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Author Topic: Jurisdictional Difference?  (Read 3242 times) Average Rating: 0
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SouthSerb99
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« on: April 07, 2006, 03:30:56 PM »

I have been thinking about something lately and I'm not entirely sure I am clear on it, maybe some of you can help me.

I've been raised in the Serbian Orthodox Church my entire life.  I've been to other jurisdictions for "special" services (marriage, funeral, baptism etc...), but never for Liturgy on Sunday.

In the SOC, Holy Communion is predicated upon fasting for the entire preceeding week.  That is to say, you cannot get communion UNLESS you have strictly fasted the ENTIRE week.  I've belonged to 4 SOC parishes and each did it exactly the same.

Now, I've been told (and I may be wrong - so excuse me if I am) that in the GOA, Communion is predicated upon showing up at Church on an Empty stomach (also a condition in the SOC) THAT DAY and not about what happened during the week.

The prime example is this...

It's Tuesday, you're at work and you put cream in your coffee.  You take two sips not realizing you've broken the fast, but it was entirely accidental.  You tell your priest.  In the SOC, he says YOU CANNOT receive Communion on Sunday.  Can you receive Communion in a Greek Orthodox Church?

Is it the same in other jurisdictions or is this exclusive to the SOC?  What are the reasons for it?
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2006, 04:04:24 PM »

In the OCA, where WEEKLY reception of Communion is the norm, the SOC practice you describe would be virtually impossible, because no one would be allowed to eat anything, and we would all starve to death.  I find it hard to believe that the practice you describe would even be upheld as canonical.  For one, fasting is FORBIDDEN on all Saturdays except for Holy Saturday--this is why the Evening Liturgy is NEVER permitted on Saturdays, again with the exception of Holy Saturday.
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2006, 04:14:51 PM »

In the OCA, where WEEKLY reception of Communion is the norm, the SOC practice you describe would be virtually impossible, because no one would be allowed to eat anything, and we would all starve to death.  I find it hard to believe that the practice you describe would even be upheld as canonical.  For one, fasting is FORBIDDEN on all Saturdays except for Holy Saturday--this is why the Evening Liturgy is NEVER permitted on Saturdays, again with the exception of Holy Saturday.
Even during fast periods???
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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2006, 04:24:15 PM »

Even during fast periods???

You might find this message that I posted about a month ago informative on this issue.

Click HERE

In short, what is required during Saturdays of the fasting seasons is really abstinence from certain foods (meat, dairy, oil, etc.)--we are still allowed to eat.  The fast of not eating anything is the type of fast that is forbidden on Saturdays, even during the seasons of fasting.
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« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2006, 04:27:23 PM »

Peter,

    Semantics aside, you're missing the point of my post.

     If it's abstaining from certain foods, let it be abstaining.  It doesn't change the substance of my post.

     In the SOC, Communion is linked to abstaining (for the record, my Patriarch refers to it as "fasting" and not abstaining).  So, what gives?  

     If I accidentally violate the fast, why can't I Commune?
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« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2006, 04:28:36 PM »

Read this article.  Although the advice at the bottom is not something that I've seen followed in any parish in North America.

http://www.westsrbdio.org/info/showarticle.php?article=w7
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« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2006, 04:48:43 PM »

Okay, so what I call "abstinence" (not eating certain foods) you call "fasting?"  I just want to make sure that I understand you so that we can talk about the point about which you're trying to ask.

If you're talking about restricting what foods you eat during the week preceding Communion, then all I can say is that this is the first I've ever heard of this practice.  Outside of this, I don't really know enough to say why the SOC and OCA differ in this particular point of their practices of preparation for Communion.  I'm going to let others answer this question.
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« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2006, 06:08:40 PM »

If you're talking about restricting what foods you eat during the week preceding Communion, then all I can say is that this is the first I've ever heard of this practice.  Outside of this, I don't really know enough to say why the SOC and OCA differ in this particular point of their practices of preparation for Communion.  I'm going to let others answer this question.
I had this discussion before and I've been told this is a custom among "Slavic" parishes.  I'm just wondering, the why of it all?

To me, it seems that it is against the spirit of receiving Holy Communion as often as possible.  I think Serb1389's Father is a priest (and he is seminary student), so maybe he knows the answer.  Or maybe some of our Russian Orthodox posters can offer some insight.
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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2006, 07:35:04 PM »

I am not exactly qualified to answer, but I know the Russian parishes that I've been a part of follow a similar practice to the Serbians.  However, the degree of fasting (or abstaning for other terms) is under the guidence of one's spiritual father.  Of course they must keep Weds. and Fridays (oekinomikas aside) and one should have led a week in holiness.  Some priests will ask that you fast the entire week, too.  (or abstain.  Personally, though, I've only heard abstaining with Catholics and Western Rite).  The point though is that one's whole week should be prepared for receiving the Body and Blood of Christ.  It cannot be a half-hazard thing, but as we are about to unite with Christ mystically, we must be prepared the entire week, otherwise the grace will not have the effect desired.  

I guess an appropriate analogy would be a mother.  I remember when I was a kid and if dzia dzia or babcia would come over that we would prepare the entire week cleaning up our home.  Likewise, we must spend the entire week cleansing our soul.  Fasting is an outward manifestation of this cleansing.  Of course, one should always check the details of how this cleansing proceeds with their confesser, but it needs to be done.

I don't really think that I answered your question, but I hope that I maybe helped.  
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2006, 07:39:29 PM »

As to why receiving in Russian parishes is so infrequent, the explanation that I was given was related to Tsarist times.  I believe it used to be imperial law that Christians had to commune once a year.  Some Russians thought that this law meant only once a year, while others were only able to attend once a year.  Nevertheless, as this was the custom to commune once a year, the people would fast extra hard that week.  
I'm not debating the merits of communing frequently or infrequently, but perhaps this will shed light.
That said, don't quote me on this as I'm not a Russian historian.
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« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2006, 09:14:19 PM »

If you guys are interested....we got into this whole thing in quite a big way in a couple of other threads....

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=8590.0

In this thread, I posted a link to another thread where Serbian practices of confessing, fasting, and communion were discussed, as well as many other things about sacramental practice.  I hope these threads  give you some food for thought.

James Bob
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« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2006, 10:55:09 PM »

Bob,

   I read through the posts and they were very informative, yet did not fully give me the answers I was looking for (and maybe because there is not a good answer).

   In the example I gave, a person in the SOC can't commune for accidentally taking two sips of a cup of coffee with cream in it on a Tuesday.  Doesn't that seem odd?  This is NOT a fictional account, this really happened and the individual was told he could NOT get communion on Sunday.  As I said, I have not been to EVERY SOC on the planet, but in the four parishes I' have belonged, it was the EXACT same practice.  If I count the parish of my grand parents (in Detroit), it makes five.

    It just doesn't seem right to me?

Dantxny,

    Your explanation made me feel somewhat better, but I still think that the practices of my Church in this regarded are in conflict with settled Orthodox principles.  I just wish I could find a basis for why the SOC does it differently.
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« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2006, 11:36:32 PM »

I've heard that the SOC practise comes from it being one deeply rooted in Serbo-Athonite style monasticism. If that is so then that explains a lot as monastics have a very different apporach, method, and practise when it comes to confession, communion in that obedience to the spiritual father is of utmost importance and care.

Then again, that cream slip-up is rediculous. honestly, outside of lent, I sometimes won't fast the wednesday and friday, but will fast from midnight (or earlier) until communion the next day. The traditional greek practise is to fast wed. and fri. but even then many priests only mandate that you've fasted from the midnight.
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« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2006, 11:58:35 PM »

Bob,

   I read through the posts and they were very informative, yet did not fully give me the answers I was looking for (and maybe because there is not a good answer).

Sorry.  I didn't mean to say that you would find the exact answer you seek there.  But Serb1389 has found similar, if not identical,  rigour employed when it comes to communion in his experience also.  Plus there is lots of related discussion regarding preparation for holy communion, and what is or is not appropriate in this regard.

Quote
  In the example I gave, a person in the SOC can't commune for accidentally taking two sips of a cup of coffee with cream in it on a Tuesday.  Doesn't that seem odd?  This is NOT a fictional account, this really happened and the individual was told he could NOT get communion on Sunday.  As I said, I have not been to EVERY SOC on the planet, but in the four parishes I' have belonged, it was the EXACT same practice.  If I count the parish of my grand parents (in Detroit), it makes five.

    It just doesn't seem right to me?

I don't want to sound smug, but I agree with you completely:  it is not right at all.   Also, if the priest is saying that you MUST fast in this way every time before you go to communion......IMHO this is clearly wrong, and a SHOCKING ABUSE  of clerical stewardship of the holy gifts.  How sad that these traditions of men have entered  the Church to such a degree that they are taught as if they were doctrine.  I wonder if the priests teaching this discipline really believe that this is doctrine or next to it, or are they fully aware of what they are doing.  A priest must commune of the gifts every time he serves liturgy.  To deny communion to a layman who has (reasonably!) prepared beforehand is blatant clericalism and it is NOT Orthodox!  Having said this, I think you will find that, sadly, around the world, it is still very difficult to practice frequent communion in most Orthodox parishes.  We should not accept this, but work slowly to change it.  If there are people in authority who continue to claim that communion is not for laypeople, all we have to do is point to the teachings of the Fathers to point out to them how wrong they are!  
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« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2006, 01:02:28 AM »

I don't want anyone to take offense at this, but sometimes I think we get too hung up on the details of fasting. Isn't it something we do for our own ascetic discipline for our own journey on the path to theosis? Rather than some law to abide by?

there just seems to be a little (or alot) of legalism.

Yet it does vary fron jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Tomorrow (today, now) I will go to the Ukranian Church next to our Russian Church (how's that for overlapping jurisdictions - and the Ukranian Catholic church is just up the block - many of these people will have Easter dinner in the same house becasue they are all related) - for their Easter egg sale and smell the kolbassi cooking - they go meatless only on Mon/Wed/ Fri during Great Lent. So, go figure.

Remember what Jesus said, it's not what goes into a man that defiles him, but what comes out of his heart. That's certainly true for me, my vulgar mouth and evil little imagination are far more problematic than if I have a piece of chicken and pretend it's fish, oops, er I mean, scallops, or shrimp,um or mussels.

BTW I read a really informative article by a Greek Othodox priest where he is pointing out that we all tend to get hung up on the wrong things, from those that think chicken is a canonical food during Lent because it is not red meat to those who view coffee mate as " pharisee powder" (what a great term - really funny!). His point is that we need to be focused on bringing people to know God and care for the "least of these."

I tend to agree. We certainly can do our own version  of "tithing mint and cummin, while neglectng the weightier matters of the law." I also am sobered by the thought that Jesus never says "I never knew you" because the goat didn't do a good fast or cross the proper way or do prostrations or bows at the right time, but because he was naked and we didn't clothe him, hungry and we didn't give him drink (and the next is worst of all- I can write a check and sort of cover the first two but.... ) in prison and I didn't visit him...

Whoa! talk about working out your salvation with FEAR and TREMBLING!

We can joke and mock the fundamentalists and pentacostals and I'm as bad as anyone on OC.net, but they are the ones (generally speaking, by and large) with the soup kitchens,
 shelters, food banks etc.

Maybe our priests should not worry about what food we ate or didn't eat and ask us if we gave alms and if we gave account for the hope within us.

Just a thought

Also, Jesus said the Pharisees should have done the one thing without neglecting the other, so I am not trashing fasting, just trying to make a point. We CAN do both. It's just that our priests let us off with the pharisee thing of observing the externals.
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« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2006, 10:41:41 AM »

Timos,

    I think you could be right (about the Athonite style monasticism) as contextualizing why it is done this way in the SOC, however, I'm not sure that makes it right (or Orthodox).

Quote
I don't want to sound smug, but I agree with you completely:  it is not right at all.   Also, if the priest is saying that you MUST fast in this way every time before you go to communion......IMHO this is clearly wrong, and a SHOCKING ABUSE  of clerical stewardship of the holy gifts.  How sad that these traditions of men have entered  the Church to such a degree that they are taught as if they were doctrine.  I wonder if the priests teaching this discipline really believe that this is doctrine or next to it, or are they fully aware of what they are doing.  A priest must commune of the gifts every time he serves liturgy.  To deny communion to a layman who has (reasonably!) prepared beforehand is blatant clericalism and it is NOT Orthodox!  Having said this, I think you will find that, sadly, around the world, it is still very difficult to practice frequent communion in most Orthodox parishes.  We should not accept this, but work slowly to change it.  If there are people in authority who continue to claim that communion is not for laypeople, all we have to do is point to the teachings of the Fathers to point out to them how wrong they are!

Bob,

    I agree, and that is why these questions trouble me.   I don't want to seem disobedient, but I'm struggling to understand this custom in the SOC.  I'm currently reading "Living the Liturgy" by Father Harakas and he really stresses the importance of regularly receiving Communion.  In the SOC, it appears as though proving yourself worthy is done so by following the rules of the fast.  It's just hard for me to imagine that taking two sips out of a cup of "tainted" coffee should preclude you from Communion, especially when it is an honest mistake.

Furthermore, if you look at the article I posted http://www.westsrbdio.org/info/showarticle.php?article=w7, look at the advice of my Patriarch;
Quote
Pastors must a void the mechanical approaches and insist that the faithful come as often as possible and commune at each liturgy with constant preparation and vigil over their souls. The spiritual father knows the spiritual condition of each member of his flock. To on e he advises to come more often during fasting seasons, he could tell some to fast two or three days, to others seven days and to some to come always without fasting.
To me, this seems consistent with what you are saying and what I'm reading from Father Harakas, yet it is NOT something practiced in any SOC parish I've ever been to.

Brother Aiden,

Quote
I don't want anyone to take offense at this, but sometimes I think we get too hung up on the details of fasting. Isn't it something we do for our own ascetic discipline for our own journey on the path to theosis? Rather than some law to abide by?
I agree totally!  I just feel like sometimes in the SOC, we are made to feel unworthy of receiving the Gifts.  It doesn't make much sense but it is something I think is deep rooted (at least in the SOC).

Thank you all for your replies.  
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« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2006, 03:07:49 PM »

I always like to remember this bit of the history of Communion, but before I relate this, let me assure you that I DO NOT ADVOCATE CHANGING OUR PRACTICE OF FASTING IN PREPARATION FOR THE EUCHARIST just to return to this earliest practice.

When Jesus during His Last Supper with His disciples instituted the rite of Holy Communion, He did so after they had already eaten.
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« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2006, 03:34:50 PM »

We have some booklets in Romania, too, that would make fasting, for at least three days before the Communion, a pre-requisite for it. But, our parish priest did not even ask us whether we fasted or not, at Confession. He would not put much emphasis on not eating certain foods, as such; instead, he would insist that we should be at peace and in good relations with our neighbours, forgive those who have wronged us etc.
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« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2006, 12:45:05 AM »

A 77 - good points indeed

Jesus said if we are offering our gifts at the altar and remember that we have offended our brother, leave our gift and go be reconciled first and THEN offer our gift.

If fasting helps us and hastens us in doing this, by all means fast. If it becomes the be all and end all and becomes a ritual that causes us to forget this "weightier" matter then I would say (and I am really gonna make some people mad when I do say it) "eat, drink and be merry" then commune, because your heart is so hardened it really doesn't matter anyway, does it?
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« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2006, 10:27:07 AM »

I've never heard of fasting (abstaining from meat, dairy etc) for the whole week before communion in the Russian Orthodox Church. Maybe you are misunderstanding the Priest when he asked you 'did you fast this week?' Maybe he is just talking about Wednesday and Friday of that week?
In my church you have to have said the pre-communion prayers on Saturday evening and Sunday morning and fasted (from any food or drink) from midnight.
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« Reply #20 on: April 09, 2006, 12:57:46 PM »

Anna,

    No, it certainly means the entire week.  I was hoping to get Serb1389 on here to explain (his father is a SOC Priest).  The example I used is a real event and the offense took place on a Tuesay during the Nativity Fast.
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« Reply #21 on: April 09, 2006, 03:30:21 PM »

When Jesus during His Last Supper with His disciples instituted the rite of Holy Communion, He did so after they had already eaten.

Most Orthodox don't believe that this is the time that the Eucharist was "instituted" fully, but your point is still relevant, because the early Church seemed to continue for some time with this practice.  
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« Reply #22 on: April 09, 2006, 09:55:52 PM »

As one who regularly attends many different Orthodox parishes, I have seen everything from a 30 minute line up "like a buffet" to a large church where no one actually took communion.  I've been told everything, in regards to preparation, from "don't worry about it, just come!" to make sure you don't basically eat, think or do anything for a week.  What is often missing is faith in Jesus Christ and in the power of His Body and Blood.   This is what we have to remember - both clergy and laity.

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« Reply #23 on: April 09, 2006, 10:27:31 PM »

Anna,
As to the Russian Church as what I was refering to (although, I don't think that your quote was directed towards me.  Nevertheless, I wanted to clarify in general), I wasn't saying that priests say that you have to fast the entire week.  However, I have heard that one must prepare the entire week, spiritually, and fasting is an option, but not the option.  However, like you, I have never heard any priest say that one must fast the entire week.
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« Reply #24 on: April 10, 2006, 09:39:25 AM »

Brale SS9,

I, too, have struggled with the issue that you have described, which has been my experience in the majority of Serbian parishes that I have attended.  That said, my wife and I are blessed to attend a SOC parish currently whose priest encourages more frequent communion.
I understand your dismay at the situation described in the story that you told.  I certainly believe it.  

When  I read your post, I was reminded of a discussion I was having with my wife’s kumovi.  I was still Greek Catholic at the time, and we were discussing church.  She mentioned that she was preparing for communion and could not have what we were currently snacking on (I forget what…slanina?).  Anyway, I was puzzled as it was a Monday or Tuesday.   I asked her and she replied that her priest requires everyone to fast for the entire week before receiving.  I was shocked.  It is, as far as I am aware though, the standard practice in most of the more “old country” parishes here (Illinois/Indiana).

I think that the reasons for the current practice are twofold.  The first is the ingrained tradition of infrequent (bi-annual, tri-annual) communion.    Along with this is the lack of attention, even among regular church-goers, to strictly observing the Wed-Fri, Dormition, Nativity and Apostles fasts.  This leads to a situation in which clergy assume that most AREN’T fasting, and that their parishoners are approaching to receive only once or twice in a year.  The week-long fast prior to receiving could have been a folk adaptation to such a pastoral situation; a version of “well, if you can’t/won’t do all the other fasts you can at least make up for it a little by doing this….”.  Couple this with the inherent conservatism (factor two) of the Serbian church, and you see this custom become widely applied because of its age (eg. Our parents had to fast for a week, and their parents before them, etc, etc…Repeated over the generations, it becomes- in the minds of both clergy and people- THE Orthodox Tradition).   It is not an ideal situation, but there are priests that are trying to follow in the footsteps of individuals like St. John of Kronstadt (who my priest venerates highly) and encourage more frequent communion in their parishes.  
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« Reply #25 on: April 10, 2006, 09:54:04 AM »

Sokol,

    Thank you for that reply!!!  I was beginning to think I was crazy (or that everyone else thought I was crazy).

    My parents and grandparents strictly fast the entire Lenten period, yet ONLY receive Communion once, during that time, "because they don't feel right getting Communion more than once".

     This backward thinking is a part of the FABRIC of every SOC parish I've ever been to.  You are very lucky things are different at your parish.

      I recently spoke to a friend of mine who is President of a large parish in Chicago and he is quite opposed to this practice (as well), but the secular presidents don't control the Liturgy (nor should they).  As a result, he has been unable to convince the Parish Priest that communion should be given more often the two or three times a year.  Quite sad, but still true.
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« Reply #26 on: April 10, 2006, 10:24:13 AM »

Brale,

Yep, I feel ya.  I think this will only shift as our priests get more contact with clergy of other jurisdictions, and will probably change permanently as we start cultivating an American-born presbyterate (another thing that makes me scratch my head).

As far as my explanation goes, I was only trying to explain how it got started.  Whether I I’m right or not, it’s now too ingrained to change much for the current generation.  It’s there whether people keep the lesser fasts (like your family) or not (like my in-laws).  

Our choir sang at the local Greek church about a year ago.  This church has quite a few members, and the priests also encourage frequent communion.  This was during the Nativity fast, and over a hundred people must have taken communion.  The other guy I sing bass with, an older Licanin named Manojlo, was just scandalized….  “How can all these people go?!?  These people can’t have fasted! All these people can’t have gone to confession?  How did that priest hear all these confessions last night?!?”   I really had no reply…  

What are you going to say to change peoples’ minds?  Am I going to tell him, an original board member of our church, imprisoned during WWII, active choir member for 40+ years, that “well, what your used to is a liturgical abuse…you’ve really just been doing it wrong all these years, and people need to go to communion more frequently”?   That would take some brass, and unless someone looses their mind and — out of the clear blue- ordains me, I don’t think I’m going to give out advice like that.  But….from everything I know about what the normative practice should be, this attitude does need to change.

Now, as far as frequent communion goes, for my parish that certainly doesn’t mean every week.  It barely means every month.  It seems often enough, though. …especially since we are expected to confess (with some exceptions) before each time we approach.
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« Reply #27 on: April 10, 2006, 10:33:28 AM »

Your stories sound all to familiar.  Could've been in any of the parishes where I've been a member.

I've often wondered if our clergy have become disillusioned by the laity.  I mean, in all but one parish I've belonged, this is what happened before communion...

Before Liturgy, Priest asks all those who have fasted, to come forward for confession.  Line forms.

You eventually get to the friend.  You kneel, he asks you "have you fasted", you say yes.  He asks, do you wish to confess, you say yes?  He offers a blessing and sends you on your way.  I've ONLY ever belonged to one parish when he actually asks you to confess your sins.  My current priest simply asks if you wish to confess and repent for your sins.

In response to this, I obtained a confessional prayer from the GOA to be said either the night before or the morning of Communion, which I know use, so that I feel as though I have adequately confessed.
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« Reply #28 on: April 10, 2006, 10:51:15 AM »

Maybe it is because I am a convert from Protestantism, but I view confession as a continuum.

I confess my sins daily, through the Church's prayers of confession and by self-examination and spontaneous prayer and also by the Jesus Prayer and the Our Father

At my parish, once a month we have a "general confession" where we as a congregation read a litany of confession, the priest gives a mediataion, we pause for some quiet moments and form a line, much like Soutghserb describes (he asks each if we are sorry for our sins, then gives each absolution)

there is also private confession during Great Lent and encouraged at regular intervals throughout the year.

Our priest stresses that he is only a "witness" to our confession; it is God who forgives, he is the witness and "seal" so-to-speak of God's forgiveness
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« Reply #29 on: April 10, 2006, 11:38:36 AM »

Our choir sang at the local Greek church about a year ago. ÂÂ This church has quite a few members, and the priests also encourage frequent communion. ÂÂ This was during the Nativity fast, and over a hundred people must have taken communion. ÂÂ The other guy I sing bass with, an older Licanin named Manojlo, was just scandalized…. ÂÂ “How can all these people go?!? ÂÂ These people can’t have fasted! All these people can’t have gone to confession? ÂÂ How did that priest hear all these confessions last night?!?” ÂÂ  I really had no reply… ÂÂ  

What are you going to say to change peoples’ minds? ÂÂ Am I going to tell him, an original board member of our church, imprisoned during WWII, active choir member for 40+ years, that “well, what your used to is a liturgical abuse…you’ve really just been doing it wrong all these years, and people need to go to communion more frequently”? ÂÂ  That would take some brass, and unless someone looses their mind and — out of the clear blue- ordains me, I don’t think I’m going to give out advice like that. ÂÂ But….from everything I know about what the normative practice should be, this attitude does need to change.

How about yes, he HAS been believing wrong for all these years.  Might do him some good....and also tell him that if he didn't worry about what others are doing, then he wouldn't be scandalized.  The priest is responsible to God for who he gives Communion to and the individual Communicant is responsible if they knowlingly abuse the Sacrament.  It is nothing that this choir member needs to worry about.
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« Reply #30 on: April 10, 2006, 12:37:39 PM »


Well, then, you can come sing with us and tell him yourself.  While you're at it, you can inform the rest of his generation that they're "doing it wrong"....heck, the majority of my jurisdiction. ÂÂ

And then they'll blow you up. Wink  Smiley

Seriously, you misunderstand if you think he was being some sort of busybody. ÂÂ He doesn't understand how that many people could PROPERLY prepare for communion. ÂÂ His feelings stem from his profound reverence for the sacrament. ÂÂ That's it. ÂÂ  

While I'll admit that, in some areas of praxis, there has been an accretion of pietistic folklore in my jurisdiction, I'll take that any day over a community where the sacrament is treated flippantly. ÂÂ

I might have reacted differently toward him if the situation in my parish was different.  But as I have said, my priest (who is a young guy) encourages more frequent reception.
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« Reply #31 on: April 10, 2006, 12:49:40 PM »

Elisha,

   To add to what SiviSokol said... it is a bit impractical, don't you think?  Clearly, the SOC does things differently.  Obviously, those parish priests are following instructions from their Bishops and so on and so forth.

    Who am I to tell my Bishop "he's doing it wrong"?  I'm trying to identify cognizable reasons for the difference and if none exist, I'll take it up with my parish priest.

    I was hoping to email (one of the few) English speaking Serbian priests I know with the question.  Hopefully he can shed some light.
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« Reply #32 on: April 10, 2006, 02:17:14 PM »

Serbs (hey, it's colllective),
Yes, I see your point, but we are not supposed to let ANYTHING scandalize us.  He would have seen large numbers of Communicants in most OCA or Antiochian parishes as well - but I suppose we're just all ecumenists so to speak  Wink.  As with many things, the answer is education.
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« Reply #33 on: April 10, 2006, 04:41:30 PM »

Anna,

 ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚ No, it certainly means the entire week.  I was hoping to get Serb1389 on here to explain (his father is a SOC Priest).  The example I used is a real event and the offense took place on a Tuesay during the Nativity Fast.

Before I start, I might just be being really thick here but it seems that maybe the priest only expected the person to fast the whole week because it was a fast week anyway for nativity. Therefore if it had been a normal week, the priest would only expect fasting on Wednesday and Friday.
I think a good point was also bought up about preparation the whole week being the important thing, not the fasting necessarily but being aware of how you're acting and keeping in mind that you're preparing to receive holy communion.
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« Reply #34 on: April 10, 2006, 04:58:24 PM »

I think a good point was also bought up about preparation the whole week being the important thing, not the fasting necessarily but being aware of how you're acting and keeping in mind that you're preparing to receive holy communion.

I guess that for those of us for whom weekly reception of Communion is the norm, the idea is that our conduct during the week should be BOTH a living out of the life given us in the previous Eucharist AND a preparation for the next Eucharist--in summary a Eucharistic lifestyle.
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