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Author Topic: Confession before Communion  (Read 19170 times) Average Rating: 0
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Punch
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« Reply #270 on: March 29, 2011, 11:25:47 PM »


 I believe that Christ's own words would tip the scales in your direction (frequent communion) since He says "do the OFTEN in remembrance of me." 


Punch, you make excellent points in your message but this one statement above will not fly and it does not tip any scales.    There is no "OFTEN"  in Christ's words.

You may be thinking of Saint Paul in 1 Corinthians where he speaks of "But as often as you shall eat this bread and drink this blood" but this is another context and quite another meaning.

Thank you for pointing that out!  "This do as oft as ye drink it in remembrance of me."  Slightly different wording, completely different meaning!  That is what I get for trusting my memory, and worse yet, my memory based on the language of the 1941 Lutheran Hymnal.  That is what I get for having Latin and Lutheran texts in front of me and not the Bible (or at least an Orthodox service book).
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« Reply #271 on: March 30, 2011, 10:46:30 AM »


 I believe that Christ's own words would tip the scales in your direction (frequent communion) since He says "do the OFTEN in remembrance of me." 


Punch, you make excellent points in your message but this one statement above will not fly and it does not tip any scales.    There is no "OFTEN"  in Christ's words.

You may be thinking of Saint Paul in 1 Corinthians where he speaks of "But as often as you shall eat this bread and drink this blood" but this is another context and quite another meaning.

Thank you for pointing that out!  "This do as oft as ye drink it in remembrance of me."  Slightly different wording, completely different meaning!  That is what I get for trusting my memory, and worse yet, my memory based on the language of the 1941 Lutheran Hymnal.  That is what I get for having Latin and Lutheran texts in front of me and not the Bible (or at least an Orthodox service book).

On the other hand, it may be useful to approach this from a different perspective., a different logical argument:

- We are an Apostolic Church, that is, we comply with St Paul's admonition to hold onto received tradition (teachings & practices)

- The Early Church did preserve the fullness of faith, that is the teachings of the Lord and His Apostles

- The Early Church communed weekly

- Ergo: It is the teaching of the Apostles, as the closest and truest disciples of the Lord, for the entire church to commune at least weekly.

You could make a similar argument about Confession

- We are an Apostolic Church, that is, we comply with St Paul's admonition to hold onto received tradition (teachings & practices)

- The Early Church did preserve the fullness of faith, that is the teachings of the Lord and His Apostles

- The Early Church practiced public confession of sins

- The early Church canons indicate that the publicly confessed sins were grave ones that separated a believer from the Body

-The Church later instituted the Holy Mystery of Penance as a substitute for public confession of (grave) sins and to reconcile penitent sinners to the Church

- Ergo: It is the teaching of the Apostles, as the closest and truest disciples of the Lord, for those members of the body who have committed sins of such gravity as to constitute self-excommunication, to publicly confess and repent of their sins and to be reconciled back to the Church. In the spirit of this teaching and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Church has instituted the Holy Mystery of Penance to substitute for the earlier practice of public confession.
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« Reply #272 on: April 12, 2011, 04:39:38 AM »

In this present evil generation, the spiritual father must use oeconomy, for, if he implements exactness (akrívia), none, or only a few, of those coming to confession would be found worthy of receiving Holy Communion. The greatest care and discernment is necessary, however, and the spiritual father must pray fervently to the heavenly God and Father to enlighten him as to how to implement oeconomy. ~ Elder Philotheos Zervakos

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admiralnick
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« Reply #273 on: April 13, 2011, 02:59:43 PM »

Just to share a recent story:

I was in Europe on vacation and attended a church of a certain Orthodox persuasion. The general rule there is that you go to confession before communion on a weekly basis. There are 2 priests serving this community. The one priest starts the service while the other prepares Proskomedia and then tends to confessions of the faithful who wish to receive communion. (This congregation doesn't have a church building and as such doesn't have Saturday vespers/matins. At any rate this particular Sunday the priest started hearing confessions shortly after Holy God. He ended up finishing confessions as other communicants were receiving...... This was all the reason I needed to seriously wonder about the 1:1 confession.

-Nick
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akimori makoto
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« Reply #274 on: April 13, 2011, 09:48:16 PM »

One time, I decided to attend the liturgy at my then-university's Greek chapel (it was really a classroom with an icon of Christ and another of the Theotokos serving as the iconostasis).

After the priest exclaimed "meta fovou Theou" / "with fear of God", no-one came forth to commune. He looked around the room and then intoned "soson o Theos" / "Save, O God" in the most dejected cadence.

In my case, I did not approach because I had not kept the fast that week or recently confessed. While I still advocate confession and preparation for reception of the saving mysteries, this little event was a bit of a turning point in my ideas about frequency of reception.

The liturgy has to be more than simply listening to the chanters and the priest's sermon. There's something almost protestant about a liturgy in which no-one communes!
« Last Edit: April 13, 2011, 09:59:37 PM by akimori makoto » Logged

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« Reply #275 on: April 13, 2011, 11:00:21 PM »

In this present evil generation, the spiritual father must use oeconomy, for, if he implements exactness (akrívia), none, or only a few, of those coming to confession would be found worthy of receiving Holy Communion.
No one is worthy to receive Holy Communion anyway.
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ilyazhito
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« Reply #276 on: April 15, 2011, 10:47:45 PM »

One time, I decided to attend the liturgy at my then-university's Greek chapel (it was really a classroom with an icon of Christ and another of the Theotokos serving as the iconostasis).

After the priest exclaimed "meta fovou Theou" / "with fear of God", no-one came forth to commune. He looked around the room and then intoned "soson o Theos" / "Save, O God" in the most dejected cadence.

In my case, I did not approach because I had not kept the fast that week or recently confessed. While I still advocate confession and preparation for reception of the saving mysteries, this little event was a bit of a turning point in my ideas about frequency of reception.

The liturgy has to be more than simply listening to the chanters and the priest's sermon. There's something almost protestant about a liturgy in which no-one communes!
Akimori, I agree with you. It's not natural. I've had to deal with the ROCOR practice. I don't like it. THe best practice would be to confess and commune AMAP
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« Reply #277 on: May 02, 2011, 09:03:34 AM »

Do any OCA bishops/parishes require Confession before Communion?

I ask because I came across this on another forum...

Someone wrote

"...the requirement of Confession prior to every Communion... certainly is not an OCA practice."


and Fr Cyprian Humphrey of the OCA replied:

Don't be so sure about that. It depends where you're at. Smiley
« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 09:04:06 AM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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« Reply #278 on: May 19, 2011, 01:54:20 AM »

Confession, Communion and Spiritual Fathers
Fr. Andrew Phillips
http://orthodoxengland.org.uk/confessio.htm

Much is said of the above three topics among recent converts. Unfortunately, much of it is false, since it is not based on the realities of Orthodox life in this vast part of the Church which is not composed of such. Recently, we have had cause yet again to be saddened by some of the false ideas on these issues being spread among young people. What are some of the myths and booklore which are handed down decade after decade and what are the realities?

First of all, some make out that confession and communion are in no way linked. This is true only in the sense that you can have confession at any time, without necessarily taking communion afterwards. However, those new to the Faith (especially those from Anglicanism, where the sacrament of confession is virtually inexistent - which is increasingly the case in Catholicism) commonly believe in the myth that confession is not necessary before communion. This is false.

Entire article at
http://orthodoxengland.org.uk/confessio.htm

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« Reply #279 on: May 19, 2011, 01:59:01 AM »

Confession, Communion and Spiritual Fathers
Fr. Andrew Phillips
http://orthodoxengland.org.uk/confessio.htm

Much is said of the above three topics among recent converts. Unfortunately, much of it is false, since it is not based on the realities of Orthodox life in this vast part of the Church which is not composed of such. Recently, we have had cause yet again to be saddened by some of the false ideas on these issues being spread among young people. What are some of the myths and booklore which are handed down decade after decade and what are the realities?

First of all, some make out that confession and communion are in no way linked. This is true only in the sense that you can have confession at any time, without necessarily taking communion afterwards. However, those new to the Faith (especially those from Anglicanism, where the sacrament of confession is virtually inexistent - which is increasingly the case in Catholicism) commonly believe in the myth that confession is not necessary before communion. This is false.

Entire article at
http://orthodoxengland.org.uk/confessio.htm


I didn't see in that article any theological explanation, or any explanation for that matter, of WHY confession before communion is (according to this author) the norm in all Orthodox churches.
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« Reply #280 on: May 19, 2011, 02:06:44 AM »

Confession, Communion and Spiritual Fathers
Fr. Andrew Phillips
http://orthodoxengland.org.uk/confessio.htm

Much is said of the above three topics among recent converts. Unfortunately, much of it is false, since it is not based on the realities of Orthodox life in this vast part of the Church which is not composed of such. Recently, we have had cause yet again to be saddened by some of the false ideas on these issues being spread among young people. What are some of the myths and booklore which are handed down decade after decade and what are the realities?

First of all, some make out that confession and communion are in no way linked. This is true only in the sense that you can have confession at any time, without necessarily taking communion afterwards. However, those new to the Faith (especially those from Anglicanism, where the sacrament of confession is virtually inexistent - which is increasingly the case in Catholicism) commonly believe in the myth that confession is not necessary before communion. This is false.

Entire article at
http://orthodoxengland.org.uk/confessio.htm


I didn't see in that article any theological explanation, or any explanation for that matter, of WHY confession before communion is (according to this author) the norm in all Orthodox churches.

May be worthwhile to contact the author and ask him to say something about that?
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« Reply #281 on: May 19, 2011, 02:48:17 AM »

Confession, Communion and Spiritual Fathers
Fr. Andrew Phillips
http://orthodoxengland.org.uk/confessio.htm

Much is said of the above three topics among recent converts. Unfortunately, much of it is false, since it is not based on the realities of Orthodox life in this vast part of the Church which is not composed of such. Recently, we have had cause yet again to be saddened by some of the false ideas on these issues being spread among young people. What are some of the myths and booklore which are handed down decade after decade and what are the realities?

First of all, some make out that confession and communion are in no way linked. This is true only in the sense that you can have confession at any time, without necessarily taking communion afterwards. However, those new to the Faith (especially those from Anglicanism, where the sacrament of confession is virtually inexistent - which is increasingly the case in Catholicism) commonly believe in the myth that confession is not necessary before communion. This is false.

Entire article at
http://orthodoxengland.org.uk/confessio.htm


I didn't see in that article any theological explanation, or any explanation for that matter, of WHY confession before communion is (according to this author) the norm in all Orthodox churches.

May be worthwhile to contact the author and ask him to say something about that?
Maybe you can do that. Wink
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peteprint
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« Reply #282 on: June 15, 2011, 08:57:09 PM »


 I believe that Christ's own words would tip the scales in your direction (frequent communion) since He says "do the OFTEN in remembrance of me." 


Punch, you make excellent points in your message but this one statement above will not fly and it does not tip any scales.    There is no "OFTEN"  in Christ's words.

You may be thinking of Saint Paul in 1 Corinthians where he speaks of "But as often as you shall eat this bread and drink this blood" but this is another context and quite another meaning.

Thank you for pointing that out!  "This do as oft as ye drink it in remembrance of me."  Slightly different wording, completely different meaning!  That is what I get for trusting my memory, and worse yet, my memory based on the language of the 1941 Lutheran Hymnal.  That is what I get for having Latin and Lutheran texts in front of me and not the Bible (or at least an Orthodox service book).

On the other hand, it may be useful to approach this from a different perspective., a different logical argument:

- We are an Apostolic Church, that is, we comply with St Paul's admonition to hold onto received tradition (teachings & practices)

- The Early Church did preserve the fullness of faith, that is the teachings of the Lord and His Apostles

- The Early Church communed weekly

- Ergo: It is the teaching of the Apostles, as the closest and truest disciples of the Lord, for the entire church to commune at least weekly.

You could make a similar argument about Confession

- We are an Apostolic Church, that is, we comply with St Paul's admonition to hold onto received tradition (teachings & practices)

- The Early Church did preserve the fullness of faith, that is the teachings of the Lord and His Apostles

- The Early Church practiced public confession of sins

- The early Church canons indicate that the publicly confessed sins were grave ones that separated a believer from the Body

-The Church later instituted the Holy Mystery of Penance as a substitute for public confession of (grave) sins and to reconcile penitent sinners to the Church

- Ergo: It is the teaching of the Apostles, as the closest and truest disciples of the Lord, for those members of the body who have committed sins of such gravity as to constitute self-excommunication, to publicly confess and repent of their sins and to be reconciled back to the Church. In the spirit of this teaching and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Church has instituted the Holy Mystery of Penance to substitute for the earlier practice of public confession.

For what my opinion is worth, I have to agree with this.  I feel that confession is primarily concerned with sins that are grave enough to estrange an individual from the Church.

I commune regularly for several reasons:

1. I believe that it is for the remission of sins

2. That it strengthens my relationship with Christ

3. That attending Liturgy without taking the gifts, unless for a valid reason, is wrong, and makes being at the Liturgy almost pointless.  The Liturgy exists for purposes of communing.  I can go to Vespers if I am only going to worship and pray in church.

Again, there are valid reasons at times for not communing, but if it is only because of lack of preparation, then the onus is on us to be prepared.

Getting back to the subject of confession, I confess twice monthly so that I can commune, but many times I have nothing new to confess.  Sadly, I was actually happy one time when I committed a serious sin (as horrible as that sounds) since I felt I had a good reason to go to confession.  Most of the time when I go now, I feel like it is an obligation just to receive the gifts, "getting a ticket punched".

Of course I sin everyday, but I have never felt that daily sins, such as being rude to someone, or eating too much one day, or swearing when I stub my toe, require formal absolution in the Mystery of Confession.
I pray to God to forgive those sins as part of my daily prayer rule.

Some on this thread have compared confession prior to communion to washing one's hands before dinner, and being clean before receiving.  Short of having the priest serve the gifts within seconds of pronouncing absolution, this doesn't work.  If I confess at Saturday Vespers, by the time I go forward to commune around 11:45 the next day, I know that I have sinned in some way, at least in thought.

Since we (at least I) sin each day, daily confession would seem appropriate by some people's reasoning, but even then, I would sin between confessions.  That is why I feel that confession is really applicable to "serious" sins (sin is sin, but there are distinctions) that would excommunicate someone.

As it is now, I love communing, it fills me with joy, but I dread confession, since I "have" to do it, and just repeat the same sins over and over to the priest.
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« Reply #283 on: June 15, 2011, 09:21:30 PM »

As it is now, I love communing, it fills me with joy, but I dread confession, since I "have" to do it, and just repeat the same sins over and over to the priest.

The sting is in the tail!  laugh  If people have to confess "the same sins over and over to the priest" then they are really in need of frequent confession and though the grace you receive in this holy mystery you will be helped to fight those recurring sins.  Obviously Communion alone is not currently working to break the habit of these sins.   Confession will help greatly with that, at least in weakening the hold of the recurring sins even if not wiping them out of your life entirely. The support of the confessor-priest in fighting recurring sins is not to be underestimated.
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« Reply #284 on: June 15, 2011, 10:13:48 PM »

Thank you Father.

The sins that I confess over and over are of the nature of lustful thoughts, being overly critical of others, being overly self-centered, slothful regarding my prayer life, those sorts of things.  Though I believe that I can improve in those areas, I am not sure it is possible to totally overcome all of them.

I feel uncomfortable confessing the same sins so often to my priest, (it would not bother me as much if I were only confessing them 1-2 times a year) because it sounds so repetitious.  I know the Lord told us to be perfect, but in my heart I don't believe it is possible.  It is an ideal to strive for; even the greatest saints would never claim perfection.
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« Reply #285 on: June 15, 2011, 10:30:49 PM »

Thank you Father.

The sins that I confess over and over are of the nature of lustful thoughts, being overly critical of others, being overly self-centered, slothful regarding my prayer life, those sorts of things.  Though I believe that I can improve in those areas, I am not sure it is possible to totally overcome all of them.

I feel uncomfortable confessing the same sins so often to my priest, (it would not bother me as much if I were only confessing them 1-2 times a year) because it sounds so repetitious.  I know the Lord told us to be perfect, but in my heart I don't believe it is possible.  It is an ideal to strive for; even the greatest saints would never claim perfection.

Thank you Pete!  As someone who has to hear upward of a dozen confessions a week I can say that frequent confession is good for *my* soul.   As I listen to the sins you enumerate again and again from other people and ask God's help to find the words which will help them to continue the fight, I am at the same time saying to myself: "Listen to yourself, take your own advice, your own sins in these areas are just as bad as this person's."  You do priests a great favour by reminding us of our own sinfulness and need for repentance.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2011, 10:31:39 PM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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« Reply #286 on: June 15, 2011, 10:34:00 PM »

Thank you also Father.  It's comforting to know that we are all in the same struggle together!
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