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Life Confession

Bizzlebin

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As stated in the prayer forum, I am getting baptized and chrismated Saturday, and therefore I need to do a life confession. I recall a thread on this before, but I simply cannot find it after searching! I also tried Google, and got nothing. So, can someone please provide resources and/or an outline for life confession? Thanks greatly!
 

TomS

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Bizzlebin said:
As stated in the prayer forum, I am getting baptized and chrismated Saturday, and therefore I need to do a life confession.
Wasn't this covered by your Priest?
 

Bizzlebin

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TomS said:
Wasn't this covered by your Priest?
He gave me some materials, but not an outline. I just don't want to miss anything  :-\
 

TomS

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Bizzlebin said:
He gave me some materials, but not an outline. I just don't want to miss anything :-\
Well, I can only tell you what my Priest (GOA) told me. That since I was not Orthodox before, that I needed only to do a general confession for a past sinfull life. I did not have to confess to specific sins unless I felt that they were over and above general sins.
 

Elisha

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TomS said:
Well, I can only tell you what my Priest (GOA) told me. That since I was not Orthodox before, that I needed only to do a general confession for a past sinfull life. I did not have to confess to specific sins unless I felt that they were over and above general sins.
Have you actually confessed more specific sins recently?  If not, you are missing out on a big spiritual benefit .
 

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There is no outline.

Priests will do it differently. My priest uses the 10 commandments. He asks catechumens to prepare by going through them and deciding if they have broken them, how, and if there are any big weighing instances of sin that still haunts one years later, to confess it specifically.  In the confession, he goes through them, asks you if you have broken them, lets you confess whatever you remember that drags you down, probably counsels you a bit if there is real need, and that's it.
 

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Oh I was told something quite different from Tom.  I was told to confess everything I could remember.  I prepared for it by going through the 10 commandments and listing the ways in which I had broken each one.  Though of course, in doing that, you understand each commandment in a very broad, inclusive way, so for example, under "Thou shalt not kill", you're not off the hook if you've just never killed someone.  You must confess things like anger and gossip under that.  Then I also used the 8 virtues and vices, and looked for ways that I had failed to live up to the virtues/committed the vices.  It took a couple of days to get it all ready.  Good luck, and glory to God for your being joined to His body!

Oh, though it is true that it is not a sacramental confession, and so officially, you could leave things out and it would techincally be fine.  But as Elisha said, you lose a lot of spiritual benefits if you do that.  However, don't get overly legalistic, and just remember that all your sins will be forgiven in your baptism, whether you could remember to confess them or not. ÂÂ

And another warning: DON'T read the headings from the 10 commandments.  It can lead to *misunderstandings*, like I said "murder", as a heading since it is one of the 10 commandments, and the priest freaked out and thought I had killed someone, lol. 
 

Bizzlebin

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Thanks a lot for all the replies, I think I'll survive :p

zebu said:
Oh, though it is true that it is not a sacramental confession, and so officially, you could leave things out and it would techincally be fine.  But as Elisha said, you lose a lot of spiritual benefits if you do that.  However, don't get overly legalistic, and just remember that all your sins will be forgiven in your baptism, whether you could remember to confess them or not.
I have heard that if you forget to confess something at one confession, you should bring it up at the next. Is this also true for confessions after baptism, or is everything from before the life confession, even what is forgotten, "closed?"
 

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What i was able to do with my Priest after baptismal was write a list of all the sins i could 'remember', and present them on the confession so i didn't forget them.
Perhaps you can ask your Priest if that's okay for you to do, if you wanted?

If you forgot something, don't worry too much. But if you do remember it, perhaps you may want to repent it on your next confession.

And remember, The Lord is merciful, he won't damn you forever if you forget little things by accident.

Furthermore, i wanted to congratulate you on your Baptismal!
 

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My understanding is that the purpose of the Life confession is to let the adult convert feel the relief from his sins that psychologically bind him to the past and gain the full effect of being "born again" without sin. My priest advised me when I came into the church to only worry if old sins returned by action, thought, word, or deed---then I would need confession and pastoral counseling.

In Christ,
Thomas
 

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After you are baptized, you don't need to confess anything from before your baptism. Baptism cleanses us of ALL of our sins.  Though if you do something after your baptism, go to confession and forget to confess it, then remember it later, then yes, you should confess that.  Everything was forgiven in the baptism, and not at all because of the pre-baptismal life confession.  In fact, the life-confession which precedes baptism is technically not required and is not in the rubrics.  It just helps so the priest knows where you are coming from spiritually, and also baptism is about repentence(and rebirth, obviously), so confessing everything is just a bigger part of that repentance.  So if it was a sin you couldn't remember the first time around in the life-confession, it probably isn't a big enough problem to bring it up again. Unless you commit the sin again, of course.  Hope my rambling helped. 
 

Tsarina

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zebu said:
After you are baptized, you don't need to confess anything from before your baptism. Baptism cleanses us of ALL of our sins.  Though if you do something after your baptism, go to confession and forget to confess it, then remember it later, then yes, you should confess that.  Everything was forgiven in the baptism, and not at all because of the pre-baptismal life confession.  In fact, the life-confession which precedes baptism is technically not required and is not in the rubrics.  It just helps so the priest knows where you are coming from spiritually, and also baptism is about repentence(and rebirth, obviously), so confessing everything is just a bigger part of that repentance.  So if it was a sin you couldn't remember the first time around in the life-confession, it probably isn't a big enough problem to bring it up again. Unless you commit the sin again, of course.  Hope my rambling helped. 
Yes, this is true... and that's why my Priest told me i didn't have to do a life confession after my Baptismal.
 

PeterTheAleut

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Bizzlebin said:
I have heard that if you forget to confess something at one confession, you should bring it up at the next.
I've read Fr. Thomas Hopko's pamphlet on Confession and in this pamphlet his counsel against being overscrupulous to the point of making even scrupulosity a passion.  I think what he said is that if you innocently forget to confess a minor sin that the prayers for absolution cover even this and that you don't have to bring the forgotten sin to a later confession.  However, if you knowingly refuse to confess a sin, then you must bring this unconfessed sin to a later Confession, together with the sin of deliberately concealing a sin in Confession.

I would advise you, however, to not rely on Fr. Hopko's counsels as your authoritative guide, as good and Orthodox as his guidance may be.  You really should ask your priest what he wants you to do and obey this instead.
 

serb1389

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You also have to be careful not to play with the Holy Spirit.  There is the prayer of absolution which cleanses you of all things said and UNSAID.  So if you forget something, the HS will take care of it.  Talk to your priest about it, but maybe going to confession for a sin which has technically been wiped away already may be too much....just a thought...

It is really up to your priest...
 
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