Author Topic: Questions about Confession  (Read 562 times)

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Offline stavros_388

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Questions about Confession
« on: January 28, 2011, 10:30:34 AM »
I've only confessed maybe four times in total, to two different priests, and am still a bit uncomfortable with the whole thing.

I'm just wondering:

Should I talk as if addressing God directly, or speak to my confessor directly? 
Is it generally acceptable to bring a list of things to confess on paper (as I fear I may become a bit nervous and forget half of what I wanted to confess)? 

Thanks in advance.
"The kingdom of heaven is virtuous life, just as the torment of hell is passionate habits." - St. Gregory of Sinai

"Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him." - Thomas Merton

Offline Ambrose of Milan

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Re: Questions about Confession
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2011, 10:42:21 AM »
Confession is a hard habit to fall into but the more you do it the easier it gets. After awhile it becomes hard not to confess. If I don't confess for a long period of time (three, four weeks) it takes a serious toll on my attitude.

You should talk as if addressing your confessor, remember, he is the vessel through which God speaks to you in the mystery and that Christ gave him the authority to forgive your sins in His sted. Confession is one of the most tangible moments when we see the priest as a living icon of Christ.

I always write my confession down and have never had a priest tell me not to, just remember not to be scrupulous, that's a sin too.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2011, 10:43:07 AM by Ambrose of Milan »

Offline stavros_388

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Re: Questions about Confession
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2011, 10:48:39 AM »
Confession is a hard habit to fall into but the more you do it the easier it gets. After awhile it becomes hard not to confess. If I don't confess for a long period of time (three, four weeks) it takes a serious toll on my attitude.

You should talk as if addressing your confessor, remember, he is the vessel through which God speaks to you in the mystery and that Christ gave him the authority to forgive your sins in His sted. Confession is one of the most tangible moments when we see the priest as a living icon of Christ.

I always write my confession down and have never had a priest tell me not to, just remember not to be scrupulous, that's a sin too.

Thank you.  What do you mean by scrupulous?  Do you mean overly-thorough or detailed?
"The kingdom of heaven is virtuous life, just as the torment of hell is passionate habits." - St. Gregory of Sinai

"Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him." - Thomas Merton

Offline stavros_388

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Re: Questions about Confession
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2011, 11:04:37 AM »
Also, how long should a confession generally take?  Do I spill my whole life out on the poor guy :laugh: (particularly if it's my first confession with him), or just briefly outline how I've "missed the mark" since my last confession?
"The kingdom of heaven is virtuous life, just as the torment of hell is passionate habits." - St. Gregory of Sinai

"Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him." - Thomas Merton

Offline John of the North

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Re: Questions about Confession
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2011, 11:08:36 AM »
Also, how long should a confession generally take?  Do I spill my whole life out on the poor guy :laugh: (particularly if it's my first confession with him), or just briefly outline how I've "missed the mark" since my last confession?

Typically the latter. As for length, it really depends on the format you take and what you need to say.
"Christianity is not a philosophy, not a doctrine, but life." - Elder Sophrony (Sakharov)

Offline stavros_388

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Re: Questions about Confession
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2011, 11:49:45 AM »
Great.  Thank you .
"The kingdom of heaven is virtuous life, just as the torment of hell is passionate habits." - St. Gregory of Sinai

"Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him." - Thomas Merton

Offline Ambrose of Milan

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Re: Questions about Confession
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2011, 04:05:47 PM »
Thank you.  What do you mean by scrupulous?  Do you mean overly-thorough or detailed?

Yes

Offline Hamartolos

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Re: Questions about Confession
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2011, 04:13:09 PM »
What's great about the Mystery of Repentance in Orthodoxy is that the approach is meant to be like therapy for the soul.  Obviously we confess our sins in sorrow, but it shouldn't be a quick absolution and penance as is common in Catholicism.  I don't always talk at length with my priest about a specific sin, but if I, or he for that matter, think(s) I need to it is always a good decision.  
« Last Edit: January 28, 2011, 04:14:00 PM by Hamartolos »
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