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Confession. The Ultimate Healing.

Updated: Apr 11, 2023

What is Confession? A vast infirmary for healing the illness of sin. Confession is the oral avowal of one’s sins that lie heavy upon the conscience. Repentance cleanses the soul and makes it ready to receive the Holy Spirit, but confession, so to speak, only empties the soul of sins. Our holy mother the Orthodox Church is the Body of the Resurrected Christ; She is a vast infirmary for the healing of frail, sinning faithful from the traumas, the wounds and the illnesses of sin; from pathogenic demons, and from the venomous demonic traps, and influences of demonically-driven passions.

"No sin can surpass God’s love."


Prayer before Confession - St. Symeon the New Theologian

O God and Lord of all! Who hath power over every breath and soul, the only One able to heal me, hearken unto the prayer of me, the wretched one, and, having put him to death, destroy the serpent nestling within me by the descent of the All-Holy and Life-Creating Spirit. And vouchsafe me, poor and naked of all virtue, to fall with tears at the feet of my spiritual father, and call his holy soul to mercy, to have mercy on me. And grant, O Lord, unto my heart humility and good thoughts, becoming a sinner, who hath consented to repent unto Thee and hath confessed Thee, and instead of all the world hath chosen Thee and hath preferred Thee. For Thou knowest, O Lord, that I want to save myself, and that my evil habit is an obstacle. But all things are possible unto Thee, O Master, which are impossible for man. Amen. Translated from the Russian by Priest Viatcheslav Davidkenko

Prayer of the Priest

Behold, my child, Christ standeth here invisibly, and receiveth thy confession: Wherefore, be not ashamed, neither afraid, and conceal nothing from me: but tell me, doubting nothing, all things which thous has done, and so shalt thou have pardon from our Lord Jesus Christ. Lo, His Holy image is before us and I am but a witness, bearing testimony before Him of all things which thou doest say to me. But if thou shalt conceal anything from me, thou shalt have the greater sin. Take heed, therefore, lest, having come to the Physician, thou depart unhealed.

A Preparation for Confession, by St. John of Kronstadt

I, a sinful soul, confess to our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, all of my evil acts which I have done, said or thought from baptism even unto this present day.

I have not kept the vows of my baptism, but have made myself unwanted before the face of God.

I have sinned before the Lord by lack of faith and by doubts concerning the Orthodox Faith and the Holy Church; by ungratefulness for all of God’s great and unceasing gifts; His long-suffering and His providence for me, a sinner; by lack of love for the Lord, as well as fear, through not fulfilling the Holy Commandments of God and the canons and rules of the Church.

I have not preserved a love for God and for my neighbor nor have I made enough efforts, because of laziness and lack of care, to learn the Commandments of God and the precepts of the Holy Fathers.

I have sinned: by not praying in the morning and in the evening and in the course of the day; by not attending the services or by coming to Church only half-heartedly, lazily and carelessly; by conversing during the services, by not paying attention, letting my mind wander and by departure from the Church before the dismissal and blessing.

I have sinned by judging members of the clergy.

I have sinned by not respecting the Feasts, breaking the Fasts, and by immoderation in food and drink.

I have sinned by self-importance, disobedience, willfulness, self-righteousness, and the seeking of approval and praise.

I have sinned by unbelief, lack of faith, doubts, despair, despondency, abusive thoughts, blasphemy and swearing.

I have sinned by pride, a high opinion of my self, narcissism, vanity, conceit, envy, love of praise, love of honors, and by putting on airs.

I have sinned: by judging, malicious gossip, anger, remembering of offenses done to me, hatred and returning evil for evil; by slander, reproaches, lies, slyness, deception and hypocrisy; by prejudices, arguments, stubbornness, and an unwillingness to give way to my neighbor; by gloating, spitefulness, taunting, insults and mocking; by gossip, by speaking too much and by empty speech.

I have sinned by unnecessary and excessive laughter, by reviling and dwelling upon my previous sins, by arrogant behavior, insolence and lack of respect.

I have sinned by not keeping my physical and spiritual passions in check, by my enjoyment of impure thoughts, licentiousness and unchastity in thoughts, words and deeds.

I have sinned by lack of endurance towards my illnesses and sorrows, a devotion to the comforts of life and by being too attached to my parents, children, relatives and friends.

I have sinned by hardening my heart, having a weak will and by not forcing myself to do good.

I have sinned by miserliness, a love of money, the acquisition of unnecessary things and immoderate attachment to things.

I have sinned by self-justification, a disregard for the admonitions of my conscience and failing to confess my sins through negligence or false pride.

I have sinned many times by my Confession: belittling, justifying and keeping silent about sins.

I have sinned against the Most-holy and Life-creating Mysteries of the Body and Blood of our Lord by coming to Holy Communion without humility or the fear of God.

I have sinned in deed, word and thought, knowingly and unknowingly, willingly and unwillingly, thoughtfully and thoughtlessly, and it is impossible to enumerate all of my sins because of their multitude.

But I truly repent of these and all others not mentioned by me because of my forgetfulness and I ask that they be forgiven through the abundance of the Mercy of God.

Priest's Prayer of Absolution

O Lord God, the salvation of Thy servants, gracious, bountiful and long-suffering, Who repentest thee concerning our evil deeds, and desirest no the death of a sinner but rather that he should turn away from his wickedness and live: Show Thy mercy now upon Thy servant, N., and grant unto him (her) every transgression, whether voluntary or involuntary. Reconcile and unite him (her) unto They holy Church, through Jesus Christ our Lord and to Him belongs all dominion and majesty, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

May our Lord and God Jesus Christ, through the grace and bounties of His love towards mankind, forgive thee, my child, N., all thy transgressions. And I, His unworthy priest, through the power given unto me by Him do forgive and absolve thee from all they sins, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Priest now gives his blessing to the Penitent

May Christ our true God, through the prayers of the Holy Theotokos, and of all the Saints, have mercy upon us and save us, for He is good and loveth mankind. Amen

The confessor’s stole can be a miraculous scalpel for the removal of malignant tumors; it can raise the dead, renew and transform the indecent world, and bring joy to earth and heaven. Our Church has entrusted this grand ministry, this sacred service, to our priests and not to the angels, so that we might be able to approach our confessor easily and fearlessly, as fellow-sufferers and corporeal counterparts.

Glory to Thee Our God.

+ Glory to Thee for All Things! +


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1 Comment

Apr 03, 2023

Glory forever!

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