Author Topic: Confession During the Catechumenate  (Read 2205 times)

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Offline Benjamin the Red

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Confession During the Catechumenate
« on: November 29, 2010, 08:04:08 PM »
As some may have noticed, my little info sidebar as changed. A few weeks ago, I was officially enrolled into the Orthodox catechumenate. Now that I am here, I have a question for you all.

I would like to know more about making Holy Confession during the catechumenate. I have heard my priest tell catechumens before that they may go to confession during their catechumenate, and that it would be considered part of their life confession. They receive an absolution at the last confession of the catechumenate, as they are prepared to be illumined and received by Holy Baptism (or Holy Chrismation, as the case may be). He has extended the same option to me. He doesn't pressure us into it or anything, just makes it available. I like that this is an option, but I find myself indecisive about whether to make use of it or not. I could go to confession, but I will not receive absolution until later. While it would help me get into the "habit" of confession, I believe I would also feel as if I were on a tight rope. I have confessed, but I am not forgiven. I'm finding difficulty putting this thought and emotion into words, now that I am actually typing, so I apologize. I guess I can just cut myself off and say that I simply feel unsure about the practice on a personal level. What are people's opinions, pros and cons, about this practice?
"Hades is not a place, no, but a state of the soul. It begins here on earth. Just so, paradise begins in the soul of a man here in the earthly life. Here we already have contact with the divine..." -St. John, Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, Homily On the Sunday of Orthodoxy

Offline sainthieu

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Re: Confession During the Catechumenate
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2010, 08:19:54 PM »
My priest never had me confess as a catechumen. I gave him my life confession the day before I was baptized. I liked making my grand life confession right before acceptance into the church. It felt like a clean slate and a new start.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Confession During the Catechumenate
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2010, 09:16:15 PM »
My priest never had me confess as a catechumen. I gave him my life confession the day before I was baptized. I liked making my grand life confession right before acceptance into the church. It felt like a clean slate and a new start.
Uh, technically, you were still a catechumen up to the moment you went into the baptismal waters, so you gave your life confession as a catechumen.
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Offline sainthieu

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Re: Confession During the Catechumenate
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2010, 12:48:38 AM »
Of course, but only once.

Offline biro

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Re: Confession During the Catechumenate
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2010, 07:35:17 AM »
I am yet to complete my conversion, so I am curious to know about the 'life confession'? Not to perhaps emphasize the wrong thing, but, er, is that different from a 'regular' confession? When I was baptized in that other church, I was two months old, and let's put it this way-- it's been a while since then  :laugh:; are we to summarize things up to a point and then describe more recent things in a different way? I apologize if this sounds like an odd question. Thank you.  :)
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Offline lizzyd

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Re: Confession During the Catechumenate
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2010, 06:49:02 PM »
My *guess* is that the "confession" your priest is offering is really just a chance to talk one-on-one and to develop a relationship, ask any questions, etc. But, I don't really know. I would bring your concerns to the priest to find out more information.

As far as "life confession" I think that this varies widely. Mine was pretty brief but I have heard of others that are much more involved. That's something to ask about as you get near that point and are trying to prepare.

Offline biro

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Re: Confession During the Catechumenate
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2010, 08:27:28 PM »
Thanks.     :)
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Offline Benjamin the Red

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Re: Confession During the Catechumenate
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2010, 09:35:25 AM »
My *guess* is that the "confession" your priest is offering is really just a chance to talk one-on-one and to develop a relationship, ask any questions, etc. But, I don't really know. I would bring your concerns to the priest to find out more information.

No. I mean, nice guess, but he was obviously speaking about confession. I regularly speak with him one-on-one, ask questions, receive guidance, etc. I would say I have a pretty good relationship with him as my spiritual father, outside of sacramental confession (since I've never been), as I have availed myself of his counsel for over a year now. He meant that it was open for me (or any catechumen, he offers it to us all of course) to approach him for confession. He said either at the normal time (usually after Vigil on Saturday night) or another time by appointment. I believe once he even said (paraphrasing), "I could even hear confession in my office, if you prefer, just let me know and I'll come grab my epitrachelion from in here [we were in the nave]. It wouldn't be a problem at all."

Definitely sacramental confession, and not one-on-one time. He also explicitly stated that he wouldn't be able to give absolution until my official "life confession" immediately before baptism. Again, it's not the practice itself that worries me, I rather like that it is an option. I was just hoping to hear what others here thought about it.
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Offline William

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Re: Confession During the Catechumenate
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2011, 08:29:14 PM »
Bump.

I wonder if a priest could ever conceivably be allowed to give absolution to someone outside of the Church? Like someone whose social circumstances force them to be in the catechumenate for an extended period of time.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Confession During the Catechumenate
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2011, 08:49:45 PM »
As some may have noticed, my little info sidebar as changed. A few weeks ago, I was officially enrolled into the Orthodox catechumenate. Now that I am here, I have a question for you all.

I would like to know more about making Holy Confession during the catechumenate. I have heard my priest tell catechumens before that they may go to confession during their catechumenate, and that it would be considered part of their life confession. They receive an absolution at the last confession of the catechumenate, as they are prepared to be illumined and received by Holy Baptism (or Holy Chrismation, as the case may be). He has extended the same option to me. He doesn't pressure us into it or anything, just makes it available. I like that this is an option, but I find myself indecisive about whether to make use of it or not. I could go to confession, but I will not receive absolution until later. While it would help me get into the "habit" of confession, I believe I would also feel as if I were on a tight rope. I have confessed, but I am not forgiven. I'm finding difficulty putting this thought and emotion into words, now that I am actually typing, so I apologize. I guess I can just cut myself off and say that I simply feel unsure about the practice on a personal level. What are people's opinions, pros and cons, about this practice?
if there is no absolution given, there is no cons, just pros.  Why would you be on a tight rope?  Whether you tell the priest or not, God knows.  He just likes to hear it from time to time from ourselves.
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