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« Reply #45 on: October 26, 2010, 04:22:30 AM »

In the Serbian church it is common to confess before communion.  each time.  Most people just go up to the priest and when he says "do you have anything to confess" they say "no"  (this is from the priests, its not like i'm listening in or anything  Wink)

I was a Serbian priest for two decades.  I have neither administered nor experienced a shonky Confession such as you describe.   If you visit a Serbian church you will see with your own eyes how much time the priest spends with each penitent.
Fr. Ambrose, are you accustomed to make such generalizations from your own personal experience?

I was responding to the inaccurate and unfair generalisation from Serb1389. 
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« Reply #46 on: October 26, 2010, 05:02:07 AM »

In the Serbian church it is common to confess before communion.  each time.  Most people just go up to the priest and when he says "do you have anything to confess" they say "no"  (this is from the priests, its not like i'm listening in or anything  Wink)

I was a Serbian priest for two decades.  I have neither administered nor experienced a shonky Confession such as you describe.   If you visit a Serbian church you will see with your own eyes how much time the priest spends with each penitent.
Fr. Ambrose, are you accustomed to make such generalizations from your own personal experience?

I was responding to the inaccurate and unfair generalisation from Serb1389. 
Well, he did say that he learned this from a number of priests. I think that may be more accurate and fair than the experiences of one individual priest.
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« Reply #47 on: October 26, 2010, 05:05:19 AM »

In the Serbian church it is common to confess before communion.  each time.  Most people just go up to the priest and when he says "do you have anything to confess" they say "no"  (this is from the priests, its not like i'm listening in or anything  Wink)

I was a Serbian priest for two decades.  I have neither administered nor experienced a shonky Confession such as you describe.   If you visit a Serbian church you will see with your own eyes how much time the priest spends with each penitent.
Fr. Ambrose, are you accustomed to make such generalizations from your own personal experience?

I was responding to the inaccurate and unfair generalisation from Serb1389. 
Well, he did say that he learned this from a number of priests. I think that may be more accurate and fair than the experiences of one individual priest.

Do you believe this testimony from one individual?  Why?

Shall we ask him how many Serbian priests gave him this information?
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« Reply #48 on: October 26, 2010, 05:23:45 AM »

In the Serbian church it is common to confess before communion.  each time.  Most people just go up to the priest and when he says "do you have anything to confess" they say "no"  (this is from the priests, its not like i'm listening in or anything  Wink)

I was a Serbian priest for two decades.  I have neither administered nor experienced a shonky Confession such as you describe.   If you visit a Serbian church you will see with your own eyes how much time the priest spends with each penitent.
Fr. Ambrose, are you accustomed to make such generalizations from your own personal experience?

I was responding to the inaccurate and unfair generalisation from Serb1389. 
Well, he did say that he learned this from a number of priests. I think that may be more accurate and fair than the experiences of one individual priest.

Do you believe this testimony from one individual?  Why?
Why should I believe your testimony and not his, since you are, after all, one individual?

Shall we ask him how many Serbian priests gave him this information?
No, I don't think that will be necessary.
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« Reply #49 on: October 26, 2010, 05:41:29 AM »

In the Serbian church it is common to confess before communion.  each time.  Most people just go up to the priest and when he says "do you have anything to confess" they say "no"  (this is from the priests, its not like i'm listening in or anything  Wink)

I was a Serbian priest for two decades.  I have neither administered nor experienced a shonky Confession such as you describe.   If you visit a Serbian church you will see with your own eyes how much time the priest spends with each penitent.
Fr. Ambrose, are you accustomed to make such generalizations from your own personal experience?

I was responding to the inaccurate and unfair generalisation from Serb1389. 
Well, he did say that he learned this from a number of priests. I think that may be more accurate and fair than the experiences of one individual priest.

Do you believe this testimony from one individual?  Why?
Why should I believe your testimony and not his, since you are, after all, one individual?


Well, you've made a choice and it's not clear why you have made it.  Never mind, I believe me.. and it is backed by 30 years in the Serbian Church, 20 of them as a monk and and as a parish priest.

We must be boring anybody reading this thread.
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« Reply #50 on: October 26, 2010, 09:27:45 AM »

I can tell you how one Serbian Priest does it, mine:

1. No communion without following the previous week's fasting requirements.

2. Confession before communion unless the last confession was VERY recent (example, I had confession on Sunday, so I am probably OK for tomorrow - Feast of St. Petka).

3. One should not let more than 40 days pass without taking communion.

The old Priest that he replaced (may his memory be eternal) had similar requirements.
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« Reply #51 on: October 26, 2010, 11:24:20 AM »

I am with a small (~20-25 people) GOA mission parish where the Divine Liturgy is celebrated only once a month, at best. We do not have our own building, so we rent a small Episcopalian chapel, which is available to us only on Saturdays. There is no real iconostasis there, and there is practically no space between the nave and the ambo, so it is difficult even to imagine, just where would penitents confess their sins if they want confidentiality. Also, the people who attend our parish are dispersed over vast space in the east-central and northcentral parts of our state. For our priest, who lives in Jackson, MS, it would take several hours to reach the place where we gather for DL, or the residences of most of our parishioners.

I guess these circumstances make routine, regular Confession difficult. However, I in fact have no idea when and where do the people in my parish go to confession. As far as I am aware, it may take place every day. Nobody ever talks about it though, and that's perhaps a good idea.

The Eucharist is always given to EVERY person who is Orthodox and present at the DL. I do not think anyone is ever asked the question, did this one confess recently, or fast.
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« Reply #52 on: October 26, 2010, 03:06:35 PM »

In the Serbian church it is common to confess before communion.  each time.  Most people just go up to the priest and when he says "do you have anything to confess" they say "no"  (this is from the priests, its not like i'm listening in or anything  Wink)

I was a Serbian priest for two decades.  I have neither administered nor experienced a shonky Confession such as you describe.   If you visit a Serbian church you will see with your own eyes how much time the priest spends with each penitent.
Fr. Ambrose, are you accustomed to make such generalizations from your own personal experience?

I was responding to the inaccurate and unfair generalisation from Serb1389. 
Well, he did say that he learned this from a number of priests. I think that may be more accurate and fair than the experiences of one individual priest.

Do you believe this testimony from one individual?  Why?
Why should I believe your testimony and not his, since you are, after all, one individual?


Well, you've made a choice and it's not clear why you have made it.  Never mind, I believe me.. and it is backed by 30 years in the Serbian Church, 20 of them as a monk and and as a parish priest.

We must be boring anybody reading this thread.

You're not boring me  Wink Grin

I will answer your question about my experience, because I think it has a bearing on the topic at hand. 

My experience has been with my parish priest of 27 years, the parish priests of almost every single Serbian Orthodox priest who has been through St. Sava's Serbian Orthodox School of Theology from 1990 - Present, as well as my experiences with priests on the East Coast, Midwest & West Coast. 

I have very rarely see anyone spend more than 2 minutes at the confessional stand, and I can tell you that talking to these priests ALL of them say that there is a large group of people who just come up and say "I have nothing to confess"...regularly. 

Suffice it to say...i'm definitely not making this up. 
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« Reply #53 on: October 26, 2010, 06:08:15 PM »



I have very rarely see anyone spend more than 2 minutes at the confessional stand, and I can tell you that talking to these priests ALL of them say that there is a large group of people who just come up and say "I have nothing to confess"...regularly.  

Suffice it to say...i'm definitely not making this up.  

In the 1970s at Belgrade and the monastery of Zica we were taught to respond to non-penitents who came up for confession and said to the priest:   "I have no sins to confess" --  "Well, go away then because confession is about confessing sins and I cannot absolve you from no sins.  Come to confession when you have sins on your soul."

We were taught to follow this up with a private conversation outside of confesion time to see what the problem was with the "sinless" person.  We did not pursue it at the time of confession because it would throw the person into confusion and require too much conversation at the naloj while others were waiting.

Obviously this is a ONCE only occasion in the life of a penitent when an explanation is needed from the priest and in the future the penitent has a proper understanding.
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« Reply #54 on: October 26, 2010, 07:18:11 PM »

In the 1970s at Belgrade and the monastery of Zica we were taught to respond to non-penitents who came up for confession and said to the priest:   "I have no sins to confess" --  "Well, go away then because confession is about confessing sins and I cannot absolve you from no sins.  Come to confession when you have sins on your soul."

I believe it was +ANTHONY (Bloom), Archbishop of Surozh, who used to say to such people, "well, then please let me fall on my knees in front of you and confess MY sins to you."  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #55 on: October 26, 2010, 09:21:41 PM »

actually, there is a definite sense that some forms of fasting are independent of Communion - the Wed and Fri fast are perfect examples.  The Lent, Advent, Apostle's and Theotokos' fasts are tied to the Eucharist insofar as the EUcharist of those feasts is the pinnacle and ultimate end-goal of the periods.  Where I see a problem with the practice of only communing after these fasting periods, though, is that the practice denies that every Sunday is Pascha - this is the faith of the Church and the practice of its Tradition, that our Church has 51 or so Paschas a year (The Feast, plus every Sunday save Palm Sunday, Thomas Sunday, and Pentecost, but then adding Lazaros Saturday, subtracting Christmas, Epiphany, and Transfiguration if they fall on Sundays).  Does anyone else see this as a problem?

Would it be improper for someone who recieves communion on a weekly basis to view the wednesday and friday fasts as part of that week's preparation for receiving Communion that sunday? Could commemorating Christ's betrayal (wednesday) and crucifixion (friday) be seen as a weekly "Holy Week" leading up to and preparing for the weekly Pascha?
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« Reply #56 on: October 26, 2010, 09:22:13 PM »

In the 1970s at Belgrade and the monastery of Zica we were taught to respond to non-penitents who came up for confession and said to the priest:   "I have no sins to confess" --  "Well, go away then because confession is about confessing sins and I cannot absolve you from no sins.  Come to confession when you have sins on your soul."

I believe it was +ANTHONY (Bloom), Archbishop of Surozh, who used to say to such people, "well, then please let me fall on my knees in front of you and confess MY sins to you."  Roll Eyes

Both of these are excellent responses.  If you have no sins, you have no need for Communion, or the Church.
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« Reply #57 on: October 26, 2010, 09:24:27 PM »

A quote from the pre communion prayers

http://www.orthodox.cn/liturgical/prayerbook/daily/precommunionprayer_en.htm
Quote
For it is not insolently that I draw near to Thee, O Christ my God, but as taking courage from Thy unspeakable goodness, and that I may not by long abstaining from Thy communion become a prey to the spiritual wolf.
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« Reply #58 on: October 26, 2010, 09:24:36 PM »

actually, there is a definite sense that some forms of fasting are independent of Communion - the Wed and Fri fast are perfect examples.  The Lent, Advent, Apostle's and Theotokos' fasts are tied to the Eucharist insofar as the EUcharist of those feasts is the pinnacle and ultimate end-goal of the periods.  Where I see a problem with the practice of only communing after these fasting periods, though, is that the practice denies that every Sunday is Pascha - this is the faith of the Church and the practice of its Tradition, that our Church has 51 or so Paschas a year (The Feast, plus every Sunday save Palm Sunday, Thomas Sunday, and Pentecost, but then adding Lazaros Saturday, subtracting Christmas, Epiphany, and Transfiguration if they fall on Sundays).  Does anyone else see this as a problem?

Would it be improper for someone who recieves communion on a weekly basis to view the wednesday and friday fasts as part of that week's preparation for receiving Communion that sunday? Could commemorating Christ's betrayal (wednesday) and crucifixion (friday) be seen as a weekly "Holy Week" leading up to and preparing for the weekly Pascha?

That would be consistent with what I have been taught.  The Wednesday and Friday Fast certainly are part of the preparation for Communion.
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« Reply #59 on: October 27, 2010, 01:13:04 AM »



I have very rarely see anyone spend more than 2 minutes at the confessional stand, and I can tell you that talking to these priests ALL of them say that there is a large group of people who just come up and say "I have nothing to confess"...regularly.  

Suffice it to say...i'm definitely not making this up.  

In the 1970s at Belgrade and the monastery of Zica we were taught to respond to non-penitents who came up for confession and said to the priest:   "I have no sins to confess" --  "Well, go away then because confession is about confessing sins and I cannot absolve you from no sins.  Come to confession when you have sins on your soul."

We were taught to follow this up with a private conversation outside of confesion time to see what the problem was with the "sinless" person.  We did not pursue it at the time of confession because it would throw the person into confusion and require too much conversation at the naloj while others were waiting.

Obviously this is a ONCE only occasion in the life of a penitent when an explanation is needed from the priest and in the future the penitent has a proper understanding.


Well Father, as to your last comment, I respond "when you get out of fantasy land let me know".  Honestly, if you can tell me EVER of a case in your life when you told someone something ONCE and they just said "alright" and never made that mistake again, i'd love to know about it and who that person is because they're the next saint of the church. 

Beyond fantasy land, I will tell you that my experiences have been with congregations that are heavily influenced by immigrants from former communism, who were heavily involved in that culture.  There's always good people who take their faith seriously, and there's always wonderful people who truly have that wonderful Serbian piety of which both you and I have spoken about at length. 

However, in this case there is a glaring problem and I for one have noticed it.  I actually envy you that you were able to live in a ministry full of holy & faith engaging people, but that has not been the case for me. 

If that is hard to believe for you, well...i'm sorry.  Like I said..you have had a different experience than I have, and i believe that the question is whether or not there SHOULD be confession before Communion.  I believe we both agree that this is a must.  How one goes about that confession...we may have differing opinions. 

Forgive me if I have caused you consternation. 
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« Reply #60 on: October 27, 2010, 07:53:38 PM »

We must be boring anybody reading this thread.

Far from it.  As someone who hopes to be Chrismated in the coming months, I look forward to being able to participate fully in both Mysteries.  Even if the "price" of frequent reception of Holy Communion was an equally-frequent participation in Confession, that is a "price" I would gladly pay.  I may not know much as a total newbie, but one thing that I do know is that my soul needs a fair bit of work.  Undecided

In Christ,
Britt
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« Reply #61 on: October 27, 2010, 08:06:22 PM »

actually, there is a definite sense that some forms of fasting are independent of Communion - the Wed and Fri fast are perfect examples.  The Lent, Advent, Apostle's and Theotokos' fasts are tied to the Eucharist insofar as the EUcharist of those feasts is the pinnacle and ultimate end-goal of the periods.  Where I see a problem with the practice of only communing after these fasting periods, though, is that the practice denies that every Sunday is Pascha - this is the faith of the Church and the practice of its Tradition, that our Church has 51 or so Paschas a year (The Feast, plus every Sunday save Palm Sunday, Thomas Sunday, and Pentecost, but then adding Lazaros Saturday, subtracting Christmas, Epiphany, and Transfiguration if they fall on Sundays).  Does anyone else see this as a problem?

Would it be improper for someone who recieves communion on a weekly basis to view the wednesday and friday fasts as part of that week's preparation for receiving Communion that sunday? Could commemorating Christ's betrayal (wednesday) and crucifixion (friday) be seen as a weekly "Holy Week" leading up to and preparing for the weekly Pascha?

Well, our whole life is movement toward union with the Lord, so in a way it would not be improper to make that connection.  But as far as purpose goes, those fasts are not there to prepare us for Holy Communion, but rather as sober remembrances of serious events (betrayal and crucifixion).  However, it can (and should) be argued that not observing the fasts when we are perfectly capable of it should deter someone from receiving Communion that week. 
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« Reply #62 on: October 27, 2010, 11:33:54 PM »



Well Father, as to your last comment, I respond "when you get out of fantasy land let me know".  Honestly, if you can tell me EVER of a case in your life when you told someone something ONCE and they just said "alright" and never made that mistake again, i'd love to know about it and who that person is because they're the next saint of the church. 

Father I have ministered to Serbs for 30 years and to Russians for 30 years.   In every case when I have encountered a person with "I don't have anything to confess" then the refusal to grant absolution and the consequent refusal of Communion, plus of course a talk and explanation and pamphlet on confession later in the church hall, has meant that nobody has ever approached for confession with the same line again.

Quote
Beyond fantasy land, I will tell you that my experiences have been with congregations that are heavily influenced by immigrants from former communism, who were heavily involved in that culture.  There's always good people who take their faith seriously, and there's always wonderful people who truly have that wonderful Serbian piety of which both you and I have spoken about at length. 

However, in this case there is a glaring problem and I for one have noticed it.  I actually envy you that you were able to live in a ministry full of holy & faith engaging people, but that has not been the case for me. 
 

My work has a priest has been with Serbs and Russians, 99% of them being immigrants.  People from the Communist countries may have to deal with difficult and serious sins of the past which are holding them back from confession and communion, often for many many years.  It is my practice to offer such people a one-time-only "discount" deal.  In the bad old days of Tito grannies would being their grandchildren to the monastery at Zica and almost every Sunday afternoon we would have a baptism or two,.  This was usually done quietly and without the knowledge of the parents.  So these babies become mature people who are technically Orthodox but without much knowledge and the option of baptism which would cleanse all their grown up sins does not exist because of the secret baptism while a baby.  So I allow them to make their first confession in total silence between them and God and at the end of this silent confession of sins I want to know if they have confessed ALL their sins and if they are truly sorry for them and have a firm intention not to repeat them.  If they say yea (and I cannot think of anyone who hasn't) then they receive absolution.   Future confessions will be done in the normal manner.

Quote
If that is hard to believe for you, well...i'm sorry.  Like I said..you have had a different experience than I have, and i believe that the question is whether or not there SHOULD be confession before Communion.  I believe we both agree that this is a must.  How one goes about that confession...we may have differing opinions. 


What you have said indicates the real necessity of auricular confession before communion.   If people with an "I have nothing to confess" estimate of their own spiritual sate are slipping through to communion then God only knows what other errors they have and especially what erroneous beliefs they may have about the nature of the consecrated Bread and Wine they are receiving.   The priest, following the responsibility placed on him at his ordination when the Lamb is placed in his hands, has a duty to challenge and correct these things.
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« Reply #63 on: October 27, 2010, 11:49:52 PM »

We must be boring anybody reading this thread.

Far from it.  As someone who hopes to be Chrismated in the coming months, I look forward to being able to participate fully in both Mysteries.  Even if the "price" of frequent reception of Holy Communion was an equally-frequent participation in Confession, that is a "price" I would gladly pay.  I may not know much as a total newbie, but one thing that I do know is that my soul needs a fair bit of work.  Undecided

Prior to Vatican II most Catholics went to confession very often, many of them once a week.  This was on Friday nights and on Saturday mornings and evenings.  The churches would have several confessional boxes in those days and there would be queues of people waiting outside each box.  The priests considered it a privilege and a blessing from Christ to spend several hours hearing confessions.  Things changed rapidly after Vatican Ii.
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« Reply #64 on: October 28, 2010, 12:21:22 AM »

We must be boring anybody reading this thread.

Far from it.  As someone who hopes to be Chrismated in the coming months, I look forward to being able to participate fully in both Mysteries.  Even if the "price" of frequent reception of Holy Communion was an equally-frequent participation in Confession, that is a "price" I would gladly pay.  I may not know much as a total newbie, but one thing that I do know is that my soul needs a fair bit of work.  Undecided

In Christ,
Britt

Given that there is a variety of practice in this area, you're probably gonna have to work out the details with your priest when you get close to being Chrismated. Some priests require confession on a regular basis more often than others, and some indivuduals may have a more urgent need to confess more often than others.
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« Reply #65 on: October 28, 2010, 12:07:47 PM »

We must be boring anybody reading this thread.

Far from it.  As someone who hopes to be Chrismated in the coming months, I look forward to being able to participate fully in both Mysteries.  Even if the "price" of frequent reception of Holy Communion was an equally-frequent participation in Confession, that is a "price" I would gladly pay.  I may not know much as a total newbie, but one thing that I do know is that my soul needs a fair bit of work.  Undecided

In Christ,
Britt

Given that there is a variety of practice in this area, you're probably gonna have to work out the details with your priest when you get close to being Chrismated. Some priests require confession on a regular basis more often than others, and some indivuduals may have a more urgent need to confess more often than others.

The Priest only has authority through the Church. If he is "requiring" something then all Priests under the same Bishop will also "require" the same thing. The Priest requiring something different is a red flag that he is acting outside of the authority of his office.
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« Reply #66 on: October 28, 2010, 08:32:39 PM »

We must be boring anybody reading this thread.

Far from it.  As someone who hopes to be Chrismated in the coming months, I look forward to being able to participate fully in both Mysteries.  Even if the "price" of frequent reception of Holy Communion was an equally-frequent participation in Confession, that is a "price" I would gladly pay.  I may not know much as a total newbie, but one thing that I do know is that my soul needs a fair bit of work.  Undecided

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Britt

Given that there is a variety of practice in this area, you're probably gonna have to work out the details with your priest when you get close to being Chrismated. Some priests require confession on a regular basis more often than others, and some indivuduals may have a more urgent need to confess more often than others.

The Priest only has authority through the Church. If he is "requiring" something then all Priests under the same Bishop will also "require" the same thing. The Priest requiring something different is a red flag that he is acting outside of the authority of his office.

Maybe "require" was a bad choice of word, but my point was that on the internet with everyone but your father confessor is last place for a person to try to figure out the exact details about when, why, how, etc their confession should be. I'll be honest, I'm new to this, but I trust the guidance of my priest. I don't know the when, how often, why, etc details of how other jurisdictions do confession, other dioceses in the OCA, other priests in the diocese, or even other individuals in my parish, but I do know that how, when, etc I do my confession is between Christ and myself and before the witness of and under the guidance of my priest.
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« Reply #67 on: October 28, 2010, 09:32:29 PM »

We must be boring anybody reading this thread.

Far from it.  As someone who hopes to be Chrismated in the coming months, I look forward to being able to participate fully in both Mysteries.  Even if the "price" of frequent reception of Holy Communion was an equally-frequent participation in Confession, that is a "price" I would gladly pay.  I may not know much as a total newbie, but one thing that I do know is that my soul needs a fair bit of work.  Undecided

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Given that there is a variety of practice in this area, you're probably gonna have to work out the details with your priest when you get close to being Chrismated. Some priests require confession on a regular basis more often than others, and some indivuduals may have a more urgent need to confess more often than others.

The Priest only has authority through the Church. If he is "requiring" something then all Priests under the same Bishop will also "require" the same thing. The Priest requiring something different is a red flag that he is acting outside of the authority of his office.

Maybe "require" was a bad choice of word, but my point was that on the internet with everyone but your father confessor is last place for a person to try to figure out the exact details about when, why, how, etc their confession should be. I'll be honest, I'm new to this, but I trust the guidance of my priest. I don't know the when, how often, why, etc details of how other jurisdictions do confession, other dioceses in the OCA, other priests in the diocese, or even other individuals in my parish, but I do know that how, when, etc I do my confession is between Christ and myself and before the witness of and under the guidance of my priest.

If you trust him and voluntarily submit then he is not your Priest but your Spiritual Father. I do everything my Spiritual Father says without question. Big difference atleast in my opinion.
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« Reply #68 on: October 28, 2010, 09:39:26 PM »

The Priest only has authority through the Church. If he is "requiring" something then all Priests under the same Bishop will also "require" the same thing. The Priest requiring something different is a red flag that he is acting outside of the authority of his office.  

If you're speaking of generalities (i.e. he's requiring this of everyone, versus what he requires of an individual based on their particular circumstances), then we agree.  You've made a very good point.
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« Reply #69 on: March 21, 2011, 09:49:47 PM »

As far as things go, I've been in all practices. In Wappinger's Falls, there is frequent communion, but confession is mostly non-existent.
In the ROCOR church, you must go to confession, but communion is infrequent. In Holy Virgin Mary Cathedral (OCA) people confess and commune frequently.
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« Reply #70 on: March 21, 2011, 09:57:02 PM »

actually, there is a definite sense that some forms of fasting are independent of Communion - the Wed and Fri fast are perfect examples.  The Lent, Advent, Apostle's and Theotokos' fasts are tied to the Eucharist insofar as the EUcharist of those feasts is the pinnacle and ultimate end-goal of the periods.  Where I see a problem with the practice of only communing after these fasting periods, though, is that the practice denies that every Sunday is Pascha - this is the faith of the Church and the practice of its Tradition, that our Church has 51 or so Paschas a year (The Feast, plus every Sunday save Palm Sunday, Thomas Sunday, and Pentecost, but then adding Lazaros Saturday, subtracting Christmas, Epiphany, and Transfiguration if they fall on Sundays).  Does anyone else see this as a problem?

Would it be improper for someone who recieves communion on a weekly basis to view the wednesday and friday fasts as part of that week's preparation for receiving Communion that sunday? Could commemorating Christ's betrayal (wednesday) and crucifixion (friday) be seen as a weekly "Holy Week" leading up to and preparing for the weekly Pascha?

That would be consistent with what I have been taught.  The Wednesday and Friday Fast certainly are part of the preparation for Communion.

I recently finished up Fr. Schmemman's "Great Lent" and in the appendix on confession and communion, he suggests the people read the prayers of preparation more than just on Saturday night/Sunday morning (and, likewise, the thanksgiving prayers on Monday and Tuesday, as well) in an effort to really get them to think about spending the entire week preparing for Communion instead of just the 12 hours or so before Sunday Liturgy.  I've read that appendix at least a dozen times but I don't ever recall reading that particular suggestion.  It got me really thinking about such a practice and adding them to Wednesday and Friday night prayers seem to be a way to work those prayers in. 
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« Reply #71 on: March 21, 2011, 10:09:18 PM »

In my parish our priest expects us to confess once a month if we commune every Sunday.
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« Reply #72 on: March 21, 2011, 10:12:42 PM »

In my parish our priest expects us to confess once a month if we commune every Sunday.

Same. At the least. IIRC, this is the policy of the entire OCA.
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« Reply #73 on: March 21, 2011, 10:22:44 PM »

I'm also in a ROCOR parish, and both our priests advise (not expects) for confession every 3-4 weeks (or when there is an urgent need and a person feels it's necessary).  Also, if there is something I've done but am not sure as to whether or not I should go, I will ask my priest b/c that is a serious thing and plus the advice helps and comforts me.

Personally speaking, I wouldn't feel right about going to Communion without a thorough Confession first--it would leave me with a nagging, terrible feeling on my conscience (since I seem to have a conscience that seems to take mental notes on everything I do anyway).  The Body and Blood of our Savior is so very precious and priceless to me, I don't want to lose it.  IT just feels like if I partook unworthily, it would kill me in a sense. But that is just me personally.
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« Reply #74 on: March 21, 2011, 10:55:55 PM »


In my church, everyone who approaches for Holy Communion, has gone to Holy Confession.

While two separate sacraments, they are linked.

Cleaning your soul, is part of preparing yourself to receive the Eucharist, and is more important than putting on a clean dress and clean socks.

...I've been to churches were I was encouraged to approach Holy Communion...almost "forced" and had to politely excuse myself. 

My priest encourages weekly Communion, however, he also promotes weekly Confession.

Rare is the person who hasn't accumulated any sins in a week's time.  It only takes me minutes.    angel

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« Reply #75 on: March 21, 2011, 11:27:26 PM »


In my church, everyone who approaches for Holy Communion, has gone to Holy Confession.

While two separate sacraments, they are linked.

Cleaning your soul, is part of preparing yourself to receive the Eucharist, and is more important than putting on a clean dress and clean socks.

...I've been to churches were I was encouraged to approach Holy Communion...almost "forced" and had to politely excuse myself. 

My priest encourages weekly Communion, however, he also promotes weekly Confession.

Rare is the person who hasn't accumulated any sins in a week's time.  It only takes me minutes.    angel


My priest requests the same from us. It makes sense to me. The way I understand it, if we believe that is truly Christ present on the altar and in the chalice, we should strive to prepare as best as we can with the grace God gives us. Obviously, we can never make ourselves worthy, but from what I have been taught, putting forth the effort to prepare with all our heart and understanding and accepting the Lord's grace is what He asks of us.

I agree with you. It only takes me minutes to accumulate sins upon my soul. I actually look forward to confessing before I receive the Eucharist. Not because I feel it makes me righteous or worthy, but it's wonderful to get the counsel and loving admonition to keep running the race and then of course there is the blessing of actually receiving Holy Communion the following day. Smiley

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« Reply #76 on: March 22, 2011, 05:16:30 PM »

One priest, whom I respect enormously, has said that he "suggests" frequent Communion and confession roughly 4 times per year.  He is an OCA priest.

Another, Antiochian, priest used to tell us that we need not confess before each Communion, that once every month or two was sufficient, and if we felt we needed to confess more often, he was all for it.

So, it seems, that even within various jurisdictions there is flexibility and leniency.  As has been said so well previously, *none* of us are *ever* "worthy" to receive Communion, even if we have confessed just a minute or 2 ago.  The first priest I mentioned told me that just as important as the act of confession is whether or not we approach the chalice with a deep sense of our sinfulness, of our sins, and of our unworthiness.

On that basis, I commune most weeks, and confess at least 4 times per year--often once a month or more.  I wish I could say that *every* time I approach the chalice it was with awareness of my sins, sinfulness, and unworthiness, but I'd be lying if I did.  Sometimes even having just confessed my sins and received absolution, by the time I get to the chalice, my mind is somewhere else  Sad.  May God have mercy on me, a sinner.
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« Reply #77 on: March 22, 2011, 06:22:56 PM »

As far as things go, I've been in all practices. In Wappinger's Falls, there is frequent communion, but confession is mostly non-existent.
In the ROCOR church, you must go to confession, but communion is infrequent. In Holy Virgin Mary Cathedral (OCA) people confess and commune frequently.
Are you near Wappingers?
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« Reply #78 on: March 22, 2011, 07:05:49 PM »


In my church, everyone who approaches for Holy Communion, has gone to Holy Confession.

While two separate sacraments, they are linked.

Cleaning your soul, is part of preparing yourself to receive the Eucharist, and is more important than putting on a clean dress and clean socks.

...I've been to churches were I was encouraged to approach Holy Communion...almost "forced" and had to politely excuse myself. 

My priest encourages weekly Communion, however, he also promotes weekly Confession.

Rare is the person who hasn't accumulated any sins in a week's time.  It only takes me minutes.    angel


My priest requests the same from us. It makes sense to me. The way I understand it, if we believe that is truly Christ present on the altar and in the chalice, we should strive to prepare as best as we can with the grace God gives us. Obviously, we can never make ourselves worthy, but from what I have been taught, putting forth the effort to prepare with all our heart and understanding and accepting the Lord's grace is what He asks of us.

I agree with you. It only takes me minutes to accumulate sins upon my soul. I actually look forward to confessing before I receive the Eucharist. Not because I feel it makes me righteous or worthy, but it's wonderful to get the counsel and loving admonition to keep running the race and then of course there is the blessing of actually receiving Holy Communion the following day. Smiley

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Hi Andrew--I believe as you do that we can accumulate sins very, very fast. Would you agree that this is a problem for all of us--bishops, priests, deacons, and regular folks? If so, how is it that the clergy take communion every time the Liturgy is celebrated and yet they do not have the opportunity and the requirement to receive the sacrament of Penance (Reconciliation/Confession) before each Communion? What makes them so very different from you and I?

I may be wrong here but of the various charisma bestowed upon the clergy, not one iota of the charisma is to make them sinless. What they have on their corner, among other things, is a much better informed and thorough prayer and sacramental life, which we could all strive to. I am sure that if any clergy commits a grave sin, he would not hesitate to call his father confessor and receive the Mystery of Reconciliation, even over the phone. I suspect that this not happen every time that he sins but only for those sins that he and his father confessor have agreed on.

I am sure that almost all of the clergy have a daily cycle of prayers, which normally include numerous confessions and vows of repentance. Finally, each member of the clergy prays repeatedly for the remission of their sins--a process that culminates in the two prayers before communion and the mind set of unworthiness before the Holy Chalice. Let me ask one last question: how is this different from what we called to do?
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« Reply #79 on: March 22, 2011, 07:49:57 PM »

I also think it is more difficult for the clergy to "confess"....as they are usually the only priest at the parish.
Who is to hear their confession?
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« Reply #80 on: March 22, 2011, 09:23:27 PM »

In my parish our priest expects us to confess once a month if we commune every Sunday.

Same. At the least. IIRC, this is the policy of the entire OCA.

The OCA has no such "policy" that I've ever read, and I've been to at least 20 OCA parishes where such was not the case.
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« Reply #81 on: March 22, 2011, 09:51:37 PM »

Nothing is worst than Having Converts, be they Bishops, Priests or Lay, Tell us Cradle Orthodox, how to do Confession ,either  weekly,or monthly..If I was to Commune daily or weekly, or even monthly , I would do Daily Confession ,or weekly or monthly...But Alway's Before Recieving Holy Communion....  Grin

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« Reply #82 on: March 22, 2011, 11:25:42 PM »


In my church, everyone who approaches for Holy Communion, has gone to Holy Confession.

While two separate sacraments, they are linked.

Well, in the sense that the entire sacramental life is linked, yes, this is true.  But in actual fact, confession is linked much more closely to baptism than to anything else.  The patristic consensus is that confession returns the penitent to their original baptismal state, if it has indeed wavered from this state. 

Quote
Cleaning your soul, is part of preparing yourself to receive the Eucharist, and is more important than putting on a clean dress and clean socks.

...I've been to churches were I was encouraged to approach Holy Communion...almost "forced" and had to politely excuse myself. 

My priest encourages weekly Communion, however, he also promotes weekly Confession.

Rare is the person who hasn't accumulated any sins in a week's time.  It only takes me minutes.    angel

I'm not trying to suggest that there should be no preparation for communion, and I'm not saying that you have nothing  good to say here.  I have already written elsewhere my opinions regarding confession before every communion, and I will not repeat myself here.  However, if we truly believe the lex orandi, lex credendi principle, then why do we sometimes seem to give so little credence to what the priest himself says to each communicant as he or she partakes of the dread mysteries:  "the servant of God N. partakes of the precious and holy Body and Blood of our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ, for the remission of his/her sins, and unto life everlasting, amen."?  Clearly, the understanding here is that the Holy Gifts themselves cleanse us of our sins.  If we are in a state where we have deviated somewhat from our spiritual path (and as you have pointed out, that would include everyone), but have not distorted the Grace that we have received in baptism and have tried to prepare ourselves to receive the Gifts, why should we find it necessary to go to confession every time before communing?
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« Reply #83 on: March 22, 2011, 11:32:22 PM »

Nothing is worst than Having Converts, be they Bishops, Priests or Lay, Tell us Cradle Orthodox, how to do Confession ,either  weekly,or monthly..If I was to Commune daily or weekly, or even monthly , I would do Daily Confession ,or weekly or monthly...But Alway's Before Recieving Holy Communion....  Grin

But this 1 confession : 1 communion practice is not universal even among the "cradle" Orthodox.
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« Reply #84 on: March 22, 2011, 11:46:12 PM »

Nothing is worst than Having Converts, be they Bishops, Priests or Lay, Tell us Cradle Orthodox, how to do Confession ,either  weekly,or monthly..If I was to Commune daily or weekly, or even monthly , I would do Daily Confession ,or weekly or monthly...But Alway's Before Recieving Holy Communion....  Grin

But this 1 confession : 1 communion practice is not universal even among the "cradle" Orthodox.

Cradle Mothers And Fathers Raise their children to confess ,always before communing....It's the Lack's Clergy
That Come Across our lives that want to Change things and some do ,to make it Easiers for themselfs....

Heaven Is Loaded with simple  Mothers and Fathers that taught there Children not to approch unconfessed but to always be in aaw...Plus Heaven Has A Clergy Shortage Because Some do things Fast and easy ...
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« Reply #85 on: March 22, 2011, 11:50:16 PM »

Nothing is worst than Having Converts, be they Bishops, Priests or Lay, Tell us Cradle Orthodox, how to do Confession ,either  weekly,or monthly..If I was to Commune daily or weekly, or even monthly , I would do Daily Confession ,or weekly or monthly...But Alway's Before Recieving Holy Communion....  Grin

But this 1 confession : 1 communion practice is not universal even among the "cradle" Orthodox.

Cradle Mothers And Fathers Raise their children to confess ,always before communing....It's the Lack's Clergy
That Come Across our lives that want to Change things and some do ,to make it Easiers for themselfs....

Heaven Is Loaded with simple  Mothers and Fathers that taught there Children not to approch unconfessed but to always be in aaw...Plus Heaven Has A Clergy Shortage Because Some do things Fast and easy ...

I don't think a priest would ever tell someone to confess less frequently they do however set a minimum of how often you should go.
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« Reply #86 on: March 23, 2011, 12:01:56 AM »

I Know What i Speak of ....Growing up a married serbian priest wouldn't teach sunday School because it cut into his outside jobs and his two homes he was paying for.....The Bishop Metropolitan eventually Closed the Church....

The First Day He was to teach Sunday Class he Slamed The Bible on the Floor Claiming we were to unrully but we were just kids about 7 of us, and Stormed Out ,never to teach again or even make it the first time...I Never Had A Chance ever again to attend Sunday School After that incident .... police
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« Reply #87 on: March 23, 2011, 12:08:52 AM »

Nothing is worst than Having Converts, be they Bishops, Priests or Lay, Tell us Cradle Orthodox, how to do Confession ,either  weekly,or monthly..If I was to Commune daily or weekly, or even monthly , I would do Daily Confession ,or weekly or monthly...But Alway's Before Recieving Holy Communion....  Grin

That's right!  Who are those pesky bishops to tell us what to do?!
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« Reply #88 on: March 23, 2011, 12:27:21 AM »


Even the Cradle Bishops Are Being Swayed By The Converts...Everthing has to come to pass ,Christ did say when he returns will he find any Faith left..... police

Nothing is worst than Having Converts, be they Bishops, Priests or Lay, Tell us Cradle Orthodox, how to do Confession ,either  weekly,or monthly..If I was to Commune daily or weekly, or even monthly , I would do Daily Confession ,or weekly or monthly...But Alway's Before Recieving Holy Communion....  Grin

That's right!  Who are those pesky bishops to tell us what to do?!
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« Reply #89 on: March 23, 2011, 01:05:38 AM »

Nothing is worst than Having Converts, be they Bishops, Priests or Lay, Tell us Cradle Orthodox, how to do Confession ,either  weekly,or monthly..If I was to Commune daily or weekly, or even monthly , I would do Daily Confession ,or weekly or monthly...But Alway's Before Recieving Holy Communion....  Grin
Why this animosity toward converts? Are we not all Orthodox by virtue of our baptism and chrismation? What makes a "convert" Orthodox any different from a "cradle" Orthodox?
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