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Author Topic: confession etiquette  (Read 990 times) Average Rating: 0
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zebu
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« on: October 24, 2008, 04:47:41 PM »

Is it rude to just go to a priest you don't know and confess to him? Someone told me that you should always speak to a priest before confessing to him, and that it's rude not to.  While I can see how it would be better for a priest to know who you are before you confess, at the same time, I am in a difficult situation.  My spiritual father (who lives far away, hence why I can't just go to confession with him) and I agree that me confessing to my parish priest is not a good idea for me.  I have just had so many very toxic, condemning confession experiences with him that really just led me to guilt, shame, despair, and more sin.  He has a lot of opinions that upon getting more experience in the Church, I have seen are not really in line with Orthodoxy. Anyways, so I haven't confessed to my parish priest since somewhere during Great Lent, and then after that I had an arrangement where I confessed to my spiritual father and then my parish priest gave me absolution.  This was agreed to be a temporary arrangement though.  Then, I went and lived at my spiritual father's monastery for three months, and so I just confessed to him then. Now, I am back and have been for almost a month, but I don't know what to do about confession.  There are quite a few Orthodox Churches in the area.  My spiritual father has suggested several priests for me to go to, but I don't actually know them, even though he does.  I really feel like I need to go to confession, and I would like to just go to Vigil somewhere and go to confession.  I've been meaning to actually call one of the priests and ask to speak to him sometime during the week about my situation and about who I am, and then confess...but that hasn't been happening as I am just really busy with school and things. I know there are several priests on here...how do you feel about this? Are you glad that someone is confessing, even if you don't know them? Or do you feel offended? Or what?
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Starlight
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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2008, 11:35:19 PM »

Just my $0.02

From my experience, it is okay to approach an unknown priest for this reason. Another issue, as described, Zebu, if for any reason, you do not feel comfortable with some clergy. Confession is a serious thing. Therefore, most of the time (and, of course, in your case), anyone's reasons are valid reasons.

I would suggest you can approach any priest, as long as the potential time of confession seems usual in a general schedule of a parish. For example, if this parish has normally confessions from 8:30 to 9:00 AM, etc. If you called and coordinated, then any time works.
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2008, 01:08:34 AM »

Quote
My spiritual father has suggested several priests for me to go to, but I don't actually know them, even though he does.

I don't see a problem in going to a priest that you hadn't met beforehand, but if it is bothering you, perhaps your spiritual father could phone one of the priests and let them know that you'd be coming? Or you could just tell the priest when you meet him that your spiritual father had suggested him?
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« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2008, 01:44:15 AM »

I once confessed to a Priest who I met for the first time and I felt good that I was able to Confess some rather severe sins and get them off my chest.  The Priest sensed that I was in spiritual crisis; We talked; He suggested absolution; I took him up on it after being ensured that I wasn't taking the Priest away from His family, etc.

Although such experience worked for me, I can't say if it will work for others or even for myself in the future.
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zebu
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« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2008, 01:47:52 AM »

Yeah, I got over my fears and just went to confession tonight! It was good! No problems whatsoever on the priest's end or on mine.  I guess I was just projecting my own fears onto the priest.
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FrChris
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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2008, 08:34:53 AM »

Yeah, I got over my fears and just went to confession tonight! It was good! No problems whatsoever on the priest's end or on mine.  I guess I was just projecting my own fears onto the priest.

Glory to God!

Excellent news to hear!
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"As the sparrow flees from a hawk, so the man seeking humility flees from an argument". St John Climacus
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