Holy Penance / Confession

Concerning the Mystery of Penance/Confession


Our Lord instituted the Sacrament of Holy Penance/Confession when He stated to His disciples:

“Who so ever sins you remit they are remitted unto them. Who so ever sins you retain, they are retained.”
(John 20, 23)

His Bishop, as successor to the Apostles, assigns the Orthodox Priest to hear the confessions of the faithful entrusted to his spiritual care in parish life. It is important to note that every Orthodox Christian should develop a relationship with a Father Confessor of his or her choosing, with whom he or she is most comfortable. In the event that the Spiritual Confessor is not his or her parish Pastor, it is the responsibility of the individual to inform the Pastor of such so that he is aware that spiritual needs are being met. Any Pastor will understand that an individual must choose a Spiritual Confessor with
whom he or she feels most comfortable.
           
Those preparing for the Mystery of Penance or Holy Confession must conduct a thorough examination of their life and conscience prior to Confession. Confession before a Priest, who represents both God and fellow man must not be taken lightly and must be sincere and honest. An Orthodox Christian should never fear baring his or her spiritual soul to a Spiritual Confessor, seeking his guidance through any difficult time or with a spiritual problem.