OrthodoxChristianity.net
September 20, 2014, 02:29:37 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1 2 3 4 All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Decline in confession, but no decline in Eucharist receivers  (Read 14464 times) Average Rating: 1
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
scamandrius
Crusher of Secrets; House Lannister
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Greek by desire; Antiochian by necessity
Posts: 5,997



« on: February 12, 2009, 07:00:01 PM »

There is another thread right now pertaining to the Vatican opening up its records on the use of this particular super-secretive confessional for those sins which are of such a magnitude that God will grant absolution only through the Pope.  This thread can be found here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19265.0/topicseen.html

The article orginally referenced in the thread spoke of the lamentable decline of Catholics (and, by inference, Orthodox or any other Christian confession that still makes use of this sacrament).  If there is such a decline (and I'm sure there is), then why do individual parish priests not be more proactive in insisting on confession before receiving the Eucharist?  Now, I know it is very easy to get into a legalistic trap here where one confession=one eucharist or something absurd along those lines.  I know that a lot of people will insist that they are entitled to communion whether they are penitent or not, so why does it seem more and more priests (both Orthodox and Catholic or anyone else for that matter) do not deny the Eucharist?  Are they afraid of embarassing those whom they have turned away? 

I'd especially like to hear from some of the priests on OC.net without referencing, of course, specific cases.
Logged

I seek the truth by which no man was ever harmed--Marcus Aurelius

Those who do not read  history are doomed to get their facts from Hollywood--Anonymous

What earthly joy remains untouched by grief?--St. John Damascene
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2009, 03:50:10 AM »

There is another thread right now pertaining to the Vatican opening up its records on the use of this particular super-secretive confessional for those sins which are of such a magnitude that God will grant absolution only through the Pope.  This thread can be found here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19265.0/topicseen.html

The article orginally referenced in the thread spoke of the lamentable decline of Catholics (and, by inference, Orthodox or any other Christian confession that still makes use of this sacrament).  If there is such a decline (and I'm sure there is), then why do individual parish priests not be more proactive in insisting on confession before receiving the Eucharist?  Now, I know it is very easy to get into a legalistic trap here where one confession=one eucharist or something absurd along those lines.  I know that a lot of people will insist that they are entitled to communion whether they are penitent or not, so why does it seem more and more priests (both Orthodox and Catholic or anyone else for that matter) do not deny the Eucharist?  Are they afraid of embarassing those whom they have turned away? 

I'd especially like to hear from some of the priests on OC.net without referencing, of course, specific cases.

Dear Scamandrius,

It is still obligatory for the faithful of the Russian and Serbian Churches to go to Confession before they receive Communion.  I am not sure about Bulgarians but the ones we have in our parish expect to go to Confession.

With the Russians and the Serbs we are looking at about 70% of the Orthodox Church - so as long as this custom is maintained there is no danger of Confession fading away.

I have a priest friend in Irkursk at the cathedral and before major feastdays all the four cathedral priests have to devote many hours for Confessions.
Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2009, 04:15:03 AM »

to a legalistic trap here where one confession=one eucharist or something absurd along those lines. 

I don't know how wide your exposure is to Orthodoxy but the practice which you describe as absurd is the majority practice of the Orthodox world.     Embarrassed

It would be interesting if you could say something more about why you see it in a negative way?
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,209


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2009, 04:53:17 AM »

to a legalistic trap here where one confession=one eucharist or something absurd along those lines. 

I don't know how wide your exposure is to Orthodoxy but the practice which you describe as absurd is the majority practice of the Orthodox world.     Embarrassed
Just as your faulty appeal to tradition regarding infrequent communion was addressed in this post--"1600 years of practicing infrequent Communion makes the practice holy despite the fact that this practice started as an innovative deviation from earlier practice"--so I need to address your equally faulty argumentum ad populum (appeal to the majority).  Just because the practice of required Confession before every reception of Communion is the majority practice in the Orthodox world does not sanctify such a distortion of both sacraments.  I've argued myself against this practice, which you can read HERE and HERE, so I'm pretty much current on this debate.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2009, 04:56:05 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2009, 05:41:24 AM »

to a legalistic trap here where one confession=one eucharist or something absurd along those lines. 

I don't know how wide your exposure is to Orthodoxy but the practice which you describe as absurd is the majority practice of the Orthodox world.     Embarrassed
Just as your faulty appeal to tradition regarding infrequent communion was addressed in this post--"1600 years of practicing infrequent Communion makes the practice holy despite the fact that this practice started as an innovative deviation from earlier practice"--so I need to address your equally faulty argumentum ad populum (appeal to the majority).  Just because the practice of required Confession before every reception of Communion is the majority practice in the Orthodox world does not sanctify such a distortion of both sacraments.  I've argued myself against this practice, which you can read HERE and HERE, so I'm pretty much current on this debate.

I myself would be reluctant to state that the majority of bishops and priests are allowing a distortion of Orthodox praxis.   

We have seen the results in modern Orthodoxy of the opposite attitude - the virtual disappearance of the use of the Mystery of Confession in some Orthodox Churches.  For example, the Orthodox Church of Antioch uses our Russian parish church since they have none of their own at the moment.  I was quite shocked when their priest told me that he has not heard a Confession - EVER!  He has been a priest 6 years.  I asked him how this could come about because a large proportion of his people are rather recent immigrants from Lebanon and Egypt and surely they are formed in the tradition of their home countries.  He replied that they are not familiar with it and actually see it as a Roman Catholic thing.

So on the basis of "by their fruits ye shall know them" I postulate that the practice of the Slav Churches is preferable.    In the Churches which maintain the link between Confession and Communion, Confession is a regular Sacrament and it is also used outside of the Communion link too - when a person believes he needs to come and confess some serious sin.

I believe it also promotes a good spiritual life and promotes the ascetic struggle against engrained sins because the penitent and the pattern of his spiritual strengths and weaknesses become known to his confessor who is better able to guide him and help him.

I would not want to argue with you about this.  I am simply judging by the empirical evidence as I witness it in the Slav Churches.

« Last Edit: February 20, 2009, 05:47:15 AM by Irish Hermit » Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2009, 05:53:25 AM »

[this post--"1600 years of practicing infrequent Communion makes the practice holy despite the fact that this practice started as an innovative deviation from earlier practice.


I was fairly sure that I would not make such a statement and so I searched the posts and could not locate it.  Could you send a more specific reference.
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,209


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2009, 06:05:50 AM »

[this post--"1600 years of practicing infrequent Communion makes the practice holy despite the fact that this practice started as an innovative deviation from earlier practice.


I was fairly sure that I would not make such a statement and so I searched the posts and could not locate it.  Could you send a more specific reference.
I admit that you didn't make such a statement verbatim, but the defense you offered for your position after Pravoslavbob and ozgeorge challenged your faulty appeal to tradition essentially implied the statement I just attributed to you.
Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2009, 06:16:42 AM »


I was fairly sure that I would not make such a statement and so I searched the posts and could not locate it.  Could you send a more specific reference.
I admit that you didn't make such a statement verbatim, but the defense you offered for your position after Pravoslavbob and ozgeorge challenged your faulty appeal to tradition essentially implied the statement I just attributed to you.

It would be better if members of the Forum did not create statments and attribute them to others.  I would never say that the current majority practice is "an innovative deviation from earlier practice"  !!
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,209


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2009, 06:31:41 AM »

I myself would be reluctant to state that the majority of bishops and priests are allowing a distortion of Orthodox praxis.   
Again, argumentum ad populum.  I think I've pretty well established how requiring Confession before every Communion is a distortion of Orthodox praxis.  If the majority of bishops and priests allow this practice, then it follows from reason that they are indeed allowing a distortion of Orthodox praxis.  It doesn't matter if all the bishops of the Church save one allow a particular practice if the practice is wrong; the practice is still wrong regardless.

We have seen the results in modern Orthodoxy of the opposite attitude - the virtual disappearance of the use of the Mystery of Confession in some Orthodox Churches.
But this is to engage in the logical fallacy of making Confession before every Communion the ONLY way to maintain frequent Confession.  What of quarterly Confession, or Confession once every six weeks, or monthly Confession?  Are these frequencies not often enough for you?  Why the false dichotomy between every week or not at all?

For example, the Orthodox Church of Antioch uses our Russian parish church since they have none of their own at the moment.  I was quite shocked when their priest told me that he has not heard a Confession - EVER!  He has been a priest 6 years.  I asked him how this could come about because a large proportion of his people are rather recent immigrants from Lebanon and Egypt and surely they are formed in the tradition of their home countries.  He replied that they are not familiar with it and actually see it as a Roman Catholic thing.
Truly a tragedy, but I would blame this more on poor or non-existent catechesis on the importance of frequent Confession than on the absence of the strict connection between Confession and Communion that you advocate.  Even those who confess weekly can be just as poorly catechized as to what Confession does and does not do for the penitent.

So on the basis of "by their fruits ye shall know them" I postulate that the practice of the Slav Churches is preferable.    In the Churches which maintain the link between Confession and Communion, Confession is a regular Sacrament and it is also used outside of the Communion link too - when a person believes he needs to come and confess some serious sin.

I believe it also promotes a good spiritual life and promotes the ascetic struggle against engrained sins because the penitent and the pattern of his spiritual strengths and weaknesses become known to his confessor who is better able to guide him and help him.

I would not want to argue with you about this.  I am simply judging by the empirical evidence as I witness it in the Slav Churches.
An equally valid argument for requiring that the faithful come to Confession once every four to six weeks, as opposed to once per year.  Interestingly, and in a way that undermines your argument, those who received Communion only once per year would only go to Confession once per year.  They still followed the letter of the strict one-to-one connection you advocate, did they not?
« Last Edit: February 20, 2009, 06:34:08 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2009, 06:39:24 AM »

I myself would be reluctant to state that the majority of bishops and priests are allowing a distortion of Orthodox praxis.   
Again, argumentum ad populum

It is really an argumentum ad episcopos and since the bishops determine the standard of Orthodox praxis that is a perfectly valid argument.   Smiley

Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,209


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2009, 06:41:26 AM »


I was fairly sure that I would not make such a statement and so I searched the posts and could not locate it.  Could you send a more specific reference.
I admit that you didn't make such a statement verbatim, but the defense you offered for your position after Pravoslavbob and ozgeorge challenged your faulty appeal to tradition essentially implied the statement I just attributed to you.

It would be better if members of the Forum did not create statments and attribute them to others.  I would never say that the current majority practice is "an innovative deviation from earlier practice"  !!
Of course not!  That's not my point!  But, according to your false argument from tradition, even if you did acknowledge that the 1600-year practice of infrequent Communion was a deviation from earlier practice, would you still argue that 1600 years of usage makes the practice holy?  I believe from reading your defense of infrequent Communion that you probably would.  THIS is my point.
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,209


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2009, 06:45:47 AM »

I myself would be reluctant to state that the majority of bishops and priests are allowing a distortion of Orthodox praxis.   
Again, argumentum ad populum

It is really an argumentum ad episcopos and since the bishops determine the standard of Orthodox praxis that is a perfectly valid argument.   Smiley


Really?  So now you believe that truth is determined by a majority vote of the bishops?  That certainly isn't the consensus model upheld by the great councils.

(Isn't insomnia a bear?  No more apple juice before bed for me. Tongue)
« Last Edit: February 20, 2009, 06:48:40 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2009, 06:56:54 AM »


I was fairly sure that I would not make such a statement and so I searched the posts and could not locate it.  Could you send a more specific reference.
I admit that you didn't make such a statement verbatim, but the defense you offered for your position after Pravoslavbob and ozgeorge challenged your faulty appeal to tradition essentially implied the statement I just attributed to you.

It would be better if members of the Forum did not create statments and attribute them to others.  I would never say that the current majority practice is "an innovative deviation from earlier practice"  !!
Of course not!  That's not my point!  But, according to your false argument from tradition, even if you did acknowledge that the 1600-year practice of infrequent Communion was a deviation from earlier practice, would you still argue that 1600 years of usage makes the practice holy?  I believe from reading your defense of infrequent Communion that you probably would.  THIS is my point.

It is still misleading to create a statement, place it in inverted commas and attribute it to me.

I am sure that if I did that to another member a ton of bricks would fall on me.   I would be disciplined with a Warning or Moderation.
Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2009, 07:10:09 AM »

Really?  So now you believe that truth is determined by a majority vote of the bishops?  That certainly isn't the consensus model upheld by the great councils.

The determination of truth which is a function of correlation between the Ecumenical Councils and the pleroma of the Church is one of Othodoxy's most complicated questions.  One articulate theologian dealing with this is Fr Georges Florovsky.
Logged
LizaSymonenko
Слава Ісусу Христу!!! Glory to Jesus Christ!!!
Global Moderator
Toumarches
******
Offline Offline

Faith: God's Holy Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church
Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A.
Posts: 13,021



WWW
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2009, 10:18:22 AM »


I myself would be reluctant to state that the majority of bishops and priests are allowing a distortion of Orthodox praxis.   
Again, argumentum ad populum.  I think I've pretty well established how requiring Confession before every Communion is a distortion of Orthodox praxis. 

I'm a bit confused here.  Why is everyone so set against Holy Confession?   

We prepare for Holy Communion.  We fast, we pray, we take a bath and we put on clean clothes....lest we insult the Lord by nearing His presence unclean.
Should we not put at least that much effort to ensuring our souls are clean, as well?

Is it a matter of pride?  Do we think we are too good and have nothing to confess from week to week?

I know I am a miserable sinner.  I try hard not to judge, and not to get angry, and not to eat too much, and not to gossip, and not to participate in the crude conversations and "jokes" at work....but, I often fall short of the mark.
I KNOW that I have sinned....and instead of compounding this sin, from week to week...to the point that I forget about them.....I prefer to Confess on a weekly basis.

I come early, so, I do not interfere with the serving of the Divine Liturgy or I confess at the Vespers service the night before....and I honestly don't care when I hear the snide remarks behind my back..."oh...here comes the sinner..." from members of the parish who chose to sit out the Liturgy and not participate.  Maybe they have no sin to confess...more power to them.

As for me, I am a sinner and I am not too proud to admit it, or to Confess it.

I could not imagine approaching the Holy Chalice with all this "sin" hanging over me...compounded by my pride of not confessing it.  Dirty socks are one thing, an unclean soul is another.

Lord, have mercy on me and forgive me my inequities! 


Logged

Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria
Pravoslavbob
Section Moderator
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,183


St. Sisoes the Great


« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2009, 10:28:03 AM »

It is still misleading to create a statement, place it in inverted commas and attribute it to me.

Father, it's not misleading at all.  Quite the opposite is true.  All that people need to do is to go to the link provided by Peter the Aleut, read the thread in question, and determine for themselves whether or not his statements are a faithful paraphrase of your writings. 
Logged

Religion is a disease, and Orthodoxy is its cure.
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2009, 10:43:41 AM »

I could not imagine approaching the Holy Chalice with all this "sin" hanging over me...
Do people in the Slavic Churches believe themselves to be approaching the Chalice sinless?
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Orthodox11
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,999


« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2009, 10:46:18 AM »

Why is everyone so set against Holy Confession?   

No one is set against Holy Confession, and there is nothing wrong with confessing weekly, or even daily. What is "a distortion of Orthodox praxis" is the idea that Confession is required before every time we take Communion.
Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2009, 10:53:59 AM »

It is still misleading to create a statement, place it in inverted commas and attribute it to me.

Father, it's not misleading at all.  Quite the opposite is true.  All that people need to do is to go to the link provided by Peter the Aleut, read the thread in question, and determine for themselves whether or not his statements are a faithful paraphrase of your writings. 

The link supplied leads to your own message which contains a total of 7 ad hominems.

Quote
Father, it's not misleading at all.

Perhaps those reared under a British system of values and those reared elsewhere do not share the same sense of values but it is not honest to create a statement, enclose it in inverted commas and then present it as being written by someone who never wrote it (namely, me.)


I have already pointed out that pretending that I wrote that infrequent communion is "an innovative deviation from earlier practice" is simply untrue.  I never wrote that and I never would write that since I do not believe that.  It should never have been presented as a direct quote from me.  Surely you can see that?

If you wish to clarify matters, I suppose you could ask an Admin, Fr Anastasios or Fr Chris, to adjudicate whether such a misleading presentation is acceptable in terms of Forum standards.



 For the reasons cited in this post:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19736.msg294640.html#msg294640

Most specifically, for questioning moderation in public and repeatedly referring to the deliberation of your own case in other posts, some of which we have removed, you have been placed on post moderation.

On-topic posts will be accepted, but this step is to ensure that no more public complaints about moderation are made.

This is the joint decision of Fr Chris and Fr Anastasios.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2009, 11:04:02 AM by Irish Hermit » Logged
LizaSymonenko
Слава Ісусу Христу!!! Glory to Jesus Christ!!!
Global Moderator
Toumarches
******
Offline Offline

Faith: God's Holy Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church
Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A.
Posts: 13,021



WWW
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2009, 10:57:34 AM »


Well, certainly not sinless, however, at least having made the effort to Confess one's sins, and hope and pray that God will forgive them.

Nobody on Earth, save Christ, was ever "sinless".  Yet, we aim to emulate Him.

You would be amazed at how people approach the Holy Chalice.

I once visited an another church...and they had no requirement of Holy Confession....people were just walking up in a huge line and chit chatting with the folks they hadn't seen in a while, they were talking, and laughing, while others were just walking in to the church and getting right in line.....

To me that was just shocking...and irreverant. 

It loses the sense of "respect".  Do you know what I mean?    Holy Communion becomes common-place.  There is no awe, no trepidation.

They walk up and receive Holy Communion, in the same manner they walk up to a coffee line.

I am afraid that we, Orthodox, not diminish the honor bestowed upon us, by allowing us to partake of the Mystical Body/Blood of our Risen Lord and Savior!
It is a priviledge, not a right.

That's all.  I am afraid that people don't lose sight of the true goal.



Logged

Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2009, 11:02:16 AM »

I could not imagine approaching the Holy Chalice with all this "sin" hanging over me...
Do people in the Slavic Churches believe themselves to be approaching the Chalice sinless?

In most Russian churches, as the priest stands before the faithful holding the Chalice, the faithful recite these prayers altogther and aloud...

Judge thou thyself if they think they approach the Chalice sinless.

I believe, O Lord, and I confess that thou art truly the Christ, the Son of the living God, who didst come into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. And I believe that this is truly thine own immaculate Body, and that this is truly thine own precious Blood. Wherefore I pray thee, have mercy upon me and forgive my transgressions both voluntary and involuntary, of word and of deed, of knowledge and of ignorance; and make me worthy to partake without condemnation of thine immaculate Mysteries, unto remission of my sins and unto life everlasting. Amen.

Of thy Mystic Supper, O Son of God, accept me today as a communicant; for I will not speak of thy Mystery to thine enemies, neither will I give thee a kiss as did Judas; but like the thief will I confess thee: Remember me, O Lord, in thy Kingdom. Not unto judgement nor unto condemnation be my partaking of thy Holy Mysteries, O Lord, but unto the healing of soul and body.

Logged
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2009, 11:03:07 AM »


Well, certainly not sinless, however, at least having made the effort to Confess one's sins, and hope and pray that God will forgive them.

I see. "Almost sinless". "As sinless as possible".
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2009, 11:11:32 AM »

Haven't we discussed this at length in another thread?
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2009, 11:11:53 AM »

Why is everyone so set against Holy Confession?   

No one is set against Holy Confession, and there is nothing wrong with confessing weekly, or even daily.
What is "a distortion of Orthodox praxis" is the idea that Confession is required before every time we take Communion.

Why?

There is a curious notion abroad among the Western Orthodox (at least among converts, and not infrequently expressed on the Forum) that there is no gradation of sin, that ALL sins are equally serious.  (Someone today went as far as to assert that EVERY sin separates us completely from God!!)

So, for those who believe that all sin is equally serious then Confession is indeed an absolute requirement every time they wish to commune.  Nobody with serious sin on their soul should approach the Chalice unconfessed.
Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2009, 11:13:28 AM »

Haven't we discussed this at length in another thread?

The other thread was about infrequent Communion, not about the "Decline in Confession..."
Logged
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2009, 11:36:43 AM »

I could not imagine approaching the Holy Chalice with all this "sin" hanging over me...
Do people in the Slavic Churches believe themselves to be approaching the Chalice sinless?

In most Russian churches, as the priest stands before the faithful holding the Chalice, the faithful recite these prayers altogther and aloud...

Judge thou thyself if they think they approach the Chalice sinless.

I believe, O Lord, and I confess that thou art truly the Christ, the Son of the living God, who didst come into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. And I believe that this is truly thine own immaculate Body, and that this is truly thine own precious Blood. Wherefore I pray thee, have mercy upon me and forgive my transgressions both voluntary and involuntary, of word and of deed, of knowledge and of ignorance; and make me worthy to partake without condemnation of thine immaculate Mysteries, unto remission of my sins and unto life everlasting. Amen.

Of thy Mystic Supper, O Son of God, accept me today as a communicant; for I will not speak of thy Mystery to thine enemies, neither will I give thee a kiss as did Judas; but like the thief will I confess thee: Remember me, O Lord, in thy Kingdom. Not unto judgement nor unto condemnation be my partaking of thy Holy Mysteries, O Lord, but unto the healing of soul and body.



They must be holier than we are.
Even though we pray the same prayers before Communion.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2009, 11:37:14 AM by ozgeorge » Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2009, 11:38:22 AM »

It is still obligatory for the faithful of the Russian and Serbian Churches to go to Confession before they receive Communion.  I am not sure about Bulgarians but the ones we have in our parish expect to go to Confession.

With the Russians and the Serbs we are looking at about 70% of the Orthodox Church - so as long as this custom is maintained there is no danger of Confession fading away.

I have a priest friend in Irkursk at the cathedral and before major feastdays all the four cathedral priests have to devote many hours for Confessions.

Father, add to this the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (KP) - they also insist that one must partake in the Holy Mystery of Confession before going to the Chalice. I do not know for sure but I suspect that it is also the rule in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (MP).
Logged

Love never fails.
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #27 on: February 20, 2009, 11:42:02 AM »

The other thread was about infrequent Communion, not about the "Decline in Confession..."
Yes, but it also had quite a lengthy debate about the "requirement" for Confession before each Communion.
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #28 on: February 20, 2009, 11:45:44 AM »

The other thread was about infrequent Communion, not about the "Decline in Confession..."
Yes, but it also had quite a lengthy debate about the "requirement" for Confession before each Communion.


You were involved in it on the other thread, remember?

I'm going to agree with Fr. Anastasios on this because the sacrament of confession is a separate sacrament in my church. It could also relate to the way Greeks differ slightly to the practices of the Slavic traditions.

In the Slav Churches (those that I know first hand the Serbian and the Russian) Confesion and Communion aere tightly linked, so much so that people will commonly say, "I want to confess on Saturday" and you know that they are telling you they will be at Communion also.

Confession without Communion takes place, of course, especially when a heavy sin needs to be confessd.

This linkage of the two Mysteries has ensured that Confession remains a normal and accepted part of church life for the faithful and does not become such an irregular event that people begin to think that it is something only for Catholics.   Wink

Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2009, 11:47:01 AM »

Father, add to this the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (KP) - they also insist that one must partake in the Holy Mystery of Confession before going to the Chalice. I do not know for sure but I suspect that it is also the rule in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (MP).

I understand that your own Church, the Milan Synod, is a Greek Old Calendar Church.  It received its autonomy from Archbishop Auxentios of Athens.  Do you know the position of the Greek Old Calendarists on this matter of Confession before Communion?
Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #30 on: February 20, 2009, 11:53:51 AM »

The other thread was about infrequent Communion, not about the "Decline in Confession..."
Yes, but it also had quite a lengthy debate about the "requirement" for Confession before each Communion.


You were involved in it on the other thread, remember?

Yes, however in the other thread the matter of a decline in Confession was tangential whereas here it is more focused.  However, If you feel that this thread has a close connection with the previous thread I suppose you could merge them?  We can go on discussing the decline in Confession as a continuation of the frequent Communion thread.

I'm going to agree with Fr. Anastasios on this because the sacrament of confession is a separate sacrament in my church. It could also relate to the way Greeks differ slightly to the practices of the Slavic traditions.

In the Slav Churches (those that I know first hand the Serbian and the Russian) Confesion and Communion aere tightly linked, so much so that people will commonly say, "I want to confess on Saturday" and you know that they are telling you they will be at Communion also.

Confession without Communion takes place, of course, especially when a heavy sin needs to be confessd.

This linkage of the two Mysteries has ensured that Confession remains a normal and accepted part of church life for the faithful and does not become such an irregular event that people begin to think that it is something only for Catholics.   Wink

Logged
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #31 on: February 20, 2009, 12:10:13 PM »

Actually, what I'm most concerned right now about is this accusation:
The link supplied leads to your own message which contains a total of 7 ad hominems.
So I'm locking this thread until it is dealt with.
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,209


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #32 on: February 22, 2009, 10:16:18 PM »

The reason we locked this thread has been dealt with, and the original topic is actually quite interesting, so I'm going to unlock this thread.  However, we moderators need everyone to work especially hard to keep this thread on topic.  In accordance with this directive from Fr. Anastasios, any user who attempts to use this thread to complain about recent moderatorial actions will receive a public warning or post moderation if already warned.  We will also not hesitate to relock this thread if the discussion deviates into such forbidden territory again.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

- PeterTheAleut
« Last Edit: February 22, 2009, 10:20:28 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
scamandrius
Crusher of Secrets; House Lannister
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Greek by desire; Antiochian by necessity
Posts: 5,997



« Reply #33 on: February 22, 2009, 11:08:37 PM »

Irish Hermit,

Since I posted originally, let me first address you.  My reason for posting this question has nothing do with a "negative" take on Confession.  I'm glad that many people, whether in the Slavic Churches or not, still do partake of the wonderful opportunity of confession before receiving the Body and Blood of our Lord.  I was just curious as to how much the practice of confession before receiving the Eucharist was "enforced", for lack of a better word, by priests or individual praxis.  That was my only reason for writing, not to disparage confession which I so often use and need for my own salvation.
Logged

I seek the truth by which no man was ever harmed--Marcus Aurelius

Those who do not read  history are doomed to get their facts from Hollywood--Anonymous

What earthly joy remains untouched by grief?--St. John Damascene
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #34 on: February 23, 2009, 01:30:24 AM »

Irish Hermit,

Since I posted originally, let me first address you.  My reason for posting this question has nothing do with a "negative" take on Confession.  I'm glad that many people, whether in the Slavic Churches or not, still do partake of the wonderful opportunity of confession before receiving the Body and Blood of our Lord.  I was just curious as to how much the practice of confession before receiving the Eucharist was "enforced", for lack of a better word, by priests or individual praxis. 

In real life there is no need to "enforce" it since people are aware of the requirement.

During my years as a priest there have been occasions all the same when people come up to the Chalice without a prior Confession.  I explain that Confession is needed and ask them to wait for their Communion until the end of Liturgy when we can do a Confession.

For the Feast of the Nativity I was serving with a native Russian priest and he refused Communion to about 6 people who had not been to Confession and he did not offer them the option of Confession and Communion after the Liturgy had ended.  I mildly remarked that it was rather tough, but he pointed out that people who don't know about Confession are even less likely to understand about Communion.  Later on he went around these people and gave them booklets about both Sacraments.

I had an amusing event serving with an Antiochian priest recently.  They use our Russian parish church since they don't have their own.   Besides his own parishioners there were quite a few of our own people at Liturgy.  So the Antiochian priest communes his own parishioners but none of ours approach the Chalice.  He has no idea what the problem is and exhorts them to approach.  So two grannies come up and receive Communion.  I am holdng the Communion cloth and one of them says:  "I haven't had Confession. Can I have it now."  So what else can I do escept assuage her anxiety by doing an on-the-spot Confession.  Thereupon, seeing that she is having Confession more of the Russians join the Communion line and each one stops at me, has a very quick and perfunctionary Confession and then moves on to take Communion from the Antiochian priest. 

So, the point of this little story is.... the faithful are "self-policing."   The clergy do not have to "enforce" the Confession traditions.

Fr Ambrose
Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #35 on: February 23, 2009, 01:30:25 AM »

The reason we locked this thread has been dealt with, and the original topic is actually quite interesting,

I am quite interested in the questions I've raised in Message 23.  Please see above.

The contention is that all sins are of equal gravity and seriousness  - how does this belief effect the need for Confession before every Communion since nobody with serious sin may come to the Chalice unconfessed?


Logged
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #36 on: February 23, 2009, 02:01:13 AM »

each one stops at me, has a very quick and perfunctionary Confession
What does a very quick perfunctory confession consist of?
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Salpy
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Armenian Church
Posts: 12,646


Pray for the Christians of Iraq and Syria.


« Reply #37 on: February 23, 2009, 02:05:34 AM »

I don't think he can tell us.  Isn't it supposed to be confidential?
Logged

PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,209


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #38 on: February 23, 2009, 02:09:21 AM »

I don't think he can tell us.  Isn't it supposed to be confidential?
I don't think the general form of such a perfunctory confession as Irish Hermit speaks of can be called confidential, since we're not speaking of what is divulged in such a confession.
Logged
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #39 on: February 23, 2009, 02:10:56 AM »

No. What I mean is: what actually happens? How does one make a very quick and perfunctionary Confession? I'm not asking what is confessed, just the procedure.
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #40 on: February 23, 2009, 02:11:38 AM »

each one stops at me, has a very quick and perfunctionary Confession
What does a very quick perfunctory confession consist of?

Quick perfunctory confessions are not desirable at all.  But under these circumstances, with the Antiochian priest standing beside me holding the Chalice, people could see that that there was not time for leisurely Confession.  So the major component was an expression of repentance for grave sins, a of repentance for all their sins, and then the words of absolution.  There was no time for anything else.

I don't know about priests of other Churches,  but there are three essentials that need to be ascertained even in the quickest of Confessions:

1.  Are you sincerely repentant for these sins and for all your sins?

2.  Do you have a firm resolve to try and avoid them in the future, with God's grace?

3.  Do you forgive others who have sinned against you?

Logged
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #41 on: February 23, 2009, 02:12:28 AM »

each one stops at me, has a very quick and perfunctionary Confession
What does a very quick perfunctory confession consist of?

Quick perfunctory confessions are not desirable at all.  But under these circumstances, with the Antiochian priest standing beside me holding the Chalice, people could see that that there was not time for leisurely Confession.  So the major component was an expression of repentance for grave sins, a of repentance for all their sins, and then the words of absolution.  There was no time for anything else.

I don't know about priests of other Churches,  but there are three essentials that need to be ascertained even in the quickest of Confessions:

1.  Are you sincerely repentant for these sins and for all your sins?

2.  Do you have a firm resolve to try and avoid them in the future, with God's grace?

3.  Do you forgive others who have sinned against you?



I don't understand. What is the point of this?
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #42 on: February 23, 2009, 02:16:45 AM »

each one stops at me, has a very quick and perfunctionary Confession
What does a very quick perfunctory confession consist of?

Quick perfunctory confessions are not desirable at all.  But under these circumstances, with the Antiochian priest standing beside me holding the Chalice, people could see that that there was not time for leisurely Confession.  So the major component was an expression of repentance for grave sins, a of repentance for all their sins, and then the words of absolution.  There was no time for anything else.

I don't know about priests of other Churches,  but there are three essentials that need to be ascertained even in the quickest of Confessions:

1.  Are you sincerely repentant for these sins and for all your sins?

2.  Do you have a firm resolve to try and avoid them in the future, with God's grace?

3.  Do you forgive others who have sinned against you?



I don't understand. What is the point of this?

Me no understand either.  Of What?
Logged
Tallitot
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Jewish
Jurisdiction: United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
Posts: 2,612



WWW
« Reply #43 on: February 23, 2009, 02:18:06 AM »

No. What I mean is: what actually happens? How does one make a very quick and perfunctionary Confession? I'm not asking what is confessed, just the procedure.
My experience practicing(*) Orthodoxy in an OCA parish was a "quick" confession consisted of the priest doing a very brief opening, as opposed to the lengthy opeing with Psalm 50, the Trisagion etc, me giving a list of my sins, and then absolution w/o any deep spiritual counsel. Not the norm, but used in a pinch.


* they say practice makes perfect. didn't work in my case Wink
Logged

Proverbs 22:7
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #44 on: February 23, 2009, 02:24:11 AM »

No. What I mean is: what actually happens? How does one make a very quick and perfunctionary Confession? I'm not asking what is confessed, just the procedure.
My experience practicing(*) Orthodoxy in an OCA parish was a "quick" confession consisted of the priest doing a very brief opening, as opposed to the lengthy opeing with Psalm 50, the Trisagion etc, me giving a list of my sins, and then absolution w/o any deep spiritual counsel. Not the norm, but used in a pinch.


* they say practice makes perfect. didn't work in my case Wink

When you say "a list" do you mean a verbal list or a written one?
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,209


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #45 on: February 23, 2009, 02:31:36 AM »

each one stops at me, has a very quick and perfunctionary Confession
What does a very quick perfunctory confession consist of?

Quick perfunctory confessions are not desirable at all.  But under these circumstances, with the Antiochian priest standing beside me holding the Chalice, people could see that that there was not time for leisurely Confession.  So the major component was an expression of repentance for grave sins, a of repentance for all their sins, and then the words of absolution.  There was no time for anything else.

I don't know about priests of other Churches,  but there are three essentials that need to be ascertained even in the quickest of Confessions:

1.  Are you sincerely repentant for these sins and for all your sins?

2.  Do you have a firm resolve to try and avoid them in the future, with God's grace?

3.  Do you forgive others who have sinned against you?



I don't understand. What is the point of this?

Me no understand either.  Of What?
But if you require this before the unconfessed can receive Communion, then wouldn't you admit that the point is to make someone worthy to receive Communion?  How does such a meaningless, perfunctory confession even do this?
Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #46 on: February 23, 2009, 02:56:24 AM »

each one stops at me, has a very quick and perfunctionary Confession
What does a very quick perfunctory confession consist of?

Quick perfunctory confessions are not desirable at all.  But under these circumstances, with the Antiochian priest standing beside me holding the Chalice, people could see that that there was not time for leisurely Confession.  So the major component was an expression of repentance for grave sins, a of repentance for all their sins, and then the words of absolution.  There was no time for anything else.

I don't know about priests of other Churches,  but there are three essentials that need to be ascertained even in the quickest of Confessions:

1.  Are you sincerely repentant for these sins and for all your sins?

2.  Do you have a firm resolve to try and avoid them in the future, with God's grace?

3.  Do you forgive others who have sinned against you?



I don't understand. What is the point of this?

Me no understand either.  Of What?
But if you require this before the unconfessed can receive Communion, then wouldn't you admit that the point is to make someone worthy to receive Communion?  How does such a meaningless, perfunctory confession even do this?

Dear George,

These were not normal circumstances and obviously they won't be repeated.  The Antiochian is now aware that Russians won't come for Communion unless they have been to Confession.  Perhaps the example that day will somehow assist him to introduce Confession among his own parishioners.  I would like to think so.

But while Confessions can, very rarely, be perfunctory, I am not sure if we are right about calling them "meaningless."   The mere fact that someone has requested one gives it meaning.  A youg combatant who is mortally wounded may make a perfunctory Confession before the priest has to rush to another dying man, but such Confessions are not meaningless.
Logged
Salpy
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Armenian Church
Posts: 12,646


Pray for the Christians of Iraq and Syria.


« Reply #47 on: February 23, 2009, 03:04:02 AM »

  How does such a meaningless, perfunctory confession even do this?

I have to agree with Fr. Ambrose that a perfunctory confession is not necessarily meaningless.

After the Genocide when over 90% of the clergy of the Armenian Church had been killed, group confession before communion became the norm.  Not an ideal situation, but not necessarily meaningless.  A person can make a lengthy one on one confession with a priest and not really mean it, while a person participating in a group confession can be truly sorry for his sins.  

Group confession is not exactly the same as what Fr. Ambrose described, but the idea is that a person is showing sorrow for their sins before partaking of communion, even if they are not able to discuss the sins in great detail.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2009, 03:04:47 AM by Salpy » Logged

PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,209


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #48 on: February 23, 2009, 03:04:43 AM »

Dear George,

These were not normal circumstances and obviously they won't be repeated.  The Antiochian is now aware that Russians won't come for Communion unless they have been to Confession.  Perhaps the example that day will somehow assist him to introduce Confession among his own parishioners.  I would like to think so.
Don't you mean that the example may somehow assist the Antiochian priest to introduce the requirement of Confession before Communion among his own parishioners, since that's REALLY what you're talking about here?  How else do you know that he doesn't teach his parishioners the importance of Confession in and of itself?
« Last Edit: February 23, 2009, 03:05:39 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #49 on: February 23, 2009, 03:06:07 AM »

I know we have Oriental Orthodox on the Forum - Armenian and Coptic?

How do you handle the link between Confession and Communion?

And are the customs about this different in your home countries to what is done in the States?
Logged
Salpy
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Armenian Church
Posts: 12,646


Pray for the Christians of Iraq and Syria.


« Reply #50 on: February 23, 2009, 03:22:48 AM »

I'm pretty sure the Copts still have individual confession.  I don't know the details of how it is done, though.

In the Armenian Church it used to be individual confession, but then after the Genocide it changed to group confession.  The confession is read right before communion is given.  All who want to commune come up before the altar and kneel while the confession is read.  My priest says this is really not the way it is supposed to be.  It evidently violates all kinds of rules to do confession right in the middle of the liturgy this way.  I know there are priests who would like to go back to the old way, but it is hard to change this sort of thing once it is started.  You are expected to participate in the group confession if you want to commune.

A friend of mine recently went to Armenia and she said they did group confession there, but the liturgy wasn't interrupted for it.  If I understood correctly, I think the group confession was done sometime before and somewhere off to the side of the church, or something.

Logged

Salpy
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Armenian Church
Posts: 12,646


Pray for the Christians of Iraq and Syria.


« Reply #51 on: February 23, 2009, 03:28:03 AM »

Here is a thread on confession in Oriental Orthodox Churches:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,5570.0.html
Logged

Orthodox11
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,999


« Reply #52 on: February 23, 2009, 03:30:10 AM »

Do you know the position of the Greek Old Calendarists on this matter of Confession before Communion?

The monks at the Greek OC (formerly ROCOR) monastery here called it a "cowardly" practice, unless I misunderstood them.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2009, 03:31:25 AM by Orthodox11 » Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #53 on: February 23, 2009, 03:45:37 AM »

Dear George,

These were not normal circumstances and obviously they won't be repeated.  The Antiochian is now aware that Russians won't come for Communion unless they have been to Confession.  Perhaps the example that day will somehow assist him to introduce Confession among his own parishioners.  I would like to think so.
Don't you mean that the example may somehow assist the Antiochian priest to introduce the requirement of Confession before Communion among his own parishioners, since that's REALLY what you're talking about here?

I do not think that the Antiochians would try and ask their parishioners to go to Confession before every Communion.


Quote
How else do you know that he doesn't teach his parishioners the importance of Confession in and of itself?
  I cannot answer that because it may be getting a bit close to personal matters.
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,209


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #54 on: February 23, 2009, 03:45:47 AM »

Do you know the position of the Greek Old Calendarists on this matter of Confession before Communion?

The monks at the Greek OC (formerly ROCOR) monastery here called it a "cowardly" practice, unless I misunderstood them.
I'm curious to know why they have this attitude.  I'm not judging it; I'm just genuinely curious. Wink
« Last Edit: February 23, 2009, 04:02:01 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,209


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #55 on: February 23, 2009, 03:55:19 AM »

The Antiochian is now aware that Russians won't come for Communion unless they have been to Confession.  Perhaps the example that day will somehow assist him to introduce Confession among his own parishioners.  I would like to think so.

I do not think that the Antiochians would try and ask their parishioners to go to Confession before every Communion.

Just putting two and two together...  No intent to be critical... Wink  You say in one post that perhaps your example will somehow assist a priest of the Antiochian church in introducing Confession to his own parishioners.  In a later post you say that you don't think the Antiochians would try to introduce the requirement of Confession before every Communion.  This logic you've presented seems to me to say that the Antiochian Orthodox don't go to Confession at all, whether in preparation to receive Communion or not.  I honestly hope you don't mean to insinuate that. Shocked
« Last Edit: February 23, 2009, 04:01:25 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #56 on: February 23, 2009, 03:56:55 AM »

Here is a thread on confession in Oriental Orthodox Churches:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,5570.0.html

Thanks for that.

I see that you use an absolution formula very similar to the Roman Catholic and in fact it insists very strongly on the authority of the priest to forgive sins:

"May God have mercy upon you, and may He guide you to everlasting life through the authority of priesthood which was entrusted by our Lord Jesus Christ to His disciples who, in turn, entrusted it to their successors until it was given me; I who am weak and sinful, absolve you, brother (sister) of all the sins that you have confessed and are repentant of them, as well as of all the transgressions which have escaped your memory in the Name of the Father +, amen, and of the Son +, amen and of the Holy Spirit + for everlasting life. Amen."

Has this always been your formula or is it the result of some Roman Catholic influence?  
Logged
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #57 on: February 23, 2009, 04:13:13 AM »

I have to agree with Fr. Ambrose that a perfunctory confession is not necessarily meaningless.
And I have to disagree with you both. I think it is legalism.
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Elisha
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 4,420


« Reply #58 on: February 23, 2009, 04:16:52 AM »

I have to agree with Fr. Ambrose that a perfunctory confession is not necessarily meaningless.
And I have to disagree with you both. I think it is legalism.

Yes, legalism, but I think the sad point here is that both parties (viewpoints) are talking past each other.  I have heard of ONE Antiochian parish in my general area that behaves similar to Fr. Ambrose's story, but as I imply, they are an aberration.  The majority I know of practice frequent confession with priests ready and willing to hear confessions from the parish.
Logged
Alpo
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox. With some feta, please.
Posts: 6,726



« Reply #59 on: February 23, 2009, 04:48:08 AM »

I see that you use an absolution formula very similar to the Roman Catholic and in fact it insists very strongly on the authority of the priest to forgive sins
Is that somehow problematic?
Logged

Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #60 on: February 23, 2009, 07:12:29 AM »

I see that you use an absolution formula very similar to the Roman Catholic and in fact it insists very strongly on the authority of the priest to forgive sins
Is that somehow problematic?

Not for me.

But you could look at this other thread which concerns the formula of absolution in both its deprecative and declarative/indicative forms.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19265.0.html
Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #61 on: February 23, 2009, 08:14:40 AM »


Just putting two and two together...  No intent to be critical... Wink  You say in one post that perhaps your example will somehow assist a priest of the Antiochian church in introducing Confession to his own parishioners.  In a later post you say that you don't think the Antiochians would try to introduce the requirement of Confession before every Communion.  This logic you've presented seems to me to say that the Antiochian Orthodox don't go to Confession at all, whether in preparation to receive Communion or not.  I honestly hope you don't mean to insinuate that. Shocked

The frequency of Confession varies from one self-governing Church to another.  It also fluctuates even within the self-governing Churches, between their home countries and their various diaspora.  The only consistent thing we can affirm is that it fluctuates.



Logged
Robert W
Self-appointed forum herald
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Finland
Posts: 469


Love is no feeling


« Reply #62 on: February 23, 2009, 09:16:26 AM »

I don't really have anything to contribute to this thread, but as the link between confession and communion has been discussed and perhaps even questioned I thought I'd chip in with how things are in my Church.

My priest has told me that we are required to confess at least once a year, but also "the more, the better". He also said that if you have not confessed in a year you are not supposed to go to communion until you have confessed. This shows that while the "1 confession = 1 communion" formula is not used in Finland a clear link between confession and communion still exists.
Logged
Tallitot
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Jewish
Jurisdiction: United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
Posts: 2,612



WWW
« Reply #63 on: February 23, 2009, 12:53:52 PM »

No. What I mean is: what actually happens? How does one make a very quick and perfunctionary Confession? I'm not asking what is confessed, just the procedure.
My experience practicing(*) Orthodoxy in an OCA parish was a "quick" confession consisted of the priest doing a very brief opening, as opposed to the lengthy opeing with Psalm 50, the Trisagion etc, me giving a list of my sins, and then absolution w/o any deep spiritual counsel. Not the norm, but used in a pinch.


* they say practice makes perfect. didn't work in my case Wink

When you say "a list" do you mean a verbal list or a written one?
Verbal
Logged

Proverbs 22:7
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #64 on: February 23, 2009, 06:23:56 PM »

I have to agree with Fr. Ambrose that a perfunctory confession is not necessarily meaningless.
And I have to disagree with you both. I think it is legalism.

Yes, legalism, but I think the sad point here is that both parties (viewpoints) are talking past each other.  I have heard of ONE Antiochian parish in my general area that behaves similar to Fr. Ambrose's story, but as I imply, they are an aberration.  The majority I know of practice frequent confession with priests ready and willing to hear confessions from the parish.
I don't think we're talking past each other, since a specific issue is being addressed. I agree that in some cases, the Mysterion of Repentance is a forgotten Sacrament, but I don't think the answer to this is to turn it into a legalistic ritual and attach it as an inseparable part of the Mysterion of Holy Communion as though they were one. I think this poses a danger to the Orthodox understanding of both Sacraments. As Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann noted in his report to the Synod of the OCA: "And then, once a year, they fulfill their "obligation" and receive communion after a two-minute confession to a tired and exhausted priest. To see in all this a triumph of reverence, a protection of holiness, more than that, a norm, and not a downfall and a tragedy, is indeed incredible."
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #65 on: February 23, 2009, 06:52:17 PM »

I have to agree with Fr. Ambrose that a perfunctory confession is not necessarily meaningless.
And I have to disagree with you both. I think it is legalism.

Yes, legalism, but I think the sad point here is that both parties (viewpoints) are talking past each other.  I have heard of ONE Antiochian parish in my general area that behaves similar to Fr. Ambrose's story, but as I imply, they are an aberration.  The majority I know of practice frequent confession with priests ready and willing to hear confessions from the parish.
I don't think we're talking past each other, since a specific issue is being addressed. I agree that in some cases, the Mysterion of Repentance is a forgotten Sacrament, but I don't think the answer to this is to turn it into a legalistic ritual and attach it as an inseparable part of the Mysterion of Holy Communion as though they were one. I think this poses a danger to the Orthodox understanding of both Sacraments. As Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann noted in his report to the Synod of the OCA: "And then, once a year, they fulfill their "obligation" and receive communion after a two-minute confession to a tired and exhausted priest. To see in all this a triumph of reverence, a protection of holiness, more than that, a norm, and not a downfall and a tragedy, is indeed incredible."

Fr Schmemann's example is exaggerative and not fair.

There are just as many tired and exhausted priests in the OCA at Pascha time who have to cope with the usual multitude of once-a-year penitents.  These people exist in ALL Churches, irrespective of whether their particular Church's tradition links, or does not link, Confession and Communion.

So why does Fr Schmemann bring in this exception, a once a year occurence in ALL the Churches, and disingenuously use it as an argument?  It is as exceptional as what I myself described about the rushed Confessions so that our Russian parishioners could commune at an Antiochian Liturgy.  It is NOT the norm.

-oOo-

I appreciate your worries about legalic Confession and sometimes Cogfession is indeed turned into a legalistic ritual in the Churches which favour infrequent Confession.  The crowds at Holy Week are too much for the priest and he resorts to simply reading the Confession prayers over the whole church and then people come up one by one and he puts the epitrakhil on their heads and reads a quick Absolution prayer.  I have seen this legalistic mode of Confession used in various parishes during Holy Week.  There is no confession of sins to the priest; the penitent and the priest don't say even one word to one another. 


Logged
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #66 on: February 23, 2009, 07:03:06 PM »

I appreciate your worries about legalic Confession and sometimes Cogfession is indeed turned into a legalistic ritual in the Churches which favour infrequent Confession. 

Which Churches favour "infrequent Confession"? I'm not sure that any Church does this. What I think some Orthodox Churches don't favour is turning Confession into a legalistic ritual worthy of Pharisees. Such a perfunctory Confession is akin to going to a doctor with a serious ailment, only to be given a two minute consult by the intern who prescribes a treatment without doing any examination.
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
orthodoxlurker
Supporter & Defender of Fr Ambrose (Irish Hermit) - banned
Warned
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian - NOT a phanariote
Jurisdiction: Serbian Patriarchate under siege
Posts: 1,372


al-Saabir yaraa al-Hurriyah


« Reply #67 on: February 23, 2009, 07:23:27 PM »

Quote
What I think some Orthodox Churches don't favour is turning Confession into a legalistic ritual worthy of Pharisees.

Someone might believe that "turning" has started from the "ancient" report of Fr. Schmeman, and the understanding of the issue of communion in relations "frequent" and "infrequent" instead of "prepared" and "unprepared". Since novelists have weak arguments in this regard (as usual), the last resort is "legalistic Pharisees".

Cheap.
Logged

Curse the Pope, for he is the root and cause of these disasters! - St. Nektarios of Aegina

You don't get to circumvent your post moderation by calling out the moderators in your signature. ~Veniamin, Global Moderator
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #68 on: February 23, 2009, 07:23:39 PM »

What I think some Orthodox Churches don't favour is turning Confession into a legalistic ritual worthy of Pharisees. Such a perfunctory Confession is akin to going to a doctor with a serious ailment, only to be given a two minute consult by the intern who prescribes a treatment without doing any examination.


In the mass Confessions which I have seen in some parishes on the evenings of Holy Week, there is not even a two minute consult but just a quick reading of an Absolution prayer over the head of each penitent as they approach the priest one by one after listening all together as a group to the prayers for Confession.  The penitent probably has 20 seconds kneeling in front of the priest.   If such events do not occur during Holy Week in churches in Australia then that is a blessing.

Do we think yourself that Fr Schmemann's description of the unsatisfactory Confessions in OCA churches during Holy Week is the norm?  Far from it. It is a rare annual event.  So I really do not grasp the point he is making.
Logged
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #69 on: February 23, 2009, 07:25:51 PM »

Quote
What I think some Orthodox Churches don't favour is turning Confession into a legalistic ritual worthy of Pharisees.

Someone might believe that "turning" has started from the "ancient" report of Fr. Schmeman, and the understanding of the issue of communion in relations "frequent" and "infrequent" instead of "prepared" and "unprepared". Since novelists have weak arguments in this regard (as usual), the last resort is "legalistic Pharisees".

Cheap.

Who are the "novelists" orthodoxlurker? Is a "novelist" an innovator, that is someone who brings something alien into the teachings of the Orthodox Church and calls it "tradition"?
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,209


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #70 on: February 23, 2009, 07:46:57 PM »

I have to agree with Fr. Ambrose that a perfunctory confession is not necessarily meaningless.
And I have to disagree with you both. I think it is legalism.

Yes, legalism, but I think the sad point here is that both parties (viewpoints) are talking past each other.  I have heard of ONE Antiochian parish in my general area that behaves similar to Fr. Ambrose's story, but as I imply, they are an aberration.  The majority I know of practice frequent confession with priests ready and willing to hear confessions from the parish.
I don't think we're talking past each other, since a specific issue is being addressed. I agree that in some cases, the Mysterion of Repentance is a forgotten Sacrament, but I don't think the answer to this is to turn it into a legalistic ritual and attach it as an inseparable part of the Mysterion of Holy Communion as though they were one. I think this poses a danger to the Orthodox understanding of both Sacraments. As Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann noted in his report to the Synod of the OCA: "And then, once a year, they fulfill their "obligation" and receive communion after a two-minute confession to a tired and exhausted priest. To see in all this a triumph of reverence, a protection of holiness, more than that, a norm, and not a downfall and a tragedy, is indeed incredible."

Fr Schmemann's example is exaggerative and not fair.

There are just as many tired and exhausted priests in the OCA at Pascha time who have to cope with the usual multitude of once-a-year penitents.  These people exist in ALL Churches, irrespective of whether their particular Church's tradition links, or does not link, Confession and Communion.

So why does Fr Schmemann bring in this exception, a once a year occurence in ALL the Churches, and disingenuously use it as an argument?  It is as exceptional as what I myself described about the rushed Confessions so that our Russian parishioners could commune at an Antiochian Liturgy.  It is NOT the norm.
Have you read the whole of Fr. Schmemann's article, or are you merely responding to ozgeorge's excerpt from the article?  If you haven't read the whole article, then how can you judge Fr. Schmemann's point of view stated therein?

I appreciate your worries about legalic Confession and sometimes Cogfession is indeed turned into a legalistic ritual in the Churches which favour infrequent Confession.  The crowds at Holy Week are too much for the priest and he resorts to simply reading the Confession prayers over the whole church and then people come up one by one and he puts the epitrakhil on their heads and reads a quick Absolution prayer.  I have seen this legalistic mode of Confession used in various parishes during Holy Week.  There is no confession of sins to the priest; the penitent and the priest don't say even one word to one another. 
How is there such genuine confession of sins in a legalistic 30-second confession immediately prior to reception of Communion, heard by a priest whose primary interest is the long line of communicants intent on receiving the Holy Mysteries?

Other concerns coming out of Fr. Schmemann's article:
  • Can the genuine repentance necessary for one's preparation for Communion be wrapped up completely in a three-minute confession?  When done legalistically out of one's desire to receive Communion, is such confession imbued with the necessary spirit of repentance, or does the rite become nothing more than something one must do in order to receive the Mysteries?
  • Does not the requirement that one confess before receiving Communion shift the emphasis of the rite of Confession onto the prayers of absolution and away from the confession itself, such that one can be made to feel worthy of receiving Communion merely by having the absolution read over him, even if he hasn't confessed anything?


All this means, of course, and no one really denies it, that the only real condition for partaking of the Divine Mysteries is membership in the Church and conversely, that membership in the Church is fulfilled in the partaking of the sacrament of the Church. Communion is given "for the remission of sins," "for the healing of the soul and body," and it implies, therefore, repentance, the awareness of our total unworthiness, and the understanding of communion as a heavenly gift which never can be "deserved" by an earthly being. The whole meaning of preparation for communion, as established by the Church ("The Rule for Holy Communion") is not, of course, in making man feel "worthy" but, on the contrary, in revealing to him the abyss of God’s mercy and love ("I am not worthy, Master and Lord . . . yet since Thou in Thy love . . . dost wish to dwell in me, in boldness I come. Thou commandest, open the gates . . . and Thou wilt come in love . . . and enlighten my darkened reasoning. I believe that Thou wilt do this . . .). Before the Lord’s table the only "worthiness" of the communicant is that he has been and realized his bottomless "unworthiness." This, indeed, is the beginning of salvation.

It is therefore of paramount importance for us to understand that the transformation of the sacrament of penance into an obligatory condition for communion not only contradicts Tradition, but obviously mutilates it. It mutilates, in the first place, the doctrine of the Church by creating in her two categories of members, one of which is, in fact, excommunicated from the Eucharist, as the very content and fulfillment of membership, as its spiritual source. But then it is no longer surprising that those whom the Apostle called "fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God" (Ephesians 2:19) become again "worldly" (kosmiki, miriane), are "secularized" and their membership in the Church is measured and defined in terms of money ("dues") and "rights." But also mutilated is the doctrine of Communion, which is understood then as the sacrament for a few "worthy ones" and no longer as the sacrament of the Church: of sinners who by the infinite mercy of Christ, are always transformed into His Body. And finally, equally mutilated is the doctrine of Penance. Transformed into a formal condition for communion, it begins more and more obviously to replace the real preparation for communion, that genuine inner repentance, which inspires all the prayers before communion. After a three-minute confession and absolution a man feels "entitled" to communion, "worthy" and even "sinless," feels, in other terms, that which is in fact the very opposite of true repentance.


http://www.schmemann.org/byhim/confessionandcommunion.html
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,209


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #71 on: February 23, 2009, 07:51:25 PM »

Quote
What I think some Orthodox Churches don't favour is turning Confession into a legalistic ritual worthy of Pharisees.

Someone might believe that "turning" has started from the "ancient" report of Fr. Schmeman, and the understanding of the issue of communion in relations "frequent" and "infrequent" instead of "prepared" and "unprepared". Since novelists have weak arguments in this regard (as usual), the last resort is "legalistic Pharisees".

Cheap.
Devoid of all ability to provide a substantive criticism of a man's reasoning, you have to resort to the ad hominem of calling the man a novelist.

Cheap.
Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #72 on: February 23, 2009, 08:05:16 PM »

Transformed into a formal condition for communion, it begins more and more obviously to replace the real preparation for communion, that genuine inner repentance, which inspires all the prayers before communion. After a three-minute confession and absolution a man feels "entitled" to communion, "worthy" and even "sinless," feels, in other terms, that which is in fact the very opposite of true repentance.[/color]

http://www.schmemann.org/byhim/confessionandcommunion.html

You see, this is where Fr Schmemann simply falls off the top of the mountain and becomes irrelevant.  What he is describing has no connection to the real life of the Orthodox faithful. 

They certainly DO NOT feel "entitled" to Communion because they have confessed.

They do NOT loose or replace the need for genuine interior repentance and spiritual preparation by a ritualistic Confession. 

I question whether it may not be writings such as this which at one stage after Perestroika caused Fr Schmemann to be accused of revisionism by the Church of Russia and in some seminaries his writings (and Meyendorff's) were removed from library shelves.  Whether that prohibition is still in force I do not know.  Has anybody any up to date information?
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,209


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #73 on: February 23, 2009, 08:13:15 PM »

Transformed into a formal condition for communion, it begins more and more obviously to replace the real preparation for communion, that genuine inner repentance, which inspires all the prayers before communion. After a three-minute confession and absolution a man feels "entitled" to communion, "worthy" and even "sinless," feels, in other terms, that which is in fact the very opposite of true repentance.[/color]

http://www.schmemann.org/byhim/confessionandcommunion.html

You see, this is where Fr Schmemann simply falls off the top of the mountain and becomes irrelevant.  What he is describing has no connection to the real life of the Orthodox faithful. 
Really!!? Huh Even more importantly than the fact he was a theologian, Fr. Schmemann was first a parish priest who heard confessions himself and celebrated the Divine Liturgy himself and was therefore just as qualified as you to speak on the real life of the Orthodox faithful.

They certainly DO NOT feel "entitled" to Communion because they have confessed.

They do NOT loose or replace the need for genuine interior repentance and spiritual preparation by a ritualistic Confession.
And how is your pastoral experience any different from Fr. Schmemann's, such that you're more qualified than he to speak on the attitudes of the Orthodox faithful?

I question whether it may not be writings such as this which at one stage after Perestroika caused Fr Schmemann to be accused of revisionism by the Church of Russia and in some seminaries his writings (and Meyendorff's) were removed from library shelves.  Whether that prohibition is still in force I do not know.  Has anybody any up to date information?
In other words, just a more sophisticated way of voicing the same baseless ad hominem orthodoxlurker made above.  You can't refute Fr. Schmemann's reasoning, so you level the dreaded "revisionist" charge against him.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2009, 08:13:47 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #74 on: February 23, 2009, 08:15:14 PM »

Devoid of all ability to provide a substantive criticism of a man's reasoning, you have to resort to the ad hominem of calling the man a novelist.

Nevertheless, there are some substantive critiques of Fr Alexander Schmemann's writings, most in Russian.  Here is a small monograph by Fr Michael Pomozansky (in English.)

The Liturgical Theology of Father A. Schmemann
by Father Michael Pomazansky

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/pom_lit.aspx

A web search may turn up other material.
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,209


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #75 on: February 23, 2009, 08:18:39 PM »

Devoid of all ability to provide a substantive criticism of a man's reasoning, you have to resort to the ad hominem of calling the man a novelist.

Nevertheless, there are some substantive critiques of Fr Alexander Schmemann's writings, most in Russian.  Here is a small monograph by Fr Michael Pomozansky (in English.)

The Liturgical Theology of Father A. Schmemann
by Father Michael Pomazansky

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/pom_lit.aspx

A web search may turn up other material.

Yes, I have read this article by Fr. Michael.  I will grant that the content of what he says is a legitimate response to Fr. Schmemann, even if I don't quite agree with it.  The fact that you would use this in an effort to discredit Fr. Schmemann's contributions to this discussion, though, only shows me how weak your argument really is.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2009, 08:21:41 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #76 on: February 23, 2009, 08:22:21 PM »

Devoid of all ability to provide a substantive criticism of a man's reasoning, you have to resort to the ad hominem of calling the man a novelist.

Nevertheless, there are some substantive critiques of Fr Alexander Schmemann's writings, most in Russian.  Here is a small monograph by Fr Michael Pomozansky (in English.)

The Liturgical Theology of Father A. Schmemann
by Father Michael Pomazansky

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/pom_lit.aspx

A web search may turn up other material.

Again, have you actually read this?
It is clear that you are interested only in cursory "arguments and choose to ignore indepth questions about your position, as excellently asked by PetertheAleut:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19695.msg295411.html#msg295411

If you are just going to ignore questions and ignore references, there is very little point in discussing this with you.
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #77 on: February 23, 2009, 08:31:19 PM »

Yes, I have read this article by Fr. Michael.  I will grant that the content of what he says is a legitimate response to Fr. Schmemann, even if I don't quite agree with it.  The fact that you would use this in an effort to discredit Fr. Schmemann's contributions to this discussion, though, only shows me how weak your argument really is.

We are not using the article to "discredit" Fr Schmemann -that word is too emotive-  but to shed light on his thought from the angle of another theologian who disagrees with him.
Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #78 on: February 23, 2009, 08:31:19 PM »

The Liturgical Theology of Father A. Schmemann
by Father Michael Pomazansky

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/pom_lit.aspx


Again, have you actually read this?

Yes, I have been familiar with it for many years.

Quote
It is clear that you are interested only in cursory "arguments and choose to ignore indepth questions about your position, as excellently asked by PetertheAleut:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19695.msg295411.html#msg295411

If you are just going to ignore questions and ignore references, there is very little point in discussing this with you.

Just as you wish.  There is no need for you or for Peter to discuss things with me if you prefer not to.
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,209


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #79 on: February 23, 2009, 08:35:32 PM »

Yes, I have read this article by Fr. Michael.  I will grant that the content of what he says is a legitimate response to Fr. Schmemann, even if I don't quite agree with it.  The fact that you would use this in an effort to discredit Fr. Schmemann's contributions to this discussion, though, only shows me how weak your argument really is.

We are not using the article to "discredit" Fr Schmemann -that word is too emotive-  but to shed light on his thought from the angle of another theologian who disagrees with him.
But the subject of this thread is NOT the person of Fr. Schmemann and whether he can be called a revisionist.  The subject of this thread regards our understanding of the tight connection between Confession and Communion and whether this is really Orthodox.  The fact that you would rather pick on Fr. Schmemann the priest and refuse to engage the core substance of what he had to say is evidence to me that you really don't want to discuss any arguments anyone may level against your position.

BTW, it's patently clear to me that you and orthodoxlurker ARE INDEED trying to discredit Fr. Schmemann, regardless of how you've tried to spin this.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2009, 08:41:13 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,209


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #80 on: February 23, 2009, 08:40:15 PM »

Quote
If you are just going to ignore questions and ignore references, there is very little point in discussing this with you.

Just as you wish.  There is no need for you or for Peter to discuss things with me if you prefer not to.
Doesn't work that way, Padre.  If you're going to get up on your theological soap box, you'd better be prepared to field counter-arguments.  Otherwise, you're just posturing.
Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #81 on: February 23, 2009, 08:52:00 PM »

How is there such genuine confession of sins in a legalistic 30-second confession immediately prior to reception of Communion, heard by a priest whose primary interest is the long line of communicants intent on receiving the Holy Mysteries?

I have been told by George that I am ignoring your questions, so here goes....

30 second Confessions are known to take place in ALL Churches on Easter Eve when the crush of penitents is simply too much for the priest to handle and the Midnight Matins would be much delayed in starting.

This is an abnormal situation and I do not judge any priest, whether OCA or ROCA or Greek, who has to do rushed Confessions at this time.

Quote
Other concerns coming out of Fr. Schmemann's article:
  • Can the genuine repentance necessary for one's preparation for Communion be wrapped up completely in a three-minute confession?
Confessions vary widely in length - from 3 minutes to 30 minutes (I kid you not.)

Quote
When done legalistically out of one's desire to receive Communion, is such confession imbued with the necessary spirit of repentance, or does the rite become nothing more than something one must do in order to receive the Mysteries?[/li][/list]

If you had ever been to a Russian priest for Confession you would know that his interest in you is much more than just the need to put you through a legalistic ritual to enable you to get to Communion.  I am sure that the experience would answer dispell your worries.

Quote
  • Does not the requirement that one confess before receiving Communion shift the emphasis of the rite of Confession onto the prayers of absolution and away from the confession itself, such that one can be made to feel worthy of receiving Communion merely by having the absolution read over him, even if he hasn't confessed anything?

No, it doesn't. 

I don't understand the "even if he hasn't confessed anything?"  I have never met a person who has not sinned since the time of his last Confession.
[/list]
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,209


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #82 on: February 23, 2009, 09:02:24 PM »

    How is there such genuine confession of sins in a legalistic 30-second confession immediately prior to reception of Communion, heard by a priest whose primary interest is the long line of communicants intent on receiving the Holy Mysteries?

    I have been told by George that I am ignoring your questions, so here goes....

    30 second Confessions are known to take place in ALL Churches on Easter Eve when the crush of penitents is simply too much for the priest to handle and the Midnight Matins would be much delayed in starting.

    This is an abnormal situation and I do not judge any priest, whether OCA or ROCA or Greek, who has to do rushed Confessions at this time.
    This is a comment on the prevalence of 30-second confessions, but it tells me absolutely nothing about how the confession of sins in such a 30-second Confession is genuine, which is really what I asked.

    Quote
    Other concerns coming out of Fr. Schmemann's article:
    • Can the genuine repentance necessary for one's preparation for Communion be wrapped up completely in a three-minute confession?
    Confessions vary widely in length - from 3 minutes to 30 minutes (I kid you not.)
    This is a comment on the length of Confession, but it says nothing about whether genuine repentance can be wrapped up completely in a three-minute confession.  Again, you're dodging my questions.

    Quote
    When done legalistically out of one's desire to receive Communion, is such confession imbued with the necessary spirit of repentance, or does the rite become nothing more than something one must do in order to receive the Mysteries?[/li][/list]

    If you had ever been to a Russian priest for Confession you would know that his interest in you is much more than just the need to put you through a legalistic ritual to enable you to get to Communion.  I am sure that the experience would answer dispell your worries.
    How are you qualified to speak for EVERY Russian priest solely from your own limited experience?

    Quote
    • Does not the requirement that one confess before receiving Communion shift the emphasis of the rite of Confession onto the prayers of absolution and away from the confession itself, such that one can be made to feel worthy of receiving Communion merely by having the absolution read over him, even if he hasn't confessed anything?

    No, it doesn't. 
    How not so?  Can you explain this assertion?

    I don't understand the "even if he hasn't confessed anything?"  I have never met a person who has not sinned since the time of his last Confession.
    [/list]
    Non sequitur!  What does the fact that one has sinned since his last confession have to do with his not confessing anything?  The sinning and the not confessing are two totally separate acts (or non-acts).
    « Last Edit: February 23, 2009, 09:06:14 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
    Salpy
    Section Moderator
    Toumarches
    *****
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Oriental Orthodox Christian
    Jurisdiction: Armenian Church
    Posts: 12,646


    Pray for the Christians of Iraq and Syria.


    « Reply #83 on: February 23, 2009, 09:10:22 PM »


    I see that you use an absolution formula very similar to the Roman Catholic and in fact it insists very strongly on the authority of the priest to forgive sins:

    "May God have mercy upon you, and may He guide you to everlasting life through the authority of priesthood which was entrusted by our Lord Jesus Christ to His disciples who, in turn, entrusted it to their successors until it was given me; I who am weak and sinful, absolve you, brother (sister) of all the sins that you have confessed and are repentant of them, as well as of all the transgressions which have escaped your memory in the Name of the Father +, amen, and of the Son +, amen and of the Holy Spirit + for everlasting life. Amen."

    Has this always been your formula or is it the result of some Roman Catholic influence?  

    I really don't know the history of our formula.  However, I know we did borrow some things liturgically from the Catholics during the Crusades.
    Logged

    Irish Hermit
    Kibernetski Kaludjer
    Warned
    Merarches
    ***********
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 10,991


    Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


    « Reply #84 on: February 23, 2009, 09:18:40 PM »

    Have any of our posts addressed the OP - the decline in Confession while there has been no decline in communicants?

    Does the OP see a connection there?   Would he like to help us understand what he is driving at or wishing to investigate with the thread title?

    Logged
    PeterTheAleut
    The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
    Section Moderator
    Protospatharios
    *****
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Christian
    Jurisdiction: OCA
    Posts: 32,209


    Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


    « Reply #85 on: February 23, 2009, 09:21:30 PM »

    Have any of our posts addressed the OP - the decline in Confession while there has been no decline in communicants?

    Does the OP see a connection there?   Would he like to help us understand what he is driving at or wishing to investigate with the thread title?


    Why should I let you dodge ozgeorge's and my questions with your motion for a return to the OP when it was you (see Reply #1) who turned this discussion into yet another debate focused solely on the strict Confession=Communion connection?  Especially considering that you offered this strict link as the solution to the problem about which Scamandrius complained in the OP?
    « Last Edit: February 23, 2009, 09:24:31 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
    Irish Hermit
    Kibernetski Kaludjer
    Warned
    Merarches
    ***********
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 10,991


    Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


    « Reply #86 on: February 23, 2009, 09:25:09 PM »


    I see that you use an absolution formula very similar to the Roman Catholic and in fact it insists very strongly on the authority of the priest to forgive sins:

    "May God have mercy upon you, and may He guide you to everlasting life through the authority of priesthood which was entrusted by our Lord Jesus Christ to His disciples who, in turn, entrusted it to their successors until it was given me; I who am weak and sinful, absolve you, brother (sister) of all the sins that you have confessed and are repentant of them, as well as of all the transgressions which have escaped your memory in the Name of the Father +, amen, and of the Son +, amen and of the Holy Spirit + for everlasting life. Amen."

    Has this always been your formula or is it the result of some Roman Catholic influence?  

    I really don't know the history of our formula.  However, I know we did borrow some things liturgically from the Catholics during the Crusades.

    It has similarities with the first section of the Prayer of Absolution pronounced over the body at the end of a funeral.  
    Logged
    Irish Hermit
    Kibernetski Kaludjer
    Warned
    Merarches
    ***********
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 10,991


    Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


    « Reply #87 on: February 23, 2009, 09:34:24 PM »

    Why should I let you dodge ozgeorge's and my questions with your motion for a return to the OP when it was you (see Reply #1) who turned this discussion into yet another debate focused solely on the strict Confession=Communion connection? 

    That is not so.  It was the OP who introduced this topic into the thread with the words "a legalistic trap here where one confession=one eucharist or something absurd along those lines."

    I really felt honour bound to say something in defence of a practice which is the majority Orthodox practice and was deeply wounded to see it called absurd. It is the practice of hundreds of bishops and thousands of priests and millions of the faithful around the world.
    Logged
    ozgeorge
    I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
    Hoplitarches
    *************
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Christian
    Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
    Posts: 16,382


    My plans for retirement.


    WWW
    « Reply #88 on: February 23, 2009, 09:37:37 PM »

    One of the "arguments" for the "requirement" of Confession before infrequent Communion is often the case of St. Mary of Egypt whose Life we will read during the coming season of Lent.
    If we are to understand this ancient story as the tradition of the Church's understanding of the Mysteries of Confession and Communion, then we should note what the story actually says.
    In the Life of Our Mother Among the Saints, Mary of Egypt, the Holy Saint is recorded as having Communed of the Holy Gifts on two occasions, not just one. When St. Mary of Egypt is making her Confession to St. Zosimas, she recalls an interesting fact. St. Mary says that, on the very day she repented of her many years of harlotry and fornication:
    "I at length reached at sunset the Church of St. John the Baptist which stood on the banks of the Jordan. After praying in the temple, I went down to the Jordan and rinsed my face and hands in its holy waters. I partook of the holy and life-giving Mysteries in the Church of the Forerunner"
    (Source)[/i]
    If the Saint of God confessed her sins before receiving Communion in the Church of St. John the Baptist, why does she Confess them again, 47 years later to St. Zosimas before receiving Communion again from him? There is no mention of the Saint Confessing her years of sin before receiving Communion the first time, the very day she stopped her years of fornication.
    « Last Edit: February 23, 2009, 09:38:54 PM by ozgeorge » Logged

    If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
    Salpy
    Section Moderator
    Toumarches
    *****
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Oriental Orthodox Christian
    Jurisdiction: Armenian Church
    Posts: 12,646


    Pray for the Christians of Iraq and Syria.


    « Reply #89 on: February 23, 2009, 09:38:30 PM »

    I have to agree with Fr. Ambrose that a perfunctory confession is not necessarily meaningless.
    And I have to disagree with you both. I think it is legalism.

    And you're entitled to your opinion.   Smiley

    However, I have been participating in group confessions for decades now, and I feel very differently.  I have always found it very meaningful.  The confession that is read is pretty detailed and, by kneeling in front of the altar, you are adopting it as your own.  You end up confessing to a lot stuff you probably wouldn't think of on your own during an individual confession.  That's just how I feel, though.  If you want to judge me and say I'm being legalistic, or that I really haven't been absolved of my sins all these years, that's O.K.  People have said worse to me.   Smiley

    You are not the only one, however, who is critical of group confession.  As I said, it was an accommodation that was made after most of our clergy were wiped out after the Genocide.  There are priests who would like to bring back individual confession.  Maybe someday that will happen.

    I notice you and Peter are putting a lot of emphasis on the amount of minutes the confession takes.  I can't understand how that matters.  To me, that would seem like a legalism.  Who are you to say a very sincere penitent can't express himself in a short amount of time?  Especially when the confession happens often, I would think the amount of time for each confession could be less.  I don't know.  I just think that is a judgement best left to the person's spiritual father.
    Logged

    PeterTheAleut
    The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
    Section Moderator
    Protospatharios
    *****
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Christian
    Jurisdiction: OCA
    Posts: 32,209


    Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


    « Reply #90 on: February 23, 2009, 09:41:33 PM »

    Why should I let you dodge ozgeorge's and my questions with your motion for a return to the OP when it was you (see Reply #1) who turned this discussion into yet another debate focused solely on the strict Confession=Communion connection? 

    That is not so.  It was the OP who introduced this topic into the thread with the words "a legalistic trap here where one confession=one eucharist or something absurd along those lines."

    I really felt honour bound to say something in defence of a practice which is the majority Orthodox practice and was deeply wounded to see it called absurd. It is the practice of hundreds of bishops and thousands of priests and millions of the faithful around the world.
    I'm not talking about who it was that introduced the topic (i.e., Scamandrius); I'm talking about the person who ran with the topic and asked that Scamandrius and we address it specifically (i.e., you).

    Now as regards your repeated appeal to popular practice, I have already addressed and refuted that for the logical fallacy it is.
    Logged
    Innocent
    No longer posting on this site
    Elder
    *****
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 440

    St. Innocent of Alaska


    « Reply #91 on: February 23, 2009, 09:41:38 PM »

    I don't get why Fr. Ambrose's answer to the original question has received the sort of attacks it has? I don't agree that one confession=one Eucharist because it does lead to legalism. That does not take away that Fr. Ambrose gave his thoughts and that's what the original poster asked for.
    Logged
    PeterTheAleut
    The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
    Section Moderator
    Protospatharios
    *****
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Christian
    Jurisdiction: OCA
    Posts: 32,209


    Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


    « Reply #92 on: February 23, 2009, 09:44:34 PM »

    I notice you and Peter are putting a lot of emphasis on the amount of minutes the confession takes.  I can't understand how that matters.  To me, that would seem like a legalism.  Who are you to say a very sincere penitent can't express himself in a short amount of time?  Especially when the confession happens often, I would think the amount of time for each confession could be less.  I don't know.  I just think that is a judgement best left to the person's spiritual father.
    The length of one's confession by itself is not what I'm arguing against.  My problem is with rushing through a confession for the sole purpose of being made prepared for Communion.  It is this reason for Confession that I decry as making a 30-second or 3-minute Confession legalistic.
    Logged
    Pravoslavbob
    Section Moderator
    Archon
    *****
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Catholic
    Jurisdiction: OCA
    Posts: 3,183


    St. Sisoes the Great


    « Reply #93 on: February 23, 2009, 09:45:34 PM »

    I really felt honour bound to say something in defence of a practice which is the majority Orthodox practice and was deeply wounded to see it called absurd.

    IMHO, your personal feelings on the issue have nothing to do with the matter.  Worse still, it seems to me that you may be using them in order to make an emotional appeal in order to detract from the main thrust of argument on the thread and to appeal to impressionable people to take your side.  I would call this quite irresponsible, if true.

    Quote
    ...the practice of hundreds of bishops and thousands of priests and millions of the faithful around the world.

    I guess you thought you would try recycling this argument just one more time, even though it has already been discussed before.   Roll Eyes

    Now as regards your repeated appeal to popular practice, I have already addressed and refuted that for the logical fallacy it is.

    I rest my case. 
    « Last Edit: February 23, 2009, 09:50:51 PM by Pravoslavbob » Logged

    Religion is a disease, and Orthodoxy is its cure.
    Byzantine2008
    Elder
    *****
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox
    Posts: 280



    « Reply #94 on: February 23, 2009, 09:46:31 PM »

    I don't get why Fr. Ambrose's answer to the original question has received the sort of attacks it has? I don't agree that one confession=one Eucharist because it does lead to legalism. That does not take away that Fr. Ambrose gave his thoughts and that's what the original poster asked for.

    I totally agree...

    I can't believe the treatment he has received from some senior posters...

    All the people reading this thread please don't be mislead to think us Orthodox Christains disrespect our clergy as some posters have chosen to do, on the contrary we have up most respect for them...

    Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me
     

    Fr Chris and Fr Anastasios would like to reiterate the following points:

    1) Our moderators are doing a good job, and will be shown respect. They will not be called out in public

    2) We discuss all moderation requests as a team in private.

    3) No one is ganging up or picking on Fr Ambrose.  Fr Ambrose has expressed himself in direct ways and has participated in controversial threads (which is fine; that is what this forum is for).  Some posters have taken issue with what he states (which is fine; that is what a discussion forum is for).  However, at no time has anyone ganged up on Fr Ambrose or used his or her moderatorial powers to silence Fr Ambrose.  Any warnings or moderations of Fr Ambrose are solely due to breach of procedure (source issues and bringing moderation into the public) and not in any way an attempt to keep him from expressing his views.

    4) Any appeal or complaint about a moderator must follow the proper chain of responsibility and no further out-of-chain requests for intervention will be entertained, nor will public references to moderation be tolerated. Proper procedure will be followed.

    The forum is being distracted by this issue and it is time to put it to rest again with the above points in mind.

    Fr Anastasios & Fr Chris
    Co-Administrators 

    « Last Edit: February 23, 2009, 09:56:02 PM by ozgeorge » Logged

    Let your will be done O Lord Jesus Christ through the intercession of you All Pure Mother and all the saints!
    Salpy
    Section Moderator
    Toumarches
    *****
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Oriental Orthodox Christian
    Jurisdiction: Armenian Church
    Posts: 12,646


    Pray for the Christians of Iraq and Syria.


    « Reply #95 on: February 23, 2009, 09:50:54 PM »

    But the subject of this thread is NOT the person of Fr. Schmemann and whether he can be called a revisionist.  The subject of this thread regards our understanding of the tight connection between Confession and Communion and whether this is really Orthodox.  The fact that you would rather pick on Fr. Schmemann the priest and refuse to engage the core substance of what he had to say is evidence to me that you really don't want to discuss any arguments anyone may level against your position.

    BTW, it's patently clear to me that you and orthodoxlurker ARE INDEED trying to discredit Fr. Schmemann, regardless of how you've tried to spin this.

    Was it Fr. Ambrose who brought up Fr. Schmemann to begin with?  If you think bringing up Fr. Schmemann's point of view was a distraction from the OP, go after the guy who brought him into the discussion in the first place.  If you think that bringing Fr. Schmemann into the discussion was OK, then don't blame someone else for trying to discuss and discredit his point of view.  That's what people do when discussing a source.

    Lighten up, you guys.
    Logged

    ozgeorge
    I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
    Hoplitarches
    *************
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Christian
    Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
    Posts: 16,382


    My plans for retirement.


    WWW
    « Reply #96 on: February 23, 2009, 09:51:16 PM »

    I notice you and Peter are putting a lot of emphasis on the amount of minutes the confession takes.  I can't understand how that matters.
    Not at all!  
    What I am calling "legalistic" is:

    1) The belief that Confession is a requirement before each Communion (refuted by the example of St. Mary of Egypt noted above).

    2) The idea that is "requirement" is fulfilled without an actual Confession of one's sins (something along the lines of the Roman Catholic "Third Rite of Reconciliation").

    Both of these ideas are Latin, legalistic innovations.
    Logged

    If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
    PeterTheAleut
    The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
    Section Moderator
    Protospatharios
    *****
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Christian
    Jurisdiction: OCA
    Posts: 32,209


    Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


    « Reply #97 on: February 23, 2009, 09:52:16 PM »

    I can't believe the treatment he has received from some senior posters...

    All the people reading this thread please don't be mislead to think us Orthodox Christains disrespect our clergy as some posters have chosen to do, on the contrary we have up most respect for them...
    How is genuine disagreement with the substance of a priest's doctrine and praxis the same as disrespect for our clergy?  Have you somehow failed to notice that the primary text cited to counter Fr. Ambrose's arguments was written by a priest, Fr. Alexander Schmemann?
    Logged
    Innocent
    No longer posting on this site
    Elder
    *****
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 440

    St. Innocent of Alaska


    « Reply #98 on: February 23, 2009, 09:58:04 PM »

    I can't believe the treatment he has received from some senior posters...

    All the people reading this thread please don't be mislead to think us Orthodox Christains disrespect our clergy as some posters have chosen to do, on the contrary we have up most respect for them...
    How is genuine disagreement with the substance of a priest's doctrine and praxis the same as disrespect for our clergy?  Have you somehow failed to notice that the primary text cited to counter Fr. Ambrose's arguments was written by a priest, Fr. Alexander Schmemann?

    Like I said in my post its not that Fr. Ambrose is right or wrong (I do not believe in one confession=one Eucharist, and I believe Fr. Schmemann was right) its about the tone. It seems like one point was taken as a que for a pile on.
    Logged
    Irish Hermit
    Kibernetski Kaludjer
    Warned
    Merarches
    ***********
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 10,991


    Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


    « Reply #99 on: February 23, 2009, 10:05:09 PM »

    Now as regards your repeated appeal to popular practice, I have already addressed and refuted that for the logical fallacy it is.

    Was it refuted?

    Since when does a 1,600 year old tradition of the Church get dismissed as meaningless?

    Since when too does the position of the majority of bishops get so easily dismissed?  What are they?  Chopped liver?

    The overwhelming majority of Orthodoxy's bishops have a "Confession before Communion" stance as their default position.

    An appeal to them cannot be demolished by calling it an argumentum ad populum.  It is, as I've mentioned, an appeal to the teaching authority of the episcopate. 
    Logged
    ozgeorge
    I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
    Hoplitarches
    *************
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Christian
    Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
    Posts: 16,382


    My plans for retirement.


    WWW
    « Reply #100 on: February 23, 2009, 10:10:42 PM »

    Like I said in my post its not that Fr. Ambrose is right or wrong (I do not believe in one confession=one Eucharist, and I believe Fr. Schmemann was right) its about the tone. It seems like one point was taken as a que for a pile on.

    That's because it is insisted by Irish Hermit (see above) as being the consensus of the Orthodox Church, and a "1600 year old tradition" which it is not, and which has been pointed out to him in this and other threads.

    « Last Edit: February 23, 2009, 10:10:57 PM by ozgeorge » Logged

    If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
    Innocent
    No longer posting on this site
    Elder
    *****
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 440

    St. Innocent of Alaska


    « Reply #101 on: February 23, 2009, 10:17:44 PM »

    Like I said in my post its not that Fr. Ambrose is right or wrong (I do not believe in one confession=one Eucharist, and I believe Fr. Schmemann was right) its about the tone. It seems like one point was taken as a que for a pile on.

    That's because it is insisted by Irish Hermit (see above) as being the consensus of the Orthodox Church, and a "1600 year old tradition" which it is not, and which has been pointed out to him in this and other threads.



    And he is wrong! I'm not disputing that at all. The OP asked for the Priests here opinions and Fr. Ambrose gave it. I'm curios to hear the other Priests take on this and to see if the same reactions happen.   
    Logged
    Irish Hermit
    Kibernetski Kaludjer
    Warned
    Merarches
    ***********
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 10,991


    Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


    « Reply #102 on: February 23, 2009, 10:20:58 PM »

    IMHO, your personal feelings on the issue have nothing to do with the matter.  Worse still, it seems to me that you may be using them in order to make an emotional appeal in order to detract from the main thrust of argument on the thread and to appeal to impressionable people to take your side.  I would call this quite irresponsible, if true.

    Let me assure you that there is no irresponsibility on my side.  I am acutely aware that this topic is a very sensitive one on the Forum and I am not treating it lightlightedly.

    Quote
    Now as regards your repeated appeal to popular practice, I have already addressed and refuted that for the logical fallacy it is.


    I rest my case. 


    I don't think that you have the luxury of resting your case... not until you have convinced hundreds of Orthodox bishops around the world that they are wrong.  The default position of the great majority of bishops is that one must include Confession in the preparation for Communion.  Now I rest *my* case.   Smiley
    Logged
    ozgeorge
    I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
    Hoplitarches
    *************
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Christian
    Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
    Posts: 16,382


    My plans for retirement.


    WWW
    « Reply #103 on: February 23, 2009, 10:21:38 PM »

    And he is wrong!
    And that is all I'm saying too, and explaining why it is wrong. It has nothing to do with "a pile on", it has to do with differing points of view and defending them.
    Logged

    If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
    Pravoslavbob
    Section Moderator
    Archon
    *****
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Catholic
    Jurisdiction: OCA
    Posts: 3,183


    St. Sisoes the Great


    « Reply #104 on: February 23, 2009, 10:27:24 PM »

    I don't think that you have the luxury of resting your case... not until you have convinced hundreds of Orthodox bishops around the world that they are wrong.

    I don't believe that these bishops actually believe this.  I believe that they enforce the practice only because the faithful rarely approach the chalice.  In this case, of course it makes sense to insist on confession before communion.  I completely disagree with your insistence that you make in your first post to the OP that such a practice is "obligatory" for 70 % of the Orthodox population.  In a related matter, this is why I insisted that you provide documented proof to me of the Patriarch of Serbia's insistence on strict fasting practice as a "requirement" before communion in the other thread.
    « Last Edit: February 23, 2009, 10:42:29 PM by Pravoslavbob » Logged

    Religion is a disease, and Orthodoxy is its cure.
    Anastasios
    Webdespota
    Administrator
    Merarches
    *******
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Eastern Orthodox
    Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
    Posts: 10,444


    Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

    anastasios0513
    WWW
    « Reply #105 on: February 23, 2009, 10:32:33 PM »

    Like I said in my post its not that Fr. Ambrose is right or wrong (I do not believe in one confession=one Eucharist, and I believe Fr. Schmemann was right) its about the tone. It seems like one point was taken as a que for a pile on.

    That's because it is insisted by Irish Hermit (see above) as being the consensus of the Orthodox Church, and a "1600 year old tradition" which it is not, and which has been pointed out to him in this and other threads.



    And he is wrong! I'm not disputing that at all. The OP asked for the Priests here opinions and Fr. Ambrose gave it. I'm curios to hear the other Priests take on this and to see if the same reactions happen.   

    Don't worry, people who disagree with me don't usually hesitate to go at it with me on the forum Wink

    To answer your question, I do not believe there is a one to one correspondence of confession and communion. Going to confession is a good thing and should be done regularly, but the communion prayers are explicit that communion itself forgives sins. Therefore, if one were communing twice in a short period of time (say Holy Thursday and then again on Pascha) there would not necessarily be a need to confess again.
    « Last Edit: February 23, 2009, 10:36:47 PM by Fr. Anastasios » Logged

    Please Buy My Book!

    Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodo
    Irish Hermit
    Kibernetski Kaludjer
    Warned
    Merarches
    ***********
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 10,991


    Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


    « Reply #106 on: February 23, 2009, 11:51:16 PM »

    . Therefore, if one were communing twice in a short period of time (say Holy Thursday and then again on Pascha) there would not necessarily be a need to confess again.

    Indeed, yes, the same for us, if you went to Confession on Holy Thursday you would not necessarily need to go to Confession again for Pascha midnight Liturgy Communion.

    Also for us during Bright Week we may all go to Communion every day, with no Confession and with no fasting (only the fast from midnight) - but of course that is a very very special and holy Week.

    Logged
    RPConover
    Jr. Member
    **
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 43


    « Reply #107 on: February 23, 2009, 11:55:22 PM »

    Like I said in my post its not that Fr. Ambrose is right or wrong (I do not believe in one confession=one Eucharist, and I believe Fr. Schmemann was right) its about the tone. It seems like one point was taken as a que for a pile on.

    That's because it is insisted by Irish Hermit (see above) as being the consensus of the Orthodox Church, and a "1600 year old tradition" which it is not, and which has been pointed out to him in this and other threads.

    I haven't posted anything on here in a long, long time... but I stumbled back upon the forum and have been reading this thread and wonder if I might ask a sincere question to Fr. Anastasios as well as everyone else... how grave a sin or what nature of sin would you consider one might commit that


    And he is wrong! I'm not disputing that at all. The OP asked for the Priests here opinions and Fr. Ambrose gave it. I'm curios to hear the other Priests take on this and to see if the same reactions happen.   

    Don't worry, people who disagree with me don't usually hesitate to go at it with me on the forum Wink

    To answer your question, I do not believe there is a one to one correspondence of confession and communion. Going to confession is a good thing and should be done regularly, but the communion prayers are explicit that communion itself forgives sins. Therefore, if one were communing twice in a short period of time (say Holy Thursday and then again on Pascha) there would not necessarily be a need to confess again.

    I haven't posted anything on here in a long, long time... but I stumbled back upon the forum and have been reading this thread and wonder if I might ask a sincere question to Fr. Anastasios as well as everyone else... how grave a sin or what nature of sin would you consider one might commit that would require one to confess before approaching the chalice? What sins does communion forgive? Does it forgive all sins, and if so is there ever a reason to not approach the chalice aside from not fasting properly? I'm really not baiting... just curious.
    Logged
    Irish Hermit
    Kibernetski Kaludjer
    Warned
    Merarches
    ***********
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 10,991


    Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


    « Reply #108 on: February 24, 2009, 12:01:05 AM »

    I completely disagree with your insistence that you make in your first post to the OP that such a practice is "obligatory" for 70 % of the Orthodox population. 

    I wrote:  "It is still obligatory for the faithful of the Russian and Serbian Churches to go to Confession before they receive Communion."

    I stand by those words. 

    The Serbs who are here on the Forum have spoken up and said that it is correct for the Serbian Church.  I don't know if we have any Russians from Russia to add their evidence?

    May God bless everybody, no matter what tradition they follow about this.

    Logged
    Anastasios
    Webdespota
    Administrator
    Merarches
    *******
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Eastern Orthodox
    Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
    Posts: 10,444


    Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

    anastasios0513
    WWW
    « Reply #109 on: February 24, 2009, 12:22:40 AM »



    I haven't posted anything on here in a long, long time... but I stumbled back upon the forum and have been reading this thread and wonder if I might ask a sincere question to Fr. Anastasios as well as everyone else... how grave a sin or what nature of sin would you consider one might commit that would require one to confess before approaching the chalice? What sins does communion forgive? Does it forgive all sins, and if so is there ever a reason to not approach the chalice aside from not fasting properly? I'm really not baiting... just curious.


    Oh, I definitely think there are plenty of sins that would prevent someone from communing without confessing.

    Ultimately, I would assume that if a person is in a regular confessing relationship with his spiritual father, that it would become obvious what is necessary to confess and what might not be before the next communion.

    I really don't have a problem with someone going to confession every week--I think most of us need to confess quite regularly--I am only speaking against the attitude that say someone really can't think of any sin they have committed because they just went to confession a week ago, so they rack their brain to find something to confess like, "I was lazy" or "I thought a bad thought" just so they can meet the requirement to confess before communing.  Confession can become rote, etc.  That is my concern.  Receiving communion itself burns away our imperfections and our character flaws, but I would think that if we did something willfully and premeditated, and our conscience pricks us, that that would be a time to abstain.

    Ultimately all sins, whether big or small, are damaging to our soul, and a regular confessing relationship is necessary for our spiritual progress.
    Logged

    Please Buy My Book!

    Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodo
    Anastasios
    Webdespota
    Administrator
    Merarches
    *******
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Eastern Orthodox
    Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
    Posts: 10,444


    Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

    anastasios0513
    WWW
    « Reply #110 on: February 24, 2009, 12:26:18 AM »

    . Therefore, if one were communing twice in a short period of time (say Holy Thursday and then again on Pascha) there would not necessarily be a need to confess again.

    Indeed, yes, the same for us, if you went to Confession on Holy Thursday you would not necessarily need to go to Confession again for Pascha midnight Liturgy Communion.

    Also for us during Bright Week we may all go to Communion every day, with no Confession and with no fasting (only the fast from midnight) - but of course that is a very very special and holy Week.



    I'm glad to see we have a point of agreement.
    Logged

    Please Buy My Book!

    Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodo
    ozgeorge
    I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
    Hoplitarches
    *************
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Christian
    Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
    Posts: 16,382


    My plans for retirement.


    WWW
    « Reply #111 on: February 24, 2009, 12:27:16 AM »

    how grave a sin or what nature of sin would you consider one might commit that would require one to confess before approaching the chalice? What sins does communion forgive? Does it forgive all sins, and if so is there ever a reason to not approach the chalice aside from not fasting properly? I'm really not baiting... just curious.
    The wording of this question, I think, is the problem with why this issue is so difficult to agree on.
    There are sins for which the epitimia ("therapeutic correction") is that we abstain from Communion for a period of time even after Confessing them. I should know, because I have confessed such sins. If I have Confessed a sin and had the prayer of absolution offered in the Mysterion of Confession, how is it that I must still abstain from the Holy Gifts until my Confessor gives me permission to receive them? Is my sin not forgiven?
    No. That is not what it is about.
    Holy Communion is not a reward for being sinless. Holy Communion is a completely seperate Mysterion to the Mysterion of Confession.
    All sin requires Repentance, whether or not one intends to receive Holy Communion next Liturgy they attend. We don't repent of sin simply so that we can Commune. The Mysterion of Confession is a healing Mysterion of the Church, whereby our repentance is witnessed by the Church in the person of the Priest. But is this the only way our sins are forgiven? Every time we make a bow in the presence of the Church, the Church is witnessing our repentance, in fact, a "bow" is called a "metanoia" ("repentance") in Koine. Every time we say the Lord's Prayer, we are asking forgiveness for our sins on the condition that we forgive those who have sinned against us. The gravity of our sin is not the question, but rather, the sincerity of our repentance. Confessing our sins before another person who acts on behalf of the Church is a sign of the sincerity of our Repentance. It is our repentance which attains our forgiveness, not some magic words pronounced over us. The "prayer of absolution" has no "magic power" to forgive sins we have not repented of.
    St. Mary of Egypt Communed in the Church of St. John the Baptist on the banks of the river Jordan on the day she repented of a lifetime of fornication, harlotry and leading others to sin, and she Confessed her sin to a Priest 47 years later, and Communed again. So the question is not "how grave a sin", but rather, "how sincere the repentance". For us who are not Saints but are striving to become Saints, a good guage of our repentance of our sins is our willingness to confess them to the Church. If we hold back from Confessing a sin to our Confessor, how sincere is our repentance of it?
    Logged

    If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
    Anastasios
    Webdespota
    Administrator
    Merarches
    *******
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Eastern Orthodox
    Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
    Posts: 10,444


    Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

    anastasios0513
    WWW
    « Reply #112 on: February 24, 2009, 12:37:22 AM »

    Thanks for bringing up the point about someone being asked to abstain from communion as a corrective measure, George. That is a good point.

    In fact, I know of at least one case where someone returned to the Church after several years of wandering.  The sins he committed resulted in him being given several months if not a year of no communing. However, since it was right before a major feast, as a type of "provision for the journey" and in view of the feast, he was allowed to commune on the feast, and then the penance began.  This seems to be similar to St Mary of Egypt's situation.
    Logged

    Please Buy My Book!

    Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodo
    Tallitot
    Archon
    ********
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Jewish
    Jurisdiction: United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
    Posts: 2,612



    WWW
    « Reply #113 on: February 24, 2009, 12:42:50 AM »


    Ultimately all sins, whether big or small, are damaging to our soul, and a regular confessing relationship is necessary for our spiritual progress.

    The "small" sins maybe more, since these are the sins most people tend to "let slide" and not worry as much about. They tend to be habitual, just my $0.02
    Logged

    Proverbs 22:7
    Byzantine2008
    Elder
    *****
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox
    Posts: 280



    « Reply #114 on: February 24, 2009, 01:11:34 AM »



    You can go to confession whenever you have a need to go.
    If someone chooses to go to confession once a week or before he/she wants to commune then why try forbid them to do so.
    Confession is beneficial to us, then why make up arguments not to make use of it.
    It should be encouraged amongst us Christians not discouraged as some are doing here. Sad
    Logged

    Let your will be done O Lord Jesus Christ through the intercession of you All Pure Mother and all the saints!
    Anastasios
    Webdespota
    Administrator
    Merarches
    *******
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Eastern Orthodox
    Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
    Posts: 10,444


    Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

    anastasios0513
    WWW
    « Reply #115 on: February 24, 2009, 01:12:36 AM »



    You can go to confession whenever you have a need to go.
    If someone chooses to go to confession once a week or before he/she wants to commune then why try forbid them to do so.
    Confession is beneficial to us, then why make up arguments not to make use of it.
    It should be encouraged amongst us Christians not discouraged as some are doing here. Sad

    Who is discouraging people from going to confession?
    Logged

    Please Buy My Book!

    Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodo
    Byzantine2008
    Elder
    *****
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox
    Posts: 280



    « Reply #116 on: February 24, 2009, 01:17:33 AM »



    You can go to confession whenever you have a need to go.
    If someone chooses to go to confession once a week or before he/she wants to commune then why try forbid them to do so.
    Confession is beneficial to us, then why make up arguments not to make use of it.
    It should be encouraged amongst us Christians not discouraged as some are doing here. Sad

    Who is discouraging people from going to confession?

    My Apologies Father but if you can't see it then I must be mistaken.

     Cry
    Logged

    Let your will be done O Lord Jesus Christ through the intercession of you All Pure Mother and all the saints!
    Anastasios
    Webdespota
    Administrator
    Merarches
    *******
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Eastern Orthodox
    Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
    Posts: 10,444


    Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

    anastasios0513
    WWW
    « Reply #117 on: February 24, 2009, 01:26:34 AM »



    You can go to confession whenever you have a need to go.
    If someone chooses to go to confession once a week or before he/she wants to commune then why try forbid them to do so.
    Confession is beneficial to us, then why make up arguments not to make use of it.
    It should be encouraged amongst us Christians not discouraged as some are doing here. Sad

    Who is discouraging people from going to confession?

    My Apologies Father but if you can't see it then I must be mistaken.

     Cry

    I think you are missing the nuance of the arguments being presented here.  People who are objecting to a one-to-one correlation between confession and communion are not doing so because they don't want people to go to confession, but rather precisely because they want confession to be viewed in its own right as a great and necessary spiritual discipline, and not just something we do so we can "get" communion.

    The ultimate abuse is when people don't even confess, but just get the absolution prayer read over them--sometimes while in line already for communion--to "take care of anything just in case."

    Frequent confession and frequent communion are quite necessary for spiritual growth; but reducing confession to a rote listing off of the usual sins as a gateway to communion, a sort of ritual washing before undertaking a great religious exercise, devalues the great mystery of confession in my opinion.
    « Last Edit: February 24, 2009, 01:27:05 AM by Fr. Anastasios » Logged

    Please Buy My Book!

    Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodo
    Irish Hermit
    Kibernetski Kaludjer
    Warned
    Merarches
    ***********
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 10,991


    Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


    « Reply #118 on: February 24, 2009, 01:44:33 AM »


    St. Mary of Egypt Communed in the Church of St. John the Baptist on the banks of the river Jordan on the day she repented of a lifetime of fornication, harlotry and leading others to sin, and she Confessed her sin to a Priest 47 years later...

    Are we certain that that is the history of it?

    If we back up a paragraph from what you quoted we find this:

    "Having got as far as the doors which I could not
    reach before—as if the same force which had hindered me cleared
    the way for me—I now entered without difficulty and found myself
    within the holy place. And so it was I saw the lifegiving Cross.
    I saw too the Mysteries of God and how the Lord accepts repentance."


    So the question is the interpretation of the last sentence.  Does it mean that Saint Mary merely witnessed and watched other people's acceptance in the Mysteries of repentance or did she participate herself before she left the church and later in the day, at evening, made her communion at the church of the Forerunner on the banks of the Jordan?
    Logged
    Irish Hermit
    Kibernetski Kaludjer
    Warned
    Merarches
    ***********
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 10,991


    Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


    « Reply #119 on: February 24, 2009, 01:45:08 AM »

    I think you are missing the nuance of the arguments being presented here.  People who are objecting to a one-to-one correlation between confession and communion are not doing so because they don't want people to go to confession, but rather precisely because they want confession to be viewed in its own right as a great and necessary spiritual discipline, and not just something we do so we can "get" communion.

    Father, I think you have hit on the crux of the problem in this discussion.

    Some people genuinely, but quite erroneously, think that the Russian and Serbian Churches see Confession as "just something we do so we can "get" communion."

    I really find it hard that people could see it in such a superficial manner but clearly, judging by what is written in this thread, they do!   

    But Confession is not "just something we do so we can "get" communion."  It forms part of the whole pattern of our Communion preparation - more prayers at home, more prayers in Church if possible, more attention to our spiritual life and to our sins,  seeking the forgiveness of people we have offended, fasting for three days or six days, reading the Prayers before Communion and the Canons.

    All of these "hang together" and create an atmophere which leads up up to receiving our divine Lord.   None of them can possibly be seen as just something we do so we can "get" Communion.  God forbid.

    Anyway, you may have put your finger on the problem  - the incorrect apprehension that people think we are insisting on Confession or fasting or praying as a way that we can "get" Communion.

    Logged
    Νεκτάριος
    Protokentarchos
    *********
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 5,437



    « Reply #120 on: February 24, 2009, 01:58:52 AM »

    Some people genuinely, but quite erroneously, think that the Russian and Serbian Churches see Confession as "just something we do so we can "get" communion."

    In the ideal version of the Russian practice, of course the pre-communion confession should be a meaningful and reflected upon sacrament.  I've seen this abused plenty during my time in the former USSR into an assembly line and rote act just to get communion.  I've seen a quick "Do you repent of your sins" and an answer in the affirmative means the prayer of absolution is immediately read.  Perhaps my experiences were atypical, but I saw this type of thing pretty frequently across a pretty wide geographical swathe.       

    On the other hand, I've seen the other practice abused back in my GOA parish in the US - people who flat out have never been to confession and enter liturgy sometime around the Great Entrance waltzing up to communion every Sunday (or rather the Sundays they bother to show up). 


    Logged
    Νεκτάριος
    Protokentarchos
    *********
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 5,437



    « Reply #121 on: February 24, 2009, 02:10:00 AM »

    And for the sake of a baseline, here is what I would consider to be the optimal practice in jurisdictions like the GOA that officially encourage frequent communion:

    Confession four times a year (usually coinciding with the major fasts) a basis and additional as needed. 

    Observance of the fasts. 

    Spiritual preparation (i.e pre-communion prayers) 

    I think it might be helpful to compare apples to apples in both cases.  If the best case scenario of Russian practice is being spoken of, so ought the best case scenario of GOA practice.  If abuse within either system is spoken of, it should be remember that both have such instances in frustratingly common occurrence. 
    Logged
    Irish Hermit
    Kibernetski Kaludjer
    Warned
    Merarches
    ***********
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 10,991


    Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


    « Reply #122 on: February 24, 2009, 02:32:09 AM »

    In the ideal version of the Russian practice, of course the pre-communion confession should be a meaningful and reflected upon sacrament.  I've seen this abused plenty during my time in the former USSR into an assembly line and rote act just to get communion. 

    Yes, it can be difficult for Russian priests to hear all the Confessions on major feast days.  Here is something from a letter from a priest friend in Russia, last September.

    "We serve evening and morning daily in the cathedral.  Now we have three priests and a deacon.

    "Earlier there were four priests and it was easier, since there are so many people.

    "On church feasts hundreds and hundreds of people come to confession, and this is really so difficult for the cathedral priests.
    "I get tired from this most of all..."


    Logged
    LBK
    Merarches
    ***********
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox
    Posts: 10,715


    Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!


    « Reply #123 on: February 24, 2009, 03:36:02 AM »

    Quote
    In the mass Confessions which I have seen in some parishes on the evenings of Holy Week, there is not even a two minute consult but just a quick reading of an Absolution prayer over the head of each penitent as they approach the priest one by one after listening all together as a group to the prayers for Confession.  The penitent probably has 20 seconds kneeling in front of the priest.   If such events do not occur during Holy Week in churches in Australia then that is a blessing.

    I know that it is common practice in many parts of the world for Athonite monks with the requisite blessing to visit Greek churches of the diaspora during Great Lent, where they are available to act as confessors during this time. This practice takes a very large load off the parish priest's shoulders. Be that as it may, by far the greatest crowds for communion in Greek churches are on Holy Saturday morning, at the vesperal liturgy.

    I can also say from my experience that Russians tend to spread out their Lenten communion a little more evenly than do the Greeks. The Sunday of Orthodoxy is particularly popular, as is Palm Sunday, though, of course, good numbers also commune on Holy Saturday morning, and fewer at the Resurrection liturgy.
    Logged
    Irish Hermit
    Kibernetski Kaludjer
    Warned
    Merarches
    ***********
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 10,991


    Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


    « Reply #124 on: February 24, 2009, 04:39:56 AM »


    ...if one were communing twice in a short period of time (say Holy Thursday and then again on Pascha) there would not necessarily be a need to confess again.

    Father, you seem to be saying there would be no need for Confession if Communion were a mere 2 or 3 days apart, as happens in Holy Week.  We would agree with you.

    Do we infer from this that for a longer interval, say 7 days, and Confession would be expected of the communicant?

    And if I may while I have your attention. a question about fasting before Communion.   I am not aware to which Greek Old Calendar Church you belong, but I was reading an article which says that Greek Old Calendarists are pretty united in requiring a 3 day pre-Communion fast.  Is this the case for your people?  What guidelines do your bishops establish?
    Logged
    Innocent
    No longer posting on this site
    Elder
    *****
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 440

    St. Innocent of Alaska


    « Reply #125 on: February 24, 2009, 08:07:04 AM »

    Quote from: Fr. Anastasios
    To answer your question, I do not believe there is a one to one correspondence of confession and communion. Going to confession is a good thing and should be done regularly, but the communion prayers are explicit that communion itself forgives sins. Therefore, if one were communing twice in a short period of time (say Holy Thursday and then again on Pascha) there would not necessarily be a need to confess again.

    This is exactly how I've seen it! Also it should be up to your spiritual Father how much he thinks you need to be going to confession. He knows your heart, or should, so he would know if more frequent confession is needed.
    « Last Edit: February 24, 2009, 08:07:32 AM by Innocent » Logged
    orthodoxlurker
    Supporter & Defender of Fr Ambrose (Irish Hermit) - banned
    Warned
    OC.net guru
    *******
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Christian - NOT a phanariote
    Jurisdiction: Serbian Patriarchate under siege
    Posts: 1,372


    al-Saabir yaraa al-Hurriyah


    « Reply #126 on: February 24, 2009, 09:12:00 AM »

    ...Therefore, if one were communing twice in a short period of time (say Holy Thursday and then again on Pascha) there would not necessarily be a need to confess again.

    This I see as core of the dispute.

    Confession is necessary (not "a requirement") for preparation not because of the time passed between previous confession and receiving, but because of sins committed meanwhile.

    Confession itself is not a goal, but the tool for spiritual growth through repentance, purification, theosis. I am yet to hear "the recepy" of repenting without confession, and the proof of theosis as a result of receiving, as advocated on these boards.
    Logged

    Curse the Pope, for he is the root and cause of these disasters! - St. Nektarios of Aegina

    You don't get to circumvent your post moderation by calling out the moderators in your signature. ~Veniamin, Global Moderator
    ozgeorge
    I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
    Hoplitarches
    *************
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Christian
    Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
    Posts: 16,382


    My plans for retirement.


    WWW
    « Reply #127 on: February 24, 2009, 09:40:43 AM »

    I am yet to hear "the recepy" of repenting without confession, and the proof of theosis as a result of receiving, as advocated on these boards.
    Advocated by whom on these boards?
    Logged

    If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
    Innocent
    No longer posting on this site
    Elder
    *****
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 440

    St. Innocent of Alaska


    « Reply #128 on: February 24, 2009, 10:28:04 AM »

    ...Therefore, if one were communing twice in a short period of time (say Holy Thursday and then again on Pascha) there would not necessarily be a need to confess again.

    This I see as core of the dispute.

    Confession is necessary (not "a requirement") for preparation not because of the time passed between previous confession and receiving, but because of sins committed meanwhile.

    Confession itself is not a goal, but the tool for spiritual growth through repentance, purification, theosis. I am yet to hear "the recepy" of repenting without confession, and the proof of theosis as a result of receiving, as advocated on these boards.

    I don't think anyone is advocating " repenting without confession" on the boards. I think, and I may be wrong, its a debate of structured vs non-structured debate. Should confession be a formula or not is the question being asked. 
    Logged
    Orthodoc
    Supporter & Defender Of Orthodoxy
    Archon
    ********
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Catholic
    Jurisdiction: OCA
    Posts: 2,526

    Those who ignore history tend to repeat it.


    « Reply #129 on: February 24, 2009, 11:24:13 AM »



    I remember quite a few years back when I was in that phase of not going to church where my mother played the Russian Baba and reminded me that I hadn't been to confession in three years so if anything happened to me they wouldn't take my body into the church.  There would be just prayers at the funeral home instead.  And, of course put me on the guilt trip about what an embarrassment this would be to the family!  It was during 'Great lent'.

    The closest Orthodox Church around at the time was Greek.  So I knocked on the rectory and told the priest my story.  He was kind of amazed at what my mom had said and kind of smiled.  Anyhow, he told me that Confession was very lack amongst his parishioners because they weren't used to it.  This was because of the restrictions the church had over the centuries by the Ottomans.  And that not all priests were allowed to give Confession.  Only those OK'd by the local bishop. So Confession became a lost practice amongst Greeks. 

    He went on to say that he did notice that when people did come that they would freeze up as soon as they got in the Church. So, he did Confession a little different.  He explained that we would just sit there in his office and talk.  That I could even smoke if I wanted (he saw the pack of cigs in my pocket).  After we were done he would take me in the church where we would both stand in front of the Iconostasis at the Icon of Christ and pray together and then he would give me Absolution!  I stayed there about an hour just talking and things just flowed out!  I didn't feel rushed & was relaxed and it was probably the best and most thorough Confession I ever had!

    According to him most of his people considered the Unction service on Holy Wednesday as a cleansing & healing service and this took the place of a private Confession for them!  I know other Greeks that have implied the same thing.  I also know Greeks & Albanians who do not go to Confession but will fast for up to a week before receiving.  Others, well lets not say.  My priest will refuse you Communion if he smells ciggerate breath on you or if he noticed you arrived after the Gospel reading!   I have seen him do it!

    In my parish we have 'General Confession'  once a month in non lenten periods.  The entire parish recites the 'Confession of St Dimitri of Rostov' which is the most thorough confession I ever read.  (I use it to prepare myself for 'Private Confession'.  'Private Confession' only is required in the parish during all Lenten periods.)  There is a part of the prayer by St Dimitri where there is silence where one can utter a private sin.  After it is over, each individual will go up and receive absolution separately by the priest.  Those that want to confess or talk over individual sins will wait to be the last to go up for absolution.

    Personally this type of procedure suits my needs.  I also asked both my former priest and present priest if I could write out my sins on a piece of paper when I go for 'Private Confession' and then read them and I have permission to do so.  I do this because I usually examine my conscience for a week before I go. 

    I'm sure there will be those who disagree with this but as I said it works for me and seems to work for the entire parish.

    Private confessions are done usually after Saturday night Vespers and Sunday before Liturgy with a cut off time of 15 minutes before Liturgy starts.

    Orthodoc

    Logged

    Oh Lord, Save thy people and bless thine inheritance.
    Grant victory to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries.
    And by virtue of thy Cross preserve thy habitation.
    Orthodoc
    Supporter & Defender Of Orthodoxy
    Archon
    ********
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Catholic
    Jurisdiction: OCA
    Posts: 2,526

    Those who ignore history tend to repeat it.


    « Reply #130 on: February 24, 2009, 11:36:39 AM »



    I remember quite a few years back when I was in that phase of not going to church where my mother played the Russian Baba and reminded me that I hadn't been to confession in three years so if anything happened to me they wouldn't take my body into the church.  There would be just prayers at the funeral home instead.  And, of course put me on the guilt trip about what an embarrassment this would be to the family!  It was during 'Great lent'.

    The closest Orthodox Church around at the time was Greek.  So I knocked on the rectory and told the priest my story.  He was kind of amazed at what my mom had said and kind of smiled.  Anyhow, he told me that Confession was very lack amongst his parishioners because they weren't used to it.  This was because of the restrictions the church had over the centuries by the Ottomans.  And that not all priests were allowed to give Confession.  Only those OK'd by the local bishop. So Confession became a lost practice amongst Greeks. 

    He went on to say that he did notice that when people did come that they would freeze up as soon as they got in the Church. So, he did Confession a little different.  He explained that we would just sit there in his office and talk.  That I could even smoke if I wanted (he saw the pack of cigs in my pocket).  After we were done he would take me in the church where we would both stand in front of the Iconostasis at the Icon of Christ and pray together and then he would give me Absolution!  I stayed there about an hour just talking and things just flowed out!  I didn't feel rushed & was relaxed and it was probably the best and most thorough Confession I ever had!

    According to him most of his people considered the Unction service on Holy Wednesday as a cleansing & healing service and this took the place of a private Confession for them!  I know other Greeks that have implied the same thing.  I also know Greeks & Albanians who do not go to Confession but will fast for up to a week before receiving.  Others, well lets not say.  My priest will refuse you Communion if he smells ciggerate breath on you or if he noticed you arrived after the Gospel reading!   I have seen him do it!

    In my parish we have 'General Confession'  once a month in non lenten periods.  The entire parish recites the 'Confession of St Dimitri of Rostov' which is the most thorough confession I ever read.  (I use it to prepare myself for 'Private Confession'.  'Private Confession' only is required in the parish during all Lenten periods.)  There is a part of the prayer by St Dimitri where there is silence where one can utter a private sin.  After it is over, each individual will go up and receive absolution separately by the priest.  Those that want to confess or talk over individual sins will wait to be the last to go up for absolution.

    Personally this type of procedure suits my needs.  I also asked both my former priest and present priest if I could write out my sins on a piece of paper when I go for 'Private Confession' and then read them and I have permission to do so.  I do this because I usually examine my conscience for a week before I go. 

    I'm sure there will be those who disagree with this but as I said it works for me and seems to work for the entire parish.

    Private confessions are done usually after Saturday night Vespers and Sunday before Liturgy with a cut off time of 15 minutes before Liturgy starts.

    Orthodoc



    This is the prayer of Confession by St Dimitri we receite at General Confession -

    A Brief Confession before One's Spiritual Father

    From the Full Confession of St. Dmitri of Rostov

       
        I confess to the Lord my God and before thee, venerable father, all my countless sins, committed by me unto this very day and hour, in deed, word and thought. I sin daily and hourly by mine ingratitude toward God for His great and countless blessings and benevolent providence over me, a sinner.

       
        I have sinned through: idle talking, judging others, stubbornness, pride, hard-heartedness, envy, anger, slander, inattention, negligence concerning my salvation, carelessness, indifference, impertinence, irritability, despondency, rendering evil for evil, bitterness, disobedience, complaining, self-justification, contradicting others, self-will, being reproachful, gossiping, lying, light-mindedness, tempting others, self-love, ambition, gourmandizing, eating and drinking to excess, vanity, laziness, entertaining unclean thoughts, acquisitiveness, impure glances, absence from divine services because of laziness and carelessness, absent-mindedness at prayer both in church and at home; I have sinned in deed, word thought; in sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch and the rest of my mental and physical senses; of all my sins I repent and beg forgiveness.

       
    (Here one should mention specifically any other sins which may be burdening the soul.)

        I also repent and ask forgiveness for all those sins that I have not confessed because of their multitude and my forgetfulness.

        Forgive and absolve me, venerable father, and bless me to commune of the holy and life-creating Mysteries of Christ unto the remission of sins and life everlasting.

       

    Orthodoc

    Logged

    Oh Lord, Save thy people and bless thine inheritance.
    Grant victory to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries.
    And by virtue of thy Cross preserve thy habitation.
    Schultz
    Christian. Guitarist. Zymurgist. Librarian.
    Taxiarches
    **********
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Christian
    Jurisdiction: OCA
    Posts: 6,472


    Scion of the McKeesport Becks.


    WWW
    « Reply #131 on: February 24, 2009, 11:49:24 AM »


    According to him most of his people considered the Unction service on Holy Wednesday as a cleansing & healing service and this took the place of a private Confession for them!  I know other Greeks that have implied the same thing. 


    I know of at least one Greek Catholic priest who teaches such a thing, as well (although in the same breath also exhorts in the strongest terms the need for regular private confession).  He was even called into the papal nuncio's office once about it and told to knock it off. 
    Logged

    "Hearing a nun's confession is like being stoned to death with popcorn." --Abp. Fulton Sheen
    LizaSymonenko
    Слава Ісусу Христу!!! Glory to Jesus Christ!!!
    Global Moderator
    Toumarches
    ******
    Offline Offline

    Faith: God's Holy Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church
    Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A.
    Posts: 13,021



    WWW
    « Reply #132 on: February 24, 2009, 11:51:34 AM »


    Orthodoc,

    Thank you for sharing that prayer.



    Logged

    Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
    —St. Isaac of Syria
    ozgeorge
    I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
    Hoplitarches
    *************
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Christian
    Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
    Posts: 16,382


    My plans for retirement.


    WWW
    « Reply #133 on: February 24, 2009, 12:04:59 PM »

    Forgive and absolve me, venerable father, and bless me to commune of the holy and life-creating Mysteries of Christ unto the remission of sins and life everlasting.[/color]
    Orthodoc


    And here is what every Orthodox Priest I have ever confessed to has said after receiving my Confession:
    “My spiritual child, who have made your Confession to my humble person: I, a humble sinner, have no power to forgive sins on earth; only God can do that....."
    « Last Edit: February 24, 2009, 12:06:25 PM by ozgeorge » Logged

    If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
    Orthodoc
    Supporter & Defender Of Orthodoxy
    Archon
    ********
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Catholic
    Jurisdiction: OCA
    Posts: 2,526

    Those who ignore history tend to repeat it.


    « Reply #134 on: February 24, 2009, 01:17:29 PM »

    Forgive and absolve me, venerable father, and bless me to commune of the holy and life-creating Mysteries of Christ unto the remission of sins and life everlasting.[/color]
    Orthodoc


    And here is what every Orthodox Priest I have ever confessed to has said after receiving my Confession:
    “My spiritual child, who have made your Confession to my humble person: I, a humble sinner, have no power to forgive sins on earth; only God can do that....."


    WOW!  All I can say is that if this is indeed factual then there is a wide discrepancy between the Greek Orthodoxy practiced in Australia and the Greek Orthodoxy practiced elsewhere!

    From a book called 'Dance, O Isaiah' - Questions and answers on some differences between Eastern Orthodox Christianity And Other Faiths by Constantine Platis (a Greek Orthodox theologian)

    Question:  Why do you confess sins to a priest?  Only God can forgive sins.

    Answer:  Only God can forgive sins, but Christ has decided to do this by giving this authority to the Apostles and their successors - the bishops, presbyters (priests) they ordain.  He told the Apostles -

    If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven, and if you retain the sins of any, they are retained (Jn 20:23)Among other things, Confession is to the Church, not only to Christ.  Our sins offend the fellowship of believers, not only God.  Onerous and persistent sins lead to our excommunication from the church.  Return to the fold requires repentance.  The Church is represented by the priest.  Therefore, confession is made to him for readmission.
    Mt. 9:6-8 says that "men" (plural) have received authority from God to forgive sins (not only Christ).  St Paul considered himself to have this authority (1 Cor. 5:1-5) - he excommunicated a certain sinner (placed him outside the church, thereby depriving him of health) in hope that the sinner's soul would be saved at the time of the final judgement.  St Paul says he forgives someone "in the person of Christ" (2 Cor. 2:10).


    So my question to you is - What did he say after he said what you just quoted?  If you say nothing then I thnk you better find another bunch of Greek Orthodox priests that are better educated in the faith.

    Orthodoc

    « Last Edit: February 24, 2009, 01:20:03 PM by Orthodoc » Logged

    Oh Lord, Save thy people and bless thine inheritance.
    Grant victory to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries.
    And by virtue of thy Cross preserve thy habitation.
    Fr. George
    formerly "Cleveland"
    Administrator
    Stratopedarches
    *******
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox (Catholic) Christian
    Jurisdiction: GOA - Metropolis of Pittsburgh
    Posts: 20,076


    May the Lord bless you and keep you always!


    « Reply #135 on: February 24, 2009, 02:04:32 PM »

    What Ozgeorge has provided is a partial quote from the prayer read after the confession of sins.  The full prayer (as translated by Fr. Evagoras Constantinides in his book, "The Priest's Service Book," 2nd ed. 1994, pg. 148-149):

    After the confession the Confessor says to the penitent the following:

    Priest:
    My spiritual child, who have made your confession to my humble person: I, a humble sinner, have no power to forgive sins on earth; only God can do that; but trusting in the divinely spoken words that were addressed to the Apostles after the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, which said: <<If you pronounce forgiven the sins of any, they are forgiven to them; and if you pronounce unforgiven the sins of any, they remain unforgiven>>, we are bold to say: Whatever you have related to my humble and lowly person, and whatever you have failed to say either from ignorance or forgetfulness, whatever it may be, may God forgive you in this present age and in the age to come.


    Then, the prayer is followed up by the prayer of Absolution, thus (pages 148-151):

    Then the priest asks the penitent to kneel, places his epitrahilion (stole) and his hand over his (her) head, and recites the following prayer of absolution:

    Priest:
    May God who, through Nathan the Prophet forgave David when he confessed his sins, and Peter, when he wept bitterly for his denial; and the harlot who shed tears upon his feet; and the Publican; and the Prodigal; may this same God forgive you, through me a sinner, everything, both in this present age and in the age to come, and may he make you stand uncondemned before his dread Judgment Seat.  As for the sins that you have confessed, have no further anxiety about them; go in peace.
    The grace of the Holy Spirit, through my insignificance, has you loosened and forgiven.
    Through the prayers of our holy Fathers....
    Logged

    "The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the one who can't read them." Mark Twain
    ---------------------
    Ordained on 17 & 18-Oct 2009. Please forgive me if earlier posts are poorly worded or incorrect in any way.
    Marc1152
    Toumarches
    ************
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox
    Jurisdiction: Rocor
    Posts: 12,821


    Probiotic .. Antibiotic


    « Reply #136 on: February 24, 2009, 02:15:12 PM »

    And what about geneal confession? When I was in the oca we had it most every month outside of Lent.
    Logged

    Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
    Innocent
    No longer posting on this site
    Elder
    *****
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 440

    St. Innocent of Alaska


    « Reply #137 on: February 24, 2009, 02:32:51 PM »

    And what about general confession? When I was in the oca we had it most every month outside of Lent.

    I've been in the OCA for 11 years and have never seen or herd of a "general" confession. I really don't think this is a standard practice.
    Logged
    Orthodoc
    Supporter & Defender Of Orthodoxy
    Archon
    ********
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Catholic
    Jurisdiction: OCA
    Posts: 2,526

    Those who ignore history tend to repeat it.


    « Reply #138 on: February 24, 2009, 02:58:24 PM »

    What Ozgeorge has provided is a partial quote from the prayer read after the confession of sins.  The full prayer (as translated by Fr. Evagoras Constantinides in his book, "The Priest's Service Book," 2nd ed. 1994, pg. 148-149):

    After the confession the Confessor says to the penitent the following:

    Priest:
    My spiritual child, who have made your confession to my humble person: I, a humble sinner, have no power to forgive sins on earth; only God can do that; but trusting in the divinely spoken words that were addressed to the Apostles after the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, which said: <<If you pronounce forgiven the sins of any, they are forgiven to them; and if you pronounce unforgiven the sins of any, they remain unforgiven>>, we are bold to say: Whatever you have related to my humble and lowly person, and whatever you have failed to say either from ignorance or forgetfulness, whatever it may be, may God forgive you in this present age and in the age to come.


    Then, the prayer is followed up by the prayer of Absolution, thus (pages 148-151):

    Then the priest asks the penitent to kneel, places his epitrahilion (stole) and his hand over his (her) head, and recites the following prayer of absolution:

    Priest:
    May God who, through Nathan the Prophet forgave David when he confessed his sins, and Peter, when he wept bitterly for his denial; and the harlot who shed tears upon his feet; and the Publican; and the Prodigal; may this same God forgive you, through me a sinner, everything, both in this present age and in the age to come, and may he make you stand uncondemned before his dread Judgment Seat.  As for the sins that you have confessed, have no further anxiety about them; go in peace.
    The grace of the Holy Spirit, through my insignificance, has you loosened and forgiven.
    Through the prayers of our holy Fathers....

    Thank you Cleveland!  I knew what Ozgeorge was doing was just quoting a partial response.  For no Greek Orthodox priest would leave it at what he was claiming.  As for why he purposedly did it - well, no comment.

    Any how, once again, thanks for your response.  My faith in Greek Orthodoxy has been restored!

    Orthodoc
    Logged

    Oh Lord, Save thy people and bless thine inheritance.
    Grant victory to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries.
    And by virtue of thy Cross preserve thy habitation.
    Fr. George
    formerly "Cleveland"
    Administrator
    Stratopedarches
    *******
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox (Catholic) Christian
    Jurisdiction: GOA - Metropolis of Pittsburgh
    Posts: 20,076


    May the Lord bless you and keep you always!


    « Reply #139 on: February 24, 2009, 03:17:41 PM »

    Thank you Cleveland!  I knew what Ozgeorge was doing was just quoting a partial response.  For no Greek Orthodox priest would leave it at what he was claiming.  As for why he purposedly did it - well, no comment.

    Any how, once again, thanks for your response.  My faith in Greek Orthodoxy has been restored!

    I personally tend to tread lightly when discussing the issue.  On the one hand, Christ's words are pretty clear in the Gospel - man has been given authority to loose and bind sins; on the other hand, the interpretation of those statements (which, I think, leads to the wording in the prayer) may best be seen as "I (the Lord) will bind and loose sins based on your pronouncement, my disciples."  In either case, it is best that the clergy make the (hopefully humble) pronouncement that they too are sinners and acknowledge that they, like the rest of us, are unworthy of the gifts God has bestowed upon them, and yet they hope that He will keep His promise (to bind and loose sins through their pronouncement) just as He always has kept His promises to His faithful servants.

    I'm glad this has helped your faith in Greek Orthodoxy.  And I appreciated your story from before - what a wonderful example of a full practice of forgiveness and repentance, both on the personal and communal levels!
    Logged

    "The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the one who can't read them." Mark Twain
    ---------------------
    Ordained on 17 & 18-Oct 2009. Please forgive me if earlier posts are poorly worded or incorrect in any way.
    PeterTheAleut
    The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
    Section Moderator
    Protospatharios
    *****
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Christian
    Jurisdiction: OCA
    Posts: 32,209


    Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


    « Reply #140 on: February 24, 2009, 04:25:23 PM »

    I am yet to hear "the recepy" of repenting without confession, and the proof of theosis as a result of receiving, as advocated on these boards.
    Advocated by whom on these boards?
    I've not seen anyone on this forum advocating repentance without confession, but I have seen what could be called advocating confession without repentance.
    « Last Edit: February 24, 2009, 04:25:58 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
    Byzantine2008
    Elder
    *****
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox
    Posts: 280



    « Reply #141 on: February 24, 2009, 05:25:17 PM »

    Forgive and absolve me, venerable father, and bless me to commune of the holy and life-creating Mysteries of Christ unto the remission of sins and life everlasting.[/color]
    Orthodoc


    And here is what every Orthodox Priest I have ever confessed to has said after receiving my Confession:
    “My spiritual child, who have made your Confession to my humble person: I, a humble sinner, have no power to forgive sins on earth; only God can do that....."


    ^^^^
    Are you being serious?Huh?? Huh

    You are on your on here george.

    I cannot relate to this at all and I am from Australia,  please people do not generalise on behave of this big dis creptency outlined above. In Melbourne we are more in tune with correct Orthodox practices of confession.

    Logged

    Let your will be done O Lord Jesus Christ through the intercession of you All Pure Mother and all the saints!
    PeterTheAleut
    The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
    Section Moderator
    Protospatharios
    *****
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Christian
    Jurisdiction: OCA
    Posts: 32,209


    Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


    « Reply #142 on: February 24, 2009, 05:33:48 PM »

    Forgive and absolve me, venerable father, and bless me to commune of the holy and life-creating Mysteries of Christ unto the remission of sins and life everlasting.[/color]
    Orthodoc


    And here is what every Orthodox Priest I have ever confessed to has said after receiving my Confession:
    “My spiritual child, who have made your Confession to my humble person: I, a humble sinner, have no power to forgive sins on earth; only God can do that....."


    ^^^^
    Are you being serious?Huh?? Huh

    You are on your on here george.

    I cannot relate to this at all and I am from Australia,  please people do not generalise on behave of this big dis creptency outlined above. In Melbourne we are more in tune with correct Orthodox practices of confession.


    And what is the basis for your judgment that your Confession practices are more correct?
    Logged
    Irish Hermit
    Kibernetski Kaludjer
    Warned
    Merarches
    ***********
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 10,991


    Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


    « Reply #143 on: February 24, 2009, 05:59:57 PM »

    I've not seen anyone on this forum advocating repentance without confession,
    but I have seen what could be called advocating confession without repentance.

    Surely you are pulling our legs!   Grin

    I have not noticed anybody advocating confession without repentance.   That would be nonsensical.  I can't imagine people going to confession to *boast* of their sins instead of going in a spirit of sorrow and repentance.
    Logged
    Irish Hermit
    Kibernetski Kaludjer
    Warned
    Merarches
    ***********
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 10,991


    Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


    « Reply #144 on: February 24, 2009, 06:15:22 PM »


    Question:  Why do you confess sins to a priest?  Only God can forgive sins.

    Answer:  Only God can forgive sins, but Christ has decided to do this by giving this authority to the Apostles and their successors - the bishops, presbyters (priests) they ordain.  He told the Apostles -

    If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven, and if you retain the sins of any, they are retained (Jn 20:23)Among other things, Confession is to the Church, not only to Christ.  Our sins offend the fellowship of believers, not only God.  Onerous and persistent sins lead to our excommunication from the church.  Return to the fold requires repentance.  The Church is represented by the priest.  Therefore, confession is made to him for readmission.

    Mt. 9:6-8 says that "men" (plural) have received authority from God to forgive sins (not only Christ).  St Paul considered himself to have this authority (1 Cor. 5:1-5) - he excommunicated a certain sinner (placed him outside the church, thereby depriving him of health) in hope that the sinner's soul would be saved at the time of the final judgement.  St Paul says he forgives someone "in the person of Christ" (2 Cor. 2:10).

    On the basis of what Orthodoc has quoted above, I see no reason for the Greek Orthodox to have qualms about the Russian-Slav absolution forumula.  It is quite in line with this Greek explanation and with the quoted words of our Saviour to His Apostles when he gave them authority to forgive or retain sins.

    It says, quite clearly, that the priest is exercising his authority to forgive sin on the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ.  This is perfectly in line with the answer above.

    Also, I think Cleveland wrote that the priest should make mention of his own sinfulness and this too is covered by the Slav formula:


    "May our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ, through His grace and
    compassion and love for mankind, forgive thee my child (Name) all thy sins
    (so far it is deprecative but now it becomes indicative)

    "and I an unworthy priest, through the authority given unto me by Him,
    do forgive and absolve thee from all thy sins, in the Name of the Father and
    of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

    So, at least to my eyes, the Slav formula conforms to the necessary elements mentioned in the Greek Orthodox statement of Constantine Platis and it should assuage any Greek worries?




    Logged
    Fr. George
    formerly "Cleveland"
    Administrator
    Stratopedarches
    *******
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox (Catholic) Christian
    Jurisdiction: GOA - Metropolis of Pittsburgh
    Posts: 20,076


    May the Lord bless you and keep you always!


    « Reply #145 on: February 24, 2009, 06:18:30 PM »

    I've not seen anyone on this forum advocating repentance without confession,
    but I have seen what could be called advocating confession without repentance.

    Surely you are pulling our legs!   Grin

    I have not noticed anybody advocating confession without repentance.   That would be nonsensical.  I can't imagine people going to confession to *boast* of their sins instead of going in a spirit of sorrow and repentance.

    I do not think his point was that people will go to boast; but ISTM his point is rather that, if done too frequently or if merely seen as a necessary tool for receiving communion, that confession would become devalued, and people will confess in a rote manner, without the intention of trying to "sin no more" - i.e. improving their lives, not repeating their old sins, etc.
    Logged

    "The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the one who can't read them." Mark Twain
    ---------------------
    Ordained on 17 & 18-Oct 2009. Please forgive me if earlier posts are poorly worded or incorrect in any way.
    Byzantine2008
    Elder
    *****
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox
    Posts: 280



    « Reply #146 on: February 24, 2009, 06:23:22 PM »

    Forgive and absolve me, venerable father, and bless me to commune of the holy and life-creating Mysteries of Christ unto the remission of sins and life everlasting.[/color]
    Orthodoc


    And here is what every Orthodox Priest I have ever confessed to has said after receiving my Confession:
    “My spiritual child, who have made your Confession to my humble person: I, a humble sinner, have no power to forgive sins on earth; only God can do that....."


    ^^^^
    Are you being serious?Huh?? Huh

    You are on your on here george.

    I cannot relate to this at all and I am from Australia,  please people do not generalise on behave of this big dis creptency outlined above. In Melbourne we are more in tune with correct Orthodox practices of confession.


    And what is the basis for your judgment that your Confession practices are more correct?

    ^^^^
    The basis of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia...




    "May our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ, through His grace and
    compassion and love for mankind, forgive thee your servant (Name) all thy sins
    (so far it is deprecative but now it becomes indicative)

    "and I an unworthy priest, through the authority given unto me by Him,
    do forgive and absolve thee from all thy sins, in the Name of the Father and
    of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

    « Last Edit: February 24, 2009, 06:29:08 PM by Byzantine2008 » Logged

    Let your will be done O Lord Jesus Christ through the intercession of you All Pure Mother and all the saints!
    Irish Hermit
    Kibernetski Kaludjer
    Warned
    Merarches
    ***********
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 10,991


    Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


    « Reply #147 on: February 24, 2009, 06:26:22 PM »

    I personally tend to tread lightly when discussing the issue.  On the one hand, Christ's words are pretty clear in the Gospel - man has been given authority to loose and bind sins; on the other hand, the interpretation of those statements (which, I think, leads to the wording in the prayer) may best be seen as "I (the Lord) will bind and loose sins based on your pronouncement, my disciples."  In either case, it is best that the clergy make the (hopefully humble) pronouncement that they too are sinners and acknowledge that they, like the rest of us, are unworthy of the gifts God has bestowed upon them, and yet they hope that He will keep His promise (to bind and loose sins through their pronouncement) just as He always has kept His promises to His faithful servants.

    to Cleveland!

    Youv'e done a spot-on and succinct summary of it all.
    Logged
    Veniamin
    Fire for Effect!
    Archon
    ********
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Christian
    Jurisdiction: OCA Diocese of the South
    Posts: 3,372


    St. Barbara, patroness of the Field Artillery


    « Reply #148 on: February 24, 2009, 06:37:21 PM »

    Thank you Cleveland!  I knew what Ozgeorge was doing was just quoting a partial response.  For no Greek Orthodox priest would leave it at what he was claiming.  As for why he purposedly did it - well, no comment.

    Uh, given that he ended the quote with "..." it was evident up front that he was providing a partial quote.  It's not as if he gave it a full stop and tried to pass it off as the entirety of it.  You're just trying to find deception where none is offered.
    Logged

    Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl. ~Frederick the Great
    PeterTheAleut
    The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
    Section Moderator
    Protospatharios
    *****
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Christian
    Jurisdiction: OCA
    Posts: 32,209


    Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


    « Reply #149 on: February 24, 2009, 07:51:27 PM »

    Forgive and absolve me, venerable father, and bless me to commune of the holy and life-creating Mysteries of Christ unto the remission of sins and life everlasting.[/color]
    Orthodoc


    And here is what every Orthodox Priest I have ever confessed to has said after receiving my Confession:
    “My spiritual child, who have made your Confession to my humble person: I, a humble sinner, have no power to forgive sins on earth; only God can do that....."


    ^^^^
    Are you being serious?Huh?? Huh

    You are on your on here george.

    I cannot relate to this at all and I am from Australia,  please people do not generalise on behave of this big dis creptency outlined above. In Melbourne we are more in tune with correct Orthodox practices of confession.


    And what is the basis for your judgment that your Confession practices are more correct?

    ^^^^
    The basis of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia...
    So, you mean to elevate the local practice of a particular archdiocese to the level of correct Orthodox practice--i.e., correct practice for ALL Orthodox Christians wherever they may be in the world?
    Logged
    Byzantine2008
    Elder
    *****
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox
    Posts: 280



    « Reply #150 on: February 24, 2009, 08:17:22 PM »

    Forgive and absolve me, venerable father, and bless me to commune of the holy and life-creating Mysteries of Christ unto the remission of sins and life everlasting.[/color]
    Orthodoc


    And here is what every Orthodox Priest I have ever confessed to has said after receiving my Confession:
    “My spiritual child, who have made your Confession to my humble person: I, a humble sinner, have no power to forgive sins on earth; only God can do that....."


    ^^^^
    Are you being serious?Huh?? Huh

    You are on your on here george.

    I cannot relate to this at all and I am from Australia,  please people do not generalise on behave of this big dis creptency outlined above. In Melbourne we are more in tune with correct Orthodox practices of confession.


    And what is the basis for your judgment that your Confession practices are more correct?

    ^^^^
    The basis of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia...
    So, you mean to elevate the local practice of a particular archdiocese to the level of correct Orthodox practice--i.e., correct practice for ALL Orthodox Christians wherever they may be in the world?

    Please read carefully before making outlandish assumptions.

    And if you can understand after that, then read again until you do understand.

    Logged

    Let your will be done O Lord Jesus Christ through the intercession of you All Pure Mother and all the saints!
    PeterTheAleut
    The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
    Section Moderator
    Protospatharios
    *****
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Christian
    Jurisdiction: OCA
    Posts: 32,209


    Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


    « Reply #151 on: February 24, 2009, 09:01:59 PM »

    And what is the basis for your judgment that your Confession practices are more correct?

    ^^^^
    The basis of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia...
    So, you mean to elevate the local practice of a particular archdiocese to the level of correct Orthodox practice--i.e., correct practice for ALL Orthodox Christians wherever they may be in the world?

    Please read carefully before making outlandish assumptions.

    And if you can understand after that, then read again until you do understand.
    Outlandish assumption? Huh  You answered my question as to how you know your Confession practices are "more in line with correct Orthodox practice" with an extremely succinct, one lined statement: "The basis of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia...".  What else is there to read in this that I need to be more careful how I read it?  Do you want me to read your mind?  I'm not telepathic.  So I ask you to clarify what you mean with a question that brings out the logic I see your statements asserting--do notice the question mark (?) I used to end my "outlandish assumption".

    Now, back to your assertion:  You state very clearly that you see the practice of the GOA of Australia as the basis for your belief that your practice is "more in line with correct Orthodox practice" than ozgeorge's.  What does "correct Orthodox practice" mean, except that whatever is "correct Orthodox practice" is the practice that must be followed by all Orthodox Christians around the world, lest we be incorrect and un-Orthodox?  Then you assert that your local practice is the basis for this "correct Orthodox practice".  Logically, what this says is that we should model our Confession practice on the model provided by your local archdiocese.

    So I ask again:  Do you mean to elevate the local practice of a particular archdiocese to the level of correct Orthodox practice--i.e., correct practice for ALL Orthodox Christians wherever they may be in the world?  Or do you mean to say simply that there is a standard of correct Orthodox practice that is much more universal than your archdiocesan practice and that your archdiocese is in line with this universal practice?  In short, is the basis for correctness found outside or inside the GOA of Australia?
    Logged
    Byzantine2008
    Elder
    *****
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox
    Posts: 280



    « Reply #152 on: February 24, 2009, 09:18:18 PM »

    And what is the basis for your judgment that your Confession practices are more correct?

    ^^^^
    The basis of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia...
    So, you mean to elevate the local practice of a particular archdiocese to the level of correct Orthodox practice--i.e., correct practice for ALL Orthodox Christians wherever they may be in the world?

    Please read carefully before making outlandish assumptions.

    And if you can understand after that, then read again until you do understand.
    Outlandish assumption? Huh  You answered my question as to how you know your Confession practices are "more in line with correct Orthodox practice" with an extremely succinct, one lined statement: "The basis of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia...".  What else is there to read in this that I need to be more careful how I read it?  Do you want me to read your mind?  I'm not telepathic.  So I ask you to clarify what you mean with a question that brings out the logic I see your statements asserting--do notice the question mark (?) I used to end my "outlandish assumption".

    Now, back to your assertion:  You state very clearly that you see the practice of the GOA of Australia as the basis for your belief that your practice is "more in line with correct Orthodox practice" than ozgeorge's.  What does "correct Orthodox practice" mean, except that whatever is "correct Orthodox practice" is the practice that must be followed by all Orthodox Christians around the world, lest we be incorrect and un-Orthodox?  Then you assert that your local practice is the basis for this "correct Orthodox practice".  Logically, what this says is that we should model our Confession practice on the model provided by your local archdiocese.

    So I ask again:  Do you mean to elevate the local practice of a particular archdiocese to the level of correct Orthodox practice--i.e., correct practice for ALL Orthodox Christians wherever they may be in the world?  Or do you mean to say simply that there is a standard of correct Orthodox practice that is much more universal than your archdiocesan practice and that your archdiocese is in line with this universal practice?  In short, is the basis for correctness found outside or inside the GOA of Australia?

    "Or do you mean to say simply that there is a standard of correct Orthodox practice that is much more universal than your archdiocesan practice and that your archdiocese is in line with this universal practice."

    The above is what I meant. Grin
    Logged

    Let your will be done O Lord Jesus Christ through the intercession of you All Pure Mother and all the saints!
    PeterTheAleut
    The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
    Section Moderator
    Protospatharios
    *****
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Christian
    Jurisdiction: OCA
    Posts: 32,209


    Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


    « Reply #153 on: February 24, 2009, 09:42:51 PM »

    And what is the basis for your judgment that your Confession practices are more correct?

    ^^^^
    The basis of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia...
    So, you mean to elevate the local practice of a particular archdiocese to the level of correct Orthodox practice--i.e., correct practice for ALL Orthodox Christians wherever they may be in the world?

    Please read carefully before making outlandish assumptions.

    And if you can understand after that, then read again until you do understand.
    Outlandish assumption? Huh  You answered my question as to how you know your Confession practices are "more in line with correct Orthodox practice" with an extremely succinct, one lined statement: "The basis of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia...".  What else is there to read in this that I need to be more careful how I read it?  Do you want me to read your mind?  I'm not telepathic.  So I ask you to clarify what you mean with a question that brings out the logic I see your statements asserting--do notice the question mark (?) I used to end my "outlandish assumption".

    Now, back to your assertion:  You state very clearly that you see the practice of the GOA of Australia as the basis for your belief that your practice is "more in line with correct Orthodox practice" than ozgeorge's.  What does "correct Orthodox practice" mean, except that whatever is "correct Orthodox practice" is the practice that must be followed by all Orthodox Christians around the world, lest we be incorrect and un-Orthodox?  Then you assert that your local practice is the basis for this "correct Orthodox practice".  Logically, what this says is that we should model our Confession practice on the model provided by your local archdiocese.

    So I ask again:  Do you mean to elevate the local practice of a particular archdiocese to the level of correct Orthodox practice--i.e., correct practice for ALL Orthodox Christians wherever they may be in the world?  Or do you mean to say simply that there is a standard of correct Orthodox practice that is much more universal than your archdiocesan practice and that your archdiocese is in line with this universal practice?  In short, is the basis for correctness found outside or inside the GOA of Australia?

    "Or do you mean to say simply that there is a standard of correct Orthodox practice that is much more universal than your archdiocesan practice and that your archdiocese is in line with this universal practice."

    The above is what I meant. Grin
    Cool! Cool  Now for my next question:  Is there such a thing as one universal Confession practice that you can say is the correct practice?
    Logged
    ozgeorge
    I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
    Hoplitarches
    *************
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Christian
    Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
    Posts: 16,382


    My plans for retirement.


    WWW
    « Reply #154 on: February 24, 2009, 09:50:06 PM »

    You are on your on here george.

    Am I?

    http://books.google.com.au/books?id=ySkh6Pt0Bi8C&pg=PA55

    http://www.goarch.org/archdiocese/departments/outreach/greatlent/brochures/Confession.pdf (p2)

    http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/liturgics/bassoline_confession_bible.htm

    Logged

    If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
    ozgeorge
    I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
    Hoplitarches
    *************
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Christian
    Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
    Posts: 16,382


    My plans for retirement.


    WWW
    « Reply #155 on: February 25, 2009, 12:09:10 AM »


    According to him most of his people considered the Unction service on Holy Wednesday as a cleansing & healing service and this took the place of a private Confession for them!  I know other Greeks that have implied the same thing. 


    I know of at least one Greek Catholic priest who teaches such a thing, as well (although in the same breath also exhorts in the strongest terms the need for regular private confession).  He was even called into the papal nuncio's office once about it and told to knock it off. 

    The Mysterion of Holy Unction in fact does include the forgiveness of sins. The Apostles themselves taught this:
    "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him."  (James 5:14-15)
    Isn't this an Apostolic Teaching?


    Logged

    If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
    Fr. George
    formerly "Cleveland"
    Administrator
    Stratopedarches
    *******
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox (Catholic) Christian
    Jurisdiction: GOA - Metropolis of Pittsburgh
    Posts: 20,076


    May the Lord bless you and keep you always!


    « Reply #156 on: February 25, 2009, 12:30:49 AM »


    According to him most of his people considered the Unction service on Holy Wednesday as a cleansing & healing service and this took the place of a private Confession for them!  I know other Greeks that have implied the same thing. 


    I know of at least one Greek Catholic priest who teaches such a thing, as well (although in the same breath also exhorts in the strongest terms the need for regular private confession).  He was even called into the papal nuncio's office once about it and told to knock it off. 

    The Mysterion of Holy Unction in fact does include the forgiveness of sins. The Apostles themselves taught this:
    "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him."  (James 5:14-15)
    Isn't this an Apostolic Teaching?

    I don't think I have the full service of Unction in front of me, but I do have a Priest's Prayer Book (the one I referenced earlier), and it has an Unction Service "for the home" (i.e. abbreviated).  In it, at the prayer of the sanctification of the oil, it asks (pp. 172-173):

    "... send down your Holy Spirit and sanctify this oil; and may it convey upon your servant(s) (N), who is (are) anointed with it, complete deliverance from his (her) (their) sins, and the inheritance of the Kingdom of heaven."

    Then, in the Prayer of Anointing the Sick person (pp. 174-177) it says:

    "Holy Father... heal your servant(s) (N) from his (her) (their) bodily and spiritual sickness, and restore him (her) (them) by the grace of your Christ; through the intercessions..."

    Finally, he includes a Prayer of Forgiveness, similar to that found in the sacrament of Holy Confession (similar in substance, with a statement about holding the open Gospel Book over their head instead of laying on hands).

    ======================

    On the GOARCH website they have the prayer of Blessing the Oil from the sacrament of Holy Unction,:
    http://lent.goarch.org/holy_wednesday/learn/

    "Prayer of the Oil
    O Lord who, in thy mercies and bounties, healest the disorders of our souls and bodies, do Thou, the same Master, sanctify this Oil, that it may be effectual for those who shall be anointed therewith, unto healing, and unto relief from every passion, every malady of the flesh and of the spirit, and every ill; and that therein may be glorified Thy most Holy Name, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen."

    (In the Greek text, for "malady" they use the word molismou, a derivative of which is used in modern Greek for Pollution....)
    « Last Edit: February 25, 2009, 12:37:54 AM by cleveland » Logged

    "The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the one who can't read them." Mark Twain
    ---------------------
    Ordained on 17 & 18-Oct 2009. Please forgive me if earlier posts are poorly worded or incorrect in any way.
    Orthodoc
    Supporter & Defender Of Orthodoxy
    Archon
    ********
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Catholic
    Jurisdiction: OCA
    Posts: 2,526

    Those who ignore history tend to repeat it.


    « Reply #157 on: February 25, 2009, 12:33:57 AM »


    According to him most of his people considered the Unction service on Holy Wednesday as a cleansing & healing service and this took the place of a private Confession for them!  I know other Greeks that have implied the same thing. 


    I know of at least one Greek Catholic priest who teaches such a thing, as well (although in the same breath also exhorts in the strongest terms the need for regular private confession).  He was even called into the papal nuncio's office once about it and told to knock it off. 

    The Mysterion of Holy Unction in fact does include the forgiveness of sins. The Apostles themselves taught this:
    "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him."  (James 5:14-15)
    Isn't this an Apostolic Teaching?




    Yes, but where does it indicate it takes the place of the Sacrament of Confession?  Why hhave it as a separate Sacrament if Holy Unction takes care of it. This is for the sick and the dying.  Not the healthy.

    Orthodox
    Logged

    Oh Lord, Save thy people and bless thine inheritance.
    Grant victory to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries.
    And by virtue of thy Cross preserve thy habitation.
    Fr. George
    formerly "Cleveland"
    Administrator
    Stratopedarches
    *******
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox (Catholic) Christian
    Jurisdiction: GOA - Metropolis of Pittsburgh
    Posts: 20,076


    May the Lord bless you and keep you always!


    « Reply #158 on: February 25, 2009, 12:41:36 AM »


    According to him most of his people considered the Unction service on Holy Wednesday as a cleansing & healing service and this took the place of a private Confession for them!  I know other Greeks that have implied the same thing. 


    I know of at least one Greek Catholic priest who teaches such a thing, as well (although in the same breath also exhorts in the strongest terms the need for regular private confession).  He was even called into the papal nuncio's office once about it and told to knock it off. 

    The Mysterion of Holy Unction in fact does include the forgiveness of sins. The Apostles themselves taught this:
    "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him."  (James 5:14-15)
    Isn't this an Apostolic Teaching?




    Yes, but where does it indicate it takes the place of the Sacrament of Confession?  Why hhave it as a separate Sacrament if Holy Unction takes care of it. This is for the sick and the dying.  Not the healthy.

    Orthodox

    I don't know if I'd discount the ability of Holy Unction (or Holy Communion, for that matter, even though you haven't included this in your argument) to provide forgiveness of sins; but it cannot replace Holy Confession, which provides the path to the essential command: "Go, and sin no more."  If we do not desire a closer relationship with our God, then we can by all means seek occasional forgiveness from the other sacraments; however, if we desire to journey closer to the Lord, and follow (as closely as we can) His path to Righteousness, then Confession must be included - not just for forgiveness of sins, but for the wisdom and counsel to avoid them altogether in the future.
    Logged

    "The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the one who can't read them." Mark Twain
    ---------------------
    Ordained on 17 & 18-Oct 2009. Please forgive me if earlier posts are poorly worded or incorrect in any way.
    ozgeorge
    I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
    Hoplitarches
    *************
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Christian
    Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
    Posts: 16,382


    My plans for retirement.


    WWW
    « Reply #159 on: February 25, 2009, 12:43:26 AM »


    According to him most of his people considered the Unction service on Holy Wednesday as a cleansing & healing service and this took the place of a private Confession for them!  I know other Greeks that have implied the same thing. 


    I know of at least one Greek Catholic priest who teaches such a thing, as well (although in the same breath also exhorts in the strongest terms the need for regular private confession).  He was even called into the papal nuncio's office once about it and told to knock it off. 

    The Mysterion of Holy Unction in fact does include the forgiveness of sins. The Apostles themselves taught this:
    "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him."  (James 5:14-15)
    Isn't this an Apostolic Teaching?

    I don't think I have the full service of Unction in front of me, but I do have a Priest's Prayer Book (the one I referenced earlier), and it has an Unction Service "for the home" (i.e. abbreviated).  In it, at the prayer of the sanctification of the oil, it asks (pp. 172-173):

    "... send down your Holy Spirit and sanctify this oil; and may it convey upon your servant(s) (N), who is (are) anointed with it, complete deliverance from his (her) (their) sins, and the inheritance of the Kingdom of heaven."

    Then, in the Prayer of Anointing the Sick person (pp. 174-177) it says:

    "Holy Father... heal your servant(s) (N) from his (her) (their) bodily and spiritual sickness, and restore him (her) (them) by the grace of your Christ; through the intercessions..."

    Finally, he includes a Prayer of Forgiveness, similar to that found in the sacrament of Holy Confession (similar in substance, with a statement about holding the open Gospel Book over their head instead of laying on hands).

    Which is in complete accordance with Apostolic Teaching.
    I don't see the problem.

    Yes, but where does it indicate it takes the place of the Sacrament of Confession?  Why hhave it as a separate Sacrament if Holy Unction takes care of it. This is for the sick and the dying.  Not the healthy.
    Orthodox
    It does not "take the place" of the Mysterion of Confession. They are completely different Mysterions. However, as you agree, it is entirely Apostolic and Orthodox to say that the Mysterion of Holy Unction is for the forgiveness of sins also. Or is it not? Does the Mysterion of Holy Unction not impart the Grace of forgiveness of sins?
    Logged

    If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
    Irish Hermit
    Kibernetski Kaludjer
    Warned
    Merarches
    ***********
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 10,991


    Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


    « Reply #160 on: February 25, 2009, 12:52:52 AM »

    And here is what every Orthodox Priest I have ever confessed to has said after receiving my Confession:
    My spiritual child, who have made your Confession to my humble person: I, a humble sinner, have no power to forgive sins on earth; only God can do that....."


    But does not the next phrase go on to say:

    "... but only through the divinely spoken words of our Lord, who said to His Apostles and disciples after His glorious resurrection, 'Whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven them; whose sins you do not forgive, they are not forgiven.'"

    http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/liturgics/bassoline_confession_bible.htm

    In other words the priest rightly make a prefatory statement of his own sinfulness as a human BUT (and it is a glorious BUT which turns human logic and human power on its head) he then goes on to claim the authority to pronounce sins forgiven on the authority of Christ.

    For a moment he transcends his rightful and self-confessed humility and in a paradox of humility and boldness he boldly exercises the authority given to the Apostles and he says:  

    "With this command in mind, we are bold to say..."

    -oOo-

       My spiritual child, I, a humble man and also a sinner, do not have power in myself to forgive the sins of men on earth, but only through the divinely spoken words of our Lord, who said to His Apostles and disciples after His glorious resurrection, ‘Whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven them; whose sins you do not forgive, they are not forgiven.’ With this command in mind, we are bold to say: Whatever you have confessed here or failed to confess out of ignorance or forgetfulness, whatever these things may be, may Christ forgive you them all, both in this world and in His kingdom which is to come.

    Logged
    ozgeorge
    I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
    Hoplitarches
    *************
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Christian
    Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
    Posts: 16,382


    My plans for retirement.


    WWW
    « Reply #161 on: February 25, 2009, 01:01:49 AM »

    In other words the priest rightly make a prefatory statement of his own sinfulness as a human BUT (and it is a glorious BUT which turns human logic and human power on its head) he then goes on to claim the authority to pronounce sins forgiven on the authority of Christ.
    Do you recall the reason why I brought this up in the thread? It was because of this:
    Forgive and absolve me, venerable father, and bless me to commune of the holy and life-creating Mysteries of Christ unto the remission of sins and life everlasting.
    This prayer is asking the Priest to forgive the sins of the penitent, something which the Priest has no authority to do. As you state, a Priest has the "authority" to pronounce sins remitted by God, but he himself has no authority to forgive sins, therefore, this prayer quoted by Orthodoc has the penitent asking the Priest for something he cannot give.
    « Last Edit: February 25, 2009, 01:15:53 AM by ozgeorge » Logged

    If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
    JoeS
    (aka StMarkEofE)
    Site Supporter
    OC.net guru
    *****
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Catholic
    Jurisdiction: OCA
    Posts: 1,122


    Global Warming Enthusiast.


    « Reply #162 on: February 25, 2009, 01:26:45 AM »

    ok is the world going nuts or what?

    What ever happened to Tradition? 

    If our people dont have the information or training we need to educate them.  In order to be prepared for Holy Communinon one needs to be PREPARED for this.  In Orthodoxy, one needs to fast from midnight, have had confession within a month of communing, fasting from all food or drink from midnight or before and properly prepared (reciting the pre communion prayers before receiving).   Can anything be any simpler than this? 

    Reception of the pure Body and Blood of Christ can not and must not be received haphaszardly in a manner unworthy of what is being received.  Too many folks line up to receive without the slightest idea of what is being received.   They do it as a matter of habit. 

    It is most important to realize that what is happening at the reception of the actual Body and Blood of Christ.  To do otherwise is a sacrilege. 
    Logged
    ozgeorge
    I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
    Hoplitarches
    *************
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Christian
    Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
    Posts: 16,382


    My plans for retirement.


    WWW
    « Reply #163 on: February 25, 2009, 01:38:01 AM »

    ok is the world going nuts or what?
    Why do you say that?
    Logged

    If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
    ozgeorge
    I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
    Hoplitarches
    *************
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Christian
    Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
    Posts: 16,382


    My plans for retirement.


    WWW
    « Reply #164 on: February 25, 2009, 01:40:06 AM »

    What ever happened to Tradition? ........
    In Orthodoxy, one needs to fast from midnight, have had confession within a month of communing, fasting from all food or drink from midnight or before and properly prepared (reciting the pre communion prayers before receiving). 
    Can you tell us which Fathers say that you must have confessed within a month of receiving Communion to support your claim that this is Tradition?
    Logged

    If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
    Elisha
    Protokentarchos
    *********
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox
    Jurisdiction: OCA
    Posts: 4,420


    « Reply #165 on: February 25, 2009, 02:48:18 AM »

    I've not seen anyone on this forum advocating repentance without confession,
    but I have seen what could be called advocating confession without repentance.

    Surely you are pulling our legs!   Grin

    I have not noticed anybody advocating confession without repentance.   That would be nonsensical.  I can't imagine people going to confession to *boast* of their sins instead of going in a spirit of sorrow and repentance.

    1.  Well [to Irish Hermit, but also everyone], my choir director who has traveled near and far, would say otherwise - as said to him by some Russian priest.  The gist was that, one ought to have their list (of things to confess), read it out, rip it up and then let the priest give the advice and absolution - the process shouldn't last anymore than like 10 mins, otherwise it is just bragging.  IMHO, this seems a bit simplistic, but I see the point.

    2.  General confession - a couple of years ago, the older (emeritus priest of 55 years and father of the rector - yes father/son priests), read a bunch of stuff at the end of I think our last Presanctified Liturgy on Holy Wed and then people got in line and he said some prayers (seemed similar to the absolution prayers but maybe not identical) and put his epitrachilion on our heads.  I asked the choir director what it was and he said it was a General confession.  This has happened once or twice a year since.

    3.  At my OCA parish, priests are available throughout the week to heard confessions (we actually have four, including the retired one - kind of historical circumstances though).  They are usually heard before and after Great Vespers on Saturday (we do Vigil occasionally) and before Liturgy on Sunday, but appointments can be made during the week.  I have had them in various lengths - from an hour or so session (not in an office, but sitting in chairs in the church - more of a "lifetime" type) and some where it was only a couple of minutes.  I have to say though, the two shortest have been with Russian priests (one ROCOR and the other MP), and I didn't really feel that the one with the ROCOR priest (who I know well and was the shortest) was that satisfying (probably not the best choice of words), but I don't question the efficacy of it.  To me, some happy medium works best.

    4.  Orthodoc - thanks for your story.  This isn't the first time I've heard about confession with priests of the Greek tradition being longer and more consultative.
    Logged
    Elisha
    Protokentarchos
    *********
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox
    Jurisdiction: OCA
    Posts: 4,420


    « Reply #166 on: February 25, 2009, 02:57:19 AM »

    What ever happened to Tradition? ........
    In Orthodoxy, one needs to fast from midnight, have had confession within a month of communing, fasting from all food or drink from midnight or before and properly prepared (reciting the pre communion prayers before receiving). 
    Can you tell us which Fathers say that you must have confessed within a month of receiving Communion to support your claim that this is Tradition?

    Ditto.  While my own priest (also OCA) may loosely mention this timeframe, you would never get him to quote a distinct Father on this time frame.
    Logged
    Irish Hermit
    Kibernetski Kaludjer
    Warned
    Merarches
    ***********
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 10,991


    Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


    « Reply #167 on: February 25, 2009, 03:27:47 AM »

     I have to say though, the two shortest have been with Russian priests (one ROCOR and the other MP), and I didn't really feel that the one with the ROCOR priest (who I know well and was the shortest) was that satisfying (probably not the best choice of words), but I don't question the efficacy of it.  

    Priests will not usually go into detail and offer much advice with penitents coming to Confession who they know have another parish priest or a regular father confessor.  If you, as an OCA person, were visiting a Russian parish, the Russian priest would respect your relationship with your parish priest/spiritual father and expect you to be taking your spiritual direction from him.
    Logged
    Fr. George
    formerly "Cleveland"
    Administrator
    Stratopedarches
    *******
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox (Catholic) Christian
    Jurisdiction: GOA - Metropolis of Pittsburgh
    Posts: 20,076


    May the Lord bless you and keep you always!


    « Reply #168 on: February 25, 2009, 09:20:29 AM »

     I have to say though, the two shortest have been with Russian priests (one ROCOR and the other MP), and I didn't really feel that the one with the ROCOR priest (who I know well and was the shortest) was that satisfying (probably not the best choice of words), but I don't question the efficacy of it.  

    Priests will not usually go into detail and offer much advice with penitents coming to Confession who they know have another parish priest or a regular father confessor.  If you, as an OCA person, were visiting a Russian parish, the Russian priest would respect your relationship with your parish priest/spiritual father and expect you to be taking your spiritual direction from him.

    I've had the same experience.  While my confessions with my spiritual father are more like conversations, when I've gone to another priest they've been much less so.
    Logged

    "The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the one who can't read them." Mark Twain
    ---------------------
    Ordained on 17 & 18-Oct 2009. Please forgive me if earlier posts are poorly worded or incorrect in any way.
    Schultz
    Christian. Guitarist. Zymurgist. Librarian.
    Taxiarches
    **********
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Christian
    Jurisdiction: OCA
    Posts: 6,472


    Scion of the McKeesport Becks.


    WWW
    « Reply #169 on: February 25, 2009, 10:51:47 AM »


    I know of at least one Greek Catholic priest who teaches such a thing, as well (although in the same breath also exhorts in the strongest terms the need for regular private confession).  He was even called into the papal nuncio's office once about it and told to knock it off. 

    The Mysterion of Holy Unction in fact does include the forgiveness of sins. The Apostles themselves taught this:
    "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him."  (James 5:14-15)
    Isn't this an Apostolic Teaching?


    That was his reasoning, as well, and one, I might add, I can't argue with.  As I said, he made sure, in no uncertain terms, that the annual unction service on Holy Wednesday in no way, shape, or form was to trump regular, private confession with one's spiritual father and anyone who was there to just "get a freebie", so to speak, was doing no such thing because by their very actions they were, in effect, saying they did not need to confess anything ever, which, as John pointed out in one of his epistles, made one a liar and, hence, a sinner.

    And that was one heck of a runon sentence!
    Logged

    "Hearing a nun's confession is like being stoned to death with popcorn." --Abp. Fulton Sheen
    Schultz
    Christian. Guitarist. Zymurgist. Librarian.
    Taxiarches
    **********
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Christian
    Jurisdiction: OCA
    Posts: 6,472


    Scion of the McKeesport Becks.


    WWW
    « Reply #170 on: February 25, 2009, 10:55:45 AM »


    1.  Well [to Irish Hermit, but also everyone], my choir director who has traveled near and far, would say otherwise - as said to him by some Russian priest.  The gist was that, one ought to have their list (of things to confess), read it out, rip it up and then let the priest give the advice and absolution - the process shouldn't last anymore than like 10 mins, otherwise it is just bragging.  IMHO, this seems a bit simplistic, but I see the point.


    The GC priest I wrote about above said much the same thing, especially if there's a line waiting.  If you are in real need of some solid spiritual direction (ie a confession that takes more than ten minutes), you need to make an appointment with the priest for after the service.  Ever since then, I've kept that in mind and I think it's a good practice to have, but that probably stems from my hatred of waiting in lines, especially if I'm the one holding up for any reason.

    Logged

    "Hearing a nun's confession is like being stoned to death with popcorn." --Abp. Fulton Sheen
    Anastasios
    Webdespota
    Administrator
    Merarches
    *******
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Eastern Orthodox
    Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
    Posts: 10,444


    Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

    anastasios0513
    WWW
    « Reply #171 on: February 25, 2009, 11:06:20 AM »


    Father, you seem to be saying there would be no need for Confession if Communion were a mere 2 or 3 days apart, as happens in Holy Week.  We would agree with you.

    Do we infer from this that for a longer interval, say 7 days, and Confession would be expected of the communicant?

    Dear Father,

    I'm sorry to have delayed my response; I have been spending many hours behind the scenes working on a solution to some database errors from the past on this site and have not had much time to respond.

    2/3 days vs 7: again, I see this in pastoral terms; realistically speaking, more people would have sinned in the course of a week than in 2-3 days, so I would expect more confessions occurring; however, I have also seen a spiritual father who has a regular schedule of confession with his child that occurs roughly once a month who blesses a communion more than once in this time frame.

    Quote
    And if I may while I have your attention. a question about fasting before Communion.   I am not aware to which Greek Old Calendar Church you belong, but I was reading an article which says that Greek Old Calendarists are pretty united in requiring a 3 day pre-Communion fast.  Is this the case for your people?  What guidelines do your bishops establish?

    Well, to answer your question, I belong to the *right* one Wink But you knew I would say that, right? hehe. My Synod is that of Archbishop Chrysostomos II (Kiousis).

    The 3-day fast is pretty entrenched in our Church, although the bishops and many priests are quite aware that this presents several complications in a situation where we are deliberately trying to increase the frequency of communion, at least as far as I know in the American Metropolis.  For those who commune infrequently, a 3-day fast (or longer) is expected, and for those who commune more frequently, sometimes other arrangements are made.

    In Christ,

    Fr Anastasios
    « Last Edit: February 25, 2009, 11:07:20 AM by Fr. Anastasios » Logged

    Please Buy My Book!

    Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodo
    Orthodoc
    Supporter & Defender Of Orthodoxy
    Archon
    ********
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Catholic
    Jurisdiction: OCA
    Posts: 2,526

    Those who ignore history tend to repeat it.


    « Reply #172 on: February 25, 2009, 11:47:02 AM »

    I've not seen anyone on this forum advocating repentance without confession,
    but I have seen what could be called advocating confession without repentance.

    Surely you are pulling our legs!   Grin

    I have not noticed anybody advocating confession without repentance.   That would be nonsensical.  I can't imagine people going to confession to *boast* of their sins instead of going in a spirit of sorrow and repentance.

    1.  Well [to Irish Hermit, but also everyone], my choir director who has traveled near and far, would say otherwise - as said to him by some Russian priest.  The gist was that, one ought to have their list (of things to confess), read it out, rip it up and then let the priest give the advice and absolution - the process shouldn't last anymore than like 10 mins, otherwise it is just bragging.  IMHO, this seems a bit simplistic, but I see the point.
    2.  General confession - a couple of years ago, the older (emeritus priest of 55 years and father of the rector - yes father/son priests), read a bunch of stuff at the end of I think our last Presanctified Liturgy on Holy Wed and then people got in line and he said some prayers (seemed similar to the absolution prayers but maybe not identical) and put his epitrachilion on our heads.  I asked the choir director what it was and he said it was a General confession.  This has happened once or twice a year since.

    3.  At my OCA parish, priests are available throughout the week to heard confessions (we actually have four, including the retired one - kind of historical circumstances though).  They are usually heard before and after Great Vespers on Saturday (we do Vigil occasionally) and before Liturgy on Sunday, but appointments can be made during the week.  I have had them in various lengths - from an hour or so session (not in an office, but sitting in chairs in the church - more of a "lifetime" type) and some where it was only a couple of minutes.  I have to say though, the two shortest have been with Russian priests (one ROCOR and the other MP), and I didn't really feel that the one with the ROCOR priest (who I know well and was the shortest) was that satisfying (probably not the best choice of words), but I don't question the efficacy of it.  To me, some happy medium works best.

    4.  Orthodoc - thanks for your story.  This isn't the first time I've heard about confession with priests of the Greek tradition being longer and more consultative.


    That's exactly how I do a Private Confession!

    Orthodoc
    Logged

    Oh Lord, Save thy people and bless thine inheritance.
    Grant victory to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries.
    And by virtue of thy Cross preserve thy habitation.
    Orthodoc
    Supporter & Defender Of Orthodoxy
    Archon
    ********
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox Catholic
    Jurisdiction: OCA
    Posts: 2,526

    Those who ignore history tend to repeat it.


    « Reply #173 on: February 25, 2009, 11:55:02 AM »


    According to him most of his people considered the Unction service on Holy Wednesday as a cleansing & healing service and this took the place of a private Confession for them!  I know other Greeks that have implied the same thing. 


    I know of at least one Greek Catholic priest who teaches such a thing, as well (although in the same breath also exhorts in the strongest terms the need for regular private confession).  He was even called into the papal nuncio's office once about it and told to knock it off. 

    The Mysterion of Holy Unction in fact does include the forgiveness of sins. The Apostles themselves taught this:
    "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him."  (James 5:14-15)
    Isn't this an Apostolic Teaching?




    Yes, but where does it indicate it takes the place of the Sacrament of Confession?  Why hhave it as a separate Sacrament if Holy Unction takes care of it. This is for the sick and the dying.  Not the healthy.

    Orthodox

    I don't know if I'd discount the ability of Holy Unction (or Holy Communion, for that matter, even though you haven't included this in your argument) to provide forgiveness of sins; but it cannot replace Holy Confession, which provides the path to the essential command: "Go, and sin no more."  If we do not desire a closer relationship with our God, then we can by all means seek occasional forgiveness from the other sacraments; however, if we desire to journey closer to the Lord, and follow (as closely as we can) His path to Righteousness, then Confession must be included - not just for forgiveness of sins, but for the wisdom and counsel to avoid them altogether in the future.
    [/color]


    Very well said Cleveland.  I totally agree!

    Orthodoc
    Logged

    Oh Lord, Save thy people and bless thine inheritance.
    Grant victory to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries.
    And by virtue of thy Cross preserve thy habitation.
    Elisha
    Protokentarchos
    *********
    Offline Offline

    Faith: Orthodox
    Jurisdiction: OCA
    Posts: 4,420


    « Reply #174 on: February 25, 2009, 02:54:06 PM »

     I have to say though, the two shortest have been with Russian priests (one ROCOR and the other MP), and I didn't really feel that the one with the ROCOR priest (who I know well and was the shortest) was that satisfying (probably not the best choice of words), but I don't question the efficacy of it.  

    Priests will not usually go into detail and offer much advice with penitents coming to Confession who they know have another parish priest or a regular father confessor.  If you, as an OCA person, were visiting a Russian parish, the Russian priest would respect your relationship with your parish priest/spiritual father and expect you to be taking your spiritual direction from him.

    Yes, but it seems like everyone in this priest's line goes rather quick.  He seemed to ask the questions you mentioned, but it just seemed, well rushed to me.  Again, not that I'm really questioning the efficacy, but not quite as comfortable to me.
    Logged
    Irish Hermit
    Kibernetski Kaludjer
    Warned
    Merarches
    ***********
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 10,991


    Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


    « Reply #175 on: February 25, 2009, 04:26:11 PM »

    The GC priest I wrote about above said much the same thing, especially if there's a line waiting.  If you are in real need of some solid spiritual direction (ie a confession that takes more than ten minutes), you need to make an appointment with the priest for after the service.  Ever since then, I've kept that in mind and I think it's a good practice to have, but that probably stems from my hatred of waiting in lines, especially if I'm the one holding up for any reason.


    The Russian and Serbian Service of Confession has these initial words to the person confessing...

    "Behold, my child, Christ stands here invisibly present to receive your confession,
    and I am but a witness, to bear witness before him...."


    Now as a young priest I was taught that my function was indeed that of "but a witness" and I was not there to give the penitent the benefit of my six-month course in pastoral psychology.   Smiley  I was taught that what must happen in Confesion is that the penitent must be given the necessary time to confess his sins (prompted by questions when necessary), and that I was but a witness.  The penitent is supposed to apprehend the love and compassion of God (unhindered by the priest's ability or lack of ability as a spiritual counsellor) and he should depart knowing that under the epitrakhilion the God of mercy has poured out His grace and forgiven his sins.   Period.


    If there were to be any additional counselling I was taught to ask the penitent's permission to refer to the Confession outside of Confession and discuss matters with him at a later time, sitting in the church or in the parish office or at home.


    I admit that as the years have gone by and experience has piled on experience and I sometimes, by God's grace, believe I have something helpful to say, then I will include that in the Confession.  But I keep in mind that the primary purpose is not counselling but confession and forgiveness.

    Are there other priests here who could share how they approach this?

    Hieromonk Ambrose
    Logged
    Irish Hermit
    Kibernetski Kaludjer
    Warned
    Merarches
    ***********
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 10,991


    Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


    « Reply #176 on: February 25, 2009, 04:26:12 PM »

    2/3 days vs 7: again, I see this in pastoral terms; realistically speaking, more people would have sinned in the course of a week than in 2-3 days, so I would expect more confessions occurring; however, I have also seen a spiritual father who has a regular schedule of confession with his child that occurs roughly once a month who blesses a communion more than once in this time frame.


    The 3-day fast is pretty entrenched in our Church, although the bishops and many priests are quite aware that this presents several complications in a situation where we are deliberately trying to increase the frequency of communion, at least as far as I know in the American Metropolis.  For those who commune infrequently, a 3-day fast (or longer) is expected, and for those who commune more frequently, sometimes other arrangements are made.

    In Christ,

    Fr Anastasios

    Thank you for your answer.  I can see how busy you are and I appreciate your taking the time.
    Logged
    Tags: confession communion 
    Pages: 1 2 3 4 All   Go Up
      Print  
     
    Jump to:  

    Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
    Page created in 0.574 seconds with 203 queries.