What is penance and for what sins can impose it
All people are well aware that it is very difficult to live without sin, and many of us have a huge “track record” that we should not be proud of. In order to purify the soul of most of the vices, it is enough to come to church for confession and sincerely repent. However, in some cases even this “ritual” will not be enough, therefore penance is imposed on a person.
Some people think that this is a serious church punishment and they are very afraid of it, for others it is a spiritual “pill”, bitter, but necessary. Let us see if a believer really needs to be afraid of such a way of atonement for sinning, and is everyone threatened with penance?
What it is?
From the Greek language, this word is translated as «punishment by law.» But the priests explain: in fact, it is impossible to draw analogies with the worldly courts.
Penance is the voluntary purification of the human soul from the “wounds” left by a really serious misconduct..
Sometimes, even after the most honest confession, a person is not completely cleared. Therefore, he is assigned the accomplishment of certain feats, that is, tasks, fulfilling which, he will be purified and become above the sinful life.
If a person is physically ill, the doctor prescribes a medicine for him — it is impossible to recover without drinking it. It is the same with penance: a Christian should take it as seriously as possible and be sure to fulfill everything that he was “discharged”.
What are the penances?
If you compare with the secular ship system (fines, prison), church «punishment» is less strict: it may be the reading of certain prayers, the distribution of alms to poor people, fasting. The priest tries to choose the feat based on personal qualities and the transgressions of a certain person. Say:
- a snoot (thief, bribe taker, greedy person) will have to give alms;
- a person guilty of the mortal sin of gluttony can “write out” a strict fast;
- a too idle Christian will be ordered to visit the temple of God more often.
Most often, the time of such spiritual «treatment» is about 40 days.. If during this time the circumstances of a person’s life have changed and he can no longer follow the instructions of the priest, he should visit his spiritual mentor or other church person and receive other instructions.
Well, if the test turned out to be beyond the power of the believer, he can turn to the father or the bishop to be removed.
The most common examples of penance:
- reading prayers (say, 10 times a day, «Our Father»);
- serious study of spiritual literature;
- bows at home prayer or in church;
- exclusion of sexual intimacy (such a ban is often imposed on couples who could not refrain from intimacy before the wedding),
- temporary weaning from the sacrament.
Who can impose this religious punishment?
The clerk. It is important that the parishioner often communicate with this spiritual person and confess to him.
In this case, the priest will be able to pick up a “pill” according to his strength, and at the same time, not too “weak”, because to do the penance you need not play, but overcoming something evil and unworthy in yourself.
After the feat is fulfilled, the believer must come again to the priest. Priest will read permissive prayer (this is called “allow the forbidden”).
If the priest on a long trip, is seriously ill or has died, a different spiritual person can read this prayer.
Sometimes another representative of the church imposes penance — for example, a monk (this can happen if a person goes on a pilgrimage to a holy monastery, and there, when communicating with a monk, he repents of his sins). True, in such circumstances, it is not recommended to ask for penance, because this person does not know all your qualities well, and the “medicine” assigned to them may not be valid, if not impossible.
How repentance in the early church looked like: the story of the appearance of epithymia
In the past, a person who repented of a great sin went through several “penitential” stages before admitting to the church community:
- Cry. Such Christians had no right to enter the Abode of God. They stood at its walls, cried loudly, publicly repented of what they had done (secret confession appeared only at the end of the 4th century) and asked people entering the temple to pray for their sinful souls.
- Hearing. Such people were already allowed outside the church threshold, but not far away — they could have stood quietly in the vestibule (in fact, in the corridor where the outer clothing was hung). They had the right to listen to the preaching and service of God, but during the Eucharist they took to the streets.
- Crouching (kneeling). These Christians could even stand near the altar. Before the beginning of the Eucharist, they knelt to the priest read a special prayer over them with the imposition of hands. After this ritual they left.
- Repentance. These people did not leave the church until the end of the service, but did not receive communion.
Among other things, it was forbidden to repentant sinners to bring sacrificial gifts to the church.
How long could repentance last? It depended on the guilt of man, that is, sin.
- Heredity, splitting: here everything depended on the faith of man. If he decided to return to the church, he was immediately accepted.
- Oathbreak: up to 10 years.
- Fornication (loose lifestyle, relationships with many partners without marriage): from 10 to 15 years.
- Incest (marriages or relationships between close relatives): up to 12 years.
- Humor: up to 15 years.
- Occupation by magic, sorcery: from 20 to 25 years.
- Murder: this is the most serious sin, he was punished for refusing Communion up to 25 years.
What sins can you impose on these days?
- For infanticide. In general, in this case most often it is meant abortion. The church also considers this sin infanticide. And if he was committed by a married woman, both spouses are considered guilty. It is believed that the Lord himself sends a punishment for this grave sin. This may be infertility, illness, family problems. If something of the above happens, these problems can be recognized by God’s penance, which a person (or a couple) has to bear in life, therefore the priest will not prescribe anything more from himself.
- For fornication and adultery (this list can be continued with the sins of lesbianism, homosexuality and other violations of the 7 commandments). Even nowadays, for riotous living and adultery, they can be separated from Communion for 7 years.
- For blasphemy. This includes the curses, which without hesitation pour in all directions, some unrestrained people.
- For perjury. It is considered a very grave sin to be pardoned, to tell a lie before the icons (trying to add more authority to your lies in the name of God), to lie with the hand on the Bible. A lie is evil in itself, but when a person also drags the Lord as a witness into his fantasies, this is doubly bad.
- For theft. Just pray in church a little. If someone has suffered serious losses through the fault of a person, these losses need to be repaired.
- For lying words, evidence. Of course, if people in the morning when they call for work they lie that they are stuck in a traffic jam, while they themselves sleep further, it is a sin. But much worse if someone’s lie breaks human fates. Such sins should entail a serious spiritual «treatment».
- For magic (for example, fortune telling on cards). Of course, the priest will not strongly curse young girls, jokingly causing a “black hand” in the summer camp. But adult women who practice witchcraft (even with prayers in front of icons) cannot be called righteous even with a stretch.
- For alcoholism, drug addiction. This is a double sin. First, addiction destroys the body given to a person (therefore alcoholism is comparable even to suicide). And secondly, they make the relatives of such a person suffer. But the church can help not only atone for sins, but also get rid of the killing habit, you just need to believe it.
Is she prescribed to all?
Not. The fact is that in order to be cleansed from sin, a person must clearly understand that it is a sin.
If a parishioner has only recently come to the bosom of the church, becomes acquainted with many aspects of the faith and ponders them, then penance may seem to him an incomprehensible ritual. Which, among other things, can turn him away from faith.
The priests understand this well, and, like the father, who rejoices in the arrival of the prodigal son in the parable, they do not judge very harshly. They can simply confess such people, giving them advice and comments.
If a person has been attending a temple for a long time and the priest has become a real spiritual father to him, well understanding his thoughts if this believer came to a deeper understanding of the meaning of serving the Lord, it means that he is “grown” to a more conscious redemption of his own sins.
So, you understand that epithymia is not a strict punishment, but simply your voluntary “payment” for sins. But sins are sometimes so heavy for the soul that even if the priest lets them go, a person wants to repent again and again … Is it possible at the request of the believer (believer) to receive penance for a sin already released in the church? The priest answers:
Guess today with the help of the tarot spread "Day map"!
For proper divination: focus on the subconscious and do not think about anything at least 1-2 minutes.