How To Come To Confession   (Also read "Helps for Confession" by Clicking Here)   

One must attentively re-examine one's life in order to recall not only those sins committed since the last confession, but also those which have not been confessed through forgetfulness. Then, with compunction and a contrite heart, approach the Cross and the Gospel and begin the confession of your sins.


1. Confess your sins honestly, remembering that you open them not to a man, but to God Himself. God knows your sins already and only wants your admission of them. You should not be embarrassed before your spiritual father: he is a person just as you are. He knows human shortcomings well, man's tendency towards sin. For this reason your spiritual father cannot be your terrible judge at confession. Is the reason that you are embarrassed before your spiritual father that you are afraid to lose his good opinion of you?

 

On the contrary, your spiritual father will have all the more love for you when he sees your open, honest confession. Furthermore, if you are afraid to reveal your sins before just one person, your spiritual father, how will you overcome your embarrassment when you appear at God's Last Judgment? There, all your sins which you have not confessed will be opened before God Himself, the angels and all the people.

 

2. Be specific when you confess, listing all your sins separately. St. John Chrysostom says: "One must not only say: I have sinned, or I am sinful, but one must declare each type of sin." "The revelation of sins," says St. Basil the Great, "is subject to the same law as the declaration of physical ills..."The sinner is spiritually ill, and the spiritual father is the physician or healer. It stands to reason that one must confess or tell about one's sins in the same way as one who is physically ill describes the symptoms of his illness to a physician from whom he expects to receive healing.

 

3. Do not mention anyone else during confession. That means do not complain about anyone - what sort of confession is this? It is not confession, but judgment – only another new sin.

 

4. Do not attempt to justify yourself in any way during confession; blaming weakness, custom, etc. The more one justifies himself during confession, the less one is justified by God. The more one denounces, judges and accuses oneself, the more one is justified in the eyes of God.

 

5. When questioned by your spiritual father, do not say, "1 can't remember, maybe I committed that sin." God commanded us always to remember our sins. In order not to justify ourselves with not remembering, we must confess our sins as often as possible. Those who, because of their carelessness, confess and take communion infrequently, and because of this forget their sins, have no one to blame but themselves. They cannot hope for remission of the sins which they failed to confess. Thus it is imperative that we try to recall all our sins. When someone owes us something we are sure to remember this. Yet we forget our own debts before God! Does this not reveal an utter absence of concern for our soul on our part?

 

6. Unless asked by your spiritual father, do not list the sins you have not committed or things you have not done. Doing this, you liken yourself to the Pharisee of the Gospel. You do not confess your sins, but boast, thereby increasing your judgment.

 

7. We must confess with sorrow and a contrite heart the sins by which we have grieved our Lord God. It is not good that many tell of their sins matter-of-factly, without any remorse. They speak as though they are engaged in some casual conversation. What is worse, some even allow themselves to laugh during confession. These are all signs of un-repentance. Confessing in this manner, we do not cleanse ourselves of our sins, but rather increase them.

 

8. Finally, confess your sins with faith in Jesus Christ, with hope In His mercy. Only with faith in Jesus Christ and hope in Him can we receive forgiveness of our sins. Without faith, we cannot receive remission. An example of this
is Judas the traitor, who was remorseful of what he did, but did not have faith in Jesus, no hope in His mercy, and thus ended his own life.

 

This then, is how we must confess in order to receive remission of our sins from our Lord God. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (I John 1:9)

 

Translated from the Jordanville Prayer Book
by Presbytera Marla Naumenko
Reprinted from Living Orthodoxy, 1989

(Click Here to Read "Helps for Confession")


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Happenings

Women's Knitting Group

The Women’s Knitting and Craft group is working on a special knitting project. If you are an
experienced knitter and would like to find out more about it, see Suad Behrend. knitting groupThis group is open to all whether you know how to knit or would like to learn. Or, bring sewing, scrapbooking or any other craft project you’re working on. This group will give an opportunity for the members to bond together in a Christian atmosphere. If you are interested in coming together to grow closer to your fellow parishioners please contact Suad Behrend at 203.304.1034 or Amy Arifin 914.434.1027. The Knitting Group meets the first Sunday of every month


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Senior High Youth Mission Trip

High school students in our parish will be participating in a youth mission project from July 19-27, 2014, traveling to Appalachia to work on home repairs for those in need through the Appalachia Service ProjectSM (ASP).


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Confession

The main purpose of all fasts is the reunification with God, from whom we have been separated by our sins. We fast, abstain and pray with greater fervor in order to, with God's help, create in ourselves a spiritual condition which is conducive to genuine, contrite repentance. Having prepared ourselves through the effort of fasting, we come to confession. Yet the mere fact that we came to confession does not guarantee us automatic cleansing from our sins. Complete cleansing requires complete and correct repentance. It is with these facts in mind that we offer the following exhortation on confession. Before confession one should attempt to recall all the sins which one has committed voluntarily or involuntarily.

One must attentively re-examine one's life in order to recall not only those sins committed since the last confession, but also those which have not been confessed through forgetfulness. Then, with compunction and a contrite heart, approach the Cross and the Gospel and begin the confession of your sins.
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