Different forms of Confession

Discussion in 'Faith, Devotion & Formation' started by bwallac2335, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    I have been reading about the different forms of confession. Anglicans have general confession along with the majority of the Armenians, even before the genocide, and the Church of the East does also. I believe the PNC does also. I can't find a lot on the Syrian Orthodox Church but the rest of the old Churches have some form of regular private confession.

    So anyone got any good reading on this and do churches with general confession have to make a personal general confession if they join the EO, Coptic, or Roman Catholic Church if they join one of those churches?
     
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  2. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    DEARLY beloved, on - day next I purpose, through God's assistance, to administer to all such as shall be religiously and devoutly disposed the most comfortable Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ; to be by them received in remembrance of his meritorious Cross and Passion, whereby alone we obtain remission of our sins, and are made partakers of the kingdom of heaven. Wherefore it is our duty to render most humble and hearty thanks to Almighty God our heavenly Father, for that he hath given his Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, not only to die for us, but also to be our spiritual food and sustenance in that holy Sacrament. Which being so divine and comfortable a thing to them who receive it worthily, and so dangerous to them that will presume to receive it unworthily; my duty is to exhort you in the mean season to consider the dignity of that holy mystery, and the great peril of the unworthy receiving thereof; and so to search and examine your own consciences, and that not lightly, and after the manner of dissemblers with God: but so that ye may come holy and clean to such a heavenly Feast, in the marriage-garment required by God in holy Scripture, and be received as worthy partakers of that holy Table.

    The way and means thereto is; First, to examine your lives and conversations by the rule of God's commandments; and whereinsoever ye shall perceive yourselves to have offended, either by will, word, or deed, there to bewail your own sinfulness, and to confess yourselves to Almighty God, with full purpose of amendment of life. And if ye shall perceive your offences to be such as are not only against God, but also against your neighbours; then ye shall reconcile yourselves unto them; being ready to make restitution and satisfaction, according to the uttermost of your powers, for all injuries and wrongs done by you to any other; and being likewise ready to forgive others that have offended you, as you would have forgiveness of your offences at God's hand; for otherwise the receiving of the holy Communion doth nothing else but increase your damnation. Therefore if any of you be a blasphemer of God, an hinderer or slanderer of his Word, an adulterer, or be in malice, or envy, or in any other grievous crime, repent you of your sins, or else come not to that holy Table; lest, after the taking of that holy Sacrament, the devil enter into you, as he entered into Judas, and fill you full of all iniquities, and bring you to destruction both of body and soul.

    And because it is requisite, that no man should come to the holy Communion, but with a full trust in God's mercy, and with a quiet conscience; therefore if there be any of you, who by this means cannot quiet his own conscience herein, but requireth further comfort or counsel, let him come to me, or to some other discreet and learned Minister of God's Word, and open his grief; that by the ministry of God's holy Word he may receive the benefit of absolution, together with ghostly counsel and advice, to the quieting of his conscience, and avoiding of all scruple and doubtfulness.​

    This Exhortation from 1662 Holy Communion may be of some help. Many have certainly found it most sage.
     
  3. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The EOs and Copts do auricular confession, but only the Russian Orthodox require it at regular intervals as a prerequisite to partaking of the Eucharist. But some Russian Orthodox priests are incredibly good confessors, and here, confession should really be understood as providing medicine for the soul, for example, a Russian Orthodox priest I only confessed to once was able to help substantially ease the bereavement I was still feeling years after the repose of my father. So if you do find a good Russian priest, their system does work well. But if you find one who is less competent, it is a nuisance, even if the priest is well intentioned and does not penance you, even if his fault is rather a tendency to dismiss things you feel are sins you have committed and which weigh upon your conscience as either trivial or not actually sinful, and the Greek, Coptic or indeed Anglican approach of confession as being something available, where one has some scope to find a good priest one likes as a confessor, tends to work better in that case. I myself have never been penanced by an Orthodox or Anglican priest and I like the system of a mix of general and private reconciliation.

    I dislike priests who get upset at people who opt to not partake of the Eucharist because they feel improperly prepared.

    ~

    By the way, lest anyone ever misconstrue any post of mine concerning any practice of the Eastern churches; I am not here to proselytize or to promote Orthodoxy as being separate from or superior to traditional Anglicanism; at present my feeling is that traditional Anglicanism is an expression of the same Orthodox faith I have been blessed to receive in the Eastern, Oriental and Assyrian churches (Assyrians practice open communion by the way, provided you believe in the Real Presence), and for this reason I requested the Anglican badge, as I felt the formularies of traditional Anglicanism used on this site for the Anglican badge represent a viable expression of an Orthodox Christianity. If my opinion ever changed, I would not have an Anglican badge and also probably would not post here frequently, because I would prefer in that case out of respect not to be a fly in the Anglican ointment as it were, just as I do not hang out on Roman Catholic forums. But rather the members here feel to me like Christians who are predominantly disposed to the same opinions on the faith that I have, and I feel blessed to be here in fellowship with them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
  4. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    I was talking to some Lutherans in a very conservative church body a couple of weeks ago. The bishop indicated that he thought the Anglican rite of corporate confession was weak in the words of Absolution. He based this opinion on having just sat through a 1928 BCP service of Holy Communion. I pulled my trusty prayer book out of my jacket pocket and showed him the Morning Prayer service and how it differs somewhat. Then I told him about a book I was instructed to buy that contains Offices and Blessings for any number of occasions, called, A Manual for Priests. It is a very Anglo-Catholic book in its content but I do find it useful at times, including the Rite for private confession contained in it. I've got a fair number of lapsed Romans in my parish who will ask for confession totally out of the blue from time to time. Of course, we don't have a posted time for confession; it's by appointment.
     
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  5. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Very good. A pity though you didn’t precede your Holy Communion with Morning Prayer and the Litany as was the old custom.

    What really vexes me are parishes which have multiple Holy Communion services, no Litany and no Mattins. Bearing in mind some people prefer a said Holy Communion, I would propose that since the Anglican choral music for Holy Communion and Mattins is evenly weighted, one could do worse than to alternate the choral music between the two services. But said services would be less popular still were CCM fully expurgated. If a parish is to commit to using the 1928 BCP, it should commit to using the 1940 hymnal for congregational singing and the music of great Anglican composers and organists such as SS Wesley, Herbert Sumsion, George Dyson, Healey Willan, Herbert Howells and Francis Jackson used for the psalms, canticles and choral settings. And every parish that has boys in sufficient quantity should seek to organize them into a surpliced choir. There were historically excellent parish choirs with fewer than a dozen boys. It is surely the duty of an Anglican parish to provide such choirs, so that the angelic music which characterizes the Anglican rite can be once more ubiquitous, as befits the church descended in part from the mission of St. Augustine of Canterbury to the Angles (a mission required in order that the other surviving portions of the old provincial church in what had been the Claudian province of Brittania prior to the invasions of the Angles and Saxons, could be refurbished).

    And thus there is nothing as grating as the parish which has a said Eucharist, a traditional Eucharist, and a “contemporary service” but no sign of Morning Prayer and no comprehension of the Litany, although I would hope the “contemporary service” is rare in your province.
     
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  6. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The rites of confession and absolution are different in the Morning Prayer, vs. in the Holy Communion, but especially in the Visitation of the Sick, where the rubrics are as follows:

    Here shall the sick person be moved to make a special confession of his sins, if he feel his conscience troubled with any weighty matter. After which confession, the Priest shall absolve him (if he humbly and heartily desire it) after this sort.

    OUR Lord Jesus Christ, who hath left power to his Church to absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe in him, of his great mercy forgive thee thine offences: And by his authority committed to me, I absolve thee from all thy sins, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
     
  7. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    The parish which was hosting does indeed run the 'combo' service (though not always with the Litany) as their regular Sunday offering. But that service was a special evening Eucharist, at 5:30 p.m. to kick off a clericus.
     
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  8. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Oh brilliant! :)

    I would shy away from calling it “the combo service” however, insofar as it does represent the normal course of the Divine Office for parish and cathedral use, since the earliest days of the Patristic church. ;)
     
  9. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Nothing of that sort ever vexes me. Hmmm... maybe you should start putting some Vicks VapoRub on that vex until it feels vunderbar! ;)
     
  10. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    Does the EO recognize the general confessions of those denominations that don't have private confession as sufficient if they convert to be an EO or what?
     
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  11. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The Eastern Orthodox will almost always chrismate anyone who wants to comvert and in some cases rebaptize. This to me doesn’t make that much sense given that Arians were historically received by confession, but that’s the EO approach. I believe it can be traced to an extreme antipathy towards the Roman Catholic Church around 500 years ago; after Florence, EO-RC relations hit rock bottom and for some time thereafter many Orthodox totally rejected the Roman church in terms of posessing any sacramental grace whatsoever. This was of course an extremist perspective and was never universal.
     
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