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LizaSymonenko
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« on: May 18, 2012, 03:37:19 PM »


So, I've seen this performed on people in hospitals who were very ill.

I understand fully that the Sacrament of Holy Unction is NOT for the dying...but, for those who are ill, to aid them.  If they are to recover, their recovery will be faster, and if they are destined to die, the passing will be easier.

Is that right?

My parish has never held an Unction service during Holy Week, so, my only exposure was unfortunately, in hospitals by the beds of dying people.

Question.  If a person is healthy enough to come to church, and has the service performed in church....are there any "customs" associated with it?  Is there something they need to do to prepare?  What about those who are present at the service?  Should anyone be holding candles?  ??

Also, when this was done on my uncle (who died in the hospital one day after the service) he was still well enough and was worried what would he do when he came home and was all better.  He had heard, as have I, that the people who have received Holy Unction are no longer to step barefooted upon the ground, but, always need to have socks or shoes on.  He loved to walk around barefoot, and this was a real concern!  Smiley

Anyone else heard of this?

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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2012, 03:44:33 PM »

Now he walks barefooted in heaven.
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2012, 03:52:21 PM »

this was done on my uncle (who died in the hospital one day after the service) he was still well enough and was worried what would he do when he came home and was all better.  He had heard, as have I, that the people who have received Holy Unction are no longer to step barefooted upon the ground, but, always need to have socks or shoes on.  He loved to walk around barefoot, and this was a real concern!  Smiley

Huh Huh
I've been in parishes that do the Unction service every Holy week for well over a decade in addition to having seen it performed individually both at home and at the church and I have never heard of this. I presume it's some kind of local tradition, but I can't even guess as to what the reasoning would be?
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2012, 03:55:40 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


So, I've seen this performed on people in hospitals who were very ill.

I understand fully that the Sacrament of Holy Unction is NOT for the dying...but, for those who are ill, to aid them.  If they are to recover, their recovery will be faster, and if they are destined to die, the passing will be easier.

Is that right?




Simple answer, yes.  However in the Western world, we often get a bit mixed up with the Catholic "Last Rites" which I understand is uniquely like Confession, Unction, and Communion all rolled into one for a dying person.  Unction is to commend a person to the Will of God. It is not so much a search for a miraculous cure, as much as it is a consoling ritual of prayer for those who suffer.  The Church doesn't expect to force God's hand, but rather to Sacramentally prepare the sick or suffering to embrace their fate, good, bad, or whatever else may come.  In this sense, it legitimizes illness, neither as a punishment or a reward, but simply God's will.

stay blessed,
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2012, 03:58:39 PM »

Holy Unction is for ill people, not for only the terminally ill, not only for the dying.
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2012, 04:02:10 PM »

My parish has never held an Unction service during Holy Week,

I'm surprised to hear that.

Question.  If a person is healthy enough to come to church, and has the service performed in church....are there any "customs" associated with it?  Is there something they need to do to prepare?  What about those who are present at the service?  Should anyone be holding candles?  ??

Confession is recommended.  Otherwise, there is no "custom" or preparation required.

Also, when this was done on my uncle (who died in the hospital one day after the service) he was still well enough and was worried what would he do when he came home and was all better.  He had heard, as have I, that the people who have received Holy Unction are no longer to step barefooted upon the ground, but, always need to have socks or shoes on.  He loved to walk around barefoot, and this was a real concern!  Smiley

Anyone else heard of this?

Never heard of such a thing.
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2012, 04:54:14 PM »

Holy Unction is for ill people, not for only the terminally ill, not only for the dying.

And not for only the physically ill. Holy Unction is for all ailments, big and small, physical and spiritual.

It also effects the forgiveness of sins. It's a beautiful sacrament.
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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2012, 07:21:47 PM »

They used to bring in flour, oil and a taper back home.
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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2012, 08:28:28 PM »


Flour?
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« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2012, 08:38:39 PM »

No cotton balls/swabs in the old country; so, they used flour to wipe the holy oil?   Huh
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« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2012, 08:41:21 PM »

Quote
If a person is healthy enough to come to church, and has the service performed in church....are there any "customs" associated with it?  Is there something they need to do to prepare?  What about those who are present at the service?  Should anyone be holding candles?  ??

In the Slavic traditions, prior confession is usually required if one is to be anointed. Otherwise, nothing else.

Quote
Also, when this was done on my uncle (who died in the hospital one day after the service) he was still well enough and was worried what would he do when he came home and was all better.  He had heard, as have I, that the people who have received Holy Unction are no longer to step barefooted upon the ground, but, always need to have socks or shoes on.  He loved to walk around barefoot, and this was a real concern!  Smiley

Never heard of it, must be a local custom/superstition.  Shocked Smiley
Quote
I'm surprised to hear that.

SolEX01, It has been longstanding Greek custom to hold an unction service on Holy Wednesday evening, in place of the Bridegroom Matins. This is not usual Slavic custom, though in smaller parishes where Holy Week services begin on Holy Wednesday evening, an unction service might be scheduled for Holy Monday or Tuesday evening, but this is an ad hoc situation. Most of the time, Slavic unction services are held infrequently, and at any time of the year.
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« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2012, 08:47:13 PM »

Quote
I'm surprised to hear that.

SolEX01, It has been longstanding Greek custom to hold an unction service on Holy Wednesday evening, in place of the Bridegroom Matins. This is not usual Slavic custom, though in smaller parishes where Holy Week services begin on Holy Wednesday evening, an unction service might be scheduled for Holy Monday or Tuesday evening, but this is an ad hoc situation. Most of the time, Slavic unction services are held infrequently, and at any time of the year.

I was surprised that the Jurisdictions in the USA under the EP (e.g. the Ukrainians) didn't perform Holy Unction on Holy Wednesday.  I just note that these Jurisdictions have been in America long enough that perhaps some of them performed Holy Unction on Wednesday evening like other Orthodox Jurisdictions.
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« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2013, 12:17:07 PM »

Quote
If a person is healthy enough to come to church, and has the service performed in church....are there any "customs" associated with it?  Is there something they need to do to prepare?  What about those who are present at the service?  Should anyone be holding candles?  ??

In the Slavic traditions, prior confession is usually required if one is to be anointed. Otherwise, nothing else.

Quote
Also, when this was done on my uncle (who died in the hospital one day after the service) he was still well enough and was worried what would he do when he came home and was all better.  He had heard, as have I, that the people who have received Holy Unction are no longer to step barefooted upon the ground, but, always need to have socks or shoes on.  He loved to walk around barefoot, and this was a real concern!  Smiley

Never heard of it, must be a local custom/superstition.  Shocked Smiley
Quote
I'm surprised to hear that.

SolEX01, It has been longstanding Greek custom to hold an unction service on Holy Wednesday evening, in place of the Bridegroom Matins. This is not usual Slavic custom, though in smaller parishes where Holy Week services begin on Holy Wednesday evening, an unction service might be scheduled for Holy Monday or Tuesday evening, but this is an ad hoc situation. Most of the time, Slavic unction services are held infrequently, and at any time of the year.

I've always been very confused during Holy Week the past few years. It is the custom in our parish to confess weekly if one is receiving weekly. My parish is unusual anyway being a mission under the Bulgarian Patriarchate, but using more or less a ROCOR typikon. We still do the Unction during Holy Week, but our priest still has us confess before Pascha. Am I wrong in assuming that this practice isn't correct? I haven't talked to him about it yet, but I thought Unction was another sin-forgiving sacrament and having confession so shortly after that would be redundant and unnecessary. Could you or anyone else shed some light on this? Thanks.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2013, 12:27:07 PM »


I've never heard that before.
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« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2013, 12:33:21 PM »

Quote
I'm surprised to hear that.

SolEX01, It has been longstanding Greek custom to hold an unction service on Holy Wednesday evening, in place of the Bridegroom Matins. This is not usual Slavic custom, though in smaller parishes where Holy Week services begin on Holy Wednesday evening, an unction service might be scheduled for Holy Monday or Tuesday evening, but this is an ad hoc situation. Most of the time, Slavic unction services are held infrequently, and at any time of the year.

I was surprised that the Jurisdictions in the USA under the EP (e.g. the Ukrainians) didn't perform Holy Unction on Holy Wednesday.  I just note that these Jurisdictions have been in America long enough that perhaps some of them performed Holy Unction on Wednesday evening like other Orthodox Jurisdictions.

This is true: it is spreading among Ukrainians in Canada starting in Western Canada where families have been in Canada since 1891.   
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« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2013, 12:42:28 PM »

Quote
If a person is healthy enough to come to church, and has the service performed in church....are there any "customs" associated with it?  Is there something they need to do to prepare?  What about those who are present at the service?  Should anyone be holding candles?  ??

In the Slavic traditions, prior confession is usually required if one is to be anointed. Otherwise, nothing else.

Quote
Also, when this was done on my uncle (who died in the hospital one day after the service) he was still well enough and was worried what would he do when he came home and was all better.  He had heard, as have I, that the people who have received Holy Unction are no longer to step barefooted upon the ground, but, always need to have socks or shoes on.  He loved to walk around barefoot, and this was a real concern!  Smiley

Never heard of it, must be a local custom/superstition.  Shocked Smiley
Quote
I'm surprised to hear that.

SolEX01, It has been longstanding Greek custom to hold an unction service on Holy Wednesday evening, in place of the Bridegroom Matins. This is not usual Slavic custom, though in smaller parishes where Holy Week services begin on Holy Wednesday evening, an unction service might be scheduled for Holy Monday or Tuesday evening, but this is an ad hoc situation. Most of the time, Slavic unction services are held infrequently, and at any time of the year.

I've always been very confused during Holy Week the past few years. It is the custom in our parish to confess weekly if one is receiving weekly. My parish is unusual anyway being a mission under the Bulgarian Patriarchate, but using more or less a ROCOR typikon. We still do the Unction during Holy Week, but our priest still has us confess before Pascha. Am I wrong in assuming that this practice isn't correct? I haven't talked to him about it yet, but I thought Unction was another sin-forgiving sacrament and having confession so shortly after that would be redundant and unnecessary. Could you or anyone else shed some light on this? Thanks.

In Christ,
Andrew

It's not right but popular. Confession before the unction.
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« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2013, 01:00:13 PM »

Quote
If a person is healthy enough to come to church, and has the service performed in church....are there any "customs" associated with it?  Is there something they need to do to prepare?  What about those who are present at the service?  Should anyone be holding candles?  ??

In the Slavic traditions, prior confession is usually required if one is to be anointed. Otherwise, nothing else.

Quote
Also, when this was done on my uncle (who died in the hospital one day after the service) he was still well enough and was worried what would he do when he came home and was all better.  He had heard, as have I, that the people who have received Holy Unction are no longer to step barefooted upon the ground, but, always need to have socks or shoes on.  He loved to walk around barefoot, and this was a real concern!  Smiley

Never heard of it, must be a local custom/superstition.  Shocked Smiley
Quote
I'm surprised to hear that.

SolEX01, It has been longstanding Greek custom to hold an unction service on Holy Wednesday evening, in place of the Bridegroom Matins. This is not usual Slavic custom, though in smaller parishes where Holy Week services begin on Holy Wednesday evening, an unction service might be scheduled for Holy Monday or Tuesday evening, but this is an ad hoc situation. Most of the time, Slavic unction services are held infrequently, and at any time of the year.

I've always been very confused during Holy Week the past few years. It is the custom in our parish to confess weekly if one is receiving weekly. My parish is unusual anyway being a mission under the Bulgarian Patriarchate, but using more or less a ROCOR typikon. We still do the Unction during Holy Week, but our priest still has us confess before Pascha. Am I wrong in assuming that this practice isn't correct? I haven't talked to him about it yet, but I thought Unction was another sin-forgiving sacrament and having confession so shortly after that would be redundant and unnecessary. Could you or anyone else shed some light on this? Thanks.

In Christ,
Andrew

It's not right but popular. Confession before the unction.
I can understand some of the reasoning behind having confession before unction (though I disagree with that premise); however, in my particular parish the priest has us confess after Unction, too (two or three days after. Before Pascha anyways), which I really have a hard time making sense of.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2013, 01:14:36 PM »

Quote
If a person is healthy enough to come to church, and has the service performed in church....are there any "customs" associated with it?  Is there something they need to do to prepare?  What about those who are present at the service?  Should anyone be holding candles?  ??

In the Slavic traditions, prior confession is usually required if one is to be anointed. Otherwise, nothing else.

Quote
Also, when this was done on my uncle (who died in the hospital one day after the service) he was still well enough and was worried what would he do when he came home and was all better.  He had heard, as have I, that the people who have received Holy Unction are no longer to step barefooted upon the ground, but, always need to have socks or shoes on.  He loved to walk around barefoot, and this was a real concern!  Smiley

Never heard of it, must be a local custom/superstition.  Shocked Smiley
Quote
I'm surprised to hear that.

SolEX01, It has been longstanding Greek custom to hold an unction service on Holy Wednesday evening, in place of the Bridegroom Matins. This is not usual Slavic custom, though in smaller parishes where Holy Week services begin on Holy Wednesday evening, an unction service might be scheduled for Holy Monday or Tuesday evening, but this is an ad hoc situation. Most of the time, Slavic unction services are held infrequently, and at any time of the year.

I've always been very confused during Holy Week the past few years. It is the custom in our parish to confess weekly if one is receiving weekly. My parish is unusual anyway being a mission under the Bulgarian Patriarchate, but using more or less a ROCOR typikon. We still do the Unction during Holy Week, but our priest still has us confess before Pascha. Am I wrong in assuming that this practice isn't correct? I haven't talked to him about it yet, but I thought Unction was another sin-forgiving sacrament and having confession so shortly after that would be redundant and unnecessary. Could you or anyone else shed some light on this? Thanks.

In Christ,
Andrew

It's not right but popular. Confession before the unction.
I can understand some of the reasoning behind having confession before unction (though I disagree with that premise); however, in my particular parish the priest has us confess after Unction, too (two or three days after. Before Pascha anyways), which I really have a hard time making sense of.

In Christ,
Andrew

Still have some sense.

What has no sense is that you say unction should be done instead of confession.
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« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2013, 02:23:31 PM »

Dear all,

In the parish I attend we have Holy Unction service on Wednesday afternoon and then Matins in the evening.  After the evening service people who did not attend the afternoon service are also annointed.  Both services are well-attended.  The "official" Holy Week book has the Unction service in the evening and no Matins, but that has been corrected. 

The flour is put in a bowl used to hold the candles which are lit during the service before reading each of the seven Gospels. The oil goes in a vigil lamp and is later used for the annointing.   I think the flour may later be used to bake prosphora. 

Sometimes in our Metropolis this service is also held once in the summer, and attended by priests and people from all the churches. 

We try to confess prior to the Unction - the week prior to Holy Week actually, as it would get too busy otherwise. 

Love, elephant
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« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2013, 04:26:13 PM »

Quote
If a person is healthy enough to come to church, and has the service performed in church....are there any "customs" associated with it?  Is there something they need to do to prepare?  What about those who are present at the service?  Should anyone be holding candles?  ??

In the Slavic traditions, prior confession is usually required if one is to be anointed. Otherwise, nothing else.

Quote
Also, when this was done on my uncle (who died in the hospital one day after the service) he was still well enough and was worried what would he do when he came home and was all better.  He had heard, as have I, that the people who have received Holy Unction are no longer to step barefooted upon the ground, but, always need to have socks or shoes on.  He loved to walk around barefoot, and this was a real concern!  Smiley

Never heard of it, must be a local custom/superstition.  Shocked Smiley
Quote
I'm surprised to hear that.

SolEX01, It has been longstanding Greek custom to hold an unction service on Holy Wednesday evening, in place of the Bridegroom Matins. This is not usual Slavic custom, though in smaller parishes where Holy Week services begin on Holy Wednesday evening, an unction service might be scheduled for Holy Monday or Tuesday evening, but this is an ad hoc situation. Most of the time, Slavic unction services are held infrequently, and at any time of the year.

I've always been very confused during Holy Week the past few years. It is the custom in our parish to confess weekly if one is receiving weekly. My parish is unusual anyway being a mission under the Bulgarian Patriarchate, but using more or less a ROCOR typikon. We still do the Unction during Holy Week, but our priest still has us confess before Pascha. Am I wrong in assuming that this practice isn't correct? I haven't talked to him about it yet, but I thought Unction was another sin-forgiving sacrament and having confession so shortly after that would be redundant and unnecessary. Could you or anyone else shed some light on this? Thanks.

In Christ,
Andrew

It seems to me that couple of practices are being conflated here.

1. In many churches one must take communion at least once a year, Pascha being most strongly recommended, to stay a member in good standing. Indeed, in Tsarist Russia, there was a requirement that all government officials had to take communion at Pascha. So, the tradition of taking communion on Pascha is well established/observed.

2. In many churches, the tradition may be communion at least four times a year, to correspond to the four great fasts/feasts. This means that confession takes place sometime during the fast that precedes the feast.

3. In all churches, one must confess before taking communion (or, in the case of Holy Wednesday, before Holy Unction). The differences between the jurisdictions come in how recent this must be and how much one must prepare for it.

So, if your jurisdiction insists that you must prepare for and receive the Mystery of Penance/Reconciliation (Confession) the day before you take Communion, you may be stuck with the following scenario based on the schedule of services in a typical Russian tradition church.

Friday evening before Lazarus saturday: Confession

Lazarus Saturday: Communion in the morning, confession in the evening.

Palm Sunday: Communion in the morning, confession in the evening.

Holy Monday: Communion in the afternoon, confession in the evening.

Holy Tuesday: Communion in the afternoon, confession in the evening.

Holy Wednesday: Communion in the afternoon, confession in the afternoon (if for Holy Unction), and/or confession in the evening.

Holy Thursday: Communion in the morning.

Holy Friday: Confession in the evening.

Holy Saturday: Communion in the morning, confession in the evening.

Feast of Feasts: Communion in the wee hours of the morning, confession in the evening.

Bright Monday: Communion in the morning.

I do not know about your priest, but I do not think that he himself undergoes the same strict confession/communion regimen that he is imposing on his congregation.
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« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2013, 04:36:07 PM »

I do not know about your priest, but I do not think that he himself undergoes the same strict confession/communion regimen that he is imposing on his congregation.

..but how can he?  The priest needs another priest to confess to, no?  If he's the only priest at the parish....
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« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2013, 05:52:27 PM »

Quote
If a person is healthy enough to come to church, and has the service performed in church....are there any "customs" associated with it?  Is there something they need to do to prepare?  What about those who are present at the service?  Should anyone be holding candles?  ??

In the Slavic traditions, prior confession is usually required if one is to be anointed. Otherwise, nothing else.

Quote
Also, when this was done on my uncle (who died in the hospital one day after the service) he was still well enough and was worried what would he do when he came home and was all better.  He had heard, as have I, that the people who have received Holy Unction are no longer to step barefooted upon the ground, but, always need to have socks or shoes on.  He loved to walk around barefoot, and this was a real concern!  Smiley

Never heard of it, must be a local custom/superstition.  Shocked Smiley
Quote
I'm surprised to hear that.

SolEX01, It has been longstanding Greek custom to hold an unction service on Holy Wednesday evening, in place of the Bridegroom Matins. This is not usual Slavic custom, though in smaller parishes where Holy Week services begin on Holy Wednesday evening, an unction service might be scheduled for Holy Monday or Tuesday evening, but this is an ad hoc situation. Most of the time, Slavic unction services are held infrequently, and at any time of the year.

I've always been very confused during Holy Week the past few years. It is the custom in our parish to confess weekly if one is receiving weekly. My parish is unusual anyway being a mission under the Bulgarian Patriarchate, but using more or less a ROCOR typikon. We still do the Unction during Holy Week, but our priest still has us confess before Pascha. Am I wrong in assuming that this practice isn't correct? I haven't talked to him about it yet, but I thought Unction was another sin-forgiving sacrament and having confession so shortly after that would be redundant and unnecessary. Could you or anyone else shed some light on this? Thanks.

In Christ,
Andrew

It seems to me that couple of practices are being conflated here.

1. In many churches one must take communion at least once a year, Pascha being most strongly recommended, to stay a member in good standing. Indeed, in Tsarist Russia, there was a requirement that all government officials had to take communion at Pascha. So, the tradition of taking communion on Pascha is well established/observed.

2. In many churches, the tradition may be communion at least four times a year, to correspond to the four great fasts/feasts. This means that confession takes place sometime during the fast that precedes the feast.

3. In all churches, one must confess before taking communion (or, in the case of Holy Wednesday, before Holy Unction). The differences between the jurisdictions come in how recent this must be and how much one must prepare for it.

So, if your jurisdiction insists that you must prepare for and receive the Mystery of Penance/Reconciliation (Confession) the day before you take Communion, you may be stuck with the following scenario based on the schedule of services in a typical Russian tradition church.

Friday evening before Lazarus saturday: Confession

Lazarus Saturday: Communion in the morning, confession in the evening.

Palm Sunday: Communion in the morning, confession in the evening.

Holy Monday: Communion in the afternoon, confession in the evening.

Holy Tuesday: Communion in the afternoon, confession in the evening.

Holy Wednesday: Communion in the afternoon, confession in the afternoon (if for Holy Unction), and/or confession in the evening.

Holy Thursday: Communion in the morning.

Holy Friday: Confession in the evening.

Holy Saturday: Communion in the morning, confession in the evening.

Feast of Feasts: Communion in the wee hours of the morning, confession in the evening.

Bright Monday: Communion in the morning.

I do not know about your priest, but I do not think that he himself undergoes the same strict confession/communion regimen that he is imposing on his congregation.
I don't think it's a jurisdictional requirement, to be honest. I find our practice to be a bit abnormal. Our parish is one of the few in the Bulgarian diocese that has a ROCOR typikon. My priest never went to seminary so all he knows is what was taught to him at St. Herman's monastery. Our practice is one confession per Sunday communion. If there are feasts throughout the week or pre sanctified we aren't required to go to confession before that communion.

I guess I am ignorant of larger Orthodox practices for unction. To me it does not make sense to have confession after receiving unction.

In Christ,
Andrew
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"I will pour out my prayer unto the Lord, and to Him will I proclaim my grief; for with evils my soul is filled, and my life unto hades hath drawn nigh, and like Jonah I will pray: From corruption raise me up, O God." -Ode VI, Irmos of the Supplicatory Canon to the Theotokos
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