How should Christians stand in church during services, how should they pray, and what duties do they have when they go to church? – Elder Cleopas Ilie of Sihastria Monastery, Romania (+1998)


How should Christians stand in church during services, how should they pray, and what duties do they have when they go to church?

Elder Cleopas Ilie of Sihastria Monastery, Romania (+1998)

Elder Cleopas Ilie of Sihastria Monastery, Romania:

“Christians should stand in church with faith, fear of God, and attention. They should force themselves as much as possible to pray without distraction and with feeling of heart. Also, Christians have the following duties: to go regularly to church, for whoever often misses the services, except for the sick, are barred from the Holy Mysteries; to be reconciled with all men and to ask forgiveness of anyone they have hurt; to preserve their purity at least two days before going to church and at least one day after; to come early to the divine services in order to have time to venerate in peace and hear Matins. Every Christian should offer some gift to the Lord according to his ability, even if it is very small, as a sacrifice from the work of his hands. They should give names for commemoration, and ask the priest to take out parts (from the prosphora) for the living and dead members of their families. Christians should stand in church modestly and in good order, the men on the right and the women on the left. They should wear clean and modest clothes. It is forbidden to talk during services without great need. After Divine Liturgy starts, everyone should remain in his place and not move about to venerate the icons. They should follow the Liturgy with pious attention, and listen to the prayers and singing of the choir, the Epistle and Gospel readings, and the sermon. No one should leave the church before the end of the Liturgy without great need. Those who have confessed and prepared for Holy Communion should read the appropriate prayers before Communion in advance, and before they approach the Holy Gifts they should ask forgiveness of all the faithful. After the Liturgy, those who received Communion should read the prayers of thanksgiving, spending that day in spiritual joy and guarding themselves from all temptations. Parents should bring their children to church regularly, taking care that they receive communion of the Body and Blood of Christ. After the end of the divine services, Christians should reverently return to their homes, spending the rest of the day thinking of holy things, reading spiritual books, and visiting the sick. They are also obligated to tell those at home who didn’t come to church about what they heard and learned in church from the troparia, readings, and the sermon. These are the most important duties of Christians when they go to church on Sundays and feast days”.

What is necessary for a saving Confession? – Saint Innocent of Alaska (+1879)


What is necessary for a saving Confession?

Saint Innocent of Alaska (+1879)

What is Confession? Confession is the oral avowal of one’s sins which 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.

Let us present a simple analogy and comparison to confession. For example, suppose you had only one vessel of some kind, which you through negligence or laziness let reach a stage where little by little it accumulated all sorts of dirt so that your vessel became not only unuseable but even unbearable to look at without repugnance. But what if a king wanted to give you as a gift some sort of fragrant and precious balm, one drop of which could heal all infirmities and protect—what then? Would you refuse such a valuable gift only because you had no other clean vessel in which to put it? No! It would be very natural for you to accept such a gift and you would try to clean your vessel. How would you begin to clean your vessel? No doubt, before anything else, you would rid it of all uncleanness; you would begin by washing it with water and, perhaps would even burn it out so that it no longer retained any of its former odors. Isn’t that so?

Now let the vessel represent the soul given to you by God, which you have brought to such a state that it has been filled with all kinds of transgression and iniquities; let the sweet-smelling balm, given by the king, signify the Holy Spirit, Who heals all infirmities and afflictions, Whom the King of heaven and earth, Jesus Christ, freely bestows upon us. To examine your vessel signifies feeling your guilt before God and recalling all sins which have stolen into your Continue reading “What is necessary for a saving Confession? – Saint Innocent of Alaska (+1879)”

Άγιογραφικά χωρία για την Θεία Εξομολόγηση – Αρχιμ. Ιωάννης Κωστώφ


Άγιογραφικά χωρία για την Θεία Εξομολόγηση

Αρχιμ. Ιωάννης Κωστώφ



Ἔχοντας ὡς ὁδηγό τήν Ἁγ. Γραφή, θά παρουσιάσουμε στήν ἀγάπη σας τή διδασκαλία της ὅσον ἀφορᾶ τήν ἁμαρτία. Εἶναι γνωστό, ὅτι ὁ Θεός δημιούργησε τόν ἄνθρωπο ἀναμάρτητο, αὐτός, ὅμως, παρασυρθείς ἀπό τό διάβολο, παράκουσε τόν Κύριο καί ἔπεσε στήν ἁμαρτία. Γιά τή διόρθωσι τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἦλθε στόν κόσμο ὁ Χριστός: «εἰς τοῦτο ἐφανερώθη ὁ υἱός τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἵνα λύσῃ (: γιά νά καταστρέψη) τά ἔργα τοῦ διαβόλου»(Α´ Ἰω 3, 8). Πρός τό σκοπό αὐτό ἵδρυσε τήν Ἐκκλησία, στήν ὁποία εἰσερχόμασθε διά τοῦ βαπτίσματος, τό ὁποῖο καθαρίζει καί τό προπατορικό ἁμάρτημα καθώς καί ὅλες τίς ἁμαρτίες τίς ὁποῖες ἔχει διαπράξει ὁ (ἐνήλικος) βαπτιζόμενος.


Ὑπάρχουν ὁρισμένοι αἱρετικοί, οἱ «καθαροί», πού πιστεύουν ὅτι ἡ Ἐκκλησία ἀποτελεῖται μόνο ἀπό ἀναμάρτητους καί ὅτι μετά τό βάπτισμα δέν ὑπάρχει συγχώρησι (αἵρεσι τῶν Νοβατιανῶν). Ἡ Γραφή, ὅμως, διδάσκει ὅτι ἡ Ἐκκλησία εἶναι Ἐκκλησία ἀγωνιζομένων (καί ἄρα, μερικές φορές, πιπτόντων) Χριστιανῶν. Θυμίζουμε τή συνύπαρξι στήν Ἐκκλησία ἁγίων καί ἁμαρτωλῶν, ὅπως αὐτή Continue reading “Άγιογραφικά χωρία για την Θεία Εξομολόγηση – Αρχιμ. Ιωάννης Κωστώφ”