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Author Topic: Relationship between Confession and the Eucharist?  (Read 430 times) Average Rating: 0
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JamesR
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« on: November 14, 2012, 08:08:55 PM »

I was just wondering, what exactly is the relationship between the Eucharist and Confession? I know that they are somewhat related, since we cannot receive the Eucharist unless we have been to Confession recently, and that sometimes at Confession we can be barred from the Eucharist as part of our penitence. But what is the exact relationship? Likewise, something else confuses me. In Confession we receive absolution from sin, and then in the Eucharist we commune "..for the remission of sins and life everlasting.". Why do we need the 'remission of sins' from the Eucharist if we already receive absolution in Confession?
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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2012, 09:07:31 PM »

Interesting article on this subject.

http://www.orthodox.net/articles/confession-and-communion.html
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HabteSelassie
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2012, 09:18:13 PM »

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

The direct relationship between the frequency of Holy Communion and the frequency of Confession are determined by circumstance (i.e. one's own individual feelings about occurring sins) and more specifically by the decision of one's Father Confessor.  However, in general there is indeed a direct connection between the Mysteries of Confession/Reconciliation and Holy Communion.

In Confession we formally practice repentance, and hence are Reconciled.  The priests are there to serve sort of like spiritual notaries to ensure the legitimacy of our confession as witnesses.  They are praying with us.  That being said, even when our Confessors prescribe a certain formula or routine for the formal office of Confession, whenever we prepare for Communion it should always involve individual confession of sins through prayer, repentance of sins, and fasting.  So we are always  linked through confession and repentance to the Holy Communion.

Theologically, the way that the two Mysteries are connected is of course through the Mystery of Baptism.  We are cleansed of Sins at Baptism, then we are imbued with the Holy Spirit at Chrismation, and are joined to Christ through the Holy Communion.  All of these are blessed by the hands of Ordained Priests.  The Mysteries are hence always mutually interconnected.  The Mystery of Confession or more correctly Reconciliation restores the originally cleansing of Baptism by mechanism of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  By Synergy with the Grace of the Mysteries, we are cleansed of Sin and restored, reconciled back to Christ.  This is finalized through receiving His Body and Blood.  It is a cycle, like all matters of life, to encourage this gradual healing, this synergy of the Holy Spirit, this Theosis of Salvation.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 09:19:10 PM by HabteSelassie » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2012, 10:11:29 PM »

In the OT, a man would bring a sin offering to the priest, he would place his hand on the head of the animal, confess his sin before the priest, and the priest would sacrifice the offering. It was as if the sin was transferred to the animal, who received death, the consequence of sin in the place of the person.

At the Great Day of Atonement, the High Priest would sacrifice a Ram as himself, a goat for the people, and drive the scapegoat into the wilderness. The red ribbon on the scapegoat would turn white when the atonement was complete. The priest would take the blood of the sacrifice into the Holy of Holies, before the Mercy Seat, where it would become holy, and a source of life. The High Priest would then take it back out, and sprinkle it on the parts of the Temple, which represented the parts of creation, thus restoring the bonds of creation and pushing back the decay and death that came with the people's sins.

Christ is the true High Priest. He sacrificed Himself, ascended into the Holy of Holies, and is coming again to recreate the world.

When we confess our sins before the priest, it is as if the priest bears them. Then, in the Offertory, the priest rubs his hand of the Lamb, it is as if he is placing our sins that he has taken in confession upon the Lamb, upon Christ. The Liturgy is a making present of Calvary, and so our sins are placed upon Christ, who took upon Himself the sins of the world, and defeated sin and death upon the Cross, and rose in life. Our offering to God of bread and wine is returned to us as the Body and Blood of Christ, who ascended into Heaven, into the Holy of Holies, that comes to us out of the Sanctuary, out of the Holy of Holies to give us life.

The whole Liturgy is a participation the true Day of Atonement, but, in the Coptic rite at least, the absolution also takes the form of the Day of Atonement to show us clearly and concisely what we are participating in. The priest ascends to the Sanctuary while the chanters chant a wordless hymn, just as the chanters of the old testament did when the High Priest ascended to the Sanctuary, and then the priest comes out to give the absolution.
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IoanC
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« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2012, 02:56:28 AM »

The Eucharist has a deep meaning because in it is hidden our communion with God, our deification. The Eucharist is like a medicine for our souls. However, we cannot approach the Eucharist without being prepared to receive it. As it is known, for those who have not repented, and purified themselves, the Eucharist can work against their own good. So, the Mystery of Confession, among other things, makes sure that one is truly prepared, capable to receive the Eucharist. If a priests allows you to receive the Eucharist knowing that you have unrepented of sins, then it's as if he gives you the green light to continue sinning; and not just that, but even "sanctifies" your sins by giving you the Eucharist itself.
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2012, 04:03:18 AM »

The Eucharist has a deep meaning because in it is hidden our communion with God, our deification. The Eucharist is like a medicine for our souls. However, we cannot approach the Eucharist without being prepared to receive it. As it is known, for those who have not repented, and purified themselves, the Eucharist can work against their own good. So, the Mystery of Confession, among other things, makes sure that one is truly prepared, capable to receive the Eucharist.
On the contrary, no one is truly prepared to receive the Eucharist, if by "prepared" one means "made worthy", for the Eucharist is in its essence the gift of Christ to sinners. After all, did not Jesus share His Body and Blood with a man who would deny Him three times and another man who would betray Him?
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IoanC
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« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2012, 04:22:19 AM »

The Eucharist has a deep meaning because in it is hidden our communion with God, our deification. The Eucharist is like a medicine for our souls. However, we cannot approach the Eucharist without being prepared to receive it. As it is known, for those who have not repented, and purified themselves, the Eucharist can work against their own good. So, the Mystery of Confession, among other things, makes sure that one is truly prepared, capable to receive the Eucharist.
On the contrary, no one is truly prepared to receive the Eucharist, if by "prepared" one means "made worthy", for the Eucharist is in its essence the gift of Christ to sinners. After all, did not Jesus share His Body and Blood with a man who would deny Him three times and another man who would betray Him?

Well, you have to be as prepared as you can. You can use a guide for confession if you don't know all the sins you have committed. Point is, we do not play with the Eucharist; we do not make it relative -- as in "it's impossible to be perfect, therefore we won't even try, we won't even confess all we do".
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 04:23:01 AM by IoanC » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2012, 09:12:07 AM »

Dear JamesR,

I do not see Holy Communion as the end achieved after Holy Confession.  I also confess because I have received Holy Communion and I want to keep my soul clean for the Lord. 

love, elephant
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2012, 04:08:59 PM »

The Eucharist has a deep meaning because in it is hidden our communion with God, our deification. The Eucharist is like a medicine for our souls. However, we cannot approach the Eucharist without being prepared to receive it. As it is known, for those who have not repented, and purified themselves, the Eucharist can work against their own good. So, the Mystery of Confession, among other things, makes sure that one is truly prepared, capable to receive the Eucharist.
On the contrary, no one is truly prepared to receive the Eucharist, if by "prepared" one means "made worthy", for the Eucharist is in its essence the gift of Christ to sinners. After all, did not Jesus share His Body and Blood with a man who would deny Him three times and another man who would betray Him?

Well, you have to be as prepared as you can. You can use a guide for confession if you don't know all the sins you have committed. Point is, we do not play with the Eucharist; we do not make it relative -- as in "it's impossible to be perfect, therefore we won't even try, we won't even confess all we do".
Do you believe in a 1-to-1 correspondence between confession and communion, such that you absolutely must go to confession every time you intend to receive communion the next day?
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IoanC
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« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2012, 02:17:15 AM »

Do you believe in a 1-to-1 correspondence between confession and communion, such that you absolutely must go to confession every time you intend to receive communion the next day?

From what I know it is not necessary to confess every time you receive Communion, unless you commit serious sins. But, there should also be a rule about how often you go to confession, regardless of whether you sinned or not. Say, you go 4 times a year, and you always keep it; otherwise, we are always tempted to say we didn't commit serious sins. And, anyway, we are supposed to confess minor sins also; it's not like they don't matter.
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