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Author Topic: Baptism and confession  (Read 1436 times) Average Rating: 0
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Truth_or_Bust
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« on: March 13, 2006, 03:39:02 PM »

Greetings,
I have a quick group of questions.

Is there any type of confession before Baptism or would confession happen afterward before taking the Eucharist?  I am set to be Baptised the Saturday before Pascha and receive the Eucharist on Pascha for the first time.   Also, seeing as this would be my first confession, how far back would I have to go in asking forgiveness?  I am 37 so there is quite a bit of ground to cover on my first confession.... or is all of that covered with the Baptism?

Thanks,
T
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Michael
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2006, 04:28:05 PM »

Truth_or_Bust,

Blessed be God!  I'm so pleased to hear that you're being received into Orthodoxy.

While it is generally true that the sacraments are for those within the Church, confession is traditionally part of the preparation for being received by Baptism & Chrismation, and so it is very likely that you will confess and be absolved before you are baptised.  In my case, it was the night before, and I spent the night at my priest's house.  Of course, your priest may wish to do things differently.  best speak with him.

On a relate note, knowing how difficult the first confession can appear at first, here are some thoughts which may (or may not help).  Take what ou find helpful and leave the rest of it behind.  Smiley

Different people take different approaches to confession.  Some people list every single instance that they can think of where they have fallen short.  While this shows great strength of character, I cannot help but think that, unless the person is very spiritually strong, it can lead to a legalistic approach to the Sacraments.  This is something my parish priest warned me about.

Instead, this is the approach that I take.  I see confession as a spiritually holistic experience.  If I hear the phone ring, and I see that it is a friend whom I know has problems he wishes to discuss, and I don't answer the phone because I feel too tired for a 2-hour phone conversation, and then perhaps I ignore an e-mail from a friend, and then I say something unpleasant to somebody on an internet forum, then my sin is selfishness, and that is what I confess.  I don't necessarily go into great detail about each and every manifestation of that selfishness, because at the end of the day, they all stem from the same sin, and that is that I have cultivated an attitude of selfishness, putting myself before other people to their hurt and my benefit.  In my view, there's no point in me confessing each individual detail and ignoring the core issue, which is the sin of selfishness, because that doesn't help me to grow in Christ, and doesn't challenge me to confront the real sin, thus allowing the manifestations of it to continue.

Confession in the Orthodox tradition is warm and loving, and the words of absolution are so beautiful.  Your worries will soon pass and I'm sure your priest will offer the necessary guidance.  Trust him and it really will be a spiritually helpful time for you.

I shall try to remember you in my prayers.

With love in Christ,
Michael
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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2006, 04:28:22 PM »

Well, technically it is all covered with the baptism, as long as you're going into the conversion experience with a pure heart and a conviction to change your ways.  If you've been doing a sin, and after the baptism have no intention of changing it, then the temporary forgiveness of sins that comes with baptism will soon be meaningless.

I know some traditions, though have you confess, but I think it is redundant.  If they do, though, be honest, talk about what's on your mind, and cover as much as you can, while not stressing out about what you can't remember.

The only confession that you'll probably take part of is the Confession of Faith (i.e. the Creed).  There wouldn't be confession before the baptism (because there's no absolution yet - you're not baptized!) and afterwards, you've been clothed in a garment of incorruption and been released from your former life and sins by the purifying waters of baptism - this is part of the reason why baptism and chrismation always have communion immediately with them, because you are ready, and because Communion is the seal of your being in the community of the faithful

God bless you on the rest of your lenten journey, and I hope that your baptism/Pascha extraveganza goes well!
Welcome home.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2006, 04:29:54 PM by cleveland » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2006, 04:29:13 PM »

When I converted, the day before my chrismation Father scheduled a special time for me to go to church and disclose everything I had ever done, even though through Baptism/Chrismation/First Reception you are taking off the old man and putting on the new...it's like a fresh start. The reason I think Father did this is multiple:

1. It is healthy for a person to unload themselves, and in fact it is shocking to say aloud those sins....it helps to teach you just how much you need Christ. It's one thing to know (mentally) you have sinned; it's another thing to have to seriously list what you have done in a Church. I kneel there and think, "I can't believe I did those horrible things", and removes you of any spiritual pride you had.

2. It helps you to realize that you can go to Father to talk about anything and everything, without condemnation. Sets a good tone for the future.

3. It helps Father understand your own weaknesses, and as your spiritual director he can realize the project that is in front of him.

There are other reasons as well, but those are ones that come to mind.

Many years, btw!

Now, if your priest has the time, and I hope he does, I would try to schedule this conversation.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2006, 04:30:12 PM by chris » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2006, 04:43:10 PM »

very good points... for once, I had forgotten about all the positive benefits of confession psychologically...
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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2006, 05:39:49 PM »

Thanks guys!  These comments really help.  I was thinking - if I had to confess everything I have ever done for the last 37 years of my life - that it would be easier to list those sins which I have not committed.  I will talk to my priest and get the full details.

Thanks again,
T
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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2006, 05:44:45 PM »

Just remember, if you enter a confessional relationship and setting with the intention of turning your life around, don't worry about forgetting things - it will be taken care of (it does provide in the prayers forgiveness of those things we have forgotten).
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« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2014, 12:37:51 PM »

Bump!  

That other thread on penance got me to thinking ... what is the deal with confession before baptism?

In this thread, folks seem to be saying that confession before baptism is about "setting a good tone for the future," but is it legitimate?

Since you aren't a member of the church yet, can the priest actually absolve you of anything?
Since you aren't a member of the church yet, can you even receive a sacrament?
I don't remember reading in the bible that John went around confessing, then baptizing people! (lol -- threw this in here for the anti-sola scriptura crowd).

As Fr. George says a few posts above in this thread, confession before baptism seems redundant. But I wonder if it isn't a little worse than that -- frivolity with a sacrament? Handing out a sacrament to non-Orthodox? Personally, this practice has always struck me as a bit of a 'hazing' ceremony.

Eh, but maybe it's not as a big deal as it seems. So, what gives? This practice is going on -- is it right?
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 12:38:06 PM by Rambam » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2014, 12:51:17 PM »

Bump!  

That other thread on penance got me to thinking ... what is the deal with confession before baptism?

In this thread, folks seem to be saying that confession before baptism is about "setting a good tone for the future," but is it legitimate?

Since you aren't a member of the church yet, can the priest actually absolve you of anything?
Since you aren't a member of the church yet, can you even receive a sacrament?
I don't remember reading in the bible that John went around confessing, then baptizing people! (lol -- threw this in here for the anti-sola scriptura crowd).

As Fr. George says a few posts above in this thread, confession before baptism seems redundant. But I wonder if it isn't a little worse than that -- frivolity with a sacrament? Handing out a sacrament to non-Orthodox? Personally, this practice has always struck me as a bit of a 'hazing' ceremony.

Eh, but maybe it's not as a big deal as it seems. So, what gives? This practice is going on -- is it right?

I have seen instances where confession was done before baptism but absolution was not given until the baptismal rite was over.

It does seem redundant, though, since it's unlikely the newly illumined had many opportunities to sin between baptism and Eucharist.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 12:51:41 PM by Agabus » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2014, 01:04:01 PM »

Eh, but maybe it's not as a big deal as it seems. So, what gives? This practice is going on -- is it right?


I've never heard that this pre-baptismal "confession" involved sacramental absolution.  If it did, I'd have the same hesitation you have.  But as a way of preparing for the washing away of sins in baptism, I don't see a problem with it (some may even find it beneficial).  But the practice I'm used to in my jurisdiction is that if an adult is baptised or received economically by Chrismation, no confession of sins precedes this since Baptism/Chrismation, along with the Holy Eucharist, "wipes the slate clean".    
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« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2014, 01:47:52 PM »

Eh, but maybe it's not as a big deal as it seems. So, what gives? This practice is going on -- is it right?


I've never heard that this pre-baptismal "confession" involved sacramental absolution.  If it did, I'd have the same hesitation you have.  But as a way of preparing for the washing away of sins in baptism, I don't see a problem with it (some may even find it beneficial).  But the practice I'm used to in my jurisdiction is that if an adult is baptised or received economically by Chrismation, no confession of sins precedes this since Baptism/Chrismation, along with the Holy Eucharist, "wipes the slate clean".    
The way it worked for myself was that is was exactly this, that the confession was regular up until when my priest would do the absolution, but explained that this is where it would happen, but my Baptism is the absolution
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