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Author Topic: Orthodox Confession  (Read 1992 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: January 16, 2010, 12:14:35 AM »

Grace and Peace,

What is the process of Orthodox Confession? A link would be fine. Thanks.
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« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2010, 12:18:25 AM »

It depends on the priest...
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« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2010, 12:25:05 AM »

What do you mean by "Orthodox"?

Do you mean particularly EO?
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« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2010, 12:26:30 AM »

It depends on the priest...
And also on the tradition, since the Byzantine traditions (Greece and Antioch) tend to be different from the Slavic traditions...
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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2010, 12:33:41 AM »

Grace and Peace,

What is the process of Orthodox Confession? A link would be fine. Thanks.

I would agree with Ukiemeister and PeterTheAleut. I have experienced a number of different types of confession. With two ROCOR priests I've confessed to, it was simply a matter of verbalizing my sins, absolution happened, and voila, I was done in a few minutes. With one Antiochian priest, we literally sat down in a pew and talked for maybe 15 minutes first, then absolution. With the Antiochian priest that I went most to over the years, it was more like half counseling session, half confession. I would confess my sins for a few minutes, and then the priest and I (mostly him) would talk for quite a while, sometimes an hour or more, about how to deal with my sins and avoid them in the future. Then obviously there is absolution.
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« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2010, 03:25:44 AM »

With my Priest, I confessed my sins in a general manner in is office in the Church. He then gave me some words of encouragement and prayed over me (which I assume was "absolution.") Then I went into the Church and said my prayers and fasted in prepartation for the Sacraments the next day. 

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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2010, 03:33:40 AM »

With one Antiochian priest, we literally sat down in a pew and talked for maybe 15 minutes first, then absolution. With the Antiochian priest that I went most to over the years, it was more like half counseling session, half confession. I would confess my sins for a few minutes, and then the priest and I (mostly him) would talk for quite a while, sometimes an hour or more, about how to deal with my sins and avoid them in the future. Then obviously there is absolution.

This is also my experience of confession in the Greek church. Even a relatively short confession will be followed by a long talk before absolution is given. On the rare occasions when there is not a queue of other people waiting to confess after me, my priest and I will often sit and talk for a whole hour.

The two occasions on which I confessed to Russian priests (one OCA, one MP), the advice given by the priest was very brief and didn't last more than a couple of minutes.
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« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2010, 04:46:24 AM »

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 and compassion 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?

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« Last Edit: January 16, 2010, 04:47:54 AM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2010, 01:43:54 PM »

In Greece, you visit the priest and talk about your life, your issues, discuss the faith. It is like a psychologist and a friend who is also an expert on Theology. You confess your sins, but not just like reading a list, but -most times- even talk about it a lot. The priest is showing you ways to avoid sin. Then, he reads certain prayers and that's all.
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« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2010, 02:24:02 AM »

What is the process of Orthodox Confession? A link would be fine. Thanks.

I can give you a link to what Orthodox Confession is not. This is hilarious:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGVeeUUnupk
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« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2010, 03:07:42 AM »

What is the process of Orthodox Confession? A link would be fine. Thanks.

I can give you a link to what Orthodox Confession is not. This is hilarious:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGVeeUUnupk

I love this show. It's called Vaya Semanita, it's a Basque television program,Viva Euskadi.
This is an excellent show, to learn Spanish with, but  you probably won't enjoy it until you're Spanish is near fluent.


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« Last Edit: February 04, 2010, 04:40:32 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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