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Offline casisthename

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first confession...
« on: April 14, 2011, 03:24:01 PM »
Though, I won't be making my first confession for a while with Pascha coming up I've heard about confession quite a bit around the parish I attend. How detailed is first confession? I heard it described as a whole life confession. Does this mean I would confess everything I've ever done wrong? Also, how much detail is necessary? Can I just leave things as I did such and such a sin? Or is it expected to explain the details of it. Such as who all was involved and how much I did it? Does it make a difference if it's something that I did in my past but no longer do?

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: first confession...
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2011, 04:25:54 PM »
This would be a good question for your spiritual father.

A life confession covers everything.

Generally, in confession. we accuse ourselves of our sins, without making excuses. Explaining the circumstances may not be necessary--did you sin or not? Examine your conscience before confession and, if it helps, write down what you wish to confess.
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Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: first confession...
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2011, 04:59:20 PM »

Unless absolutely necessary, you should not name anybody else in your confession.  Your confession is just that, yours.  You list where you "fell short", where you stumbled, etc.  Don't give too much detail.  If you Father Confessor wishes for more, he'll let you know.  ...and don't make excuses....just state the facts, as humbling as they may be.

Our 7 year olds go to their First Confession this Sunday (Palm Sunday).  I have taught them for the last 3 Sunday's about the Faith, various prayers, what to expect...and what is now expected of them.

I did a final walk through with them last Sunday.  Before we went in to the church, I ripped up little scraps of paper and had each child write down their sins from the previous week.  I gave a few examples..to get them going - didn't listen to parents or teachers, shoved their brother or sister, yelled, stole something, etc.  I promised them nobody would see these papers...so, they should be completely honest and write the truth.  ...and they did.  Some even asked for more slips of paper!  :-)

Each child had a paper bowl, and they piled their sins in to it.  We then went to the church.  I stood in for the priest (who was busy after a panachyda in the church hall) and explained that they need to put their right hand on the Bible, etc.  To help them feel at ease, I reached out and took their bowl of sins and held it for them.  I explained what would happen....to the end when the priest would recite the prayer..and remove his hand, etc.  At this point they were to kiss the Bible and Cross....and I returned their bowls to them.  Their eyes popped out.  While they were concentrating on where they were putting their hands, etc....I emptied their bowl behind my back...and what they got back...was an empty, sinless bowl.  :-)  They were amazed, but, understood what Confession was all about.  I told them the bowl is now empty...try to keep it that way.

So, the kids simply wrote their sins...no other names...no explanations....

Keep it simple.

Don't worry too much.  It's not as stressful as you are thinking.  It's refreshing.  ...a new start.  How blessed are we that we can have a new start...over and over and over....
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Offline Michał

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Re: first confession...
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2011, 05:04:57 PM »
Our 7 year olds go to their First Confession this Sunday (Palm Sunday).

How long were they supposed to abstain from the Eucharist prior to their first confession?

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: first confession...
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2011, 05:05:52 PM »

They are not to eat or drink anything from Saturday midnight, until after they receive Holy Communion.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: first confession...
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2011, 05:12:55 PM »
Our 7 year olds go to their First Confession this Sunday (Palm Sunday).

How long were they supposed to abstain from the Eucharist prior to their first confession?

I would be shocked if any priest required children to abstain from the Eucharist prior to their first confession, and even after confession, unless it's some huge sin they reveal in confession.
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Offline Michał

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Re: first confession...
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2011, 05:13:20 PM »
They are not to eat or drink anything from Saturday midnight, until after they receive Holy Communion.

Thank you but that's not what I meant. I'll try to explain in more detail what I'm asking about. :) Little children are communing without confession because they are too little to understand what a sin is and therefore they really have no sins, right? But when the age of awareness comes, they are supposed to confess prior to communing, but beforehand they have to get prepared for their first confession. I assume that they are not allowed to commune during this preparation time because they already know what a sin is so the bad stuff they do counts as sins. So my question is: how long does this last in your parish? Is it only these three or four weeks you mentioned or longer?
« Last Edit: April 14, 2011, 05:24:29 PM by Michał »

Offline mike

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Re: first confession...
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2011, 05:56:58 PM »
Liza stated that the learning process lasts 3 weeks, not the abstinence. In Poland there is no abstinence BTW. One week you normally take and the next one you are going to confession.

Offline Michał

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Re: first confession...
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2011, 05:59:52 PM »
In Poland there is no abstinence BTW. One week you normally take and the next one you are going to confession.

Interesting, thank you. :) So is such an abstinence kept anywhere or is it just a practice I wrongly assumed to exist?
« Last Edit: April 14, 2011, 06:00:24 PM by Michał »

Offline mike

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Re: first confession...
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2011, 06:03:38 PM »
In Poland there is no abstinence BTW. One week you normally take and the next one you are going to confession.

Interesting, thank you. :) So is such an abstinence kept anywhere or is it just a practice I wrongly assumed to exist?

I've never heard of it.

Offline biro

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Re: first confession...
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2011, 08:41:59 PM »
I was wondering about that too, as I hope to be chrismated someday. Not to make light of it, but how should one address the issue of things that may have slipped your mind? ("In 1995, I- ah, I think...") Should one describe things in general terms ("For many years I did such-and-such" etc.)? I ask because I am familiar with the format of Confession that we had in my former church, but not with the 'life confession' as such. Thank you.
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Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: first confession...
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2011, 09:04:16 PM »

Sorry...I had misunderstood the question.  The children are not required to abstain from the Eucharist at all.  They are still in the process of learning.

As for the sins you may have forgotten:  http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Absolution

After one confesses, the priest—who may or may not have heard the confession—covers the head of the person with his stole and reads the prayer of absolution, asking God to forgive the transgression of the individual. The Orthodox version of absolution, in contrast to the Catholic, stresses the unworthiness of the minister to forgive sin, which God alone can do. In the Greek practice, the priest says: "Whatever you have said to my humble person, and whatever you have failed to say, whether through ignorance or forgetfulness, whatever it may be, may God forgive you in this world and the next…" One version of the Russian Orthodox prayer of absolution states: "May Our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, through the grace and bounties of His love towards mankind, forgive you, my Child, all your transgressions. And I, an unworthy Priest, through the power given me by Him, forgive and absolve you from all yours sins."
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Offline Michał

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Re: first confession...
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2011, 06:10:08 AM »
As for the sins you may have forgotten:  http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Absolution

After one confesses, the priest—who may or may not have heard the confession—covers the head of the person with his stole and reads the prayer of absolution, asking God to forgive the transgression of the individual. The Orthodox version of absolution, in contrast to the Catholic, stresses the unworthiness of the minister to forgive sin, which God alone can do. In the Greek practice, the priest says: "Whatever you have said to my humble person, and whatever you have failed to say, whether through ignorance or forgetfulness, whatever it may be, may God forgive you in this world and the next…" One version of the Russian Orthodox prayer of absolution states: "May Our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, through the grace and bounties of His love towards mankind, forgive you, my Child, all your transgressions. And I, an unworthy Priest, through the power given me by Him, forgive and absolve you from all yours sins."

Thank you, Liza, but, again, what does it have to do with anything I asked about? My concern is that we are not supposed to commune unworthily (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:27) and I don't get it why one Sunday are these children considered to be worthy without a prior confession, and the next Sunday -- only after a prior confession. I hope this time I made myself clear. :)

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: first confession...
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2011, 08:27:17 AM »

Having honestly forgotten to reveal a sin, is different from purposefully omitting to reveal one (due to shame, etc.).

From my previous post this particular line was meant for you:  "Whatever you have said to my humble person, and whatever you have failed to say, whether through ignorance or forgetfulness,..."

Ignorance being that you didn't realize you had sinned, and do something you didn't realize you shouldn't do.
Forgetfulness being that the sin simply slipped your mind during Confession.  In reciting all the other ones, a few got overlooked.

It's the repentant heart that is pleasing to God...more then reading off a laundry list of sins.
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Offline Michał

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Re: first confession...
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2011, 08:53:58 AM »

Having honestly forgotten to reveal a sin, is different from purposefully omitting to reveal one (due to shame, etc.).

From my previous post this particular line was meant for you:  "Whatever you have said to my humble person, and whatever you have failed to say, whether through ignorance or forgetfulness,..."

Ignorance being that you didn't realize you had sinned, and do something you didn't realize you shouldn't do.
Forgetfulness being that the sin simply slipped your mind during Confession.  In reciting all the other ones, a few got overlooked.

It's the repentant heart that is pleasing to God...more then reading off a laundry list of sins.


You seem not to understand me at all. Is my English that poor? :( I'll try to break it down. We have two situations:
Situation A. On the Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt, a group of children is, as usually, allowed to commune without any prior confession whatsoever.
Situation B. On the Palm Sunday (a week later), the very same group of children is not allowed to commune unless they confess their sins.

My question is: what happens to these children during these seven days that they are no longer allowed to commune unless they go to confession? Do they undergo some ontological change? Are they going, during this week, to commit the first sins in their lives? How can we know that? Why is that one week, the priest gives them Communion only "unto life everlasting" and the next week -- also "for the remission of sins"?
« Last Edit: April 15, 2011, 09:05:19 AM by Michał »

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: first confession...
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2011, 09:32:08 AM »

OHhhhhhh!

You talking about the children!  Sorry.  I'm just over multi-tasking...and therefore, am running low on available brain cells to process information.  My apologies.  Your English is perfect...  :)

Nothing "happens" to these children.  At some point a person reaches the age of "reason" and figure out right from wrong...and then is held accountable.  You have to pick a "time".

Some parents are not having their children go this year, even though they are over 7, because they simply aren't mature enough.  There's no set time...it's at the parent's discretion...who know their kids better than anyone else...and know that the kid now can discern when they've "broken the rules".  Nothing magical happens to the child in that final week.

However, I do hope they are paying more attention to their actions...slowing down to think "if" they are sinning... realizing there are to be consequences for their actions.

There's no set date or age.  Our parish simply picked Palm Sunday, and it's become a tradition.  The child's age doesn't matter so much, as their maturity level.

There's nothing special about that "week"...but, one has to start Confessing at some point in their life. 

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Offline Michał

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Re: first confession...
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2011, 09:35:48 AM »
That makes sense. Thank you for the anwer, Liza. :)
« Last Edit: April 15, 2011, 09:36:08 AM by Michał »

Offline casisthename

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Re: first confession...
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2011, 08:27:35 PM »
But I mean for example I would go in say I've lied. But do I recount what I lied about/how many times I remember in my entire life?

Offline FormerReformer

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Re: first confession...
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2011, 08:49:53 PM »
But I mean for example I would go in say I've lied. But do I recount what I lied about/how many times I remember in my entire life?

It depends.  Go with general sins(that is, lying, or wrath, or what have you) at first, and if your priest feels he needs more information he'll prod you for it (especially if a certain pattern starts to emerge).  If anything specific sticks in your mind then confess that incident.  But I don't think the number of times really matter all that much, especially for the first "life" confession (which if anything like me, if required to list every incident we would've been there all day, with some lost in the distant fog of memory). 
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Re: first confession...
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2011, 09:54:15 AM »
I am just glad the order of confession I used for my first confession included a bit along the lines of "I confess these sins and any others I have forgotten..."

It is not a fun experience, but it is not as harrowing as you anticipate it will be. The advice to be general is also good; the priest will ask you for specifics if he feels the need.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2011, 09:55:20 AM by Agabus »
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