthy to drink water after exercising? 
The legalism implied by your question--which I assume was not naively posed--would be shocking if it weren't so common. 
Have I possibly misunderstood you?
DanM

No, you have not misunderstood me.  I intended the question to be legalistic precisely to question the validity of such a legalistic approach to the Holy Mysteries.
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