Hello! For our Orthodox brethren, I know that you also have something similar to our Sacrament of Reconciliation. Researching about it however; made me confused. For one thing, you have confession to your spiritual guide who may or may not be a priest though only priests can absolve apparently. Also, you have different rituals and I suppose different beliefs on what absolution and confession accomplish. So, clarifications on the above points please.
I am curious to see the responses and now following this thread.
Eastern Orthodox confession is not “something similar”, it IS the Sacrament of Confession. Eastern Orthodox have the same seven sacraments as the Catholic Church, although they are administered somewhat differently.
Very well. It is the same sacrament but I wonder what is the liturgy of this sacrament and also how the Orthodox view the effects of this sacrament.
A person can give their confession to their spiritual father who might not, but almost always is a priest, and a priest is necessary for absolution. I’ve never given confession to someone who wasn’t a priest so I’m not entirely sure how it works, I assume the spiritual father will ask the priest to give absolution. By and large this is really only done around monasteries where learned monks who aren’t priests live. You certainly wouldn’t offer your confession to your friend George, whom you’ve known since third grade.
How it is viewed? I’m not really sure how to answer that. It is one of the Holy Mystery’s of God. It is part of gaining forgiveness and absolution for ones sins.
One thing that separates the Western and Eastern practices is the use of confessionals. Orthodox and Eastern Catholics confess standing next to their confessors in front of an icon of Christ.
I just learned this, but during the regularly scheduled time for confessions (Saturday nights after Vespers), someone will read from the psaltery to cover up the sound of people confessing so that those waiting can’t overhear.