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A sensitive topic for new converts...

idahoon1

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[spoiler alert: it's one of those "ughhhhh!" topics, so if in doubts, skip reading...]

Here's a question I am too ashamed to ask my priest - because I have no idea how to ask without going into details... But here's the thing:

In Orthodox faith, nocturnal emissions are considered sinful - and one must abstain from the Holy Gifts the next day it happens.

But what in a situation when one can't really tell it happened or not? Male "landing gear" is built in such a way that sometimes is not 'entirely dry'...

Assuming there are no traces on the garments, no lustful thoughts/images/dreams the night before, no heavy drinking or similar - is it OK to receive the Holy Gifts or not?

And what if "the scope" of disaster is somehow limited or unnoticeable - not a "full-scale catastrophe"?

This is a serious question for me - as not being sure whether an accident happened - I skipped several liturgies.

I would be really grateful if a priest could answer this topic!

sorry, for sensitive matter - but I really can't imagine asking this question to anyone...
 
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I cannot say anything with authority although in the Antiochian Church we are all called to pray ( whether aloud, reading, or listening) the confession prayer of St. John Chrysostom before we receive the Holy Eucharist;



I believe and confess, Lord, that You are truly the Christ, the Son of the living God, Who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the first. I also believe that this is truly Your pure Body and that this is truly Your precious Blood. Therefore, I pray to You, have mercy upon me, and forgive my transgressions, voluntary and involuntary, in word and deed, in knowledge or in ignorance. And make me worthy, without condemnation, to partake of Your pure Mysteries for the remission of sins and for eternal life. Amen.



I think if a person is sincere in this, we should be ok but this is just an opinion on my part.
 

Dominika

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[spoiler alert: it's one of those "ughhhhh!" topics, so if in doubts, skip reading...]

Here's a question I am too ashamed to ask my priest - because I have no idea how to ask without going into details... But here's the thing:

In Orthodox faith, nocturnal emissions are considered sinful - and one must abstain from the Holy Gifts the next day it happens.

But what in a situation when one can't really tell it happened or not? Male "landing gear" is built in such a way that sometimes is not 'entirely dry'...

Assuming there are no traces on the garments, no lustful thoughts/images/dreams the night before, no heavy drinking or similar - is it OK to receive the Holy Gifts or not?

And what if "the scope" of disaster is somehow limited or unnoticeable - not a "full-scale catastrophe"?

This is a serious question for me - as not being sure whether an accident happened - I skipped several liturgies.

I would be really grateful if a priest could answer this topic!

sorry, for sensitive matter - but I really can't imagine asking this question to anyone...
I think your approach si too much scholastic/Latin - some traces, no traces, fullt races (sorry, taek it with a pinch of salt). It's nto abotu this. It's about your spriitual life, what you say if you have lsutufl thoguths or not, what's your spiritual condition. And in any case of doubt - ask your priest.
 

Stinky

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[spoiler alert: it's one of those "ughhhhh!" topics, so if in doubts, skip reading...]

Here's a question I am too ashamed to ask my priest - because I have no idea how to ask without going into details... But here's the thing:

In Orthodox faith, nocturnal emissions are considered sinful - and one must abstain from the Holy Gifts the next day it happens.

But what in a situation when one can't really tell it happened or not? Male "landing gear" is built in such a way that sometimes is not 'entirely dry'...

Assuming there are no traces on the garments, no lustful thoughts/images/dreams the night before, no heavy drinking or similar - is it OK to receive the Holy Gifts or not?

And what if "the scope" of disaster is somehow limited or unnoticeable - not a "full-scale catastrophe"?

This is a serious question for me - as not being sure whether an accident happened - I skipped several liturgies.

I would be really grateful if a priest could answer this topic!

sorry, for sensitive matter - but I really can't imagine asking this question to anyone...
Your priest is also a man and is subject to the same bodily functions and can answer you in grace and truth.
Bring this up at your next confession?
Its possible the forum here will bring up a variety of different ideas on the subject; yet your peace will be with your father confessor as he will know how to put your mind at rest. My priest helped me with my scrupulosity.
It was getting out of control at Roman Catholic "Scholastic/ Latin".
Orthodox wisdom brought peace and rest in many areas where I had suffered.
 

idahoon1

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It's true - Roman Church takes different approach towards involuntary or mental sins.

And Orthodox Church says "you are to abstain from Holy Mysteries on that day".

The question is: what to do when you're in doubts?

It's not always connected to one's spiritual condition, for example: one can live a decent life, attend the Vigil the night before, then pray in the evening, fast before Liturgy - and after waking up is not sure whether "something" happened or didn't happen.

And assuming there are no "proofs" of an accident - and someone decided to receive the Holy Communion. What to say during confession?

It's mega-embarrasing, and discussing it (in my opinion) is not good for both the priest and the confesing person...
 

Stinky

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I'm mortified and embarrassed at every confession. I haven't had a fun one yet going in.
 

Asteriktos

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The following is just my opinion... but I'm going to try and set your mind at ease, hopefully it comes out balanced.

St. Dionysius of Alexandria said:

As for those men who involuntarily become victims of nocturnal emission, let them too be guided by their own conscience as to whether to indulge or not, and decide for themselves, whether they have any doubt about this matter or not, as also in the case of foods, "he that hath any doubt is damned if he eat" (Rom. 14:23). And let everyone be conscientious in these matters, and outspoken, in accordance with his own inclination, when he approaches God.

-- Canon 4
St. Nikodemus of the Holy Mountain interprets this canon by saying:

In the present Canon the Saint is speaking about involuntary emission, or what is more commonly called a wet dream, which occurs during our sleep; and he says that all men who suffer this should make their own conscience the judge. For if the wet dream resulted without any obscene imagination and erotic thought, and furthermore without overeating and overdrinking, and instead nature alone did this of herself, as if it were a natural superfluity in the way of excrement, they are not prevented from coming to communion. But if it resulted from the causes above mentioned — that is to say, from imagination and erotic thought, or from excessive eating and excessive drinking, they ought to be forbidden communion, on the ground that they are not pure, not because of the emission itself of the semen (since this is not unclean, seeing that it is a natural product, precisely as neither the flesh is unclean in itself, of which the semen is an excretion), but because of the wicked contemplation and imagination which polluted the mind. Such men as these, then, are not conscientious, and accordingly they are not outspoken, owing to the wicked contemplation and imagination they give rein to. Hence both as doubters and as being convicted or reproved by their conscience, how can they approach God and the Mysteries? For if they approach while thus doubting, they are rather condemned, and not sanctified, just like one who is condemned for eating the common and unclean animals forbidden to Jews, if he doubts and hesitates about these, as the Apostle says.
St. Timothy of Alexandria (Q. 12) gives a similar answer. Also, both these are listed in Canon 2 of the Council of Trullo, which is generally accepted as a kind of extension of the 5th and 6th ecumenical councils... which sort of elevates these passages a bit above the standard 'advice from the Fathers.'

I take this all to mean, basically, that according to these Fathers, if the cause was lust or some similar sin then you should abstain from communion. And that if it was just a bodily function you should not let it keep you from communion, which is itself 'medicine.' The passage above mentions doubt and uncertainty as to what happened or what to do, something you also bring up. I think the thing here is not to compound problems. Don't let one issue snowball into causing you to miss the sacrament, miss liturgy, etc. If you feel awkward or unsure about talking specifics with a priest, perhaps at least mention in vague terms that you are having feelings of uncertainty or however you want to phrase it. This itself is a problem. Learn to trust in God that he forgives, that he is merciful when there was no overtly sinful intent on your part. Things become sinful when we, of our own free will, choose a bad action or thought; things aren't bad simply by popping into your mind momentarily or by causing some bodily activity.
 

Ariend

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My two cents:
One of the pre-Communion prayers says: "Have mercy on me, and forgive my transgressions, both voluntary and involuntary." I believe nocturnal emissions in general fall in the category of involuntary sins; while we do not control whether or not we sin in these scenarios, it is still a sign of how much our physical body is adjusted to sin. But God judges us based off of the decisions we make, and while we are sleeping we cannot make any decisions about what our body does. Therefore, I would say that nocturnal emissions are not a reason to abstain from Holy Communion, as it is an involuntary decision your body makes, not you. However, this involuntary condition can be fought against through prayer and fasting, and by not following your passions while awake.
And be patient with yourself.

Edit: Many men go through this, and your priest is a man, so I am sure he can give advice as well, probably better than someone on an online forum can. Don't be afraid to talk to him
 

idahoon1

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ok, consciousness - but what if the evil one puts that thought in our head to discourage us from the Chalice?

And ultimately - it is us who need to decide bravely whether to go or not.

But what if we failed and made the wrong decision? Will we be automatically damned and sickness and misfortune falls on us because we are impure?

I can't really comprehend it as Christ did not stay away from sinners, from the sick, unworthy, etc.
 

Dominika

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I talk with my priest about the topic of menstruation and Communion, when to - partake, when to abstain in such sate, depdnign on my spirutal condition and other circumstances.
Maybe it's strange and personal, but in the end, it's human. And since he is married, he knows such things.

Internet fora and quantitiy of traces or tarhet focuing on it won't help you.
 

Stinky

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I want to share something my Father confessor told me when I asked him about my sins and approaching the Holy Eucharist. I was paralyzed with scrupulosity and was staying home😭. This helped me a lot.

"It can be good to be aware of our sins, so that we can confess them and leave them in the merciful arms of God. But, too great an obsession about our sins can lead into dangerous territory. Our enemy the devil would like us to get stuck in our guilt, so as to despair of ever knowing the forgiveness of our merciful Saviour.
Remember that the last thing the priest says in confession is 'and now having no further care for the sins you have confessed, depart in peace.' They are gone. You are free and clear. We may revisit some of those sins, or suffer from new ones, but each time we fall down, we must get back up, by the all abundant love and mercy of God.
As for when we should refrain from receiving Holy Communion, some sins are actions: ' I did this.' These we confess and receive any advice the priest may have for us. Other sins are more like character: ' This is who I am.' These take more time. They are part of our personality, in our fallenness, which God wants to transform. Here the grace of God meets our desire to be transformed, and the life in the church, and the guidance of our spiritual father guide us over time.
Serious sinful actions should be confessed whenever possible. But the day to day struggles with our fallenness may not need to keep us from Communion, as long as we are aware that God is love, and His healing presence in the Sacraments is real and effective for our salvation. Communion is not a reward for sinlessness, but medicine of immortality."
Fr. I. G. in answer to scrupulosity.

I hope this can help you.
 

Shanghaiski

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This is really something you should discuss with your priest/confessor. But, so far as the Church goes, the Book of Needs prescribes prayers to be read which, thereupon, one may commune. And, if it came about due to indulgence in some other sin like drunkenness, it recommends to abstain from communion and seek the counsel of a spiritual father. You can get the book "Prayers for Purity" from Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Brookline, Massachusetts, which is an excerpt of the relevant prayers from the Book of Needs.
 

David Garner

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I'm mortified and embarrassed at every confession. I haven't had a fun one yet going in.
+1

I hate confessing, but I'm happy afterwards.
Yes, if you find confession itself to be pleasant, you're probably doing it wrong.

If you find absolution to be unpleasant, you're also probably doing confession wrong.

We confess our sins. We don't pretty them up or pretend they aren't as bad as they are. Nor do we pretend they are too small to bother with. Every sin should terrify us, hence the joy of absolution.
 

Fr. George

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I'll echo a few of the above - get the advice from your confessor directly.
 

hurrrah

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Shower - prayers from desecration - confession - get out of your head.
 

hurrrah

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I talk with my priest about the topic of menstruation and Communion, when to - partake, when to abstain in such sate
He didn't tell you "every time"?
 
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