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Author Topic: OCA vs. ROCOR  (Read 11453 times) Average Rating: 0
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Tikhon.of.Colorado
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« on: October 21, 2010, 03:44:30 PM »

I go to an OCA Church, but would like to attend liturgy at an ROCOR Church in another town this summer.  does the liturgy differ between jurisdictions?  may I recieve communion in a ROCOR Church?
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« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2010, 03:53:29 PM »

The liturgy will be basically the same except you will find very little abbreviations in the ROCOR Divine liturgy. Depending on the location the service will most likely be in Slavonic. Partaking in Communion should be fine as long as you contact the priest ahead of time in order to confess. Most parishes will have a Vigil service (Vepsers & Matins) where you can confess during the reading of the canon. Many priests will ask you to attend vigil and say your communion prayers if you intend on communing. Get your priest's and the ROCOR Priest's blessing before trying to commune. It is akward to see people turned away from the chalice becasue a priest does not know them and does not know if they are prepared to recieve the divine gifts. 
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« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2010, 05:36:02 PM »

Quote from: Michael L
Partaking in Communion should be fine as long as you contact the priest ahead of time in order to confess.

If you contact the priest ahead of time he may also allow you to confess to your own spiritual father instead.
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« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2010, 06:12:05 PM »

It's likely that in a Rocor Parish they will do the full All Night Vigil which is both Vespers and Matins. It should run about 2.5 hours. Ive learned that I need that much time to get settled and throw off the dregs of the work week. The OCA most times just does Vespers, but not always.

Rocor will also ask you to go to confession each week in order to receive communion.

And often, after all that, the Liturgy will come to an end and you are ready for some coffee just when the Priest announces they will be doing a Moleban for about another 25 minutes.. Wear comfy shoes.
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« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2010, 06:14:29 PM »

The liturgy will be basically the same except you will find very little abbreviations in the ROCOR Divine liturgy. Depending on the location the service will most likely be in Slavonic. Partaking in Communion should be fine as long as you contact the priest ahead of time in order to confess. Most parishes will have a Vigil service (Vepsers & Matins) where you can confess during the reading of the canon. Many priests will ask you to attend vigil and say your communion prayers if you intend on communing. Get your priest's and the ROCOR Priest's blessing before trying to commune. It is akward to see people turned away from the chalice becasue a priest does not know them and does not know if they are prepared to recieve the divine gifts. 

Two out of three Rocor Liturgies here in the DC Area are in English and only one is in Slavonic.
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« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2010, 06:17:16 PM »

It's likely that in a Rocor Parish they will do the full All Night Vigil which is both Vespers and Matins. It should run about 2.5 hours. Ive learned that I need that much time to get settled and throw off the dregs of the work week. The OCA most times just does Vespers, but not always.

Rocor will also ask you to go to confession each week in order to receive communion.

And often, after all that, the Liturgy will come to an end and you are ready for some coffee just when the Priest announces they will be doing a Moleban for about another 25 minutes.. Wear comfy shoes.
I must say, I am quite attracted to that custom of confessing before every communion.  I'm thinking about asking my spiritual father if I can start this.  most people who do this, do they commune about once a month, then?
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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2010, 06:25:04 PM »

It's likely that in a Rocor Parish they will do the full All Night Vigil which is both Vespers and Matins. It should run about 2.5 hours. Ive learned that I need that much time to get settled and throw off the dregs of the work week. The OCA most times just does Vespers, but not always.

Rocor will also ask you to go to confession each week in order to receive communion.

And often, after all that, the Liturgy will come to an end and you are ready for some coffee just when the Priest announces they will be doing a Moleban for about another 25 minutes.. Wear comfy shoes.
I know what you mean...I do so miss those Lenten pre-sanctified liturgies.  it was so wonderful to go to Church every Wednesday and shake of all of the stresses of school and my parents' marriage falling apart and just pray. I wish we in the OCA had more services, but when Father does that, not many people come and it's just him and his wife in the choir.  Sad
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« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2010, 06:28:25 PM »

I must say, I am quite attracted to that custom of confessing before every communion.  I'm thinking about asking my spiritual father if I can start this.  most people who do this, do they commune about once a month, then?

At my parish, most commune every week, but that means that you should confess every week, unless your conscience is clear, and then you should still receive a blessing to partake.

I love confessing so often. It really keeps me accountable and makes me think a bit harder about my actions. I think that it is the most helpful for people with frequent habitual sins they are struggling to repent of, at least until they can get them under control. For example, if you have issues with anger (blowing up at people), lust, acquisitiveness, etc. then the frequent confessions can help you start to control them.

I think that monks confess to their spiritual fathers every day.
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« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2010, 06:32:27 PM »

I must say, I am quite attracted to that custom of confessing before every communion.  I'm thinking about asking my spiritual father if I can start this.  most people who do this, do they commune about once a month, then?

At my parish, most commune every week, but that means that you should confess every week, unless your conscience is clear, and then you should still receive a blessing to partake.

I love confessing so often. It really keeps me accountable and makes me think a bit harder about my actions. I think that it is the most helpful for people with frequent habitual sins they are struggling to repent of, at least until they can get them under control. For example, if you have issues with anger (blowing up at people), lust, acquisitiveness, etc. then the frequent confessions can help you start to control them.

I think that monks confess to their spiritual fathers every day.
hm...I couldn't agree more.  BUT, I've been told by some on this forum that we shouldn't confess to often, lest we become "confession junkies".  But I, too, love confessing often, and the feeling you get after!
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« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2010, 07:00:55 PM »

The OCA most times just does Vespers

Huh, why is that? I thought that OCA follows Russian traditions.
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« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2010, 07:29:01 PM »

The OCA most times just does Vespers

Huh, why is that? I thought that OCA follows Russian traditions.
it does....for the most part. 
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« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2010, 08:42:33 PM »

It's likely that in a Rocor Parish they will do the full All Night Vigil which is both Vespers and Matins. It should run about 2.5 hours. Ive learned that I need that much time to get settled and throw off the dregs of the work week. The OCA most times just does Vespers, but not always.

Rocor will also ask you to go to confession each week in order to receive communion.

And often, after all that, the Liturgy will come to an end and you are ready for some coffee just when the Priest announces they will be doing a Moleban for about another 25 minutes.. Wear comfy shoes.
I must say, I am quite attracted to that custom of confessing before every communion.  I'm thinking about asking my spiritual father if I can start this.  most people who do this, do they commune about once a month, then?

In my Parish which is a Mission Church and in the Cathedral downtown most people go to confession every week and commune every week.
The Priest "encourages" us to come to Vigil and confess then. He has little time to hear too many confessions Sunday morning. Vigil is pretty well attended.

I have confessed both ways since I started out in the OCA. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Weekly confession helps you to not miss the smaller things. But less frequent confessions helped me to talk at length about the larger issues.
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« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2010, 10:20:39 PM »

I love confession... I think it's one of the most healing Sacraments besides Communion there is... I know people who hate confession and look at me being odd for looking for reasons for going to confession...
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« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2010, 10:30:47 PM »

NM.  Someone said exactly what I already said.  Pays to read before typing! Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2010, 10:44:32 PM »

I love confession... I think it's one of the most healing Sacraments besides Communion there is... I know people who hate confession and look at me being odd for looking for reasons for going to confession...
yes, my mother thinks I'm nutty because I have books lying around on it!
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« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2010, 10:47:40 PM »

I know one of the things that I struggle with is keeping my daily rule of prayer... I talked to my Priest and he told me that choosing of a prayer book is a very personal choice. He said to find a prayer rule and to stick with it and don't do too much at one time....
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« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2010, 10:51:41 PM »

I know one of the things that I struggle with is keeping my daily rule of prayer... I talked to my Priest and he told me that choosing of a prayer book is a very personal choice. He said to find a prayer rule and to stick with it and don't do too much at one time....
good advice, indeed!  I useually pray from the little red prayer book.  once, after getting the Old Orthodox Prayer book (I'd been Orthodox for 3 weeks, mind you!) and I did the WHOLE evening prayers.  it was to much for me, spiritually.  but now I feel I'm ready to start adding more prayers to my rule.

honsetly, I find it odd that people say I should consult my spiritual father for this or that.  we've never really disgussed my prayer life, other than him telling me that I should start with the little red prayer book, and pray more as I feel I'm ready.
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« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2010, 10:59:08 PM »

Funny, my second meeting with my spiritual father, after expressing my desire to convert, walked me over to the parish bookstore, grabbed a Jordanville prayer book and said, "Ok, here is your prayer rule."  Smiley 
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« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2010, 11:03:53 PM »

I know a lot of people like the Jordanville but I find it to be very intimidating... I like the Manual of Eastern Orthodox Prayers which is a compilation of prayers from all different prayer rules..... I also like the My Daily Orthodox Prayer Book....
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« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2010, 11:08:01 PM »

Funny, my second meeting with my spiritual father, after expressing my desire to convert, walked me over to the parish bookstore, grabbed a Jordanville prayer book and said, "Ok, here is your prayer rule."  Smiley 
wow!  you must have had quite a level of spiritual maturity upon converting! 
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« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2010, 11:10:45 PM »

or he did a one size fits all.......
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« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2010, 11:13:59 PM »

I meant the one size fits all with no disrespect to you or your Spiritual Father... If I have offended please forgive me.
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« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2010, 11:38:17 PM »

Funny, my second meeting with my spiritual father, after expressing my desire to convert, walked me over to the parish bookstore, grabbed a Jordanville prayer book and said, "Ok, here is your prayer rule."  Smiley 

Pretty much the same here when I entered the ROCOR.  I like the Old Orthodox Prayer Book, but the Priest recommended the Jordanville since all the ROCOR services are pretty much translated by Fr. Lawrence, so the wording of the Jordanville Prayer book is standard with just about any of the ROCOR services.
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« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2010, 11:44:50 PM »

My priest who is OCA loves the Jordanville and highly recommends it...
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« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2010, 11:48:17 PM »

My priest who is OCA loves the Jordanville and highly recommends it...
I see.  I think it's pretty standard in the OCA, as I'm not sure if there is a prayer book native to that jurisdiction (well...except the one produced by Holy Protection Monastery, but it's not that popular and only available at the monastery.)
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« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2010, 11:55:42 PM »

I will say that some of the prayers in the Jordanville are very pretty....
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« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2010, 11:57:05 PM »

I will say that some of the prayers in the Jordanville are very pretty....
I'm sure.  I think that with Elizabethan English, as used in the Jordanville, you either hate it or you love it.  I think it's beautiful, but it's hard to understand for some.
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« Reply #27 on: October 22, 2010, 12:01:29 AM »

I'd say it's taken me a little over two years where I consistently keep the Jordanville rule in its entirety. So don't try too much at once.

For me it was always doing the whole evening prayer rule, it's just that I started out only doing it one or two nights a week. Then later I added one morning a week, usually Saturdays since I didn't have work or school then. Gradually I have just been adding days, until now it is a natural part of my day and I notice if I forget or get too busy.

Another thing as a tip that has helped me to do the whole set of evening prayers is to not wait to do them until right before I go to bed. I usually do them about two hours before I go to bed, so that I'm not so tired that I struggle through them trying to stay awake, and also I don't have the excuse that I'm just too tired to do them.

I still struggle with the morning prayers more than anything, but God helps.

Finally, I don't do the rule if there is something else prayer-wise going on that morning or evening. For example, if it is Saturday evening, instead of doing the evening prayers, I just spend that evening doing all of the preparation prayers for communion. Between those prayers and attendance at Great Vespers, I have peace. Sometimes if it is the liturgical morning (AKA evening) of a particular saint or event I love, then instead of doing my evening prayers I will sing an akathist for that day, like the other week I did the akathist for the Holy Protection of the Mother of God, and then preparation for Holy Communion. Also, Sunday mornings or the mornings of a liturgy during the week, I wake up and go to matins the liturgy. In those cases, those are my morning prayers.

So basically for me, as long as there is some kind of prayer going on for at least the time it takes me to do my normal rule, this is completely acceptable. I'm still new to the faith and don't want to overburden myself to the point of spiritual burnout, because I'm not a monk and my icon corner isn't Mt. Athos. Just pray with faith and love, and over time God supplies the discipline. Trust me, because before becoming ORthodox I never took the time to pray every single day. God can do amazing things!

I hope that me going into this kind of detail isn't construed as me being too public about my prayer life, I can just remember a couple of years ago wishing for more detailed guidance about realistic goals and what was expected of me. So my only hope is that this look into my prayer life will help someone come to understand the "feel" I've gotten for ORthodox prayer life over the last couple of years, which is quite different in many ways from the Protestant "quiet times" of personal Bible study and confessions and intercessions. The transition was something that took a lot of adjustment for me, especially after years of not regularly praying.
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« Reply #28 on: October 22, 2010, 12:12:38 AM »

I'd say it's taken me a little over two years where I consistently keep the Jordanville rule in its entirety. So don't try too much at once.

For me it was always doing the whole evening prayer rule, it's just that I started out only doing it one or two nights a week. Then later I added one morning a week, usually Saturdays since I didn't have work or school then. Gradually I have just been adding days, until now it is a natural part of my day and I notice if I forget or get too busy.

Another thing as a tip that has helped me to do the whole set of evening prayers is to not wait to do them until right before I go to bed. I usually do them about two hours before I go to bed, so that I'm not so tired that I struggle through them trying to stay awake, and also I don't have the excuse that I'm just too tired to do them.

I still struggle with the morning prayers more than anything, but God helps.

Finally, I don't do the rule if there is something else prayer-wise going on that morning or evening. For example, if it is Saturday evening, instead of doing the evening prayers, I just spend that evening doing all of the preparation prayers for communion. Between those prayers and attendance at Great Vespers, I have peace. Sometimes if it is the liturgical morning (AKA evening) of a particular saint or event I love, then instead of doing my evening prayers I will sing an akathist for that day, like the other week I did the akathist for the Holy Protection of the Mother of God, and then preparation for Holy Communion. Also, Sunday mornings or the mornings of a liturgy during the week, I wake up and go to matins the liturgy. In those cases, those are my morning prayers.

So basically for me, as long as there is some kind of prayer going on for at least the time it takes me to do my normal rule, this is completely acceptable. I'm still new to the faith and don't want to overburden myself to the point of spiritual burnout, because I'm not a monk and my icon corner isn't Mt. Athos. Just pray with faith and love, and over time God supplies the discipline. Trust me, because before becoming ORthodox I never took the time to pray every single day. God can do amazing things!

I hope that me going into this kind of detail isn't construed as me being too public about my prayer life, I can just remember a couple of years ago wishing for more detailed guidance about realistic goals and what was expected of me. So my only hope is that this look into my prayer life will help someone come to understand the "feel" I've gotten for ORthodox prayer life over the last couple of years, which is quite different in many ways from the Protestant "quiet times" of personal Bible study and confessions and intercessions. The transition was something that took a lot of adjustment for me, especially after years of not regularly praying.
wow, I really appreciate this.  one question:  I have trouble finding time (sometimes) in the mornings before school to do the 2-3 minute prayer rule in the little red prayer book.  the morning is such a rush.  another thing, my mother views private prayer when you could be doing something else (like getting dressed, feeding the dog, etc.) and will interrupt my prayer with "Trevor!  are you getting dressed in there?!"   she will also ask me why I'm not getting ready fast enough, and will say that she thinks I'm doing "something else".  I thought she meant....well....you know (wink, wink).  but, I spoke to her about it, and she meant prayer.  it's like, she tells me not to pray.  I'm sure she doesn't mean it, but she does.

in short (too late), how do you keep a morning prayer rule of that length without being late in the mornings?
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« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2010, 12:14:53 AM »

Funny, my second meeting with my spiritual father, after expressing my desire to convert, walked me over to the parish bookstore, grabbed a Jordanville prayer book and said, "Ok, here is your prayer rule."  Smiley 
wow!  you must have had quite a level of spiritual maturity upon converting! 

Ha!  Hardly.  But thanks for assuming the best! Cheesy
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« Reply #30 on: October 22, 2010, 12:17:25 AM »

I'd say it's taken me a little over two years where I consistently keep the Jordanville rule in its entirety. So don't try too much at once.

Interesting.  It took me almost two years too.  And I agree, don't try too much at once. 
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« Reply #31 on: October 22, 2010, 12:33:35 AM »

one question:  I have trouble finding time (sometimes) in the mornings before school to do the 2-3 minute prayer rule in the little red prayer book.  the morning is such a rush.  another thing, my mother views private prayer when you could be doing something else (like getting dressed, feeding the dog, etc.) and will interrupt my prayer with "Trevor!  are you getting dressed in there?!"   she will also ask me why I'm not getting ready fast enough, and will say that she thinks I'm doing "something else".  I thought she meant....well....you know (wink, wink).  but, I spoke to her about it, and she meant prayer.  it's like, she tells me not to pray.  I'm sure she doesn't mean it, but she does.

in short (too late), how do you keep a morning prayer rule of that length without being late in the mornings?

Well I think this was discussed before. Starting out in your situation, honestly I probably just wouldn't pray. That's not the "right" answer, and you should strive toward it, but I think that building a discipline takes time. I wouldn't try to add a 20 minute morning rule if you can't handle the 2-3 minute rule in the little red book.

It has to get to the point to where you want to pray so much that you have to get up early. It eventually will just start happening, because you want to keep your connection with Him strong, and for no other reason. Now if I miss a time of prayer, I honestly feel unplugged the whole day.

So if you want to pray in the morning, then get up earlier. It's really that simple. Oh, and go to bed earlier to compensate.
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« Reply #32 on: October 22, 2010, 12:38:51 AM »

one question:  I have trouble finding time (sometimes) in the mornings before school to do the 2-3 minute prayer rule in the little red prayer book.  the morning is such a rush.  another thing, my mother views private prayer when you could be doing something else (like getting dressed, feeding the dog, etc.) and will interrupt my prayer with "Trevor!  are you getting dressed in there?!"   she will also ask me why I'm not getting ready fast enough, and will say that she thinks I'm doing "something else".  I thought she meant....well....you know (wink, wink).  but, I spoke to her about it, and she meant prayer.  it's like, she tells me not to pray.  I'm sure she doesn't mean it, but she does.

in short (too late), how do you keep a morning prayer rule of that length without being late in the mornings?

Well I think this was discussed before. Starting out in your situation, honestly I probably just wouldn't pray. That's not the "right" answer, and you should strive toward it, but I think that building a discipline takes time. I wouldn't try to add a 20 minute morning rule if you can't handle the 2-3 minute rule in the little red book.

It has to get to the point to where you want to pray so much that you have to get up early. It eventually will just start happening, because you want to keep your connection with Him strong, and for no other reason. Now if I miss a time of prayer, I honestly feel unplugged the whole day.

So if you want to pray in the morning, then get up earlier. It's really that simple. Oh, and go to bed earlier to compensate.
thanks.  Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot to add something. I also want a more lengthy prayer rule, and feel I'm ready for it.  but, your 100% correct, if I don't have time, I'm not as ready as I thought. 

would it be wrong to do morning prayers from the little red book, and evening prayers from another prayer book?
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« Reply #33 on: October 22, 2010, 01:07:11 AM »

would it be wrong to do morning prayers from the little red book, and evening prayers from another prayer book?

The entire cloud of witnesses and the angelic hosts rejoice when you turn your heart to God. Do whatever you can, according to your strength.
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« Reply #34 on: October 22, 2010, 01:10:46 AM »

would it be wrong to do morning prayers from the little red book, and evening prayers from another prayer book?

The entire cloud of witnesses and the angelic hosts rejoice when you turn your heart to God. Do whatever you can, according to your strength.
thank you, what a lovely sentiment.  I want to do whatever I can, without "burning out". please pray for me!
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« Reply #35 on: October 24, 2010, 07:33:26 PM »

I saw that some people on this thread implied that they like the "one confession = one communion" rule.

That's fine, do what your priest says and all that, but perhaps caution should be exercised here.  This rule, I think, tends to reduce confession to a "magic pass" that makes us "worthy" of communion.  This is an issue in many churches, especially those of a predominantly ethnic composition (whether Russian or Arab); I think that a healthier approach would be to certainly confess on a regular basis as needed, but not to necessarily make confession a "ticket" we must purchase before going to communion each Sunday.

Just my 2 cents, take it for what you will.

In Christ,

Dn. Michael
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« Reply #36 on: October 24, 2010, 07:50:47 PM »

I must say, I am quite attracted to that custom of confessing before every communion.
Why?
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« Reply #37 on: October 24, 2010, 08:09:39 PM »

I saw that some people on this thread implied that they like the "one confession = one communion" rule.

That's fine, do what your priest says and all that, but perhaps caution should be exercised here.  This rule, I think, tends to reduce confession to a "magic pass" that makes us "worthy" of communion.  This is an issue in many churches, especially those of a predominantly ethnic composition (whether Russian or Arab); I think that a healthier approach would be to certainly confess on a regular basis as needed, but not to necessarily make confession a "ticket" we must purchase before going to communion each Sunday.

Just my 2 cents, take it for what you will.

In Christ,

Dn. Michael

So, you can go through a week without sinning?  I'm impressed.
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« Reply #38 on: October 24, 2010, 09:09:04 PM »

I must say, I am quite attracted to that custom of confessing before every communion.
Why?
I find that every week (except the week after I confess), I approach the chalice with a little bit of guilt over small sins....mostly thoughts.
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« Reply #39 on: October 24, 2010, 11:14:03 PM »

I must say, I am quite attracted to that custom of confessing before every communion.
Why?
I find that every week (except the week after I confess), I approach the chalice with a little bit of guilt over small sins....mostly thoughts.
You don't think the prayers of general confession right before Communion address those sins?
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« Reply #40 on: October 24, 2010, 11:34:57 PM »

I saw that some people on this thread implied that they like the "one confession = one communion" rule.

That's fine, do what your priest says and all that, but perhaps caution should be exercised here.  This rule, I think, tends to reduce confession to a "magic pass" that makes us "worthy" of communion.  This is an issue in many churches, especially those of a predominantly ethnic composition (whether Russian or Arab); I think that a healthier approach would be to certainly confess on a regular basis as needed, but not to necessarily make confession a "ticket" we must purchase before going to communion each Sunday.

Just my 2 cents, take it for what you will.

In Christ,

Dn. Michael

So, you can go through a week without sinning?  I'm impressed.

I would think most have a problem going from Vespers Saturday night to communion Sunday morning without sinning.
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« Reply #41 on: October 24, 2010, 11:44:53 PM »

I must say, I am quite attracted to that custom of confessing before every communion.
Why?
I find that every week (except the week after I confess), I approach the chalice with a little bit of guilt over small sins....mostly thoughts.
You don't think the prayers of general confession right before Communion address those sins?
I have thought about that, but would that remove the need for me to go and confess those sins to my priest at confession?
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« Reply #42 on: October 25, 2010, 02:24:58 AM »

I must say, I am quite attracted to that custom of confessing before every communion.
Why?
I find that every week (except the week after I confess), I approach the chalice with a little bit of guilt over small sins....mostly thoughts.
You don't think the prayers of general confession right before Communion address those sins?
I have thought about that, but would that remove the need for me to go and confess those sins to my priest at confession?
Depends on the discipline your priest has you following. However, I wouldn't let the guilt from those sins distract you from receiving Holy Communion, the Medicine of Immortality given to you for the remission of your sins and unto life everlasting.
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« Reply #43 on: October 25, 2010, 08:16:18 AM »

I must say, I am quite attracted to that custom of confessing before every communion.
Why?
I find that every week (except the week after I confess), I approach the chalice with a little bit of guilt over small sins....mostly thoughts.
You don't think the prayers of general confession right before Communion address those sins?
I have thought about that, but would that remove the need for me to go and confess those sins to my priest at confession?
Depends on the discipline your priest has you following. However, I wouldn't let the guilt from those sins distract you from receiving Holy Communion, the Medicine of Immortality given to you for the remission of your sins and unto life everlasting.
your absolutly correct!  I appreciate this.  but, does communion act like the western "indulgence", taking away certain types of sins?
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« Reply #44 on: October 25, 2010, 08:53:13 AM »

I saw that some people on this thread implied that they like the "one confession = one communion" rule.

That's fine, do what your priest says and all that, but perhaps caution should be exercised here.  This rule, I think, tends to reduce confession to a "magic pass" that makes us "worthy" of communion.  This is an issue in many churches, especially those of a predominantly ethnic composition (whether Russian or Arab); I think that a healthier approach would be to certainly confess on a regular basis as needed, but not to necessarily make confession a "ticket" we must purchase before going to communion each Sunday.
Dn. Michael

There is no "magic pass", Father Michael.  I would think that the "magic pass' is given to those in the Churches who may freely approach communion without confession.  That is the real "magic pass."

We have seen the results in modern Orthodoxy of no link between confession and communion - the virtual disappearance of the use of the Mystery of Confession in some Orthodox Churches. (The same has happened in the Roman Catholic Church after Vatican II but the disappearance of confession there has several factors.)   

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 confession 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 people about this.  I am simply judging by the empirical evidence I have witnessed in 30 years as a priest in the Slav Churches, Serbian and Russian.

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« Reply #45 on: October 25, 2010, 09:30:14 AM »

I must say, I am quite attracted to that custom of confessing before every communion.
Why?
I find that every week (except the week after I confess), I approach the chalice with a little bit of guilt over small sins....mostly thoughts.
You don't think the prayers of general confession right before Communion address those sins?

I would think that the prayers for preparation are a form of confession.  However, if one really believes that what they are praying is true, would they not want the absolution from the Priest?  When it comes to Confession, my repentance and tears came before I confessed to the Priest.  It is the sacramental absolution that I believe to be important for being prepared for communion.
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« Reply #46 on: October 25, 2010, 09:33:38 AM »

I saw that some people on this thread implied that they like the "one confession = one communion" rule.

That's fine, do what your priest says and all that, but perhaps caution should be exercised here.  This rule, I think, tends to reduce confession to a "magic pass" that makes us "worthy" of communion.  This is an issue in many churches, especially those of a predominantly ethnic composition (whether Russian or Arab); I think that a healthier approach would be to certainly confess on a regular basis as needed, but not to necessarily make confession a "ticket" we must purchase before going to communion each Sunday.

Just my 2 cents, take it for what you will.

In Christ,

Dn. Michael

So, you can go through a week without sinning?  I'm impressed.

I would think most have a problem going from Vespers Saturday night to communion Sunday morning without sinning.

Exactly.  That is why I believe that the Absolution is so important.  I would think many, like Dn. Michael (if I am permitted to judge in the positive) probably confess their sins to God daily, or possibly more.  Needing the Spiritual guidance of the Priest may not be required every week.  However, there are two parts to confession, and the important second part is missed when the first is missed.
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« Reply #47 on: October 25, 2010, 10:39:41 AM »

I saw that some people on this thread implied that they like the "one confession = one communion" rule.

That's fine, do what your priest says and all that, but perhaps caution should be exercised here.  This rule, I think, tends to reduce confession to a "magic pass" that makes us "worthy" of communion.  This is an issue in many churches, especially those of a predominantly ethnic composition (whether Russian or Arab); I think that a healthier approach would be to certainly confess on a regular basis as needed, but not to necessarily make confession a "ticket" we must purchase before going to communion each Sunday.
Dn. Michael

There is no "magic pass", Father Michael.  I would think that the "magic pass' is given to those in the Churches who may freely approach communion without confession.  That is the real "magic pass."

We have seen the results in modern Orthodoxy of no link between confession and communion - the virtual disappearance of the use of the Mystery of Confession in some Orthodox Churches. (The same has happened in the Roman Catholic Church after Vatican II but the disappearance of confession there has several factors.)   

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 confession 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.
Yet, until recently, the Slavic practice was also based on people receiving Communion infrequently, so that even those who confessed before receiving Communion often didn't confess but once or twice per year. No real change in confession frequency there.
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« Reply #48 on: October 25, 2010, 10:40:38 AM »

I must say, I am quite attracted to that custom of confessing before every communion.
Why?
I find that every week (except the week after I confess), I approach the chalice with a little bit of guilt over small sins....mostly thoughts.
You don't think the prayers of general confession right before Communion address those sins?

I would think that the prayers for preparation are a form of confession.  However, if one really believes that what they are praying is true, would they not want the absolution from the Priest?  When it comes to Confession, my repentance and tears came before I confessed to the Priest.  It is the sacramental absolution that I believe to be important for being prepared for communion.

Why?
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« Reply #49 on: October 25, 2010, 11:06:18 AM »

I must say, I am quite attracted to that custom of confessing before every communion.
Why?
I find that every week (except the week after I confess), I approach the chalice with a little bit of guilt over small sins....mostly thoughts.
You don't think the prayers of general confession right before Communion address those sins?

I would think that the prayers for preparation are a form of confession.  However, if one really believes that what they are praying is true, would they not want the absolution from the Priest?  When it comes to Confession, my repentance and tears came before I confessed to the Priest.  It is the sacramental absolution that I believe to be important for being prepared for communion.


Can we for a moment consider the Priest himself? He does not have recourse to private confession every week and yet he undoubtedly sins between communions. You might think that a priest is somehow different and I will agree with you. I will say that his "job," his vocation, gives him the opportunity, as a practical matter, to pray more, self-audit more, confess and correct more. But, he is equal to anyone before the chalice and thus is accountable to the Lord for his relationship with Him, to include being prepared properly for communion. Please note that the key is proper preparation. We all know what that means and the Church does help us to stay on course--whatever several variations may be. So, all these differing approaches to preparation are one thing, and the severe difference between the laity and the clergy is another thing.

I think that the practice of confession/absolution/communion cycle is actually the easier way for the lay person. It takes away the personal responsibility to pray, self-audit, confess and correct--just like a priest. After all, you can mess up as much as you can, it does not make a difference because just before taking communion you can go to the priest, confess and receive absolution! And, the only thing that you would have to do is to keep your act clean until communion! And, suppose that you do not keep yourself completely sinless until communion. Why, you can have recourse to the prayers before communion, which are said most conveniently just before communion.

I know that these words will grate on some folks' nerves. I have purposely used sarcasm to make my point that our main task is to have a relationship with the Holy Trinity. Put another way, it is most important to act like a fully formed Christian and not as a lamb that must be directed by the shepherd and his dogs (I know that this is a most unfortunate imagery but I was thinking of a NOVA show on dogs where it showed how utterly impossible it would be raise sheep in Scotland without the dogs). In any case, this posting is proof positive why I am such a poor communicator in these matters.

Father Alexander Schmemann of blessed memory looked at our Holy Mystery of Penance/Communion and saw something in it that most folks kind of overlook. To Father Alexander it was a scandal that (a) when he had confessed an entire congregation, not one of them actually confessed a sin to him, and (b) only the priest took communion. He knew that in the the early Church everybody took communion, as attested to by the Church Fathers. He also knew that this Holy Mystery was used primarily as a Sacrament of Reconciliation for those Christians who had lost their relationship with the Lord and His Body for serious sins/shortcomings. After all, everybody sins and yet for most, preeminently the priests and bishops, the pre-communion preparations (of course starting earlier than the pre-communion prayers just before communion) were sufficient; most folks did not confess to a priest and receive absolution from him prior to communion--just like the priest himself!

Of course, there are good reasons for somebody to require the confession/absolution/communion cycle. For some folks, it may be impossible or very hard to observe a daily rule of prayer, go to services during the week, to attend the services of Sunday (starting with Vespers or Vigil, than to go the Matins or Hours just before the Divine Liturgy), self-audit constantly, and confess and correct constantly. BTW, I have just described what I have figured that that I need to keep on a somewhat even keel. I must confess however that I go through some difficult periods. In any case, I do go the confession at least once every six to eight weeks as prescribed by my priest but I do go to confession as soon as I can after I fall short in those areas that my Priest has specified and those that I think are serious enough to warrant reconciliation. In any case, in an ordinary Sunday I do approach the chalice, as unworthy as I am, after putting my heart and mind into preparing myself ahead of time. For me at least, going to Vespers on Saturday, going through my weekly self-audit wrap up, and attending the Hours lead to the Divine Liturgy that in my experience has been one continuous conversation/prayer with the Holy Trinity. I tell the Lord many times, and particularly during the pre-communion prayers that the clergy as well as we say, that I am sorry, that I will do better, that I pray that He will help me do that. Lest anyone think that I am any good, I must tell you that I am such a big sinner that I need all of this.

So, we come down to what happens during the Mystery of Confession/Penance/Reconciliation. If anyone has been paying attention, we confess our sins, shortcomings to the Lord, who then absolves us, all the while the Priest acting only in the role of spiritual father, witness, representative of the Church. The main interaction is between the penitent and the Lord; how is this materially different from what we are supposed to be doing every day of our lives?

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« Reply #50 on: October 25, 2010, 11:25:17 AM »


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 confession and actually see it as a Roman Catholic thing.



Father Ambrose,

I have to ask, what has that priest done to educate his flock on the importance of confession, tied to communion or not? 
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« Reply #51 on: October 25, 2010, 11:26:58 AM »

I have to object to any suggestion that a parish that does not practice "one confession= one communion" is on a slippery slope to no confessions at all.
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« Reply #52 on: October 25, 2010, 11:31:06 AM »

@ Punch:  Yes, I do sin.  But I don't obsess over every transgression (not saying those who practice weekly confession do); I simply confess as needed, which is different with each person.  But again, the priest's discipline will play a part.

@ Irish Hermit:  I think both things you mentioned are extremes; those going to communion without at least a recent confession need to be taught and counseled; likewise, those equating one confession = 1 communion need to realize that, while this is practiced usually in Slavic churches, this is not necessarily the universal tradition of the Church.  These extremes tend to engender two possibilities:  either approaching communion so casually as to not correctly prepare oneself, or holding the Eucharist to such a point that we hardly every approaching the chalice.  I believe that, while it may be helpful to some extent, itemizing and categorizing our sins each and every week can also lead to psychological problems, b/c we're focusing more on the sin than on the preparation to receive our Lord and Savior.  It tends to make confession a legal requirement rather than specifically a healing sacrament.  How did we do it in the early Church?  People confessed and joined the order of penitents when they committed one of the "big" sins - apostasy, murder, adultery, etc... There was no such thing as privatized confession until much later; true, confessional practices have evolved, and this must be respected, but we need to be aware of the roots of the sacrament as well as far as history is concerned.  

Communion requires preparation, to be sure.  That includes confession of some sort of regularity, fasting, prayer, charitible works, etc...  However, it would be demonic to see these things as making us "worthy" of communion.  We prepare ourselves as best as we can, but to rely on it is not exactly spiritually healthy.

Let me pose an example; say a person confesses every Saturday night in order to approach communion on Sunday morning.  Now, say that person, for whatever reason, could not come to church on Saturday, and had no opportunity to confess during the week due to work or whatever.  Say they prepared themselves in ever other way - fasted, said the prayers, did their best to avoid sin, confessed to God in their prayers when they did fall.  I would have an issue with any pastor who would bar this person from communion simply b/c they did not fulfill the legal obligation of confession.

I know people will continue to do what their parish practices, and that's fine; but we need to be aware of other points of view as well, and be open to at least considering them.
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« Reply #53 on: October 25, 2010, 01:41:43 PM »

OCA liturgics are ROCOR Litugics lite.  There has to be something said for ROCOR Liturgics, the word thorough comes to mind.  
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« Reply #54 on: October 25, 2010, 02:30:42 PM »


Let me pose an example; say a person confesses every Saturday night in order to approach communion on Sunday morning.  Now, say that person, for whatever reason, could not come to church on Saturday, and had no opportunity to confess during the week due to work or whatever.  Say they prepared themselves in ever other way - fasted, said the prayers, did their best to avoid sin, confessed to God in their prayers when they did fall.  I would have an issue with any pastor who would bar this person from communion simply b/c they did not fulfill the legal obligation of confession.

 

In the situation above, the Priests that I have known will give him a blessing to commune, or hear his confession in the morning (if the individual so desired).  Where there is a will, there is a way.  I have yet to read a good reason not to confess, just excuses for why people do not.  I guess the question that I have is this: if a person truly has repented for his sins, and has indeed gone through the prayers and canon prior to communion, why would they not desire the sacrament of confession and absolution?  There is a difference between can’t (as in your example above), and won’t. 
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« Reply #55 on: October 25, 2010, 02:45:02 PM »

Funny, my second meeting with my spiritual father, after expressing my desire to convert, walked me over to the parish bookstore, grabbed a Jordanville prayer book and said, "Ok, here is your prayer rule."  Smiley 

Wow, your prayer rule is to read the entire Jordanville prayer book every day!  I'm very impressed.   Wink
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« Reply #56 on: October 25, 2010, 03:55:48 PM »


Let me pose an example; say a person confesses every Saturday night in order to approach communion on Sunday morning.  Now, say that person, for whatever reason, could not come to church on Saturday, and had no opportunity to confess during the week due to work or whatever.  Say they prepared themselves in ever other way - fasted, said the prayers, did their best to avoid sin, confessed to God in their prayers when they did fall.  I would have an issue with any pastor who would bar this person from communion simply b/c they did not fulfill the legal obligation of confession.

 

In the situation above, the Priests that I have known will give him a blessing to commune, or hear his confession in the morning (if the individual so desired).  Where there is a will, there is a way.  I have yet to read a good reason not to confess, just excuses for why people do not.  I guess the question that I have is this: if a person truly has repented for his sins, and has indeed gone through the prayers and canon prior to communion, why would they not desire the sacrament of confession and absolution?
But why do you see absolution as necessary before receiving Communion? Does it somehow make us "worthy" to receive the Holy Mysteries? Aren't the Holy Mysteries given to us "for the remission of his/her sins and unto life everlasting", precisely with the knowledge that we are sinners unworthy to receive them? So why is absolution a necessary prerequisite for receiving Holy Communion?
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« Reply #57 on: October 25, 2010, 05:14:52 PM »

But why do you see absolution as necessary before receiving Communion? Does it somehow make us "worthy" to receive the Holy Mysteries? Aren't the Holy Mysteries given to us "for the remission of his/her sins and unto life everlasting", precisely with the knowledge that we are sinners unworthy to receive them? So why is absolution a necessary prerequisite for receiving Holy Communion?

Why?  Because that is the Tradition of my Church, and was also the Tradition of the Church that I was raised in.  I guess that I look for ways to follow the Church’s Traditions, not ways to escape them.  The Scriptures state:

--Whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 

Absolution allows me to approach the Body and Blood of Christ in a prepared, and if you want to use the word, “worthy” manner.  I approach with the knowledge that my sins have been forgiven, and this forgiveness is sealed by the partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ shed for those sins.  If you don’t feel this is necessary, then by all means ignore it and do whatever you want (or are allowed to get away with).. 
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« Reply #58 on: October 25, 2010, 05:43:22 PM »

I must say, I am quite attracted to that custom of confessing before every communion.
Why?
I find that every week (except the week after I confess), I approach the chalice with a little bit of guilt over small sins....mostly thoughts.
You don't think the prayers of general confession right before Communion address those sins?

I would think that the prayers for preparation are a form of confession.  However, if one really believes that what they are praying is true, would they not want the absolution from the Priest?  When it comes to Confession, my repentance and tears came before I confessed to the Priest.  It is the sacramental absolution that I believe to be important for being prepared for communion.


Can we for a moment consider the Priest himself? He does not have recourse to private confession every week and yet he undoubtedly sins between communions. You might think that a priest is somehow different and I will agree with you. I will say that his "job," his vocation, gives him the opportunity, as a practical matter, to pray more, self-audit more, confess and correct more. But, he is equal to anyone before the chalice and thus is accountable to the Lord for his relationship with Him, to include being prepared properly for communion. Please note that the key is proper preparation. We all know what that means and the Church does help us to stay on course--whatever several variations may be. So, all these differing approaches to preparation are one thing, and the severe difference between the laity and the clergy is another thing.

I think that the practice of confession/absolution/communion cycle is actually the easier way for the lay person. It takes away the personal responsibility to pray, self-audit, confess and correct--just like a priest. After all, you can mess up as much as you can, it does not make a difference because just before taking communion you can go to the priest, confess and receive absolution! And, the only thing that you would have to do is to keep your act clean until communion! And, suppose that you do not keep yourself completely sinless until communion. Why, you can have recourse to the prayers before communion, which are said most conveniently just before communion.

I know that these words will grate on some folks' nerves. I have purposely used sarcasm to make my point that our main task is to have a relationship with the Holy Trinity. Put another way, it is most important to act like a fully formed Christian and not as a lamb that must be directed by the shepherd and his dogs (I know that this is a most unfortunate imagery but I was thinking of a NOVA show on dogs where it showed how utterly impossible it would be raise sheep in Scotland without the dogs). In any case, this posting is proof positive why I am such a poor communicator in these matters.

Father Alexander Schmemann of blessed memory looked at our Holy Mystery of Penance/Communion and saw something in it that most folks kind of overlook. To Father Alexander it was a scandal that (a) when he had confessed an entire congregation, not one of them actually confessed a sin to him, and (b) only the priest took communion. He knew that in the the early Church everybody took communion, as attested to by the Church Fathers. He also knew that this Holy Mystery was used primarily as a Sacrament of Reconciliation for those Christians who had lost their relationship with the Lord and His Body for serious sins/shortcomings. After all, everybody sins and yet for most, preeminently the priests and bishops, the pre-communion preparations (of course starting earlier than the pre-communion prayers just before communion) were sufficient; most folks did not confess to a priest and receive absolution from him prior to communion--just like the priest himself!

Of course, there are good reasons for somebody to require the confession/absolution/communion cycle. For some folks, it may be impossible or very hard to observe a daily rule of prayer, go to services during the week, to attend the services of Sunday (starting with Vespers or Vigil, than to go the Matins or Hours just before the Divine Liturgy), self-audit constantly, and confess and correct constantly. BTW, I have just described what I have figured that that I need to keep on a somewhat even keel. I must confess however that I go through some difficult periods. In any case, I do go the confession at least once every six to eight weeks as prescribed by my priest but I do go to confession as soon as I can after I fall short in those areas that my Priest has specified and those that I think are serious enough to warrant reconciliation. In any case, in an ordinary Sunday I do approach the chalice, as unworthy as I am, after putting my heart and mind into preparing myself ahead of time. For me at least, going to Vespers on Saturday, going through my weekly self-audit wrap up, and attending the Hours lead to the Divine Liturgy that in my experience has been one continuous conversation/prayer with the Holy Trinity. I tell the Lord many times, and particularly during the pre-communion prayers that the clergy as well as we say, that I am sorry, that I will do better, that I pray that He will help me do that. Lest anyone think that I am any good, I must tell you that I am such a big sinner that I need all of this.

So, we come down to what happens during the Mystery of Confession/Penance/Reconciliation. If anyone has been paying attention, we confess our sins, shortcomings to the Lord, who then absolves us, all the while the Priest acting only in the role of spiritual father, witness, representative of the Church. The main interaction is between the penitent and the Lord; how is this materially different from what we are supposed to be doing every day of our lives?



Actually Priests at least in Rocor will instruct you not to receive communion that week or until the matter is cleared up. So you really cant mess up all you want.
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« Reply #59 on: October 25, 2010, 05:56:06 PM »

I must say, I am quite attracted to that custom of confessing before every communion.
Why?
I find that every week (except the week after I confess), I approach the chalice with a little bit of guilt over small sins....mostly thoughts.
You don't think the prayers of general confession right before Communion address those sins?

I would think that the prayers for preparation are a form of confession.  However, if one really believes that what they are praying is true, would they not want the absolution from the Priest?  When it comes to Confession, my repentance and tears came before I confessed to the Priest.  It is the sacramental absolution that I believe to be important for being prepared for communion.


Can we for a moment consider the Priest himself? He does not have recourse to private confession every week and yet he undoubtedly sins between communions. You might think that a priest is somehow different and I will agree with you. I will say that his "job," his vocation, gives him the opportunity, as a practical matter, to pray more, self-audit more, confess and correct more. But, he is equal to anyone before the chalice and thus is accountable to the Lord for his relationship with Him, to include being prepared properly for communion. Please note that the key is proper preparation. We all know what that means and the Church does help us to stay on course--whatever several variations may be. So, all these differing approaches to preparation are one thing, and the severe difference between the laity and the clergy is another thing.

I think that the practice of confession/absolution/communion cycle is actually the easier way for the lay person. It takes away the personal responsibility to pray, self-audit, confess and correct--just like a priest. After all, you can mess up as much as you can, it does not make a difference because just before taking communion you can go to the priest, confess and receive absolution! And, the only thing that you would have to do is to keep your act clean until communion! And, suppose that you do not keep yourself completely sinless until communion. Why, you can have recourse to the prayers before communion, which are said most conveniently just before communion.

I know that these words will grate on some folks' nerves. I have purposely used sarcasm to make my point that our main task is to have a relationship with the Holy Trinity. Put another way, it is most important to act like a fully formed Christian and not as a lamb that must be directed by the shepherd and his dogs (I know that this is a most unfortunate imagery but I was thinking of a NOVA show on dogs where it showed how utterly impossible it would be raise sheep in Scotland without the dogs). In any case, this posting is proof positive why I am such a poor communicator in these matters.

Father Alexander Schmemann of blessed memory looked at our Holy Mystery of Penance/Communion and saw something in it that most folks kind of overlook. To Father Alexander it was a scandal that (a) when he had confessed an entire congregation, not one of them actually confessed a sin to him, and (b) only the priest took communion. He knew that in the the early Church everybody took communion, as attested to by the Church Fathers. He also knew that this Holy Mystery was used primarily as a Sacrament of Reconciliation for those Christians who had lost their relationship with the Lord and His Body for serious sins/shortcomings. After all, everybody sins and yet for most, preeminently the priests and bishops, the pre-communion preparations (of course starting earlier than the pre-communion prayers just before communion) were sufficient; most folks did not confess to a priest and receive absolution from him prior to communion--just like the priest himself!

Of course, there are good reasons for somebody to require the confession/absolution/communion cycle. For some folks, it may be impossible or very hard to observe a daily rule of prayer, go to services during the week, to attend the services of Sunday (starting with Vespers or Vigil, than to go the Matins or Hours just before the Divine Liturgy), self-audit constantly, and confess and correct constantly. BTW, I have just described what I have figured that that I need to keep on a somewhat even keel. I must confess however that I go through some difficult periods. In any case, I do go the confession at least once every six to eight weeks as prescribed by my priest but I do go to confession as soon as I can after I fall short in those areas that my Priest has specified and those that I think are serious enough to warrant reconciliation. In any case, in an ordinary Sunday I do approach the chalice, as unworthy as I am, after putting my heart and mind into preparing myself ahead of time. For me at least, going to Vespers on Saturday, going through my weekly self-audit wrap up, and attending the Hours lead to the Divine Liturgy that in my experience has been one continuous conversation/prayer with the Holy Trinity. I tell the Lord many times, and particularly during the pre-communion prayers that the clergy as well as we say, that I am sorry, that I will do better, that I pray that He will help me do that. Lest anyone think that I am any good, I must tell you that I am such a big sinner that I need all of this.

So, we come down to what happens during the Mystery of Confession/Penance/Reconciliation. If anyone has been paying attention, we confess our sins, shortcomings to the Lord, who then absolves us, all the while the Priest acting only in the role of spiritual father, witness, representative of the Church. The main interaction is between the penitent and the Lord; how is this materially different from what we are supposed to be doing every day of our lives?



Actually Priests at least in Rocor will instruct you not to receive communion that week or until the matter is cleared up. So you really cant mess up all you want.

Yes and this would happen at each jurisdiction. That was not what I was trying to say. First, I was being sarcastic. Second, I was not talking at that point about priests but about any one of us who can "game" this thing without the priest ever knowing about it. Unless, one of the charisma that he receives at his ordination is to know everything that his parishioners think and do.
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« Reply #60 on: October 25, 2010, 09:31:54 PM »

Mark wrote:

Actually Priests at least in Rocor will instruct you not to receive communion that week or until the matter is cleared up. So you really cant mess up all you want.

Second Chance wrote:

Yes and this would happen at each jurisdiction. That was not what I was trying to say. First, I was being sarcastic. Second, I was not talking at that point about priests but about any one of us who can "game" this thing without the priest ever knowing about it. Unless, one of the charisma that he receives at his ordination is to know everything that his parishioners think and do.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

And exactly how would this happen in the jurisdictions where confession is only required once per year, or even once per quarter?  Talk about a license to do whatever you want to do!  No chance for the Priest to guide you.  No chance to impose a penance.  As to the person "gaming" the system, they are not fooling God.  If they want to play with fire, they will get burnt.  I don't believe that there is a sin upon a Priest who communes someone to that person's own destruction when they have lied to the Priest, or "gamed" the system.  I worry about the priest who communes someone to their own destruction because he never properly instructed them, or did not enforce Church discipline.   
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« Reply #61 on: October 25, 2010, 11:27:03 PM »

I saw that some people on this thread implied that they like the "one confession = one communion" rule.

That's fine, do what your priest says and all that, but perhaps caution should be exercised here.  This rule, I think, tends to reduce confession to a "magic pass" that makes us "worthy" of communion.  This is an issue in many churches, especially those of a predominantly ethnic composition (whether Russian or Arab); I think that a healthier approach would be to certainly confess on a regular basis as needed, but not to necessarily make confession a "ticket" we must purchase before going to communion each Sunday.
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There is no "magic pass", Father Michael.  I would think that the "magic pass' is given to those in the Churches who may freely approach communion without confession.  That is the real "magic pass."

We have seen the results in modern Orthodoxy of no link between confession and communion - the virtual disappearance of the use of the Mystery of Confession in some Orthodox Churches. (The same has happened in the Roman Catholic Church after Vatican II but the disappearance of confession there has several factors.)   

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 confession 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.
Yet, until recently, the Slavic practice was also based on people receiving Communion infrequently, so that even those who confessed before receiving Communion often didn't confess but once or twice per year. No real change in confession frequency there.

This is a bit of muddled thinking. The assumption seems to be that the Slav faithful do not go to confession unless they are/were preparing for communion.  That is not so.  For example (and forgive the crudity of this example) teenagers and young people are strongly advised to go to confession whenever they have a lapse in sexual purity.  This is  not connected with whether or not they are preparing for communion.    And of course it is not just sexual sins for which the faithful seek confession.  It could be theft, violence, drunkenness, envy, lying, etc.
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« Reply #62 on: October 25, 2010, 11:30:58 PM »


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 confession and actually see it as a Roman Catholic thing.



Father Ambrose,

I have to ask, what has that priest done to educate his flock on the importance of confession, tied to communion or not? 

He took counsel from his bishop as to how to handle the situation.
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« Reply #63 on: October 25, 2010, 11:41:01 PM »

I have to object to any suggestion that a parish that does not practice "one confession= one communion" is on a slippery slope to no confessions at all.

You can imagine how objectionable I find it that some people think I am handing out "magic passes" for communion.    Embarrassed
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« Reply #64 on: October 26, 2010, 01:18:52 AM »

But why do you see absolution as necessary before receiving Communion? Does it somehow make us "worthy" to receive the Holy Mysteries? Aren't the Holy Mysteries given to us "for the remission of his/her sins and unto life everlasting", precisely with the knowledge that we are sinners unworthy to receive them? So why is absolution a necessary prerequisite for receiving Holy Communion?

Why?  Because that is the Tradition of my Church, and was also the Tradition of the Church that I was raised in.  I guess that I look for ways to follow the Church’s Traditions, not ways to escape them.
You do realize that the traditions your church inherited regarding the Confession=Communion link are more likely local or regional traditions than Catholic Tradition? Especially considering that the practice developed within the Russian Orthodox Church and really never took hold to anywhere near as widespread a degree in other jurisdictions? I therefore don't think particularly fair your insinuation that those who don't follow your church's local traditions are looking for ways to escape them. You might do better, then, to merely explain why you feel it so important to seek absolution from sins via Confession before you receive Communion and save your smug accusations for another day.

The Scriptures state:

--Whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
Yes, I'm aware of this Scripture, but I'm not sure your interpretation is the only legitimate way to read this passage. One certainly does need to be prepared to receive Communion in a worthy manner, a manner that discerns in the Holy Eucharist Christ's Body and Blood and our unworthiness to receive Him. I just don't see how the absolution of Confession is so necessary to this preparation that we must receive it every time we intend to receive Communion.

Absolution allows me to approach the Body and Blood of Christ in a prepared, and if you want to use the word, “worthy” manner.  I approach with the knowledge that my sins have been forgiven, and this forgiveness is sealed by the partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ shed for those sins.  If you don’t feel this is necessary, then by all means ignore it and do whatever you want (or are allowed to get away with)..
Could you explain why, and without the self-righteous, accusatory tone you so often throw at those who appear to disagree with you? I'm just curious to know your point of view.
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« Reply #65 on: October 26, 2010, 01:24:39 AM »

I saw that some people on this thread implied that they like the "one confession = one communion" rule.

That's fine, do what your priest says and all that, but perhaps caution should be exercised here.  This rule, I think, tends to reduce confession to a "magic pass" that makes us "worthy" of communion.  This is an issue in many churches, especially those of a predominantly ethnic composition (whether Russian or Arab); I think that a healthier approach would be to certainly confess on a regular basis as needed, but not to necessarily make confession a "ticket" we must purchase before going to communion each Sunday.
Dn. Michael

There is no "magic pass", Father Michael.  I would think that the "magic pass' is given to those in the Churches who may freely approach communion without confession.  That is the real "magic pass."

We have seen the results in modern Orthodoxy of no link between confession and communion - the virtual disappearance of the use of the Mystery of Confession in some Orthodox Churches. (The same has happened in the Roman Catholic Church after Vatican II but the disappearance of confession there has several factors.)  

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 confession 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.
Yet, until recently, the Slavic practice was also based on people receiving Communion infrequently, so that even those who confessed before receiving Communion often didn't confess but once or twice per year. No real change in confession frequency there.

This is a bit of muddled thinking. The assumption seems to be that the Slav faithful do not go to confession unless they are/were preparing for communion.  That is not so.  For example (and forgive the crudity of this example) teenagers and young people are strongly advised to go to confession whenever they have a lapse in sexual purity.  This is  not connected with whether or not they are preparing for communion.    And of course it is not just sexual sins for which the faithful seek confession.  It could be theft, violence, drunkenness, envy, lying, etc.
But you're speaking from your limited experience, which I'm not here to discount. I'm speaking from my understanding of how the practice of the hard link between Confession and Communion developed within Christian history. Limited as it may be, this perspective still appears to capture a much broader spectrum of understanding than your own personal experience. That, and I never assumed that the Slav faithful do not go to Confession unless they're preparing for Communion. My statement was that those who did receive Communion only twice a year and sought to confess only as part of their preparation for Communion would only confess twice per year.
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« Reply #66 on: October 26, 2010, 01:27:55 AM »

A thread I think may shed some light on the discussion occurring here:

Confession before Communion
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« Reply #67 on: October 26, 2010, 01:57:54 AM »

[
But you're speaking from your limited experience,

How do you define 'limited experience' in my regard? What constitutes "expansive experience"?

I notice you write that you are only "mildly familiar" with these matters.


PtA:  "I'm mildly familiar with the arguments on both sides of the issue of whether Orthodox should be required to go to Confession before receiving every Communion."

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,8590.0.html
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« Reply #68 on: October 26, 2010, 03:49:05 AM »

[
But you're speaking from your limited experience,

How do you define 'limited experience' in my regard? What constitutes "expansive experience"?
According to the arguments you put forward to support your pov on this subject, you only have the experience of the situations you've dealt with personally. I think a study of history will give a perspective that covers much more ground in terms of both territory and time. The maxim of St. Vincent of Lerins comes to mind here: everywhere at all times by all the faithful. Regardless of what your personal experience may tell you, I'm not sure it's capable of telling you whether the rule requiring Confession before every Communion was enforced by all Orthodox churches around the world through all time. A historical survey of the practice will show instead that it was developed in Russia during the 17th-19th centuries and that it was largely unknown outside of Russia or before the 17th century.

I notice you write that you are only "mildly familiar" with these matters.
Also note that I said that a few years ago. Things may have changed since then. I also didn't define what I meant by "mildly"; it's you who's making that statement out to mean that I'm mostly ignorant of the subject, for I never said that.
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« Reply #69 on: October 26, 2010, 03:56:47 AM »


According to the arguments you put forward to support your pov on this subject, you only have the experience of the situations you've dealt with personally.


And you know this how?  Because I don't believe it is a good thing to go back to the first centuries and give each Sunday parishioner enough of the consecrated bread to take away and commune themselves at home on the intervening weekdays without a confession in sight whether public or private?
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« Reply #70 on: October 26, 2010, 04:07:02 AM »

The vast majority of Orthodox Christians live with a requirement for Confession before Communion - Russians, Serbs, Romanians, Bulgarians.... We also practice a period of fasting before Communion, which can vary from 2 days to 6 days.  We also have extra prayers to read the evenings before Communion.

My question is, WHY are there Orthodox people out there (the minority who don't want this connection between Confession and Communion) for whom this is such a hot button.  They seem to have no idea of "live and let live."  Instead they are quite vehement in attacking those of us who adhere to the majority practice.   What inspires them to belittle our traditional ways?  Is it just the link with Confession which they wish to break or is it also the link with fasting and prayer?  What kind of preparation are they suggesting for Holy Communion?
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« Reply #71 on: October 26, 2010, 04:14:57 AM »


According to the arguments you put forward to support your pov on this subject, you only have the experience of the situations you've dealt with personally. I think a study of history will give a perspective that covers much more ground in terms of both territory and time.

A year or two back we had a similar discussion and I have this message in my archives (cannot find it by a forum search.)

These were not customs which resulted from the Synodal period in Russia. Russia simply shared the universal customs of the Orthodox Churches.

For example at the time of Peter the Great these Russian customs [of preparing for communion] were also the norm throughout Greece and Mount Athos and the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  I don't know about Jerusalem, Alexandria and Antioch but since they came within the Greek sphere these customs probably applied there too.

The Kollyvades movement coincides roughly with Peter's reign.  Their desire to introduce frequent communion caused uproar and division on the Holy Mountain.  It was so disruptive that several Patriarchs tried to intervene and pour oil on troubled waters.

For example there is this from Patriarch Theodosius II to the Athonite monks
in about 1770:

"He wrote to the monks of Athos saying that the early Christians
received Holy Communion every Sunday, while those of the subsequent
period received it every forty days, after penance; he advised
that whoever felt himself prepared should follow the former, whereas
if he did not he should follow the latter."

http://www.synodinresistance.org/pdfs/2008/11/29/20081129bMannafromAthos.pdf
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« Reply #72 on: October 26, 2010, 04:24:15 AM »


According to the arguments you put forward to support your pov on this subject, you only have the experience of the situations you've dealt with personally.


And you know this how?
As I said, I'm speaking only in accordance with what I've read on this thread.

Because I don't believe it is a good thing to go back to the first centuries and give each Sunday parishioner enough of the consecrated bread to take away and commune themselves at home on the intervening weekdays without a confession in sight whether public or private?
Why the absurd straw man, Fr. Ambrose? Huh No one here ever mentioned such a practice.
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« Reply #73 on: October 26, 2010, 04:29:31 AM »


According to the arguments you put forward to support your pov on this subject, you only have the experience of the situations you've dealt with personally.


And you know this how?
As I said, I'm speaking only in accordance with what I've read on this thread.

Message 71 above should help correct this misapprehension, as also having a look at my contributions in older threads on this topic.
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« Reply #74 on: October 26, 2010, 04:35:55 AM »

The vast majority of Orthodox Christians live with a requirement for Confession before Communion - Russians, Serbs, Romanians, Bulgarians.... We also practice a period of fasting before Communion, which can vary from 2 days to 6 days.  We also have extra prayers to read the evenings before Communion.
This appeal to the majority is also very deceptive in that the vast majority of Orthodox Christians, because of various circumstances beyond their control, are also of Slavic origin. It ignores the reason why the numbers of Orthodox Christians in what used to be the Byzantine Empire diminished so drastically over the centuries since the fall of the empire in 1453 (such things as Turkish persecution, for instance).

My question is, WHY are there Orthodox people out there (the minority who don't want this connection between Confession and Communion) for whom this is such a hot button.  They seem to have no idea of "live and let live."  Instead they are quite vehement in attacking those of us who adhere to the majority practice.
Who's attacking you, Fr. Ambrose?

What inspires them to belittle our traditional ways?
Maybe because they're not so traditional as you may like to think? And because they're built on a bad theology that perverts the Sacraments?

Majority practice due to the accidents of history and customary practice since about 1600 or later don't make a practice pastorally sound. (Somehow I remember Pravoslavbob arguing this with you.)

Is it just the link with Confession which they wish to break or is it also the link with fasting and prayer?  What kind of preparation are they suggesting for Holy Communion?
Again, why the straw man, Fr. Ambrose?
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« Reply #75 on: October 26, 2010, 04:38:05 AM »


According to the arguments you put forward to support your pov on this subject, you only have the experience of the situations you've dealt with personally.


And you know this how?
As I said, I'm speaking only in accordance with what I've read on this thread.

Because I don't believe it is a good thing to go back to the first centuries and give each Sunday parishioner enough of the consecrated bread to take away and commune themselves at home on the intervening weekdays without a confession in sight whether public or private?
Why the absurd straw man, Fr. Ambrose? Huh No one here ever mentioned such a practice.

Which centuries should we in the 21st century now look to as providing the guidelines and norms for our customs in receiving communion?  The 5th or 6th?  the 10th or 15th or 18th?  And which Churches?   I think I have been accused of historical ignorance and I await enlightenment.  Is there historical material from these centuries which describes their practices?
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« Reply #76 on: October 26, 2010, 04:40:14 AM »


According to the arguments you put forward to support your pov on this subject, you only have the experience of the situations you've dealt with personally.


And you know this how?
As I said, I'm speaking only in accordance with what I've read on this thread.

Message 71 above should help correct this misapprehension, as also having a look at my contributions in older threads on this topic.
Yes, I remember that discussion, and I remember also how Pravoslavbob argued against the implications you hoped to point out in your treatment of this piece of history.
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« Reply #77 on: October 26, 2010, 04:41:01 AM »


[My question is, WHY are there Orthodox people out there (the minority who don't want this connection between Confession and Communion) for whom this is such a hot button.  They seem to have no idea of "live and let live."  Instead they are quite vehement in attacking those of us who adhere to the majority practice.
Who's attacking you, Fr. Ambrose?

You cannot have noticed the claim that we use confession as a "magic pass" for holy communion !  I do find that insulting.
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« Reply #78 on: October 26, 2010, 04:41:47 AM »


According to the arguments you put forward to support your pov on this subject, you only have the experience of the situations you've dealt with personally.


And you know this how?
As I said, I'm speaking only in accordance with what I've read on this thread.

Because I don't believe it is a good thing to go back to the first centuries and give each Sunday parishioner enough of the consecrated bread to take away and commune themselves at home on the intervening weekdays without a confession in sight whether public or private?
Why the absurd straw man, Fr. Ambrose? Huh No one here ever mentioned such a practice.

Which centuries should we in the 21st century now look to as providing the guidelines and norms for our customs in receiving communion?  The 5th or 6th?  the 10th or 15th or 18th?  And which Churches?   I think I have been accused of historical ignorance and I await enlightenment.  Is there historical material from these centuries which describes their practices?
Why should we enforce the rules of 19th century Russian Orthodoxy upon all Orthodox Christians everywhere today?
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« Reply #79 on: October 26, 2010, 04:42:25 AM »


[My question is, WHY are there Orthodox people out there (the minority who don't want this connection between Confession and Communion) for whom this is such a hot button.  They seem to have no idea of "live and let live."  Instead they are quite vehement in attacking those of us who adhere to the majority practice.
Who's attacking you, Fr. Ambrose?

You cannot have noticed the claim that we use confession as a "magic pass" for holy communion !
To my knowledge, you're the only person who sees that as an actual attack on your person.

This rule, I think, tends to reduce confession to a "magic pass" that makes us "worthy" of communion.  This is an issue in many churches, especially those of a predominantly ethnic composition (whether Russian or Arab); I think that a healthier approach would be to certainly confess on a regular basis as needed, but not to necessarily make confession a "ticket" we must purchase before going to communion each Sunday.
Fr. Dn. Michael made a statement regarding his problems with the rule requiring Confession before every Communion. He did not accuse anyone, especially not you, of using confession as a "magic pass" for Holy Communion. In fact, he did not make any charges against any persons at all. The only attack one could possibly see in his statement is the attack one reads into his statement, for there's simply no personal accusation there whatsoever.
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« Reply #80 on: October 26, 2010, 04:45:09 AM »


According to the arguments you put forward to support your pov on this subject, you only have the experience of the situations you've dealt with personally.


And you know this how?
As I said, I'm speaking only in accordance with what I've read on this thread.

Because I don't believe it is a good thing to go back to the first centuries and give each Sunday parishioner enough of the consecrated bread to take away and commune themselves at home on the intervening weekdays without a confession in sight whether public or private?
Why the absurd straw man, Fr. Ambrose? Huh No one here ever mentioned such a practice.

Which centuries should we in the 21st century now look to as providing the guidelines and norms for our customs in receiving communion?  The 5th or 6th?  the 10th or 15th or 18th?  And which Churches?   I think I have been accused of historical ignorance and I await enlightenment.  Is there historical material from these centuries which describes their practices?
Why should we enforce the rules of 19th century Russian Orthodoxy upon all Orthodox Christians everywhere today?

Have we seen evidence that Russians and Serbs and Romanians, etc. are making efforts to force our traditions on the rest of the Orthodox world?   It would seem to be the other way around.  We are belittled for maintaining our traditions.
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« Reply #81 on: October 26, 2010, 04:47:34 AM »


[My question is, WHY are there Orthodox people out there (the minority who don't want this connection between Confession and Communion) for whom this is such a hot button.  They seem to have no idea of "live and let live."  Instead they are quite vehement in attacking those of us who adhere to the majority practice.
Who's attacking you, Fr. Ambrose?

You cannot have noticed the claim that we use confession as a "magic pass" for holy communion !
To my knowledge, you're the only person who sees that as an actual attack on your person.

Please note my use of the first person pronoun in the plural.  It is being used because the term "magic pass" was not specific to me.
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« Reply #82 on: October 26, 2010, 04:50:33 AM »


According to the arguments you put forward to support your pov on this subject, you only have the experience of the situations you've dealt with personally.


And you know this how?
As I said, I'm speaking only in accordance with what I've read on this thread.

Because I don't believe it is a good thing to go back to the first centuries and give each Sunday parishioner enough of the consecrated bread to take away and commune themselves at home on the intervening weekdays without a confession in sight whether public or private?
Why the absurd straw man, Fr. Ambrose? Huh No one here ever mentioned such a practice.

Which centuries should we in the 21st century now look to as providing the guidelines and norms for our customs in receiving communion?  The 5th or 6th?  the 10th or 15th or 18th?  And which Churches?   I think I have been accused of historical ignorance and I await enlightenment.  Is there historical material from these centuries which describes their practices?
Why should we enforce the rules of 19th century Russian Orthodoxy upon all Orthodox Christians everywhere today?

Have we seen evidence that Russians and Serbs and Romanians, etc. are making efforts to force our traditions on the rest of the Orthodox world?   It would seem to be the other way around.  We are belittled for maintaining our traditions.
No one's belittling you or your co-religionists, Fr. Ambrose. Yes, we're criticizing the practice of requiring Confession before every Communion, but we're not belittling you or those who practice it.

We discuss our differing perspectives on various Orthodox practices, which will include mutual criticism of each other's others points of view. That's healthy, and that's what this discussion forum is for. There's no reason to feel insulted when someone speaks his mind about a particular practice and says why he feels uncomfortable with it.
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« Reply #83 on: October 26, 2010, 04:59:36 AM »


According to the arguments you put forward to support your pov on this subject, you only have the experience of the situations you've dealt with personally.


And you know this how?
As I said, I'm speaking only in accordance with what I've read on this thread.

Because I don't believe it is a good thing to go back to the first centuries and give each Sunday parishioner enough of the consecrated bread to take away and commune themselves at home on the intervening weekdays without a confession in sight whether public or private?
Why the absurd straw man, Fr. Ambrose? Huh No one here ever mentioned such a practice.

Which centuries should we in the 21st century now look to as providing the guidelines and norms for our customs in receiving communion?  The 5th or 6th?  the 10th or 15th or 18th?  And which Churches?   I think I have been accused of historical ignorance and I await enlightenment.  Is there historical material from these centuries which describes their practices?
Why should we enforce the rules of 19th century Russian Orthodoxy upon all Orthodox Christians everywhere today?

Have we seen evidence that Russians and Serbs and Romanians, etc. are making efforts to force our traditions on the rest of the Orthodox world?   It would seem to be the other way around.  We are belittled for maintaining our traditions.
No one's belittling you or your co-religionists, Fr. Ambrose. Yes, we're criticizing the practice of requiring Confession before every Communion, but we're not belittling you or those who practice it.

You have attempted, it seems to me, to belittle me on one or two occasions by saying that I am historically ignorant of the customs of other centuries in preparing for holy communion.

I am hoping that you will refer us, with substantiating material, to whatever specific centuries and Churches you believe we should be piously following in our days?
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« Reply #84 on: October 26, 2010, 05:12:40 AM »


According to the arguments you put forward to support your pov on this subject, you only have the experience of the situations you've dealt with personally.


And you know this how?
As I said, I'm speaking only in accordance with what I've read on this thread.

Because I don't believe it is a good thing to go back to the first centuries and give each Sunday parishioner enough of the consecrated bread to take away and commune themselves at home on the intervening weekdays without a confession in sight whether public or private?
Why the absurd straw man, Fr. Ambrose? Huh No one here ever mentioned such a practice.

Which centuries should we in the 21st century now look to as providing the guidelines and norms for our customs in receiving communion?  The 5th or 6th?  the 10th or 15th or 18th?  And which Churches?   I think I have been accused of historical ignorance and I await enlightenment.  Is there historical material from these centuries which describes their practices?
Why should we enforce the rules of 19th century Russian Orthodoxy upon all Orthodox Christians everywhere today?

Have we seen evidence that Russians and Serbs and Romanians, etc. are making efforts to force our traditions on the rest of the Orthodox world?   It would seem to be the other way around.  We are belittled for maintaining our traditions.
No one's belittling you or your co-religionists, Fr. Ambrose. Yes, we're criticizing the practice of requiring Confession before every Communion, but we're not belittling you or those who practice it.

You have attempted, it seems to me, to belittle me on one or two occasions by saying that I am historically ignorant of the customs of other centuries in preparing for holy communion.
I usually don't read a statement of my ignorance as personally belittling; it just means that I don't know something someone else knows. There's nothing humiliating about that. Likewise, I don't intend my implications of someone else's ignorance of a matter to be personally belittling.

I am hoping that you will refer us, with substantiating material, to whatever specific centuries and Churches you believe we should be piously following in our days?
I'm not going to, since you're now putting words into my mouth. I never said there's some specific time or place whose practices we should be following today.
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« Reply #85 on: October 26, 2010, 09:32:16 AM »

Mark wrote:

Actually Priests at least in Rocor will instruct you not to receive communion that week or until the matter is cleared up. So you really cant mess up all you want.

Second Chance wrote:

Yes and this would happen at each jurisdiction. That was not what I was trying to say. First, I was being sarcastic. Second, I was not talking at that point about priests but about any one of us who can "game" this thing without the priest ever knowing about it. Unless, one of the charisma that he receives at his ordination is to know everything that his parishioners think and do.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

And exactly how would this happen in the jurisdictions where confession is only required once per year, or even once per quarter?  Talk about a license to do whatever you want to do!  No chance for the Priest to guide you.  No chance to impose a penance.  As to the person "gaming" the system, they are not fooling God.  If they want to play with fire, they will get burnt.  I don't believe that there is a sin upon a Priest who communes someone to that person's own destruction when they have lied to the Priest, or "gamed" the system.  I worry about the priest who communes someone to their own destruction because he never properly instructed them, or did not enforce Church discipline.   

I wonder if we are talking around each other. I wanted to emphasize the importance of the individual to prepare himself for communion. So do you. It seems to me that the only difference that we have is that I think that one can confess directly to God and receive pardon and healing through communion for minor shortcomings, while you feel that it is necessary to go to confess to the priest and receive absolution from him no matter what the immensity of the shortcoming is. I would have no problem with your approach if it is a private rule; I just do not think that it should be standard praxis for all.
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« Reply #86 on: October 26, 2010, 09:36:05 AM »


According to the arguments you put forward to support your pov on this subject, you only have the experience of the situations you've dealt with personally.


And you know this how?
As I said, I'm speaking only in accordance with what I've read on this thread.

Because I don't believe it is a good thing to go back to the first centuries and give each Sunday parishioner enough of the consecrated bread to take away and commune themselves at home on the intervening weekdays without a confession in sight whether public or private?
Why the absurd straw man, Fr. Ambrose? Huh No one here ever mentioned such a practice.

Which centuries should we in the 21st century now look to as providing the guidelines and norms for our customs in receiving communion?  The 5th or 6th?  the 10th or 15th or 18th?  And which Churches?   I think I have been accused of historical ignorance and I await enlightenment.  Is there historical material from these centuries which describes their practices?
Why should we enforce the rules of 19th century Russian Orthodoxy upon all Orthodox Christians everywhere today?

Have we seen evidence that Russians and Serbs and Romanians, etc. are making efforts to force our traditions on the rest of the Orthodox world?   It would seem to be the other way around.  We are belittled for maintaining our traditions.

Not to mention that we are self righteous, too. 
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« Reply #87 on: October 26, 2010, 09:46:31 AM »


This discussion is a good example of the future difficulties a unified Church structure in the USA will pose to the faithful.  To me that issue (admin. unity) is grey rather than black and white......It is a tough sell to the rest of Christianity that we Orthodox are 'one' faith when we go on and on amongst ourselves treating regional practice traditions as if they were matters of dogmatic import. Oh well.....
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« Reply #88 on: October 26, 2010, 09:48:19 AM »

 
But why do you see absolution as necessary before receiving Communion? Does it somehow make us "worthy" to receive the Holy Mysteries? Aren't the Holy Mysteries given to us "for the remission of his/her sins and unto life everlasting", precisely with the knowledge that we are sinners unworthy to receive them? So why is absolution a necessary prerequisite for receiving Holy Communion?

Why?  Because that is the Tradition of my Church, and was also the Tradition of the Church that I was raised in.  I guess that I look for ways to follow the Church’s Traditions, not ways to escape them.
You do realize that the traditions your church inherited regarding the Confession=Communion link are more likely local or regional traditions than Catholic Tradition? Especially considering that the practice developed within the Russian Orthodox Church and really never took hold to anywhere near as widespread a degree in other jurisdictions? I therefore don't think particularly fair your insinuation that those who don't follow your church's local traditions are looking for ways to escape them. You might do better, then, to merely explain why you feel it so important to seek absolution from sins via Confession before you receive Communion and save your smug accusations for another day.

The Scriptures state:

--Whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
Yes, I'm aware of this Scripture, but I'm not sure your interpretation is the only legitimate way to read this passage. One certainly does need to be prepared to receive Communion in a worthy manner, a manner that discerns in the Holy Eucharist Christ's Body and Blood and our unworthiness to receive Him. I just don't see how the absolution of Confession is so necessary to this preparation that we must receive it every time we intend to receive Communion.

Absolution allows me to approach the Body and Blood of Christ in a prepared, and if you want to use the word, “worthy” manner.  I approach with the knowledge that my sins have been forgiven, and this forgiveness is sealed by the partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ shed for those sins.  If you don’t feel this is necessary, then by all means ignore it and do whatever you want (or are allowed to get away with)..
Could you explain why, and without the self-righteous, accusatory tone you so often throw at those who appear to disagree with you? I'm just curious to know your point of view.

I do not intend to discuss this matter further with you.  We are told not to cast our pearls before swine in the Scriptures.  St. Isaac of Syria also tells us not to debate the Faith.  My beliefs come from more than 30 years of study of the Scriptures, the Fathers, parochial schooling, and post secondary education in theology.  I have also spoken extensively with priests and monks of most of the local “jurisdictions” here in the United States, as well as those of some of the “mother” countries.  I don’t have time to go through an academic exercise with you on every matter of conscience and Faith.  It is obvious from reading your posts over the years that you have little regard for Traditional Orthodoxy, and I have none for modernist Orthodoxy.  As such, it is probably best, for both of our Salvation that we refrain from further discussion.

Is that enough “self righteousness” for you?
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« Reply #89 on: October 26, 2010, 02:00:03 PM »

But why do you see absolution as necessary before receiving Communion? Does it somehow make us "worthy" to receive the Holy Mysteries? Aren't the Holy Mysteries given to us "for the remission of his/her sins and unto life everlasting", precisely with the knowledge that we are sinners unworthy to receive them? So why is absolution a necessary prerequisite for receiving Holy Communion?

Why?  Because that is the Tradition of my Church, and was also the Tradition of the Church that I was raised in.  I guess that I look for ways to follow the Church’s Traditions, not ways to escape them.
You do realize that the traditions your church inherited regarding the Confession=Communion link are more likely local or regional traditions than Catholic Tradition? Especially considering that the practice developed within the Russian Orthodox Church and really never took hold to anywhere near as widespread a degree in other jurisdictions? I therefore don't think particularly fair your insinuation that those who don't follow your church's local traditions are looking for ways to escape them. You might do better, then, to merely explain why you feel it so important to seek absolution from sins via Confession before you receive Communion and save your smug accusations for another day.

The Scriptures state:

--Whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
Yes, I'm aware of this Scripture, but I'm not sure your interpretation is the only legitimate way to read this passage. One certainly does need to be prepared to receive Communion in a worthy manner, a manner that discerns in the Holy Eucharist Christ's Body and Blood and our unworthiness to receive Him. I just don't see how the absolution of Confession is so necessary to this preparation that we must receive it every time we intend to receive Communion.

Absolution allows me to approach the Body and Blood of Christ in a prepared, and if you want to use the word, “worthy” manner.  I approach with the knowledge that my sins have been forgiven, and this forgiveness is sealed by the partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ shed for those sins.  If you don’t feel this is necessary, then by all means ignore it and do whatever you want (or are allowed to get away with)..
Could you explain why, and without the self-righteous, accusatory tone you so often throw at those who appear to disagree with you? I'm just curious to know your point of view.

I do not intend to discuss this matter further with you.  We are told not to cast our pearls before swine in the Scriptures.  St. Isaac of Syria also tells us not to debate the Faith.  My beliefs come from more than 30 years of study of the Scriptures, the Fathers, parochial schooling, and post secondary education in theology.  I have also spoken extensively with priests and monks of most of the local “jurisdictions” here in the United States, as well as those of some of the “mother” countries.  I don’t have time to go through an academic exercise with you on every matter of conscience and Faith.  It is obvious from reading your posts over the years that you have little regard for Traditional Orthodoxy, and I have none for modernist Orthodoxy.
It's too bad you see it necessary to frame the discussion of Confession=Communion within the tension between "Traditionalist" and "Modernist" Orthodoxies.
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« Reply #90 on: October 26, 2010, 03:50:08 PM »

It's too bad you see it necessary to frame the discussion of Confession=Communion within the tension between "Traditionalist" and "Modernist" Orthodoxies.

You got me wondering why in the world those of us who are super-traditionalists are accused of being modernists? It seems to me that the issue is between two camps:

Ladies and gents, on this corner are the Super Orthodox--those who are convinced that everything that they have received and currently believe/do must not change because the latest is the bestest (just like Muslims believe: Mohamed was last so he trumps all others before him).

And, on this corner are The Back to the Future gang--those who try to preserve and promulgate the best of Orthodoxy, even if this means a change or two BUT ALWAYS back to a practice of the past.

I don't know about you but I think that the traditionalism of the first group is a shallow brook, while the traditionalism of the second group is a river that runs deep, clear and true.
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« Reply #91 on: October 26, 2010, 04:06:13 PM »

It's too bad you see it necessary to frame the discussion of Confession=Communion within the tension between "Traditionalist" and "Modernist" Orthodoxies.

You got me wondering why in the world those of us who are super-traditionalists are accused of being modernists?

I'm wondering how many "super-traditionalists" would espouse the branch theory?

Quote
It seems to me that the issue is between two camps:

Ladies and gents, on this corner are the Super Orthodox--those who are convinced that everything that they have received and currently believe/do must not change because the latest is the bestest (just like Muslims believe: Mohamed was last so he trumps all others before him).

And, on this corner are The Back to the Future gang--those who try to preserve and promulgate the best of Orthodoxy, even if this means a change or two BUT ALWAYS back to a practice of the past.

I don't know about you but I think that the traditionalism of the first group is a shallow brook, while the traditionalism of the second group is a river that runs deep, clear and true.

I characterize it a little differently. There is the path of humility and obedience, which lovingly accepts the livingTradition that comes down to us from our pastors, from one person to another; then there is the path of "I know better," which feels entitled to supplant, modify, or ignore the living tradition in favour of what one has read in a book somewhere, or even one's personal reasonings. The notion that I have the right to change something delivered to me, and replace with a supposedly older practice that's more to my liking- that is the shallow well of pride.
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« Reply #92 on: October 26, 2010, 04:24:46 PM »

It's too bad you see it necessary to frame the discussion of Confession=Communion within the tension between "Traditionalist" and "Modernist" Orthodoxies.

You got me wondering why in the world those of us who are super-traditionalists are accused of being modernists?

I'm wondering how many "super-traditionalists" would espouse the branch theory?

Quote
It seems to me that the issue is between two camps:

Ladies and gents, on this corner are the Super Orthodox--those who are convinced that everything that they have received and currently believe/do must not change because the latest is the bestest (just like Muslims believe: Mohamed was last so he trumps all others before him).

And, on this corner are The Back to the Future gang--those who try to preserve and promulgate the best of Orthodoxy, even if this means a change or two BUT ALWAYS back to a practice of the past.

I don't know about you but I think that the traditionalism of the first group is a shallow brook, while the traditionalism of the second group is a river that runs deep, clear and true.

I characterize it a little differently. There is the path of humility and obedience, which lovingly accepts the livingTradition that comes down to us from our pastors, from one person to another; then there is the path of "I know better," which feels entitled to supplant, modify, or ignore the living tradition in favour of what one has read in a book somewhere, or even one's personal reasonings. The notion that I have the right to change something delivered to me, and replace with a supposedly older practice that's more to my liking- that is the shallow well of pride.

You re correct, of course, if the choice was between the two examples that you provided. There is a third way, one where humility, obedience and respect for the faith as delivered is combined with a deliberate, diligent and balanced inquiry. Put it bluntly, one can be happy as a clam to stay in one's shell just because that is where he is and he refuses to use his God-given brain or has an exalted view of what humility is. I am happy for such a person because he is happy. But, I can not accept his approach. To elevate this "living Tradition" that you are talking about in such categorical terms is to make a cult out of our faith. What in effect you believe in is not the substance of our faith but the superficial carapace that you seem to treat with such veneration. I would submit that this is false modesty, a lazy and lackadaisical approach, and an abdication of your responsibilities.
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« Reply #93 on: October 27, 2010, 01:28:48 PM »

Mark wrote:

Actually Priests at least in Rocor will instruct you not to receive communion that week or until the matter is cleared up. So you really cant mess up all you want.

Second Chance wrote:

Yes and this would happen at each jurisdiction. That was not what I was trying to say. First, I was being sarcastic. Second, I was not talking at that point about priests but about any one of us who can "game" this thing without the priest ever knowing about it. Unless, one of the charisma that he receives at his ordination is to know everything that his parishioners think and do.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

And exactly how would this happen in the jurisdictions where confession is only required once per year, or even once per quarter?  Talk about a license to do whatever you want to do!  No chance for the Priest to guide you.  No chance to impose a penance.  As to the person "gaming" the system, they are not fooling God.  If they want to play with fire, they will get burnt.  I don't believe that there is a sin upon a Priest who communes someone to that person's own destruction when they have lied to the Priest, or "gamed" the system.  I worry about the priest who communes someone to their own destruction because he never properly instructed them, or did not enforce Church discipline.   

If I wanted to "game the system" I could too even though I am expected to confess weekly ( or in my case "Weakly" Smiley

Not only does my Priest know me well after so much contact, but I know him too and could easily tell him what I already know he wants to hear.

At some point, it's on your own shoulders to decide if you want to submit yourself honestly or not.

I actually preferred the times when I was in the OCA and only was asked to confess every month or so. The confessions were more far ranging and covered stuff bigger than giving someone the finger on the Highway.. But that's just me.
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« Reply #94 on: November 22, 2010, 02:49:27 PM »

The services with just a couple of people, or even just the priest and choir are sometimes among the most beautiful liturgical experiences, at least for me.

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« Reply #95 on: November 22, 2010, 03:08:20 PM »

The services with just a couple of people, or even just the priest and choir are sometimes among the most beautiful liturgical experiences, at least for me.

I think so too. (And welcome to the boards.)  Smiley
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« Reply #96 on: November 22, 2010, 03:26:26 PM »

I just re-stumbled upon this thread, and found this note funny:

It's likely that in a Rocor Parish they will do the full All Night Vigil which is both Vespers and Matins. It should run about 2.5 hours.

Disclaimer: I know exactly what you mean; however, I've been through "All-Night Vigil," and let me tell you, they aren't 2.5 hours, unless "All-Night" is "Northern Alaska in the summer." Wink
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« Reply #97 on: November 22, 2010, 03:37:15 PM »

I just re-stumbled upon this thread, and found this note funny:

It's likely that in a Rocor Parish they will do the full All Night Vigil which is both Vespers and Matins. It should run about 2.5 hours.

Disclaimer: I know exactly what you mean; however, I've been through "All-Night Vigil," and let me tell you, they aren't 2.5 hours, unless "All-Night" is "Northern Alaska in the summer." Wink

Yes, well...hats off to your parish for keeping laypeople in Church from dusk till dawn every week. Vigil for the rest of us means 2.5 to 3 hours on Saturday evening.
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« Reply #98 on: November 22, 2010, 03:51:50 PM »

Yes, well...hats off to your parish for keeping laypeople in Church from dusk till dawn every week. Vigil for the rest of us means 2.5 to 3 hours on Saturday evening.

My comment had nothing to do with parish life; at theological school we did 2 All-Night vigils per year, and we meant it (9pm to 9 or 10 am).  I'm used to hearing the slavic-style vigil (Vespers & Matins) referred to as just "vigil," so your post had caught my eye.  I wasn't being critical, just whimsical.
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« Reply #99 on: November 22, 2010, 07:12:21 PM »

I remember going once to a proper all night vigil (Ss. Peter & Paul) at a monastery in Romania. I really lasted all night, although I sneaked out some time around 1 am and came back for the Liturgy early in the morning.
An all night vigil proper also includes the compline, the Mid-night office, an akathist perhaps etc.
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« Reply #100 on: April 11, 2011, 10:22:10 PM »

I will say that some of the prayers in the Jordanville are very pretty....
I'm sure.  I think that with Elizabethan English, as used in the Jordanville, you either hate it or you love it.  I think it's beautiful, but it's hard to understand for some.
The Elizabethan English is my favorite. BTW, most OCA parishes and all English ROCOR parishes will use some form of Elizabethan English. This ranges from calling the Lord "THOU" to using endings and calling everyone "thou" in the singular.
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« Reply #101 on: April 12, 2011, 04:12:24 AM »

hmm back to the original question...
Perhaps the ROCOR Priests open and shut the Royal Doors and curtain (if not an archmandrite or mitred archpriest is serving) far more than the OCA priests during services.. especially Divine Liturgy.
The ROCOR parishes I have seen do not recite the prayers before the Singing Shouting and Saying and then recite the prayers before "Take Eat" And "Drink..."  They don't have audible Epeclesis.
In the Rocor experience when the priest says bow your heads unto the Lord, the choir sings "To Thee O Lord" long enough that the silent prayer can be said and then the priest exaults the end of it audibly.
In the OCA experience it is hit or miss around my area, most are reciting more silent prayers audibly and recite the Epeclesis aubily.
Around here the OCA doesn't do Vigil on Saturday night, none of them and there are a bunch. 
Most of the differences would probably rest in the liturgics, the best thing to do would be to see a service book for say, Ressurection Matins from the ROCOR and one from the OCA.
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« Reply #102 on: April 12, 2011, 04:54:50 PM »

hmm back to the original question...
Perhaps the ROCOR Priests open and shut the Royal Doors and curtain (if not an archmandrite or mitred archpriest is serving) far more than the OCA priests during services.. especially Divine Liturgy.
The ROCOR parishes I have seen do not recite the prayers before the Singing Shouting and Saying and then recite the prayers before "Take Eat" And "Drink..."  They don't have audible Epeclesis.
In the Rocor experience when the priest says bow your heads unto the Lord, the choir sings "To Thee O Lord" long enough that the silent prayer can be said and then the priest exaults the end of it audibly.
In the OCA experience it is hit or miss around my area, most are reciting more silent prayers audibly and recite the Epeclesis aubily.
Around here the OCA doesn't do Vigil on Saturday night, none of them and there are a bunch. 
Most of the differences would probably rest in the liturgics, the best thing to do would be to see a service book for say, Ressurection Matins from the ROCOR and one from the OCA.


When DO they do it?

I notice a fair amount of variation in OCA parishes when it comes to the Kathismata and the readings. In some parishes it's very plain ("strophic" is the musical term for that kind of singing); but in others it is much more melismatic. I'm not enough of an expert to know the reason.
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« Reply #103 on: April 12, 2011, 05:07:10 PM »

I remember going once to a proper all night vigil (Ss. Peter & Paul) at a monastery in Romania. I really lasted all night, although I sneaked out some time around 1 am and came back for the Liturgy early in the morning.
 

I've heard of monks doing the same thing, too, especially in places where the Katholikon barely holds all of the brotherhood; half would be there early in the vigil then leave to rest, half would come in the middle of the vigil, and then everyone would squeeze in for the Liturgy.
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« Reply #104 on: April 13, 2011, 12:43:01 PM »

I remember going once to a proper all night vigil (Ss. Peter & Paul) at a monastery in Romania. I really lasted all night, although I sneaked out some time around 1 am and came back for the Liturgy early in the morning.
 

I've heard of monks doing the same thing, too, especially in places where the Katholikon barely holds all of the brotherhood; half would be there early in the vigil then leave to rest, half would come in the middle of the vigil, and then everyone would squeeze in for the Liturgy.

Yes, I believe they do that for some particularly long services, too.
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« Reply #105 on: April 21, 2011, 04:59:43 PM »

I saw that some people on this thread implied that they like the "one confession = one communion" rule.

That's fine, do what your priest says and all that, but perhaps caution should be exercised here.  This rule, I think, tends to reduce confession to a "magic pass" that makes us "worthy" of communion.  This is an issue in many churches, especially those of a predominantly ethnic composition (whether Russian or Arab); I think that a healthier approach would be to certainly confess on a regular basis as needed, but not to necessarily make confession a "ticket" we must purchase before going to communion each Sunday.

Just my 2 cents, take it for what you will.

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This is right. I do believe that frequent confession is good, because it allows you to cleanse your conscience, but communion should also be encouraged, because it is "provisions on the journey to life eternal".
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« Reply #106 on: April 21, 2011, 05:40:58 PM »

I saw that some people on this thread implied that they like the "one confession = one communion" rule.

That's fine, do what your priest says and all that, but perhaps caution should be exercised here. This rule, I think, tends to reduce confession to a "magic pass" that makes us "worthy" of communion. This is an issue in many churches, especially those of a predominantly ethnic composition (whether Russian or Arab); I think that a healthier approach would be to certainly confess on a regular basis as needed, but not to necessarily make confession a "ticket" we must purchase before going to communion each Sunday.
Dn. Michael

There is no "magic pass", Father Michael.  I would think that the "magic pass' is given to those in the Churches who may freely approach communion without confession. That is the real "magic pass."

We have seen the results in modern Orthodoxy of no link between confession and communion - the virtual disappearance of the use of the Mystery of Confession in some Orthodox Churches. (The same has happened in the Roman Catholic Church after Vatican II but the disappearance of confession there has several factors.)  

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 confession 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 people about this.  I am simply judging by the empirical evidence I have witnessed in 30 years as a priest in the Slav Churches, Serbian and Russian.



It has always been my understanding that Mediterranean Orthodox (Greeks and Arabs) Do not confess as frequently as do the Slav's and Russians?
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« Reply #107 on: April 21, 2011, 06:13:05 PM »

I've heard that most confess only once a year, but I'm not sure how true that is.
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« Reply #108 on: April 21, 2011, 06:24:31 PM »

It has always been my understanding that Mediterranean Orthodox (Greeks and Arabs) Do not confess as frequently as do the Slav's and Russians?

Fwiw, my Antiochian priest recommends that we confess at least 4 times a year (more often when necessary)...
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« Reply #109 on: April 24, 2011, 08:12:56 AM »

If I wanted to "game the system" I could too even though I am expected to confess weekly ( or in my case "Weakly" Smiley

Not only does my Priest know me well after so much contact, but I know him too and could easily tell him what I already know he wants to hear.

At some point, it's on your own shoulders to decide if you want to submit yourself honestly or not.


This is high level psychologicals. Easy trap to fall into in therapy, recovery, and I suppose confession.

Top notch insight. Simple and direct. Hard to do.

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« Reply #110 on: May 02, 2011, 02:35:24 PM »

It has always been my understanding that Mediterranean Orthodox (Greeks and Arabs) Do not confess as frequently as do the Slav's and Russians?

Fwiw, my Antiochian priest recommends that we confess at least 4 times a year (more often when necessary)...

My spiritual advisor recommends eight times a year at an absolute minimum. More frequently is better, but not so we get to the point of being over-scrupulous--what the Roman Catholic Archbishop Fulton Sheen called "being flogged with popcorn."
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« Reply #111 on: December 25, 2011, 04:58:06 PM »



It has always been my understanding that Mediterranean Orthodox (Greeks and Arabs) Do not confess as frequently as do the Slav's and Russians?
[/quote]
Robb, the Greeks may confess less often because there are not as many priests who can confess. The bishop literally lays hands on a priest to make him a spiritual father. Only those who are set apart as spiritual fathers may hear confessions.
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« Reply #112 on: December 25, 2011, 05:11:54 PM »

It's likely that in a Rocor Parish they will do the full All Night Vigil which is both Vespers and Matins. It should run about 2.5 hours. Ive learned that I need that much time to get settled and throw off the dregs of the work week. The OCA most times just does Vespers, but not always.

Rocor will also ask you to go to confession each week in order to receive communion.

And often, after all that, the Liturgy will come to an end and you are ready for some coffee just when the Priest announces they will be doing a Moleban for about another 25 minutes.. Wear comfy shoes.
I know what you mean...I do so miss those Lenten pre-sanctified liturgies.  it was so wonderful to go to Church every Wednesday and shake of all of the stresses of school and my parents' marriage falling apart and just pray. I wish we in the OCA had more services, but when Father does that, not many people come and it's just him and his wife in the choir.  Sad
My OCA parish does the Presanctified Liturgy twice a week throughout Lent , starting in the second week.
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« Reply #113 on: January 04, 2012, 04:04:12 PM »

It depends on the parish, because Cathedrals serve the presanctified liturgy more consistently that other parishes, as a rule.
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« Reply #114 on: January 04, 2012, 04:11:55 PM »

It depends on the parish, because Cathedrals serve the presanctified liturgy more consistently that other parishes, as a rule.

We're just a small parish in suburban Nassau County, NY.  Most of the parishes in this area, both Greek and Russian, do the Presanctified twice a week, although some do it on different days.
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« Reply #115 on: January 04, 2012, 04:20:17 PM »

I remember going once to a proper all night vigil (Ss. Peter & Paul) at a monastery in Romania. I really lasted all night, although I sneaked out some time around 1 am and came back for the Liturgy early in the morning.
An all night vigil proper also includes the compline, the Mid-night office, an akathist perhaps etc.

Possibly also the complete kathismata, as well as the long form for Lord I cry, as well as the canons with odes, and yes, several canons with an akathist for Compline. I can't come up with a version of the vigil that lasts literally 12 hours, but a five- or six-hour version of Vespers, Compline, Midnight, and Matins is pretty easy to compile. I believe the Old Believers use these long forms.
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« Reply #116 on: January 14, 2012, 06:47:17 PM »

OCA or ROCOR is fine for me to attend.
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« Reply #117 on: October 01, 2012, 12:04:46 PM »

OCA liturgics are ROCOR Litugics lite.  There has to be something said for ROCOR Liturgics, the word thorough comes to mind.  
+1! I totally agree, because I have felt this in both. I am in OCA now, but am leaning to ROCOR. Hopefully ZI can be full-time ROCOR later.
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« Reply #118 on: October 01, 2012, 12:07:45 PM »

It has always been my understanding that Mediterranean Orthodox (Greeks and Arabs) Do not confess as frequently as do the Slav's and Russians?
That is because all Russian and Slavic priests automatically receive permission to do confessions, but the Mediterranean Orthdodox still have bishops appointing spiritual fathers. Therefore, no one but a spiritual father is allowed to do confessions. Because not all priests are spiritual fathers, confession is less frequent.
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« Reply #119 on: October 01, 2012, 12:19:53 PM »

It has always been my understanding that Mediterranean Orthodox (Greeks and Arabs) Do not confess as frequently as do the Slav's and Russians?
That is because all Russian and Slavic priests automatically receive permission to do confessions, but the Mediterranean Orthdodox still have bishops appointing spiritual fathers. Therefore, no one but a spiritual father is allowed to do confessions. Because not all priests are spiritual fathers, confession is less frequent.

And not all spiritual fathers are priests. Some of the greatest elders declined priestly ordination. Others who had been ordained surrendered their pectoral crosses and returned to the status of monk.
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ilyazhito
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« Reply #120 on: October 01, 2012, 12:21:51 PM »

I understand. I merely say that non-Slavic priests have to be ordained to the rank of spiritual father if they are to be allowed to say confession and confer sacramental absolution.
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