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Anastasia1
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« on: May 18, 2013, 06:54:55 PM »

If I committed a really bad sin, and Coptic confession was yesterday, does that mean that I would only be able to receive communion if I made it to the Armenian church?
« Last Edit: May 18, 2013, 06:56:18 PM by Anastasia1 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2013, 07:52:08 PM »

This dilemma only makes sense to us.  Tongue

I don't know if Coptic priests hear confessions before the Liturgy, so I'd presume the answer to your question is yes. 
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2013, 08:53:46 PM »

 Embarrassed This could hurt a bit to drive to, but the last time I had communion was also March 31st and my faith is not in the best place.
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2013, 08:55:21 PM »

This dilemma only makes sense to us.  Tongue

I don't know if Coptic priests hear confessions before the Liturgy, so I'd presume the answer to your question is yes. 

I'm not sure I understand the question. But most Coptic priests will be very accommodating with making time to hear a confession. If you can contact them ahead of time and make arrangements that is best, but many times I've just gone before Liturgy, and once he finishes dressing the Altar I've asked my priest if he has time before we start, and he's never said no. He even takes confessions on occasion during the Epistle readings if there is need.

If you go and they don't have time to hear your confession during the Liturgy, you can just approach for Communion and before partaking whisper in his ear that you need to confess something, will he give you permission to receive on the condition that you stay and confess after Liturgy.

If they aren't your priest though, there may be some more discussion needed... In general a Copt may not confess to any priest besides their father in confession without the permission of their father in confession. When someone is in our town for an extended period, if they ask my priest to confess, he always asks them who their father in confession is, and asks them to please email or call them and take their blessing to confess to him first. If you have no father in confession they are unlikely to turn you away from confession.

Of course this is the norm and the way it should be. In some of the big churches unfortunately priorities are different with quantity trumping quality, and you may find a priest who is "not taking new patients". Even in the bigger churches though if you look you'll almost always find at least one of the priests who is willing to help.
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2013, 08:57:42 PM »

Embarrassed This could hurt a bit to drive to, but the last time I had communion was also March 31st.

Whenever someone out of town has come to my priest and said "I have been in a remote area for 6 months. I want to have communion, but of course I haven't been able to confess in that time either". He always says "come, have communion, and then come confess after the Liturgy".

I don't think it makes sense to drive a long distance to a church where you won't be required to confess to get passed it to get communion... Just present your need to the priest and unless they are a bad priest they will do their job of reconciling you to God and His Church, and find a way to bring you to Communion.
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2013, 09:13:38 PM »

This dilemma only makes sense to us.  Tongue

I don't know if Coptic priests hear confessions before the Liturgy, so I'd presume the answer to your question is yes. 

I'm not sure I understand the question. But most Coptic priests will be very accommodating with making time to hear a confession. If you can contact them ahead of time and make arrangements that is best, but many times I've just gone before Liturgy, and once he finishes dressing the Altar I've asked my priest if he has time before we start, and he's never said no. He even takes confessions on occasion during the Epistle readings if there is need.

If you go and they don't have time to hear your confession during the Liturgy, you can just approach for Communion and before partaking whisper in his ear that you need to confess something, will he give you permission to receive on the condition that you stay and confess after Liturgy.

If they aren't your priest though, there may be some more discussion needed... In general a Copt may not confess to any priest besides their father in confession without the permission of their father in confession. When someone is in our town for an extended period, if they ask my priest to confess, he always asks them who their father in confession is, and asks them to please email or call them and take their blessing to confess to him first. If you have no father in confession they are unlikely to turn you away from confession.

Of course this is the norm and the way it should be. In some of the big churches unfortunately priorities are different with quantity trumping quality, and you may find a priest who is "not taking new patients". Even in the bigger churches though if you look you'll almost always find at least one of the priests who is willing to help.
Smiley

My priest is out of town, but someone else should be there. I think I may hurt to drive that far (a month ago it hurt to drive 10 minutes) and the other nearest Armenian one I only understand parts of the sermon.  The Coptic church is closer to me-10 minutes from home. I called ahead and meant to go a couple of weeks ago (and I emailed him a copy of my baptism and chrismation certificate), but then I missed service that weekend because I forgot the Easter schedule that weekend with my internship going on and not going to bed early enough (am not a morning person) and hurting at some point every day. I did not receive communion the only time I did go because I was chrismated Armenian but baptized Lutheran and did not ask ahead of time if I would be allowed. Otherwise I sat through a Catholic service and went to a short Antiochian service on that Easter weekend (if you were not attending church much and you also had to take your Catholic friend somewhere on a Sunday, you might too), but I think it would be good for me to participate in the church rather than watching other people where/when I cannot.
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2013, 09:19:01 PM »

Embarrassed This could hurt a bit to drive to, but the last time I had communion was also March 31st.

Whenever someone out of town has come to my priest and said "I have been in a remote area for 6 months. I want to have communion, but of course I haven't been able to confess in that time either". He always says "come, have communion, and then come confess after the Liturgy".

I don't think it makes sense to drive a long distance to a church where you won't be required to confess to get passed it to get communion... Just present your need to the priest and unless they are a bad priest they will do their job of reconciling you to God and His Church, and find a way to bring you to Communion.
Thank you very much.
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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2013, 09:26:45 PM »

I hope it goes well for you. And if you do have bad luck there don't let it discourage you, God sees your effort to come to Him, and will provide for all those who honestly seek Him.
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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2013, 09:46:51 PM »

Embarrassed This could hurt a bit to drive to, but the last time I had communion was also March 31st and my faith is not in the best place.

Jonathan gave you some good advice, both in general and specifically with regard to Coptic practice; I found it useful myself.  I'm not used to priests hearing confession before Liturgy, for example, so I didn't know that was possible among Copts.   

We need to avoid two extremes in our spiritual life when we feel "our faith is not in the best place" (it usually isn't).  The first extreme is when we think we're doomed and so there's no point in trying, we should stay away from Communion, from the life of the Church, etc.  The second is when we, believing that our spiritual life is a work in progress and that God is merciful beyond comprehension, decide that we're not going to worry about it, we'll just do whatever we want, God knows our heart is in the right place, and he'll forgive us because that's just who he is. 

The right place for us to be is somewhere in the middle.  We need to trust God that he'll make up for whatever we're lacking, but we also have to be aware of our own deficiencies, ask for his mercy, and keep trying to do better.  Sometimes we'll feel like we're OK, and other times we'll feel like we're slipping, but as long as we reach out for God and ask him to save us, aware of our shortcomings and trying our best, he'll reach out to us and save us.  Don't let the devil trick you into thinking that "you're just fine, do whatever you like" or "you're hopeless, so just give up".   
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« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2013, 09:56:10 PM »

I'm not sure I understand the question.

I took the question to refer to the Armenian practice of the sacrament of repentance, which is in the form of a public, general confession with absolution from the priest.  If you're Armenian, this is basically the only "confession" available, though I've heard of people asking Armenian priests for private confession every now and then.  If you have a confessor but haven't been able to go to confession and yet want to approach the Eucharist, this form of confession is done in Armenian churches every Sunday--one could commune and confess privately later. 

Since you talked about the options available in the Coptic practice, perhaps it is not necessary for Anastasia, but it is an option.  I've availed myself of this option when my own circumstances were similar.  Of course, in another thread I asked about the "absolution" offered in Coptic liturgies and whether it was a form of "general confession"; from the prayers used, and from the practice you described of priests allowing confession after communing, it certainly seems that way.     
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« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2013, 01:36:24 AM »

I'm curious if this would work the same among the Syriacs. I figure Coptic is closer and thus probably better, but I also know of a Syriac church midway.
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« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2013, 11:18:23 AM »

may God guide u.
i hope u made it to church (as it is late even in usa now) and if not, make sure you make it next week.
if there is a saturday service in either of the churches, maybe you could go early (try setting 2 alarm clocks, one on the opposite site of the bedroom) and speak to the priest before the service. there are often less people at a saturday service (where there is one) so more chance of getting to talk to the priest.
coz whether you confess formally or not before communion, the main issue is that you should discuss this with a priest, so that you can receive useful spiritual advice.
(i say this as a sinner who has received a lot of useful advice in confession).
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« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2013, 11:58:27 AM »

Actually, I should make it about an hour into the Coptic service. Yes, I should have gone to bed earlier. Ok, just over. Am missing one top and another bottom. I wonder if it is worth attending an hour and a half late or if I should just go to the Syriac one.
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« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2013, 05:05:43 PM »

 Undecided
oh, no, u are keeping  us in suspense, and it's bed time now (almost) in uk, so i will have to wait till tomorrow to see if u make it!
 Shocked
hope u made it...
 Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2013, 08:12:40 PM »

You were right, and the Coptic priest anointed me with oil since I was a little achy from the injury.  First communion in a month and a half. Good to receive sacraments.

It's funny. I got in to the church during the sermon where he was saying something about taking the communion seriously, preparing for it and stuff.
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« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2013, 04:51:10 AM »

yay!
u got to church!
 Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2013, 06:29:15 PM »

I'm not sure I understand the question.

I took the question to refer to the Armenian practice of the sacrament of repentance, which is in the form of a public, general confession with absolution from the priest.  If you're Armenian, this is basically the only "confession" available, though I've heard of people asking Armenian priests for private confession every now and then.  If you have a confessor but haven't been able to go to confession and yet want to approach the Eucharist, this form of confession is done in Armenian churches every Sunday--one could commune and confess privately later.  

Since you talked about the options available in the Coptic practice, perhaps it is not necessary for Anastasia, but it is an option.  I've availed myself of this option when my own circumstances were similar.  Of course, in another thread I asked about the "absolution" offered in Coptic liturgies and whether it was a form of "general confession"; from the prayers used, and from the practice you described of priests allowing confession after communing, it certainly seems that way.      

ah, that makes sense, thank you.

Are there any good resources you can point to for a brief overview of Armenian spirituality / popular piety... It just seems so different than the way Copts do things I'm curious to know more about it so I don't make assumptions.
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« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2013, 06:30:13 PM »

You were right, and the Coptic priest anointed me with oil since I was a little achy from the injury.  First communion in a month and a half. Good to receive sacraments.

It's funny. I got in to the church during the sermon where he was saying something about taking the communion seriously, preparing for it and stuff.

I'm very glad it went well for you.
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« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2013, 07:14:49 PM »

Are there any good resources you can point to for a brief overview of Armenian spirituality / popular piety... It just seems so different than the way Copts do things I'm curious to know more about it so I don't make assumptions.

The only resource I can point to is Armenian people.  It's a lovely world about which I know little, so I ask them as needed.  But they are a fun bunch.  Great food, too!  Smiley
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Anastasia1
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« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2013, 09:07:06 PM »

Are there any good resources you can point to for a brief overview of Armenian spirituality / popular piety... It just seems so different than the way Copts do things I'm curious to know more about it so I don't make assumptions.
I don't know if this is something along those lines, but I have watched these videos every once in a while.
Western Diocese: In Step with Christ series
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL519F580770F46437
« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 09:07:35 PM by Anastasia1 » Logged

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