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Author Topic: OCA vs. ROCOR  (Read 11449 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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Tikhon.of.Colorado
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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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