Author Topic: Distance confession?  (Read 223 times)

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Offline ConfusedRC

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Distance confession?
« on: August 11, 2017, 09:16:08 PM »
I recently began communicating with a priest on Facebook because he responded to a question that I asked in an Othodox forum.

Last night, this priest contacted me to see how I have been doing and I told him that I was upset with myself because I continue to commit the same sins. We talked about the sins and he gave me some really great advice. At the end he said "your sins are forgiven, start over now."

I did not have the heart to ask him if he had just received my confession, or if he was just trying to be motivational. So, I would like your opinion. He knows that we do not have a priest here in Hanoi, so I'm wondering if this was a factor in what he said.

Can a priest hear a confession in this manner? I don't have the heart to ask him because I don't want to seem like I'm questioning or doubting him.
I am no longer a "confused Roman Catholic" as I joined the Orthodox Church in April 2016.

Offline Ainnir

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Re: Distance confession?
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2017, 09:45:43 PM »
I hope someone smarter than me has an answer for you, but that sounds received to me.  And in all likelihood, this priest would not find it offensive if you asked for clarification.  Hopefully someone else can confirm that or offer better information.  It's definitely discouraging to struggle with the same sin over and over.

Offline scamandrius

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Re: Distance confession?
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2017, 10:18:17 PM »
I recently began communicating with a priest on Facebook because he responded to a question that I asked in an Othodox forum.

Last night, this priest contacted me to see how I have been doing and I told him that I was upset with myself because I continue to commit the same sins. We talked about the sins and he gave me some really great advice. At the end he said "your sins are forgiven, start over now."

I did not have the heart to ask him if he had just received my confession, or if he was just trying to be motivational. So, I would like your opinion. He knows that we do not have a priest here in Hanoi, so I'm wondering if this was a factor in what he said.

Can a priest hear a confession in this manner? I don't have the heart to ask him because I don't want to seem like I'm questioning or doubting him.

There is a formal order for confession so, strictly speaking, this wasn't.  There are specific prayers that a penitent and the priest say.  However, take it for what it is:  encouragement to begin anew and to leave whatever burdens and transgressions behind. 
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Offline hecma925

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Re: Distance confession?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2017, 01:19:09 AM »
I've heard of confession being received over the phone (arrangements being made between the priest and penitent).

Just ask him.
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Offline ConfusedRC

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Re: Distance confession?
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2017, 02:20:06 AM »
I recently began communicating with a priest on Facebook because he responded to a question that I asked in an Othodox forum.

Last night, this priest contacted me to see how I have been doing and I told him that I was upset with myself because I continue to commit the same sins. We talked about the sins and he gave me some really great advice. At the end he said "your sins are forgiven, start over now."

I did not have the heart to ask him if he had just received my confession, or if he was just trying to be motivational. So, I would like your opinion. He knows that we do not have a priest here in Hanoi, so I'm wondering if this was a factor in what he said.

Can a priest hear a confession in this manner? I don't have the heart to ask him because I don't want to seem like I'm questioning or doubting him.

There is a formal order for confession so, strictly speaking, this wasn't.  There are specific prayers that a penitent and the priest say.  However, take it for what it is:  encouragement to begin anew and to leave whatever burdens and transgressions behind.

What prayers are penitents required to say? I have only been able to go to confession a few times, but I have never been asked to say specific prayers; I just approach the priest, begin stating my sins and then he absolves me.
I am no longer a "confused Roman Catholic" as I joined the Orthodox Church in April 2016.

Offline hecma925

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Re: Distance confession?
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2017, 02:52:05 AM »
I recently began communicating with a priest on Facebook because he responded to a question that I asked in an Othodox forum.

Last night, this priest contacted me to see how I have been doing and I told him that I was upset with myself because I continue to commit the same sins. We talked about the sins and he gave me some really great advice. At the end he said "your sins are forgiven, start over now."

I did not have the heart to ask him if he had just received my confession, or if he was just trying to be motivational. So, I would like your opinion. He knows that we do not have a priest here in Hanoi, so I'm wondering if this was a factor in what he said.

Can a priest hear a confession in this manner? I don't have the heart to ask him because I don't want to seem like I'm questioning or doubting him.

There is a formal order for confession so, strictly speaking, this wasn't.  There are specific prayers that a penitent and the priest say.  However, take it for what it is:  encouragement to begin anew and to leave whatever burdens and transgressions behind.

What prayers are penitents required to say? I have only been able to go to confession a few times, but I have never been asked to say specific prayers; I just approach the priest, begin stating my sins and then he absolves me.

It depends on the priest.

What you describe is usually how things go when I got to my Confessor.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

"But God doesn't need your cookies!  Arrive on time!"

Offline ConfusedRC

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Re: Distance confession?
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2017, 02:55:44 AM »
I recently began communicating with a priest on Facebook because he responded to a question that I asked in an Othodox forum.

Last night, this priest contacted me to see how I have been doing and I told him that I was upset with myself because I continue to commit the same sins. We talked about the sins and he gave me some really great advice. At the end he said "your sins are forgiven, start over now."

I did not have the heart to ask him if he had just received my confession, or if he was just trying to be motivational. So, I would like your opinion. He knows that we do not have a priest here in Hanoi, so I'm wondering if this was a factor in what he said.

Can a priest hear a confession in this manner? I don't have the heart to ask him because I don't want to seem like I'm questioning or doubting him.

There is a formal order for confession so, strictly speaking, this wasn't.  There are specific prayers that a penitent and the priest say.  However, take it for what it is:  encouragement to begin anew and to leave whatever burdens and transgressions behind.

What prayers are penitents required to say? I have only been able to go to confession a few times, but I have never been asked to say specific prayers; I just approach the priest, begin stating my sins and then he absolves me.

It depends on the priest.

What you describe is usually how things go when I got to my Confessor.

Thanks for clarifying.
I am no longer a "confused Roman Catholic" as I joined the Orthodox Church in April 2016.

Offline Dominika

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Re: Distance confession?
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2017, 08:14:34 AM »
I've heard from an Athonite monk such practice, that's his own: he has soem spiritual children, but for obvious reasons, he can't always receive personal confessions. So, he talks with his spiritual children via phone, but he doesn't give any absolution. He gives only some advices and asks the penitent to go personally to any priest and say that he said his sins to this and this father, and to ask him for reading the prayer and absolution.
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Offline ConfusedRC

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Re: Distance confession?
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2017, 01:47:54 PM »
I contacted the priest and he will hear my confession over the phone this Monday.

In regards to his comment, he said that my sins are forgiven because I am repentant, but I need to have confession. So, I asked if I could call him and he agreed.
I am no longer a "confused Roman Catholic" as I joined the Orthodox Church in April 2016.

Offline scamandrius

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Re: Distance confession?
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2017, 09:46:00 PM »
I recently began communicating with a priest on Facebook because he responded to a question that I asked in an Othodox forum.

Last night, this priest contacted me to see how I have been doing and I told him that I was upset with myself because I continue to commit the same sins. We talked about the sins and he gave me some really great advice. At the end he said "your sins are forgiven, start over now."

I did not have the heart to ask him if he had just received my confession, or if he was just trying to be motivational. So, I would like your opinion. He knows that we do not have a priest here in Hanoi, so I'm wondering if this was a factor in what he said.

Can a priest hear a confession in this manner? I don't have the heart to ask him because I don't want to seem like I'm questioning or doubting him.

There is a formal order for confession so, strictly speaking, this wasn't.  There are specific prayers that a penitent and the priest say.  However, take it for what it is:  encouragement to begin anew and to leave whatever burdens and transgressions behind.


What prayers are penitents required to say? I have only been able to go to confession a few times, but I have never been asked to say specific prayers; I just approach the priest, begin stating my sins and then he absolves me.

The Trsisagion prayers and Psalm 50 are pretty standard for the pentient to say right before he confesses.

After the confession, the priest pronounces this absolution (with variations):

O Lord God, the salvation of Your servants, merciful, compassionate, and long-suffering; Who forgives our evil deeds, not desiring the death of a sinner, but that he turn from his way and live: Show mercy, now, on Your servant, [NAME], and grant to him (her) an image of repentance, forgiveness of sins and deliverance, pardoning all his (her) sins, whether voluntary or involuntary. Reconcile him (her) and unite him (her) to Your Holy Church, through Jesus Christ our Lord, to Whom, with You, are due all dominion and majesty, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

May God Who pardoned David through Nathan the Prophet when he confessed his sins, Who pardoned Peter who wept bitterly for his denial, the Harlot who wept at His feet, the Publican and the Prodigal, forgive you all things, through me a sinner, both in this world and in the world to come, and set you uncondemned before His terrible Judgment Seat. Now, having no further care for the sins which you have confessed, depart in peace [and sin no more].


The penitent then says:

O almighty and merciful God, I truly thank thee for the forgiveness of my sins; bless me, O Lord, and help me always, that I may ever do that which is pleasing to thee, and sin no more. Amen.

O Lord God of my salvation, the Saviour and Benefactor of my soul, I am truly sorry for my every transgression and I firmly resolve never again to offend thee by my sins, and sincerely promise to amend my way of life. Implant in me the fear of thy blessed commandments, that I may trample down all carnal appetite and may lead a godly life, both thinking and doing always such things as are pleasing unto Thee. I pray thee, grant unto me the Grace of thy Holy Spirit, that thus strengthened, I may shun all evil deeds and works, and words and thoughts, and may avoid all snares of the Evil One. Shine in my heart with the true Sun of thy Righteousness; enlighten my mind and guard all my senses, that walking uprightly in the way of thy statutes, I may attain unto life eternal.  Amen.

O Sovereign Master, who lovest mankind, lead me in thy way, that I may walk in thy truth. Make glad my heart, that I may fear thy Holy Name. O Lord, mighty in mercy, gracious in strength, aid and comfort and save me, as I put my trust in thy holy Name. Rebuke me not, O Lord, in thy displeasure, neither punish me in thy wrath, but show unto me thy great mercy and compassion, O Physician and Healer of my soul. O Merciful Saviour, blot out all my transgressions, for I am heartily sorry for having offended thee. Grant me thy Grace that I may avoid my previous evil ways. Strengthen me, O Mighty One, to withstand those temptations before which I am weak, that I may avoid all future sin. Keep me under thy protection and in the shadow of thy wings, that I may serve thee, praise thee, and glorify thee all the days of my life. Amen.


Now, these are in the Red Book of the AANA.  How "standard" they are throughout the entirety of the Orthodox world, I admit I do not know.
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