The Holy Mystery of Confession

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just; he forgives our sins
and cleanse us from all wrong.

1 John 1:9

What is the meaning of confession?

Confession means repentance and confession for the sins and transgressions committed. Through confession, after confessing his sins and sincerely repenting, the sinner is forgiven of his sins. Confession is the confession of sins, the willingness to turn away from sins and the forgiveness of sins. According to Armenian church teaching, confession is a prerequisite for receiving Holy Communion.

Confession of one's sins is necessary for every Christian to be a true member of the Holy Church. The Church teaches that sins separate man from God and distance him from the Lord Jesus Christ. Only God is without sin, but people fall into minor or major sins more rarely or more frequently – but without exception. Sin is a terrible evil, a sickness from which the Christian can be delivered through practice in the spiritual life and through the grace of the Lord if he confesses, repents, and asks forgiveness.

The Church teaches that our Lord Jesus Christ atoned for the sins of people around the world on the cross. He made it possible for all people, even the greatest sinners, to receive salvation if they believe in Jesus Christ and sincerely repent of their sins. An example of this is the two thieves who were crucified next to the Lord. That thief who repented of his sins on the cross and asked Christ to "remember me when you come into your kingdom" was the first to enter the kingdom of heaven. Redemption is not possible without repentance, so it becomes understandable how important the mystery of confession is in the Church.

When we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not within us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just; he forgives us our sins and cleanses us from all wrongdoing. If we say we haven't sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:8-10.

At the same time, the purpose of confession is not simply to confess one's sins, but to change one's way of life. The one who comes to confession should be determined not to repeat the same mistakes and transgressions. He should be ready to turn from the wrong way to the way towards God, to the true way, to the Lord Jesus Christ, who said:

I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6).

What is the meaning of confession?

Confession means repentance and confession for the sins and transgressions committed. Through confession, after confessing his sins and sincerely repenting, the sinner is forgiven of his sins. Confession is the confession of sins, the willingness to turn away from sins and the forgiveness of sins. According to Armenian church teaching, confession is a prerequisite for receiving Holy Communion.

Confession of one's sins is necessary for every Christian to be a true member of the Holy Church. The Church teaches that sins separate man from God and distance him from the Lord Jesus Christ. Only God is without sin, but people fall into minor or major sins more rarely or more frequently – but without exception. Sin is a dreadful evil, a sickness from which the Christian can be redeemed through practice in the spiritual life and through the grace of the Lord if he confesses it, repents it, and offers forgiveness.

The Church teaches that our Lord Jesus Christ atoned for the sins of people around the world on the cross. He made it possible for all people, even the greatest sinners, to receive salvation if they believe in Jesus Christ and sincerely repent of their sins. An example of this is the two thieves who were crucified next to the Lord. That thief who repented of his sins on the cross and asked Christ to "remember me when you come into your kingdom" was the first to enter the kingdom of heaven. Redemption is not possible without repentance, so it becomes understandable how important the mystery of confession is in the Church.

When we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not within us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just; he forgives us our sins and cleanses us from all wrongdoing. If we say we haven't sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:8-10.

At the same time, the purpose of confession is not simply to confess one's sins, but to change one's way of life. The one who comes to confession should be determined not to repeat the same mistakes and transgressions. He should be ready to turn from the wrong way to the way towards God, to the true way, to the Lord Jesus Christ, who said:

I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6).

CONFESSIONAL RITUS

Confession was already practiced in the apostolic period of the Church. In the book of Acts we read: “Many who believed came and confessed openly what they had done before" ( Acts 19, 19). In the first centuries, the Church practiced above all public, general confession before the entire community and before the head of the community (bishop or priest). With the emergence of monastic life, the practice of personal confession gradually developed. The Armenian Church knows both general and personal confession. On Sundays before communion, general confession is mainly practiced. But the faithful also have the opportunity to ask the clergyman for a personal confession or a confessional interview. 

Some tools for preparing the confession

God, who has overlooked the times of ignorance, now commands people
that everyone everywhere should turn back.
Acts 17:30.

Even if general confession is the main practice in the Armenian Church, it must not become a formality.
It is a necessity to prepare properly for confession. Here are some recommendations:

  • Begin the preparation with a prayer. Pray the Lord's Prayer, Psalm 50, and then a prayer of penance from the Fathers of the Church.

  • Repentance is the key to genuine Christian living. Without them it is not possible to live in harmony with God. Learn from the great saints of the Church, they were great masters of repentance and their prayers are imbued with the spirit of repentance.

  • Be honest with yourself. If you don't have a sincere desire to be set free from your sins and ask God to forgive you for your sins, all the reciting of various sins won't really help you.

  • In addition to our church's general confession of sins, in which you will find a list of sins, you can also use the Ten Commandments as another type of orientation. Some confessors recommend reading the Ten Commandments as you prepare to confess.

  • Sometimes it helps to write down mistakes and sins and what you want to get rid of and improve on. In the first part of your letter you write down your transgressions against God.

  • In the second part of your letter, write down your failures towards others and yourself.

  • Before you ask forgiveness for your own sins, forgive those you have asked for forgiveness.

  • Do not forget that the confessor is strictly bound by the seal of the confessional. He will help you with his counsel and prayers in your fight against sin.

  • Do not be afraid. God is not an official sitting somewhere in heaven handing out speeding tickets. He loves people and wishes them to turn around. "If your sins are like scarlet, they become white as snow." (Isaiah 1:18). No sin is too great for God.

FROM THE CONFESSIONAL RITUS

The penitents read together before a priest the special prayer of confession, which ends with the following text:

“I have sinned, especially against all the commandments of God, all that I have taken on or given up, for I have not fulfilled what I have taken on, nor separated myself from what I have given up. I accepted the law, but I was weak in implementing it. I was received into the ranks of Christendom, but found unworthy by my actions. I have knowingly yielded to evil through my weak will, and have separated myself from good works. Woe to me, woe to me, woe to me. Which (sin) shall I speak out, which (sin) shall I confess, for my trespasses are innumerable, my injustices are untold, my pains are unforgivable, and my wounds cannot be healed. I have sinned, God".

The priest's prayer of absolution then follows:

“May the loving God have mercy on you and forgive you for all your sins, which you have confessed and which you have forgotten. I speak to you, by the priestly authority bestowed on me and the divine decree, "Whomsoever ye set free on earth, may also be set free in heaven," and according to this promise, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit from all your sins go, be it in thought, word or deed. And I entrust you again to the holy sacraments of the Church, so that henceforth every good deed you perform will be counted as a right deed and make you worthy of glory in the life to come. Amen".

The Holy Mysteries of the Church

MYSTERIES

salbung

MYSTERIES

MYSTERIES

eucharistie

MYSTERIES

ordination

MYSTERIES

MYSTERIES

MYSTERIES

MYSTERIES

Become a member!

Support the Armenian Apostolic Church and its congregation with your membership fee. Get active now!