Confession (was: Re: Former OCA clergy ...)
- The attributions here are a little blurry, as some people are
not using the Internet standard quoting symbol '>' to set off quoted
material from their own remarks. Hence it is not entirely clear to
me just who said what in what I am quoting and replying to.
On Thu, 1 Jun 2006, DDD wrote:
> On Wed, 31 May 2006 20:37:21 -0700 (PDT), michael nikitin wrote: MN:
> Subject of confession was discussed already. The Serbs,Bulgarians
> and Greeks partake of the Holy Gifts at each Liturgy and they go to
> confession but not very often.
> FAQ Server: Bulgaria:
> "Our Guide Lines for Holy Communion
> Orthodox Christians are expected to take Confession before Holy
> Communion. Let us prepare ourselves with prayers and fasting from the night
> St. Basil of Ostrog Serbian Orthodox Church: "Preparation [for Holy
> Communion] includes fasting and confession"
> Frequency of Confession as regards to Holy Communion is one thing
> (in the Russian Church it is the norm to *always* goes to
> Confession before Communion); but with Brookline, Absolution is
> given *without* a confession of sins. This is an abuse and mockery
> of confession, the purpose of which is to do just that: confess
> one's sins to Christ through the priest. [trim]
Thirty years ago when I was in ROCOR "subgroups" (or whatever you
want to call them) influenced by Holy Transfiguration Monastery in
Brookline, the usual pattern was for lay people to receive the
Mysteries in every Divine Liturgy unless there was some reason for them
not to. It was not considered necessary to make confession before
every Communion unless one had something significant on one's
conscience, in which case confession was necessary. However, there was
no general absolution given to groups, as seems to be indicated in the
above quotation. At least not then, to my recollection.
Given that influence, I always wondered about the requirement of
confession before every Communion if one generally received Communion
in (nearly every) Divine Liturgy one attended. Suppose you went to
confession and Communion on Saturday and same back Sunday. On Sunday
you simply were not aware of any real sins you had committed in
twenty-four hours. You were not saying that you had not sinned, only
that you had no conscious awareness of having done so. Then what you
you confess before receiving Communion again on Sunday?
I have wondered whether the requirement of confession before every
Communion, especially when some parish priests may not have acted
ordinarily as confessors, contributed to a fall off of frequency of lay
Communion in the Russian Church. And what about the priests and
deacons who commune(d) in every Liturgy they serve(d)? Did (and do)
they make confession every time, and if so to whom?
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- I've just found this on a chronological list of RCC doctrines:
AD 1215 - Auricular confession of sins to a priest, instead of to
G-d, is instituted by Innocent III in the Lateran Council
Will have a look at the council tomorrow, there could be an
explanation of it.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "myhrr101" <myhrr101@...>
> --- In email@example.com, "Archpriest David Moser"
> <moserd@> wrote:
> > --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "myhrr101" <myhrr101@>
> > > There appears a squiggly line running through the history of
> > > Church in which bunches of bishops decide all kinds of stuffaccepted
> beyond their remit - isn't the insistence of confession before
> communion one such example? Like the spoon feeding idea.
> > I disagree with this premise. No matter to origin of our
> traditions, they have been adopted by the Church as a recognized
> part of Tradition. No one condemns the practice of confession
> before every communion, but neither is it required - it is
> by the whole Church as a legitimate working out of the Faith. TheThus
> use of the spoon for giving the mysteries has an even wider
> acceptance as the "standard practice" although again there are
> exceptions (the communion of the clergy or the liturgy of St James
> for two examples). The point is the Church has embraced these
> practices as true and faithful expressions of Holy Tradition.
> I find that it is not profitable to try and find excuses tosame
> denigrate our tradition by criticizing where it came from (the
> thing applies to the complaint by some that the Russian Church wasOrthodox.
> somehow tainted or infected with Roman practices born of Roman
> theology. One could just as easily say that the Byzantine Church,
> the Ante-Nicene Church in fact, was "tainted" and "infected" with
> the ideas of classical Greek philosophy and so the writings of
> > such luminaries as the Cappadocian fathers (Basil the Great,
> Gregory the Theologian, Gregory Nanzianzen) and St John Chrysostom
> must be examined by us to makes sure that they are truly
> Don't hold back on account of me, I enjoy a good rant, but you've
> just rubber stamped such accepted usage as papal supremacy so
> have to excuse me but I reject the premise that the Holy Spiritsome
> leads to such truth where 'ignorance' and 'might is right' are
> included as guiding principles for the Church.
> One can argue that all canons are uncanonical which break Christ's
> rule "It shall not be so among you" in their creation. I assume
> arose out of "sobornost", but for the most part the rules and regsHoly
> have been imposed from above and certainly there's no intrinsic
> respect due to any which are contrary to authentic tradition in
> Tradition, such as the canon which rules against married bishops,or
> to the particular bunch of celibate bishops who devised the rule,no
> matter how long it's been an established practice or howmade
> successfully objection is put down by admonition for lack of piety
> or deflected by accusations that questioning such practices is
> denigrating the Orthodox Church.
> But I think you've just cracked the ecumenist's problem in
> establishing one Church.
> The Development of Doctrinites are really saying the same thing as
> the Organic Growthines, it's only ever been a problem of semantics
> and so of course anything goes as long as it can be enforced or
> to stick long enough. Well, pass the popcorn, are you sittingBattle
> comfortably? then let's watch the organic development in the
> of the Bishops for Supreme Authority in the Universal Church.In
> Does the anarchic fold Christ put in place still exist anywhere?
> Thank God with us for the bishop who still dares teach that Christ
> is the supreme authority in the Church.
> Now, I've read somewhere that the spoon feeding came into general
> use in the 10th century, but I can't find anything more detailed
> about it, any ideas where to look? By the time of the Council of
> Trent communion of one species only for the masses was already
> established in the West - are these two ideas, spoon feeding and
> separation of clergy from laity in communion, connected somehow?
> the minutes of the council there's a long eulogy on the sacredmetropolitan
> wonder of communing in both species followed by an amusing list of
> excuses for forbidding full communion to the oiks. I don't know
> which is sadder, the bishops who contrived this for themselves or
> the laity I've heard piously defending enthralment to the practice.
> > But enough of the tirade, on to the question:
> > >how does this differ from the other Orthodox
> > > churches?:
> > >
> > > "In the Slavic ritual a Latin-inspired and juridical form of
> > > personal absolution was introduced by Peter Mogila,
> > > Kiev (17th century)."
> > The difference lies in the prayers of absolution said by the
> > priest/confessor over the repentant person. In the Russian
> tradition the final prayer contains the statement, "and I an
> unworthy priest through the power given me do forgive and absolve
> the servant of God..." To some people this formula is too
> in that it implies that the priest is doing the forgiving insteadof
> God - but that would completely ignore the phrase, "through theacting
> power given me" which makes it clear that the priest is only
> as the minister of the sacrament of forgiveness - not its source.difference
> Doesn't make it clear at all, the immediate source is the
> between Orthodox and Latin form of absolution and in the Latin usewords "Power
> the immediate source is the priest which is what these
> given me" say, the personal power of that priest. And in the Latinalthough
> church there are particular concepts attached to this.
> For a start this page gives a general idea of the differences;
> It says of the RCC:
> "Catholics believe that no priest, as an individual man, however
> pious or learned, has power to forgive sins. This power belongs to
> God alone; however, God can and does exercise it through the
> Catholic priesthood. Catholics believe God exercises the power of
> forgiveness by means of the sacrament of reconciliation.
> The basic form of confession has not changed for centuries,
> at one time confessions were made publicly. Colloquially speaking,terms,
> the role of the priest is of a judge and jury; in theological
> he acts in persona Christi and receives from the Church the powerof
> jurisdiction over the penitent. ......his
> Absolution in the Roman rite takes this form:
> God the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of
> Son, has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy SpiritHoly
> among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the
> Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from
> your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
> The essential words, however, are "I absolve you.""
> It says of the Orthodox:
> "The Eastern Orthodox sacrament of confession, or repentance,
> includes prayer to God and confessing ones sins to God, typically
> the presence of an icon of Jesus Christ and also with a priestthe
> nearby to bear witness. The priest will typically add his own
> prayers, may add counsel or assign some form of penance, and will
> usually announce God's forgiveness of sins. In Orthodox
> ecclesiology, the priest is not an intermediary between God and
> penitent. The confession is to God in the presence of a priest,not
> to a priest in the presence of God."that
> Utterly different from each other, the one based on the premise
> Christ is absent and the other that Christ is present. What doesit
> mean then when the Orthodox use the latin form? How does it affect
> the users of this service?
> And again, both forms of the sacramental formula - Greek and
> Russian - are accepted by the whole Church.
> > Archpr David Moser
> > St Seraphim of Sarov Orthodox Church (ROCOR)
> If by "whole" Church you mean the Orthodox, why?