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Author Topic: How to Confess  (Read 1270 times) Average Rating: 0
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William
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« on: November 27, 2011, 08:11:20 PM »

Is there a standard thing to say when one goes up to confession? Something like how Catholics says "bless me, Father, for I have sinned"?

Also, how do you indicate that you've finished confessing? When I had my first Orthodox confession today I didn't want to say something like "And that's all she wrote" so there was just an awkward silence for a bit.
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2011, 08:14:10 PM »

Glad you got through it. I've been wondering, too.  Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2011, 08:34:18 PM »

This is in my prayer book:

O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, I confess to thee all the hidden and open sins of my heart and mind, which I have commited unti this present day; where I beg of thee, the righteous and compassionate Judge, remission of sins and grace to sin no more.

I don't know what to say when you're done, my book doesn't say. Usually just ends up with him asking do you have anything else to confess? and i say no.

Maybe you could throw out a general, "Lord have mercy on me according to thy great mercy" or something along those lines to signal you're done, unless someone has another idea.
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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2011, 08:37:43 PM »

Question: I didn't know that inquirers can have confession. I didn't even know that catechumens can confess. What's the rules at this point? Father talks about confession as being after we're chrismated, although we do talk about issues now. We are just not absolved (forgive me if that's the wrong terminology).
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« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2011, 08:40:29 PM »

Question: I didn't know that inquirers can have confession. I didn't even know that catechumens can confess. What's the rules at this point? Father talks about confession as being after we're chrismated, although we do talk about issues now. We are just not absolved (forgive me if that's the wrong terminology).

A first confession can be done prior to being chrismated (ideally soon before) and the absolution can take place during the chrismation itself.
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« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2011, 08:41:23 PM »

Question: I didn't know that inquirers can have confession. I didn't even know that catechumens can confess. What's the rules at this point? Father talks about confession as being after we're chrismated, although we do talk about issues now. We are just not absolved (forgive me if that's the wrong terminology).

A first confession can be done prior to being chrismated (ideally soon before) and the absolution can take place during the chrismation itself.
But for inquirers? A no-no, no?

Sorry, first confession excluded, obviously.
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« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2011, 08:42:46 PM »

I haven't had a confession yet, I was just wondering what it's like in the EOC.
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« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2011, 08:44:15 PM »

Question: I didn't know that inquirers can have confession. I didn't even know that catechumens can confess. What's the rules at this point? Father talks about confession as being after we're chrismated, although we do talk about issues now. We are just not absolved (forgive me if that's the wrong terminology).
I contacted my priest about repentance and he said we could talk "in a confessional manner" but without absolution. So today during Matins he wasn't having anyone coming up for Confession so I extemporaneously went up and asked him if I could confess. He allowed it.

Maybe I shouldn't have, because my confession was pretty bad. I didn't know how to do it and I hadn't done any kind of preparation for it since I just extemporaneously decided to ask for Confession when I saw he had no one in line.
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« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2011, 08:44:31 PM »

during the actual confession itself you are kneeling in front of an icon or cross and the priest puts his epitrachelion over your head.
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« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2011, 08:45:48 PM »

I don't know if there is such thing as a bad confession unless you aren't repentant!

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« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2011, 08:47:48 PM »

I don't know if there is such thing as a bad confession unless you aren't repentant!



agreed!
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« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2011, 09:17:32 PM »

The best way to do it is honestly. The degree to which we are repentant will vary, and hopefully grow with time. But it is good to be honest with ourselves, with our confessor, and with Christ.
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« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2011, 09:20:37 PM »

during the actual confession itself you are kneeling in front of an icon or cross and the priest puts his epitrachelion over your head.
That's how everyone else got Confession. When I was finished he put his hand on my head instead of his epitrachelion, though.
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« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2011, 09:21:05 PM »

Question: when I was in the RCC, we were told that before Confession we should make an 'examination of conscience.' That means, go over your actions and measure them by the Ten Commandments, i.e. did you get into a fight with your parents, did you show hatred toward anyone, did you covet, and so on. Is this similar to what the Orthodox do as preparation?
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« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2011, 09:56:55 PM »

Question: when I was in the RCC, we were told that before Confession we should make an 'examination of conscience.' That means, go over your actions and measure them by the Ten Commandments, i.e. did you get into a fight with your parents, did you show hatred toward anyone, did you covet, and so on. Is this similar to what the Orthodox do as preparation?
Yes. The little red Antiochian Prayer Book has a self-examination structured exactly that way. I find it overwhelming to work my way through the entire ten in preparation for confession. My priest is quite happy that I focus on one at a time. Of course, if other issues need to be dealt with, then that's fine.
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« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2011, 10:11:37 PM »

Question: when I was in the RCC, we were told that before Confession we should make an 'examination of conscience.' That means, go over your actions and measure them by the Ten Commandments, i.e. did you get into a fight with your parents, did you show hatred toward anyone, did you covet, and so on. Is this similar to what the Orthodox do as preparation?
I have found St. Dimitri of Rostov's 'Full Confession' to be very helpful.
Quote
I confess to the Lord my God and before thee, venerable father, all my countless sins, committed by me unto this very day and hour, in deed, word and thought. I sin daily and hourly by mine ingratitude toward God for His great and countless blessings and benevolent providence over me, a sinner.

    I have sinned through: idle talking, judging others, stubbornness, pride, hard-heartedness, envy, anger, slander, inattention, negligence concerning my salvation, carelessness, indifference, impertinence, irritability, despondency, rendering evil for evil, bitterness, disobedience, complaining, self-justification, contradicting others, self-will, being reproachful, gossiping, lying, light-mindedness, tempting others, self-love, ambition, gourmandizing, eating and drinking to excess, vanity, laziness, entertaining unclean thoughts, acquisitiveness, impure glances, absence from divine services because of laziness and carelessness, absent-mindedness at prayer both in church and at home; I have sinned in deed, word thought; in sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch and the rest of my mental and physical senses; of all my sins I repent and beg forgiveness.

(Here one should mention specifically any other sins which may be burdening the soul.)

    I also repent and ask forgiveness for all those sins that I have not confessed because of their multitude and my forgetfulness.

    Forgive and absolve me, venerable father, and bless me to commune of the holy and life-creating Mysteries of Christ unto the remission of sins and life everlasting.
My priest has us read this if we did not fully prepare or have trouble recalling how and wherein we have sinned, though he doesn't insist on it. But what you mentioned above is about the same amount of preparation we are expected to take on before confession. I have also been told to ask God to help me recount my sins. That's helped too. It is always such a relief to go to confession. Smiley

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2011, 12:18:06 AM »

Thank you.  Smiley
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« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2011, 11:29:20 AM »

during the actual confession itself you are kneeling in front of an icon or cross and the priest puts his epitrachelion over your head.
That's how everyone else got Confession. When I was finished he put his hand on my head instead of his epitrachelion, though.

ah ok Smiley
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William
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« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2011, 08:50:40 PM »

Bump.

Also, is it appropriate to bring up non-Confessional things immediately after absolution (or, in my case, a prayer asking for forgiveness)? I'm not talking about mundane stuff here, but questions about fasting or getting an icon blessed or something?
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« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2011, 08:52:06 PM »

i would think so...unless your priest has to hear confession from another person. if he looks like hes not busy, go for it.
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« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2011, 09:16:09 PM »

Bump.

Also, is it appropriate to bring up non-Confessional things immediately after absolution (or, in my case, a prayer asking for forgiveness)? I'm not talking about mundane stuff here, but questions about fasting or getting an icon blessed or something?

of course!  i'm a big fan of "ask while the priest is around" b/c we're flying in and out of a lot of things. 
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« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2012, 06:59:20 PM »

I was taught that we (the catechumens) and people who are unable to go to confession should pray the Canon of Repentance to Our Lord Jesus Christ in place of confession.

Here is a link to the text of the short canon:
http://pomog.org/index.html?http://pomog.org/repentance.htm

You should also talk to your priest or spiritual father as well.


(*Note that this should not be confused with the Great Canon of Repentance of St. Andrew of Crete which is said in congregation during the fast of Great Lent.)
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« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2012, 11:20:32 PM »

Great advice!

And, since this come up as well: I went to confession a few times during my catechumenate. However, I couldn't receive absolution. My priest treated my confession just as if I were a member of the faithful and gave spiritual counsel. However, instead of receiving absolution at the end, he and I knelt together and he prayed asking God to forgive me these things and unite me in due time to the Church.

Having those experiences helped me get into the full "feel" of Orthodox spiritual life before I was baptized, and I really appreciated it. Smiley
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« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2012, 02:07:59 AM »

Great advice!

And, since this come up as well: I went to confession a few times during my catechumenate. However, I couldn't receive absolution. My priest treated my confession just as if I were a member of the faithful and gave spiritual counsel. However, instead of receiving absolution at the end, he and I knelt together and he prayed asking God to forgive me these things and unite me in due time to the Church.

Having those experiences helped me get into the full "feel" of Orthodox spiritual life before I was baptized, and I really appreciated it. Smiley

wow, what a great priest you have.
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