Author Topic: Repentance outside of baptism  (Read 286 times)

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Offline dallas_r

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Repentance outside of baptism
« on: January 31, 2018, 10:46:04 PM »
Hello :)

I have a question on repentance outside of baptism. What do I do when I repent outside of baptism? Because I do not have the sacrament of baptism, I cannot go to confession, so I suppose I cannot have absolution? Is there something in the Orthodox Church similar to the catholic's idea of "perfect contrition"? 

If not, are there any prayer I should say that are recommended by the Church? I ask this because catholics have a prayer called act of contrition which is recommended inside and outside of confession.


"Praise be to the Lord my Rock,
    who trains my hands for war,
    my fingers for battle.
 He is my loving God and my fortress,
    my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield, in whom I take refuge,
    who subdues peoples under me."

Psalm 144:1

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Repentance outside of baptism
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2018, 12:03:17 AM »
I like to pray Psalm 50 (Psalm 51 in most Western Bibles), the one starting in "have mercy on me, o God", it does wonders.
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

May the Blessed Light shine Forth

Online Agabus

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Re: Repentance outside of baptism
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2018, 10:25:54 AM »
Hello :)

I have a question on repentance outside of baptism. What do I do when I repent outside of baptism? Because I do not have the sacrament of baptism, I cannot go to confession, so I suppose I cannot have absolution? Is there something in the Orthodox Church similar to the catholic's idea of "perfect contrition"? 
I personally believe in something akin to the baptism of desire for those who cannot be baptized but want to be or those who are on their way to being baptized but die before getting there. I can't point to anything in particular from the fathers or church writings, but I think it's at least implied in our practices since a catechumen can receive a funeral in the Church.

Quote
If not, are there any prayer I should say that are recommended by the Church? I ask this because catholics have a prayer called act of contrition which is recommended inside and outside of confession.

The Mysteries are not available yet, but that doesn't stop you from seeking pastoral advice in a quest to stopping sinning.

In addition to the psalm Rapha mentioned (memorizing it will be a good step in starting Orthodox praxis), all of the prayerbooks have some form of a prayer of repentance.

This is from the popular "A Pocket Prayerbook for Orthodox Christians" (commonly called the Little Red Prayerbook) from the Antiochian Archdiocese: O Lord our God, good and merciful, I acknowledge all my sins which I have committed every day of my life, in thought, word and deed; in body and soul alike. I am heartily sorry that I have ever offended thee, and I sincerely repent; with tears I humbly pray thee, O Lord: of thy mercy forgive me all my past transgressions and absolve me from them. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy Grace, to amend my way of life and to sin no more; that I may walk in the way of the righteous and offer praise and glory to the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Jordanville Prayerbook includes this prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian to the Holy Spirit: O Lord, Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, have compassion and mercy on Thy sinful servant and pardon my unworthiness, and forgive me all the sins that I humanly committed today, and not only humanly but even worse than a beast - my voluntary sins, known and unknown, from my youth and from evil suggestions, and from my brazenness, and from boredom. If I have sworn by Thy Name or blasphemed it in thought, blamed or reproached anyone, or in my anger have detracted or slandered anyone, or grieved anyone, or if I have got angry about anything, or have told a lie, if I have slept unnecessarily, or if a beggar has come to me and I despised or neglected him, or if I have troubled my brother or quarrelled with him, or if I have condemned anyone, or have boasted, or have been proud, or lost my temper with anyone, or if when standing in prayer my mind has been distracted by the glamour of this world, or if I have had depraved thoughts or have overeaten, or have drunk excessively, or have laughed frivolously, or have thought evil, or have seen the attraction of someone and been wounded by it in my heart, or said indecent things, or made fun of my brother's sin when my own faults are countless, or been neglectful of prayer, or have done some other wrong that I cannot remember - for I have done all this and much more - have mercy, my Lord and Creator, on me Thy wretched and unworthy servant, and absolve and forgive and deliver me in Thy goodness and love for men, so that, lustful, sinful and wretched as I am, I may lie down and sleep and rest in peace. And I shall worship, praise and glorify Thy most honourable Name, with the Father and His only-begotten Son, now and ever, and for all ages. Amen.

It also includes this daily confession of sins: I confess to Thee, my Lord, God and Creator, to the One glorified and worshipped in Holy Trinity, to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, all my sins which I have committed all the days of my life, at every hour, in the present and in the past, day and night, in thought, word and deed; by gluttony, drunkenness, secret eating, idle talking, despondency, indolence, contradiction, neglect, aggressiveness, self love, hoarding, stealing, lying, dishonesty, curiosity, jealousy, envy, anger, resentment, and remembering wrongs, hatred, mercenariness; and by all my senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch; and all other sins, spiritual and bodily, through which I have angered Thee, my God and Creator, and caused injustice to my neighbours. Sorrowing for this, but determined to repent, I stand guilty before Thee, my God. Only help me, my Lord and God, I humbly pray Thee with tears. Forgive my past sins by Thy mercy, and absolve me from all I have confessed in Thy presence, for Thou art good and the Lover of men. Amen.

That said, you don't have to follow a formula. You can confess to God your sorrow for your sins in your own words, and then turn from them.

And, of course, do seek out baptism when you can.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2018, 10:27:13 AM by Agabus »
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