I've been given 'numerical penances', and know of others who have as well. However, I never perceived these penances as 'transactional'--for sin X, do this y number of times for z days and then you're covered. Absolution came at the end of the confession and the subsequent 'penance' was for spiritual training to help avoiding the sin or its relations in the futue. (what I always think of when I think of numerical penances is the woman of my acquaintance whose spiritual father, an Athonite monk, instructed her to do 40 prostrations a day. And she had been doing it for *decades* when I met her).Asteriktos said:Perhaps part of the problem is that, it seems to me anyway, that Orthodox no longer give penances as they once did, saying things like "Do X number of prostrations, abstain from food (except bread) for X number of days, etc." Usually when I've gone to Orthodox confession there is no penance given, it's just the obvious "don't do that anymore!" stuff. The only penances I've ever been given in Orthodox confession was being told to memorize (and try to live by) a specific Bible verse. I am not saying that I am comfortable with the formulaic manner of some of this stuff, but I think perhaps I can understand it a bit better, having read about how Orthodox priests used to give similar formulas.Papist said:The our Fathers and Hail Marys are called penance dude.
Like Bogdan, this feels different than the strictly transactional process which seems to pop up regularly in Roman Catholic circles.