Confession

The word “confession” bears two meanings in Orthodoxy: to both confess the faith and to confess one’s sins.  Confessing our Orthodox faith may mean living an Orthodox life (being charitable, explaining and at times defending our faith to others), up to and including death for the Orthodox faith, but it also bears the meaning of confessing one’s sins, in which we stand before Christ and confess our failings, but knowing that through His mercy, we are restored.  It is important to confess one’s sins regularly so that we may regularly be cleansed from our sins, and confess to a priest, who represents the community and who are all affected by our sins.

Tomorrow, on August 15/28, we celebrate the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos. Many years!  Chronia polla!

We have opportunities to confess our faith every day, sometimes by sharing what we believe with our family, friends, co-workers, or neighbors (namely that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, who has destroyed death and the power of sin by the Cross and Resurrection, and that by putting our faith in Him and receiving Holy Baptism, we are born again as new creatures and receive the chance to live the Kingdom of Heaven both now and in the age to come). Other times, it is by how we live, by showing kindness to others, by taking on an extra project at work to help our teammates, by volunteering, or by donating our goods to the poor. And sometimes, we are even called to defend our faith, to confess our beliefs and why they are correct in the face of a challenge to them…

Sometimes, however, we fail to live up to our confession of faith, and fall into sin. We are then presented with another form of confession, which is to confess our sins, one of the Holy Mysteries (Sacraments). Holy Confession in this context is to stand before God and come clean, to confess one’s weakness and failings, and to state categorically that without the grace of Christ, we cannot be forgiven and cannot be saved…

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