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I'm technically a Syro-Malabar Catholic, however my sui iuris church is heavily latinized and I'm only familiar with the Latin way of confession (plus 90% of the time I've confessed to Latin priests).

There's a Byzantine Catholic Church near me, and I was thinking of going into confession there. Would be my first time. How different would confession be in the Byzantine rite? compared to the Latin rite.

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Christ is in our midst!!

JamesofMalabar,

Welcome to the forum. We hope your time here is spiritually fruitful.

Bob
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Welcome James.

I was trying to find a thread on the forum from some years ago that describes the form of the Mystery of Penance in the Byzantine Churches, but can't seem to locate it.right now. Meanwhile, I did run across this description of the Mystery. I'm unfamiliar with the site; however, the text is very accurate. If you have questions after reading it, please feel free to ask them here.

Many years,

Neil

Last edited by Irish Melkite; 03/11/21 10:49 AM.

"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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Welcome with peace & blessings.

I have confessed to a few Byzantine Catholic Church of the America priests, and I have never shriven before an icon. The prayers are typical to those found in the link provided by Irish Melkite, but took place either in a confession box or behind a grill.

Obviously, while the externals are important, even more important is the interior repentance and opening to healing that occurs during this great mystery. Perhaps you should contact the byzantine priest near Philadelphia to find out why the usual practice is at his parish beforehand, so you are less focused on "intellectually dissecting the rite" and more focused on the interior aspects. And since you are contacting the priest before hand, if you find that his typical practice is heavily influenced by the Latin Church, you could gently suggest (at least in your case) that the rite be celebrated in a way more typical to the Byzantine heritage.

God Bless and keep us informed on the ritual particulars.

Devin

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Just go and don't worry about it. If you stand before a Byzantine priest for confession and say "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned...." he will know you are a Roman Catholic and gently guide you through confession.

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if you find that his typical practice is heavily influenced by the Latin Church, you could gently suggest (at least in your case) that the rite be celebrated in a way more typical to the Byzantine heritage.

Christ is in our mist!!

Devin1890,

Don't you think it is more than a little arrogant to suggest to the priest how to conduct the Mystery of Confession? The priest has gone to a seminary--a house of formation--to learn to do exactly what he is accustomed to do. If his formation was heavily influenced by Latin practice, it may be that he is an older man whose formation was in an earlier time. In any event, I would never think to tell a priest how he ought to conduct the Mystery. I have confessed to priests who have had different practices and have, in each case, followed the priest's gentle lead.

Bob

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Well perhaps what I wrote was a bit arrogant, though when I wrote "gently suggest", I meant more "ask" instead of "tell". I personally have never made such a request on the celebration of the mystery of confession, but I don't find it arrogant to make requests of priests, even in regards to the sacraments. Canon law states it is a right. The worse a priest can do is say no. Also, is it really that much of an imposition to ask a priest to be able to confess before an icon? Yes, there are legitimate reasons for saying no. But no burden in actually asking.

I also may have committed assumicide by assuming JamesofMalabar was interested in receiving the mystery in the traditional manner of the Byzantine Rite. I had assumed that was primary reason for asking about the local Byzantine Church.

On a tangential note, I have been reading about how President Biden's personality and worldview has developed even in his 60's and 70's. Pope Francis has been changed by the office of St Peter by many accounts. My father has learned how to fix laptops now in his 60s. I am about the same age as Dante when he got lost in a dark wood. And I look at these examples I just gave, it gives me hope as I age. And as John Henry Newman once said, “to live is to change, and to change often is to become more perfect.” Perhaps, we shouldn't assume older priests can't respond to requests that deviate from what they are accustomed too.

Peace,
Devin

Last edited by Devin1890; 03/16/21 12:43 AM.
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Originally Posted by Devin1890
Well perhaps what I wrote was a bit arrogant, though when I wrote "gently suggest", I meant more "ask" instead of "tell". I personally have never made such a request on the celebration of the mystery of confession, but I don't find it arrogant to make requests of priests, even in regards to the sacraments. Canon law states it is a right. The worse a priest can do is say no. Also, is it really that much of an imposition to ask a priest to be able to confess before an icon? Yes, there are legitimate reasons for saying no. But no burden in actually asking.
I am sure you would be polite in all that you do. It would very reasonable to ask the pastor about the way he administers the Sacramental Mystery of Confession. It would be wrong to say "You are not doing it correctly and you ought to do it this way."

But, of course, one needs to first really know how Confession is done. I have not done a comprehensive survey, but my guess is that most Byzantine priests with church buildings that have a Confession Room have an icon of Christ and maybe of additional saints in it. If not, I think a good way to move forward is to gently query "Does the Byzantine Church still generally ask people to confess before an icon of Christ?" And then offer to donate an appropriate icon to hang in the Confessional.

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Thank you all for the replies. Irish Melkite- thanks for that link.


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