• For users new and old: the forum rules were streamlined when we transitioned to the new software. Please ensure that you are familiar with them. Continued use of the forum means that you (a) know the rules, and (b) pledge that you'll abide by them. For more information, check out the OrthodoxChristianity.Net Rules section. (There are only 2 threads there - Rules, and Administrative Structure.)

Sin, confession, and preparation for Communion

Melodist

Archon
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Messages
2,523
Reaction score
0
Points
36
Age
39
Orthodoxy does not have "mortal" and "venial" distinctions of sin. On a theological level, all sin is sin and leads to death no matter what it is (wether voluntary or involuntary committed in knowledge or ignorance). On a practical level, not every sin needs to be confessed immediately before receiving communion, but some sins can require confession (or even some sort of pennance in addition to confession) in order to be properly prepared to receive Communion.

What is it that would prevent one from coming to Communion?

Is it a matter of gravity of the act itself? Is it a matter of the disposition of one's heart during the act? Is it a matter of struggling in repentance of the act vs self justification or possibly acknowledging a sin to be objectively sin but refusing to even change their mind on how they should conduct themselves?

Just a reminder, this is on the faith issues section, if anyone would like to compare this with the RC distinction of mortal/venial sins, please do that in the Orthodox/Catholic forum. It might make an interesting discussion and I don't want to discourage such discussion, but please not here.
 

Luke

Taxiarches
Joined
Dec 5, 2008
Messages
7,369
Reaction score
137
Points
63
I remember the middle of last Autumn that I was bothered by something which I allowed to happen.  Enough so that I did not take the Eucharst during a Liturgy, and then went to confession on Wednesday when we usually have it, and only then did I take the Eucharist the next weekend.
 

John Ward

Sr. Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2010
Messages
217
Reaction score
0
Points
0
The way it has always been for me is how what I've done affected me. Yes, all sin leads to death, but individual sins can affect us differently (i.e. lying vs adultery). Since Confession is meant to help us heal and especially when we struggle with certain things more than others.

I don't know if this is right or wrong, but that's the way I've always thought of it. I think Gamliel makes an excellent point, too. There are times we do something that we know we should see a priest for before we do anything else due to the way it affects us.
 

joasia

Sr. Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2005
Messages
224
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Montreal, Qc
No one is allowed to go to Holy Communion without confessing.  Therefore, all that you can think of to confess should be confessed.  There is no such thing as some sins not needed to confess.  I don't know where you get that idea from.  We are standing before God.  That's why it's important to watch over ourselves and make notes of everything we see as being sinful.  Of course, we don't realize that there are many other sins that we don't recognize and that's why when the priest absolves us in Holy Cofession, he mentions the sins voluntary and involuntary, known and unknown.  And let's say we forget something and later remember, well, that's been covered.  The importance of confession is to recognize what we need to change in ourselves. 

It's up to the priest to decide what would keep us from going to Holy Communion.  But, it doesn't take away the fact that our sins are still absolved in the Sacrament of Confession.  You can also decide to just go to confession on several occasions without going to Holy Communion.  If you have a priest that can make the time for that, it's a good way of dealing with alot of issues.

Of course, it's best to rectify a situation with someone before going to Holy Communion.  And yes, a person's disposition approaching confession should be one of regret for one's actions, words or thoughts.  There is no place for self-justification.  Maybe these are things the priest looks at to make his decision.
 

PeterTheAleut

Hypatos
Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 8, 2006
Messages
37,280
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
49
Location
Portland, Oregon
joasia said:
No one is allowed to go to Holy Communion without confessing.
That may be the case in your church, but the requirement that one MUST go to Confession before every receipt of Holy Communion certainly isn't universal Orthodox practice, as has been discussed elsewhere on this forum. Now, if you're talking about the life confession before baptism/chrismation, then you may be correct that no one is allowed to go to Holy Communion without confessing.
 

FatherHLL

Archon
Joined
Sep 18, 2008
Messages
2,680
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Melodist said:
Orthodoxy does not have "mortal" and "venial" distinctions of sin. On a theological level, all sin is sin and leads to death no matter what it is (wether voluntary or involuntary committed in knowledge or ignorance). On a practical level, not every sin needs to be confessed immediately before receiving communion, but some sins can require confession (or even some sort of pennance in addition to confession) in order to be properly prepared to receive Communion.

What is it that would prevent one from coming to Communion?

Is it a matter of gravity of the act itself? Is it a matter of the disposition of one's heart during the act? Is it a matter of struggling in repentance of the act vs self justification or possibly acknowledging a sin to be objectively sin but refusing to even change their mind on how they should conduct themselves?

Just a reminder, this is on the faith issues section, if anyone would like to compare this with the RC distinction of mortal/venial sins, please do that in the Orthodox/Catholic forum. It might make an interesting discussion and I don't want to discourage such discussion, but please not here.
This is more of a "contemporary Orthodoxy" than actual Orthodoxy.  St. Nikodemos identifies seven levels of sin found in the Orthodox Fathers, from the pardonable to the mortal.   
 

joasia

Sr. Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2005
Messages
224
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Montreal, Qc
PeterTheAleut said:
joasia said:
No one is allowed to go to Holy Communion without confessing.
That may be the case in your church, but the requirement that one MUST go to Confession before every receipt of Holy Communion certainly isn't universal Orthodox practice, as has been discussed elsewhere on this forum. Now, if you're talking about the life confession before baptism/chrismation, then you may be correct that no one is allowed to go to Holy Communion without confessing.
Say what?  Are you serious?  Since when is it not necessary?  How do you expect to be prepared to receive Christ's Body and Blood if you haven't been absolved of your sins in Holy Confession?  And for that matter, why is there a HOLY CONFESSION as one of the HOly Sacraments if people are going to ignore it??    But, since Holy Baptism is elimated then why not eliminate Holy Confession, right?  This is ridiculous.
 

John Ward

Sr. Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2010
Messages
217
Reaction score
0
Points
0
joasia said:
PeterTheAleut said:
joasia said:
No one is allowed to go to Holy Communion without confessing.
That may be the case in your church, but the requirement that one MUST go to Confession before every receipt of Holy Communion certainly isn't universal Orthodox practice, as has been discussed elsewhere on this forum. Now, if you're talking about the life confession before baptism/chrismation, then you may be correct that no one is allowed to go to Holy Communion without confessing.
Say what?  Are you serious?  Since when is it not necessary?  How do you expect to be prepared to receive Christ's Body and Blood if you haven't been absolved of your sins in Holy Confession?  And for that matter, why is there a HOLY CONFESSION as one of the HOly Sacraments if people are going to ignore it??    But, since Holy Baptism is elimated then why not eliminate Holy Confession, right?  This is ridiculous.
No one said to ignore Holy Confession. But, if you're going to say that you have to be absolved of all sins right before taking Communion, what about the time period between when I went to Confession and took Communion? How many sins have I committed? I read something about this a while back. I don't even know if I can find it, but I recall how the idea of Confession before every Communion came much later. It discussed how it belittled, in a way, Communion where the priests says "for the remission of sins." The idea of Confession before each Communion came into play when infrequent Communion became the norm. Then, people were only going to Communion once or twice a year.

The idea of Confession before every Communion is not set in stone and is not required universally. Your spiritual father gets to make that decision. This I do know. I lived in a monastery for a time and have been to monasteries in Russia, Greece and on Athos. I have never been told I have to go to Confession before each Communion, even on Athos. They just asked if I had a spiritual father and if I regularly confessed.

Confession is for our benefit and to help us. I ask you a couple questions...if Confession is the only way God forgives sins, then why does the priest, in referencing Communion, say "for the remission of sins" and why, in our daily prayers, do we ask forgiveness if it doesn't matter?

And the above comments are right, it is not necessary universally. Each person's spiritual father has that decision.
 

PeterTheAleut

Hypatos
Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 8, 2006
Messages
37,280
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
49
Location
Portland, Oregon
joasia said:
PeterTheAleut said:
joasia said:
No one is allowed to go to Holy Communion without confessing.
That may be the case in your church, but the requirement that one MUST go to Confession before every receipt of Holy Communion certainly isn't universal Orthodox practice, as has been discussed elsewhere on this forum. Now, if you're talking about the life confession before baptism/chrismation, then you may be correct that no one is allowed to go to Holy Communion without confessing.
Say what?  Are you serious?  Since when is it not necessary?
1.  How many churches have you attended?
2.  Why would you expect a local or regional practice to be normative for all Orthodox Christians everywhere?
3.  Are you not familiar with the development of the practice of Confession before every Communion? This thread may be a good primer for you: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,8590.0.html

joasia said:
How do you expect to be prepared to receive Christ's Body and Blood if you haven't been absolved of your sins in Holy Confession?
Does Confession magically make one worthy to receive Communion? Does absolution grant the penitent a "go to Communion free" card?

joasia said:
And for that matter, why is there a HOLY CONFESSION as one of the HOly Sacraments if people are going to ignore it??
Do those who go to Confession frequently ignore the sacrament simply because they're not required to go every time they intend to receive Communion?

joasia said:
But, since Holy Baptism is elimated then why not eliminate Holy Confession, right?  This is ridiculous.
Baptism has never been eliminated from the Church, and neither will Confession, so you've no need to adopt this Chicken Little attitude of yours.
 

genesisone

Archon
Joined
Aug 20, 2005
Messages
2,906
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
68
Location
Niagara Region, Ontario
John Ward said:
what about the time period between when I went to Confession and took Communion? How many sins have I committed?
Very true. Even this from the Prayers before Communion: "I stand before the gates of thy Temple, and yet I refrain not from my evil thoughts."
 

joasia

Sr. Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2005
Messages
224
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Montreal, Qc
Holy Confession is the prescription and Holy Communion is the medicine.  If people can't get the medication without the prescription, from a doctor, then on the spiritual level, it should be much more significant.  I disagree with you on all aspects of your arguement.  You can't ignore God on one Holy Sacrament and receive the other.  It is a necessity in our times.  

Even if you go for Holy Communion once a month...you think that your last confession is enough?  And what's this idea about if a person considers whether to go or not, to confession before Holy Communion.  So now it's left up to personal decision to assess whether we can approach the Holy Chalice with fear and trembling?  And how does the priest approach this?  He's giving the Body and Blood of Christ to a person that he has no idea what's going on with him because he confessed, let's say 3 months ago, but the person decided that he can approach the Holy Chalice.  This is a grave issue.
 

PeterTheAleut

Hypatos
Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 8, 2006
Messages
37,280
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
49
Location
Portland, Oregon
joasia said:
Holy Confession is the prescription and Holy Communion is the medicine.  If people can't get the medication without the prescription, from a doctor, then on the spiritual level, it should be much more significant.  I disagree with you on all aspects of your arguement.  You can't ignore God on one Holy Sacrament and receive the other.  It is a necessity in our times.  
But no one is ignoring Confession simply because they don't follow the rule you know. Please don't extrapolate from your extremely limited experience.
 

joasia

Sr. Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2005
Messages
224
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Montreal, Qc
PeterTheAleut said:
joasia said:
Holy Confession is the prescription and Holy Communion is the medicine.  If people can't get the medication without the prescription, from a doctor, then on the spiritual level, it should be much more significant.  I disagree with you on all aspects of your arguement.  You can't ignore God on one Holy Sacrament and receive the other.  It is a necessity in our times.  
But no one is ignoring Confession simply because they don't follow the rule you know. Please don't extrapolate from your extremely limited experience.
But, you just said that it isn't necessary to go for Confession.  So, of course a person will feel more comfortable not to confess if they can just go to the Holy Chalice.  And why do people think that they can do that?  Are they at peace with their conscience?  I admit, I don't have experience in the OCA or GOA.  But, it still doesn't prove to me that it's right to bypass Holy Confession.  I guess that's the difference.
 

John Ward

Sr. Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2010
Messages
217
Reaction score
0
Points
0
joasia said:
Holy Confession is the prescription and Holy Communion is the medicine.  If people can't get the medication without the prescription, from a doctor, then on the spiritual level, it should be much more significant.  I disagree with you on all aspects of your arguement.  You can't ignore God on one Holy Sacrament and receive the other.  It is a necessity in our times.  
Hmmm...I know my prescriptions come with refills.


In all seriousness, nobody is saying that Holy Confession shouldn't be done. What we're saying is that not every spiritual father requires Confession every time you take Communion. I noticed you didn't answer my questions. The two are not dependent on each other. They are both mysteries and both needed for our spiritual life, but it is not some sort of path that you cannot do x if you didn't do y. There's no ticket that you need to get, beyond what your spiritual father says.

http://www.orthodox.net/articles/confession-and-communion.html

It makes the same point that I did earlier, that, by saying you must do y to get x, you undermine the mysteries by saying that you have to do one or the other, first. Regular Confession is needed, but not for the reason you are saying. Confession allows us to talk to the our spiritual father, speak on several topics that we are struggling with and get his advice, as well as being absolved. But, at the same time I believe that when I pray my daily prayers and ask God to forgive me that He does it.

The point being made is just because you don't take Communion without Confession does not mean that it is always required by everyone. But, this is one of those cases where "one size fits all" does not come into play.
 

joasia

Sr. Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2005
Messages
224
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Montreal, Qc
Holy Confession is necessary to be prepared for Holy Communion.  What happens between that time should be limited.  That's why it's better to confess during Vespers, go home, say the prayers and wake up in the morning.  It's a spiritual athletic endeavor.  It's a focus of discipline.  It's the determination to re-adjust our lives on the straight and narrow path.  It is a benefit for our spiritual path to God.  I don't see how one undermines the other.  They are a compliment to each other.  We can ask God to forgive us and He will, but will it be erased?  What's the point of Holy Confession if I can just ask God to forgive me and my sin is erased?
 

John Ward

Sr. Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2010
Messages
217
Reaction score
0
Points
0
joasia said:
Holy Confession is necessary to be prepared for Holy Communion.  What happens between that time should be limited.  That's why it's better to confess during Vespers, go home, say the prayers and wake up in the morning.  It's a spiritual athletic endeavor.  It's a focus of discipline.  It's the determination to re-adjust our lives on the straight and narrow path.  It is a benefit for our spiritual path to God.   I don't see how one undermines the other.  They are a compliment to each other.  We can ask God to forgive us and He will, but will it be erased?  What's the point of Holy Confession if I can just ask God to forgive me and my sin is erased?
Out of curiosity, are you reading what is being written or only latching on to a couple words and then running with it?

The reason I ask is because you seem to be convinced that we're against Holy Confession when that's not the case. I already answered the questions you've asked.

And, once again, you cannot sit here and say that one *must* do it since each spiritual father has that job. I've given you a link. I went through this issue years ago as I was trying to learn the "right" way to do this. What I discovered was yes and no, depending on your spiritual father. But, what I did learn was that the widespread idea of Confession right before Communion every time you take Communion is, by Orthodoxy's standards, a "modern" innovation. It only came into widespread use a couple centuries ago. Before then, it was unheard of. Communion was expected very frequently but Confession was seen as something independent (like in the link I posted).

Finally, please get it out of your head that we are saying that Confession is not needed, at all. That's not what we said. Oh, as for the whole forgiveness/erased. I truly believe that when I ask forgiveness, if I am truly sorry, God gets rid of that sin. As far as the east is from the west, as the Psalmist says. Do I mention it again in Confession? Yes, if I remember it. Not because I don't believe it's erased, but so that the priest can help me. The point of Confession is to tell your doctor what's wrong so he can help you.
 

Alveus Lacuna

Taxiarches
Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
7,416
Reaction score
5
Points
0
Location
Missouri, USA
joasia said:
Say what?  Are you serious?  Since when is it not necessary?  How do you expect to be prepared to receive Christ's Body and Blood if you haven't been absolved of your sins in Holy Confession?  And for that matter, why is there a HOLY CONFESSION as one of the HOly Sacraments if people are going to ignore it??    But, since Holy Baptism is elimated then why not eliminate Holy Confession, right?  This is ridiculous.
Stop being so dramatic. Nobody is saying that confession is not necessary. The frequency of confession is what varies. For example, if I were to receive more than once in a week because of some feast day, then my spiritual father does not require confession before every single reception if there is not some sin of great gravity that has occurred since then that would keep me from approaching. If I am traveling and am going to receive the Mysteries in another church, my spiritual father also has told me it is not necessary to confess to another priest unless there is something troubled in my soul that is holding me back.

For some, weekly confession is not required for less serious sins like losing one's temper with a spouse, but is required for serious sins that endanger the soul because they sin against the body itself (such as lustful passions or gluttony, etc.). I personally find these kinds of designations between mortal and venial sins to be quite helpful, and they are in no way foreign to Orthodox tradition, as others have noted in this thread.
 
Joined
Sep 26, 2003
Messages
342
Reaction score
0
Points
0
This - written by Fr. Alexander Schmemann in the early 1970s - is still reflective of what seems to be standard OCA practice.

http://www.oca.org/DOCencyclical.asp?SID=12&ID=3

For Antiochian parishes, at least those with a fair number of converts, it seems to be the same. When it comes to Antiochians born in the Middle East, not sure.

Antiochians/OCA - some priests require the same *minimum* frequency of Confession for everyone - once a month, or perhaps once a quarter, which works out to every fasting season. Of course, you can go more often if you want to. For other parishes, you work it out with the priest.

I don't know about GOA.

Piggy backing on what Alveus mentioned about when traveling and visiting another parish - whenever I'm going to be traveling I always make sure to go to Confession the Saturday before I leave on my trip. That way if the priest does ask (never has, since I've only visited OCA parishes in my diocese whose priests know my priest well), I can tell him I've gone to Confession within the past week.
 

katherine2001

High Elder
Joined
May 30, 2003
Messages
895
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
64
Location
Montana
When I am traveling, I contact the priest of the parish that I will be attending ahead of time and ask him what his policy is.  If he requires confession before receiving Communion, then I will be going to confession with the priest.  The priest of that parish controls the chalice.  If I am in his parish, I must follow his rules.  I have been taught this by every priest I've had.  That is why it is important to let the priest of the parish I intend to visit know ahead of time that I will be visiting and that I wish to receive.  This way, he knows that I will be there (and I usually introduce myself to him at vespers the night before) and I know what his requirements for receiving are. 
 

ozgeorge

Hoplitarches
Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 2, 2004
Messages
16,379
Reaction score
2
Points
0
Age
54
Location
Australia
Website
www.greekorthodox.org.au
katherine 2001 said:
When I am traveling, I contact the priest of the parish that I will be attending ahead of time and ask him what his policy is.  If he requires confession before receiving Communion, then I will be going to confession with the priest.  The priest of that parish controls the chalice.  If I am in his parish, I must follow his rules.  I have been taught this by every priest I've had.  That is why it is important to let the priest of the parish I intend to visit know ahead of time that I will be visiting and that I wish to receive.  This way, he knows that I will be there (and I usually introduce myself to him at vespers the night before) and I know what his requirements for receiving are. 
An excellent practice!
 

FatherHLL

Archon
Joined
Sep 18, 2008
Messages
2,680
Reaction score
0
Points
0
 Confession serves several functions.   We commonly know it today for its function of being spiritual deliberation and an aid to repentence.   It is not only reconciliatory but also preventative, keeping lesser sins from growing into greater sins by periodically subjecting ourselves to evaluation not only ourselves, but to another, the father confessor.  
     But to answer the question of the op, what prevents us from coming to communion, the canons and the fathers make this rather clear, that mortal sin is precisely mortal because the very act cuts us off from the communion of the Church and requires penitential reconciliation in the full Mystery of Repentence.  The sins that are "pardonable" according to St. Nikodemos, are not “unto death,” that is, they do not remove one from the sacramental life of the church, and are taken care of through simple repentance and the daily prayer life of the Church.   However, if there is tendency toward escalation, that is why it is good for us to periodically take confession even for preventative (spiritually medicinal) purposes.  This is the same reason why you go to the doctor for checkups or the dentist for a cleaning periodically, even when there are no major apparent issues.   In other words, using the language of the canons, one is not removed from being among the communing "faithful" (who is in communion and can take communion) to being a "penitent" (one who is removed from communion for a time) for pardonable sins provided they are daily repented of.  As Bishop Jerome of ROCOR has pointed out many times when he was a priest, the Liturgy itself is the primary preparation for Communion for those who remain, not "penitents," but the communing faithful. 
 
 

Melodist

Archon
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Messages
2,523
Reaction score
0
Points
36
Age
39
PeterTheAleut said:
joasia said:
No one is allowed to go to Holy Communion without confessing.
That may be the case in your church, but the requirement that one MUST go to Confession before every receipt of Holy Communion certainly isn't universal Orthodox practice, as has been discussed elsewhere on this forum. Now, if you're talking about the life confession before baptism/chrismation, then you may be correct that no one is allowed to go to Holy Communion without confessing.
This is what I am referring to. Not every church requires a confession every single time you receive Communion, so what would be some general guidelines on discerning the nature of what needs to be immediately confessed and what is still important (all sin is important) but not of immediate importance?

I'm not suggesting in any way shape or form that any known sins should be omitted when in confession.
 

Melodist

Archon
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Messages
2,523
Reaction score
0
Points
36
Age
39
joasia said:
And what's this idea about if a person considers whether to go or not, to confession before Holy Communion.  So now it's left up to personal decision to assess whether we can approach the Holy Chalice with fear and trembling?
If it were "left up to the individual", then this discussion would not be taking place. The whole point is finding an external reference to the individual on which to base their discernment. You don't go to the emergancy room for cancer, and you don't call to set up a scheduled appointment with a specialist if you've just broken your arm. Both are serious, but require different methods of treatment.
 

Melodist

Archon
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Messages
2,523
Reaction score
0
Points
36
Age
39
genesisone said:
John Ward said:
what about the time period between when I went to Confession and took Communion? How many sins have I committed?
Very true. Even this from the Prayers before Communion: "I stand before the gates of thy Temple, and yet I refrain not from my evil thoughts."
Thank you. This is just one of many examples throughout the pre-Communion prayers in which we acknowledge a current and not past sinful state in which we ask pardon, forgiveness, and not to be burnt.

"I know, O Lord, that I partake of Thy immaculate Body and precious Blood unworthily, and that I am guilty, and eat and drink judgment to myself by not discerning the Body and Blood of Thee my Christ and God."

"I am not worthy, O Lord and Master, that Thou shouldest enter under the roof of my soul; but since Thou in Thy love for men dost will to dwell in me, I take courage and approach. Thou commandest: I will open wide the doors which Thou alone didst create, that Thou mayest enter with love as is Thy nature, enter and enlighten my darkened thought."

"Lord Jesus Christ my God, remit, forgive, absolve and pardon the sins, offences and transgressions which I, Thy sinful, useless and unworthy servant have committed from my youth, up to the present day and hour, whether with knowledge or in ignorance, whether by words or deeds or intentions or thoughts, and whether by habit or through any of my senses. And through the intercession of her who conceived Thee without seed, the immaculate and ever-virgin Mary Thy Mother, my only sure hope and protection and salvation, make me worthy without condemnation to receive Thy pure, immortal, life-giving and dread Mysteries, for forgiveness of sins and for eternal life, for sanctification and enlightenment and strength and healing and health of soul and body, and for the blotting out and complete destruction of my evil reasonings and intentions and prejudices and nocturnal fantasies of dark evil spirits. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory and the honour and the worship, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen."

"how shall I who am unworthy enter? For if I dare to enter the bridechamber, my vesture betrays me, for it is not a wedding garment, and as a prisoner I shall be cast out by the Angels. Cleanse my soul from pollution and save me, O Lord, in Thy love for men. "
 
Joined
Sep 26, 2003
Messages
342
Reaction score
0
Points
0
ozgeorge said:
katherine 2001 said:
When I am traveling, I contact the priest of the parish that I will be attending ahead of time and ask him what his policy is.  If he requires confession before receiving Communion, then I will be going to confession with the priest.  The priest of that parish controls the chalice.  If I am in his parish, I must follow his rules.  I have been taught this by every priest I've had.  That is why it is important to let the priest of the parish I intend to visit know ahead of time that I will be visiting and that I wish to receive.  This way, he knows that I will be there (and I usually introduce myself to him at vespers the night before) and I know what his requirements for receiving are. 
An excellent practice!
My priest is very emphatic about this. I'm going to be two states away this weekend, visiting friends who attend another parish in my diocese. I emailed their priest late last week. It helped that I had met him several months ago at our new bishop's consecration and that he remembered me. :D
 

Melodist

Archon
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Messages
2,523
Reaction score
0
Points
36
Age
39
joasia said:
Holy Confession is necessary to be prepared for Holy Communion.  What happens between that time should be limited.  That's why it's better to confess during Vespers, go home, say the prayers and wake up in the morning.  It's a spiritual athletic endeavor.  It's a focus of discipline.  It's the determination to re-adjust our lives on the straight and narrow path.  It is a benefit for our spiritual path to God.   I don't see how one undermines the other.  They are a compliment to each other.  We can ask God to forgive us and He will, but will it be erased?  What's the point of Holy Confession if I can just ask God to forgive me and my sin is erased?
Perhaps everyone should not ask God for forgiveness of their sins in their private prayer and give their confession as the priest says the words "the servant of God, (whoever), receives... for the remission of his sins and unto unto life everlasting" just to make sure that person has no opportunity to sin between confession and Communion.

I'm sure if that were the case I would probably still find a way to do so.
 

Melodist

Archon
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Messages
2,523
Reaction score
0
Points
36
Age
39
FatherHLL said:
St. Nikodemos identifies seven levels of sin found in the Orthodox Fathers, from the pardonable to the mortal.
Coulod you please provide a link to somewhere with more information on this. I did a search and couldn't anyting on the seven levels of sin or the practical application of how we are to view each level.
 

Irish Hermit

Merarches
Joined
Oct 11, 2003
Messages
10,980
Reaction score
3
Points
0
Location
Middle Earth
Melodist said:
TheodoraElizabeth3 said:
This - written by Fr. Alexander Schmemann in the early 1970s - is still reflective of what seems to be standard OCA practice.

http://www.oca.org/DOCencyclical.asp?SID=12&ID=3
Thank you for posting this. I haven't read through it all the way yet but expect it to be helpful.
Fr Schmemann had strict rules regarding the linkage between receiving Holy Communion and going to Confession.

1... Father Schmemann required that Christians receiving Holy Communion less than once in a month must go to Confession before *every* Communion.

2... Fr Schmemann laid down that if the parish priest allows a person to commune once a month or twice a month, that such a person must use the sacrament of Confession no less than once a month.

Please see msg 104
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,8590.msg548017.html#msg548017
 

pasadi97

OC.Net Guru
Joined
May 8, 2011
Messages
1,110
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Ask the priest how often you should confess to take Holy Communion . Then follow the rule. We do sin every day and you can sin between confession and taking Holy Communion so in the end, ask the priest. It is good to commune as often as possible. Also ask Jesus to help so you can take Holy Communion in a worthy manner through prayer.

Melodist said:
Orthodoxy does not have "mortal" and "venial" distinctions of sin. On a theological level, all sin is sin and leads to death no matter what it is (wether voluntary or involuntary committed in knowledge or ignorance). On a practical level, not every sin needs to be confessed immediately before receiving communion, but some sins can require confession (or even some sort of pennance in addition to confession) in order to be properly prepared to receive Communion.

What is it that would prevent one from coming to Communion?

Is it a matter of gravity of the act itself? Is it a matter of the disposition of one's heart during the act? Is it a matter of struggling in repentance of the act vs self justification or possibly acknowledging a sin to be objectively sin but refusing to even change their mind on how they should conduct themselves?

Just a reminder, this is on the faith issues section, if anyone would like to compare this with the RC distinction of mortal/venial sins, please do that in the Orthodox/Catholic forum. It might make an interesting discussion and I don't want to discourage such discussion, but please not here.
 

Melodist

Archon
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Messages
2,523
Reaction score
0
Points
36
Age
39
pasadi97 said:
Ask the priest how often you should confess to take Holy Communion. Then follow the rule. We do sin every day and you can sin between confession and taking Holy Communion so in the end, ask the priest.
I have already asked my priest this question. We had a brief discussion and he gave me some materials to read. In the end, I will follow whatever is in accordance with the understanding that I have with the one that both hears my confessions and serves me Communion. I thought it would make a good discussion and more input on the matter might be helpful. And, there's always the chance that someone else might have the same question.

It is good to commune as often as possible.
It is the reason we have the liturgy.

Also ask Jesus to help so you can take Holy Communion in a worthy manner through prayer.
I do. I find the pre-Communion prayers to be very helpful.
 

FatherHLL

Archon
Joined
Sep 18, 2008
Messages
2,680
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Melodist said:
FatherHLL said:
St. Nikodemos identifies seven levels of sin found in the Orthodox Fathers, from the pardonable to the mortal.
Coulod you please provide a link to somewhere with more information on this. I did a search and couldn't anyting on the seven levels of sin or the practical application of how we are to view each level.
This should help:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/exo_sintypes.aspx
 

Cognomen

Archon
Site Supporter
Joined
Sep 14, 2010
Messages
2,182
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Archdiocese of Baghdad, Kuwait and Dependencies
TheodoraElizabeth3 said:
ozgeorge said:
katherine 2001 said:
When I am traveling, I contact the priest of the parish that I will be attending ahead of time and ask him what his policy is.  If he requires confession before receiving Communion, then I will be going to confession with the priest.  The priest of that parish controls the chalice.  If I am in his parish, I must follow his rules.  I have been taught this by every priest I've had.  That is why it is important to let the priest of the parish I intend to visit know ahead of time that I will be visiting and that I wish to receive.  This way, he knows that I will be there (and I usually introduce myself to him at vespers the night before) and I know what his requirements for receiving are. 
An excellent practice!
My priest is very emphatic about this. I'm going to be two states away this weekend, visiting friends who attend another parish in my diocese. I emailed their priest late last week. It helped that I had met him several months ago at our new bishop's consecration and that he remembered me. :D
I try to do this as well, but I must admit that most priests seem a bit surprised or put out by having to respond.  A frequent reply is: "if you're communing in your jurisdiction/parish then you may commune in mine."  Not once has a priest asked me to confess, or told me I need to before receiving.  Additionally, not every parish offers frequent or scheduled confession times. 

On a separate but related note, I recently heard a Fr. Thomas Hopko Podcast (I believe the Worship in Truth series) where he argued that the concept of absolution within confession is something of a Roman Catholic influence.  He explained that the absolution wording was a relatively recent addition, and that sacramental repentance is the actual goal.  I don't know if this is accurate or not, but if so, it would indicate that a legalistic relationship between sacramental confession and communing has not always been present.

It is troubling that the sacrament of confession is frequently relegated to a position of unimportance.  Many Orthodox I know don't commune more than once a year, and I know plenty (cradles) who have never communed.  That's disgraceful.  Pun somewhat intended. 
 

orthonorm

Hoplitarches
Joined
Jul 24, 2010
Messages
17,715
Reaction score
0
Points
0
FatherHLL said:
Melodist said:
FatherHLL said:
St. Nikodemos identifies seven levels of sin found in the Orthodox Fathers, from the pardonable to the mortal.
Coulod you please provide a link to somewhere with more information on this. I did a search and couldn't anyting on the seven levels of sin or the practical application of how we are to view each level.
This should help:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/exo_sintypes.aspx
1. Concerning Mortal Sins
According to Gennadios Scholarios, George Koressios, the Orthodox Confession, and Chrysanthos of Jerusalem, mortal sins are those voluntary sins which either corrupt the love for God alone, or the love for neighbor and for God, and which render again the one committing them an enemy of God and liable to the eternal death of hell. [11] Generally speaking, they are: pride, love of money, sexual immorality, envy, gluttony, anger, and despondency, or indifference. [12]
From the above link.

Anyone here who doesn't indulge in at least one these every day?

From this list, I commit a mortal sin at least every hour probably maybe more, but I don't want to commit the sin of over-scrupulosity, which is a mortal sin as it is a form of pride, so I am not going to guess it more like every 7 minutes.


 
Joined
Sep 26, 2003
Messages
342
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Cognomen said:
TheodoraElizabeth3 said:
ozgeorge said:
katherine 2001 said:
When I am traveling, I contact the priest of the parish that I will be attending ahead of time and ask him what his policy is.  If he requires confession before receiving Communion, then I will be going to confession with the priest.  The priest of that parish controls the chalice.  If I am in his parish, I must follow his rules.  I have been taught this by every priest I've had.  That is why it is important to let the priest of the parish I intend to visit know ahead of time that I will be visiting and that I wish to receive.  This way, he knows that I will be there (and I usually introduce myself to him at vespers the night before) and I know what his requirements for receiving are. 
An excellent practice!
My priest is very emphatic about this. I'm going to be two states away this weekend, visiting friends who attend another parish in my diocese. I emailed their priest late last week. It helped that I had met him several months ago at our new bishop's consecration and that he remembered me. :D
I try to do this as well, but I must admit that most priests seem a bit surprised or put out by having to respond.  A frequent reply is: "if you're communing in your jurisdiction/parish then you may commune in mine."  Not once has a priest asked me to confess, or told me I need to before receiving.  Additionally, not every parish offers frequent or scheduled confession times. 

On a separate but related note, I recently heard a Fr. Thomas Hopko Podcast (I believe the Worship in Truth series) where he argued that the concept of absolution within confession is something of a Roman Catholic influence.  He explained that the absolution wording was a relatively recent addition, and that sacramental repentance is the actual goal.  I don't know if this is accurate or not, but if so, it would indicate that a legalistic relationship between sacramental confession and communing has not always been present.

It is troubling that the sacrament of confession is frequently relegated to a position of unimportance.  Many Orthodox I know don't commune more than once a year, and I know plenty (cradles) who have never communed.  That's disgraceful.  Pun somewhat intended. 
I expect that the only jurisdiction I would need to do Confession before communing if visiting would be ROCOR. As for my diocese, well, my priest is very well respected and that helps. But when I'm visiting another parish out of town it's because I'm visiting friends and therefore the priest can ask someone about me, in addition to contacting my own priest if he felt the need. But that's never happened.
 

FatherHLL

Archon
Joined
Sep 18, 2008
Messages
2,680
Reaction score
0
Points
0
orthonorm said:
FatherHLL said:
Melodist said:
FatherHLL said:
St. Nikodemos identifies seven levels of sin found in the Orthodox Fathers, from the pardonable to the mortal.
Coulod you please provide a link to somewhere with more information on this. I did a search and couldn't anyting on the seven levels of sin or the practical application of how we are to view each level.
This should help:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/exo_sintypes.aspx
1. Concerning Mortal Sins
According to Gennadios Scholarios, George Koressios, the Orthodox Confession, and Chrysanthos of Jerusalem, mortal sins are those voluntary sins which either corrupt the love for God alone, or the love for neighbor and for God, and which render again the one committing them an enemy of God and liable to the eternal death of hell. [11] Generally speaking, they are: pride, love of money, sexual immorality, envy, gluttony, anger, and despondency, or indifference. [12]
From the above link.

Anyone here who doesn't indulge in at least one these every day?

From this list, I commit a mortal sin at least every hour probably maybe more, but I don't want to commit the sin of over-scrupulosity, which is a mortal sin as it is a form of pride, so I am not going to guess it more like every 7 minutes.
Did you read the rest of it?  "Anger" (wrath) in its mortal form is murder.  I think St. Nikodemos makes that rather clear. 
 

FatherHLL

Archon
Joined
Sep 18, 2008
Messages
2,680
Reaction score
0
Points
0
FatherHLL said:
orthonorm said:
FatherHLL said:
Melodist said:
FatherHLL said:
St. Nikodemos identifies seven levels of sin found in the Orthodox Fathers, from the pardonable to the mortal.
Coulod you please provide a link to somewhere with more information on this. I did a search and couldn't anyting on the seven levels of sin or the practical application of how we are to view each level.
This should help:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/exo_sintypes.aspx
1. Concerning Mortal Sins
According to Gennadios Scholarios, George Koressios, the Orthodox Confession, and Chrysanthos of Jerusalem, mortal sins are those voluntary sins which either corrupt the love for God alone, or the love for neighbor and for God, and which render again the one committing them an enemy of God and liable to the eternal death of hell. [11] Generally speaking, they are: pride, love of money, sexual immorality, envy, gluttony, anger, and despondency, or indifference. [12]
From the above link.

Anyone here who doesn't indulge in at least one these every day?

From this list, I commit a mortal sin at least every hour probably maybe more, but I don't want to commit the sin of over-scrupulosity, which is a mortal sin as it is a form of pride, so I am not going to guess it more like every 7 minutes.
Did you read the rest of it?  "Anger" (wrath) in its mortal form is murder.  I think St. Nikodemos makes that rather clear. 
The initial movement of anger is pardonable; near to the pardonable is for someone to say harsh words and get hot-tempered. A non-mortal sin is to swear; near the non-mortal is for someone to strike with the hand. Between the non-mortal and the mortal is to strike with a small stick; near the mortal is to strike with a large stick, or with a knife, but not in the area of the head. A mortal sin is to murder. A similar pattern applies to the other sins.
 

orthonorm

Hoplitarches
Joined
Jul 24, 2010
Messages
17,715
Reaction score
0
Points
0
FatherHLL said:
FatherHLL said:
orthonorm said:
FatherHLL said:
Melodist said:
FatherHLL said:
St. Nikodemos identifies seven levels of sin found in the Orthodox Fathers, from the pardonable to the mortal.
Coulod you please provide a link to somewhere with more information on this. I did a search and couldn't anyting on the seven levels of sin or the practical application of how we are to view each level.
This should help:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/exo_sintypes.aspx
1. Concerning Mortal Sins
According to Gennadios Scholarios, George Koressios, the Orthodox Confession, and Chrysanthos of Jerusalem, mortal sins are those voluntary sins which either corrupt the love for God alone, or the love for neighbor and for God, and which render again the one committing them an enemy of God and liable to the eternal death of hell. [11] Generally speaking, they are: pride, love of money, sexual immorality, envy, gluttony, anger, and despondency, or indifference. [12]
From the above link.

Anyone here who doesn't indulge in at least one these every day?

From this list, I commit a mortal sin at least every hour probably maybe more, but I don't want to commit the sin of over-scrupulosity, which is a mortal sin as it is a form of pride, so I am not going to guess it more like every 7 minutes.
Did you read the rest of it?  "Anger" (wrath) in its mortal form is murder.  I think St. Nikodemos makes that rather clear. 
The initial movement of anger is pardonable; near to the pardonable is for someone to say harsh words and get hot-tempered. A non-mortal sin is to swear; near the non-mortal is for someone to strike with the hand. Between the non-mortal and the mortal is to strike with a small stick; near the mortal is to strike with a large stick, or with a knife, but not in the area of the head. A mortal sin is to murder. A similar pattern applies to the other sins.
Father,

I promise to read it thoroughly. However looking over the entire article and the footnotes, it does to spell out a rather liberal notion (to my view at least) of what a mortal sin might be.

The passage you quote does make it seem less dire of a situation, but the greater article rings a bit more severe.

I'll give it a close reading tomorrow.
 
Top