Archpriest Alexei Uminsky on the subtraction of prayers and formal confession

People for many years in the Church. Regularly for worship, participate in the sacraments, praying, and fasting. But one day realizes that something is wrong that he is not praying, and "reads" a prayer rule, confession brings the same list of sins, which were only to copy... And most importantly – his Church life disappeared the main thing: there is no Christ. Is it possible to Wake up, to remember what once this man came to Church? Responsible Archpriest Alexei Uminsky, rector of the Church of the Holy Trinity (Moscow).

Photo from of Course, it all starts with prayer – it teaches a certain discipline. But prayer can't go through life pushing the one, once again and for all the selected rules and no way to change.

Archpriest Alexei Uminsky

Prayer connected with life. But life is different all the time flowing in different dimensions and requires from you that extreme stress, the heightened attention, then, in some minutes, even relaxation and recreation. Because our rule of prayer can not be frozen.

The prayer rule for man, and not man for prayer. At the time the idea was expressed by St. Ignatius (Bryanchaninov) in his sermon about the prayer rule. Rule of prayer should not be an obstacle in the spiritual life of man.

But unfortunately, as often is happening now. Because man, sometimes prayer rule is imposed, it does not choose, but simply faces him, opening the prayer book printed in this way and no other.

There are specific morning specific evening, three specific Canon that people read before communion, there are certain prayers, prayers before communion. That is a choice at all no no. You – want – not, like – not like, you know – I don't know – not, – be concluded in a rigid framework. Therefore, no rule of your freedom.

The prayer rule will benefit if it, first, is selected by human forces. Also mentioned St. Ignatius (Bryanchaninov). That is, the child and the adult must be a different rule of prayer; it may not be the same for men and women; it will be a person who is very busy working. During lent – another rule of prayer.

Different life circumstances suggest that the force a person can be different. So the rule must comply with these circumstances.

No matter how many prayers in this rule included. No matter what specifically you're reading prayers during their morning and evening prayers. It is important that you do morning and evening straining their will, mind, heart. Strain in order to start a conversation with God.

To learn to speak this conversation with God, for man is always a problem, because to learn to speak to man with God very difficult. We the people, and with each other are taught to speak in order to understand, to hear each other. So we're talking with different people: in a certain way with children, subordinates, bosses, friends and so on. We have for each person its own language, its own intonation, we even choose certain words in order to speak with different people.

In this sense, of course, the talk of a man – sinful, and limited, weak, and a lot not knowing and not understanding, but seeking God with God Himself, inaccessible, invisible, incomprehensible, a thing extremely difficult. If the person does not think about it, and I am sure "so I picked up the prayer book, will now read morning and evening prayers, and all is well" is, I would say, even dangerous.

Because the rule of prayer, first of all, learn to adjust your heart to the right person able to talk to God, was able to God as to convey that a person could be a God understood, heard. And God Himself could be heard and understood by man. That is why the rosary can be called a tuning fork.

The man is very similar to a musical instrument. Important that it is, should sound pure, not fake. When we repeat a prayer rule through him we learn to pray, it brings us to the pure sound of our hearts, our thoughts, our feelings, our mind towards God. This is the first assignment rule of prayer through which man learns to pray.

If the rule is selected or even not selected and just accepted without any reasoning, automatically, not understood, not demolished, not taken in this rule, the person even there is no favorite prayers, and just have all the prayers that must be read, not really knowing what I'm in your prayers to God speak, then, of course, over time it will become a burden, a shackle. People may even stop praying.

This is just a sign that he just initially incorrectly treated the rule. Unfortunately, very often hear from the priests hard question: "have you read the rule? And you usually read? And you morning and evening prayers read more?" This legalist attitude can not to help the person in his spiritual growth.

When we talk about the rule of prayer, we remember that it must be selected by the man himself, perhaps along with the Confessor. And, again, these are not my words, but St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov), the man who has come a long ascetic path of knowledge of God. A prayer rule should not be above you, above you. It was given to you as assistance and you're not his slave, and not you serve him, and not you for the sake of the rule of prayer in the morning get up and go to bed at night. It should be feasible and very well understood you.

If a person now there is a problem with the prayer rule, it "proofreads" it, let him again look at these prayers, will throw all that in these prayers is not clear, and leave something that inspires him. Through this he can find himself in these prayers, is actually very deep and wonderful. Then this rule of prayer will help him jump start your way to God.

About freedom

Second point: the rule of prayer in relation to interior prayer and educational way. The rosary teaches people to add to prayer, a certain movement of his own soul. That is, it gives the opportunity to learn to speak to God in your own words. Here I remember the words of nineteenth century St. Theophan the Recluse, who says that to pray only the prayer book similar to how to talk to God through a PhraseBook in a foreign language.

Surely each of us has no heart in his words to God? Surely each of us has so far not born any deep feelings, when we can God rightly from the heart, joyfully, in your own words, to say something, to praise him, thank Him, repent to Him, ask Him? After all, prayer is, above all, free. And where there is no freedom prayer, the prayer also can not be.

So here the person becomes in some sense a poet, Creator of the prayer, because every prayer is like poetry. In this sense, the man who speaks with God, becomes like God, the Creator. God speaks to us in the language of poetry, and the whole of Scripture is poetry. And the prophets speak the language of poetry, and the great saints.

People should be able to be a poet, to be free. I don't mean that it needs to be a scribbler and write to God some prayers. No. But I say that when people freely praying he somehow gets from this poetic gift, embodies a poetic gift. If a person has no prayer of freedom, so he something about God doesn't then he's with God in my life not touched. Because the real experience of contact with God that a person receives through a real sincere prayer.

We can afford to pray sincerely, deeply only in a moment of profound experiences. But it's wrong! The person should talk to God daily.

We are all afraid to come out of the General system, and therefore tend to become the same. We must not move right or left, we need to stay in some kind of gray middle. Because I'm afraid to fall into temptation. But the beauty is associated not with freedom and with pride.

Yes, St. Ignatius in his teaching on prayer, the rule says that no need to write prayers to God. Really did not need. But to Express yourself with a language of their own life, the language of their own knowledge of God man should be.

About the Jesus prayer

You need to learn to pray the Jesus prayer. No need to fear it, to fear that man, if he has no spiritual leader, must necessarily go mad. It's not true. She even is given in the rule for the illiterate.

You can, for example, any man to read morning and evening prayers, and instead of morning and evening prayers to read, say, fifty-Jesus prayers.

I from my own experience I know that sometimes, in a moment of fatigue, in a moment of some inner devastation, you can't pick up a Prayer book and read the familiar prayers. Then you pick up the beads and slowly, not very many, pronounced the Sweetest Name of Jesus and say: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner". Is that not prayer?! St. Ignatius (Bryanchaninov) advises to pay more attention to the Jesus prayer with the words "have mercy on me, a sinner", to speak them with special force.

But still the main thing here – the name of Jesus. Therefore, when a person in the Jesus prayer of the heart special attention on Christ's Name believe me, his heart becomes alive.

So generally it is sometimes useful to change the rule of prayer to the Jesus prayer.

You can change morning and evening prayers read Psalms. You can change this or another prayer read other prayers. That is, a person has the freedom to choose their own prayer rule in different circumstances of life the way he wants, to pray as he now likes. The main thing – to pray. And when one understands this, then he begins to love prayer, then he begins to want to pray, then his soul as if asking prayers. Everything falls into place.

It turns out that from the system, you can safely go. You can finally understand that we Christians are given freedom. This freedom we should have and want to implement it. And then, of course, a lot depends on the priesthood, which must also love this freedom, not to fear it and be able to do this freedom joyfully give to his parishioners.

About confession If a person feels that once again will bring to confession the next the usual list of sins, without feeling any inner experiences, you probably need to do some pause, to get himself out of this vicious circle of hypocrisy and formalism.

Thank God, something moved. Adopted a document "On the participation of the faithful in the Eucharist", where the rigor and formalization of the confessional, as the duty of every confession before each Eucharist, all the same shot. It gives people the opportunity to breathe, to get away from the fear. Because, in General, people are scared.

What's going on? Our problem is the greatest distrust of man, when every person you potentially suspect that he is a sinner that he does not fast, not preparing for the sacrament, not to confess his sins that he did not like this and it should definitely all the time check. He must be under a feeling of special guilt.

Not read something? All he has is an extreme criminal. Something didn't disposedof, did not finish some greshock in your list? All he has to the court and the condemnation of Holy communion. That's the trouble.

Many things that happen in our Church life – the scarcity of faith in man, burnout is associated largely with this attitude to man, when man was originally conceived as a villain, who must be controlled. And this control does the priest. The man is constantly under the piercing gaze: "And you read? Were you at the vigil? Missed Wednesday and Friday?"

And the person starts to rush like driven deer among these "Ah, not yet, Oh, not read, Ah, did not finish". It is important to read, to write, to do anything to formally to him were no quibbles. Then he calmed down, that all debts were closed. Then he can calmly think: "now I'm not to blame and can now "did not in court and not condemnation".

This problem should be aware of and to deal with it. Also it leads to endless daily confession, which is not a confession, but an enumeration of some obscure points that, in fact, there's a constant, daily work of man.

Each person every day in his life is fighting and must struggle with his thoughts, his nature, with its shortcomings. Impossible for every day to confess it. But if every day you will confess it, knowing that all time say the same thing. But it's not a matter of daily confession.

The question is, what fruit is your personal, daily struggle brings. This reasoning you can carry on the confession as a matter to his Confessor, as requests yourself to pray, as his contrition of heart, but not as a list, with whom you come in as skip for communion.


Nothing happens? And well Why a person is afraid that his life is nothing to carry to confession, and just the daily fight? Thank God that he had nothing happens. So it is more or less correct, normal lives. And why should something happen? Every three weeks the person needs to kill someone or steal something? Can't an Orthodox Christian three weeks to live like a normal person?

Confession should go, if you feel that you really need. I confess each week when I feel I need and can not confess for two months. And no I can't control it. There is of course some control of the diocese – we, the priests, one to two times per year are required to come to confession to our diocesan chaplain. But no more.

And what, in fact, the lives of all us Christians from each other is very different? We are all human beings made of the same material. On the contrary, the priest is a huge responsibility. On the other hand, it would seem, should be forced to confess every week. But no. The priests – free citizens, free children of the Church.

I can't seem to be in the Church a special relationship to the priests and special relationship to the laity nor as a confession, or as prayers. Only post, probably, priests must abide by the stricter should pray more.

Without any doubt, a person may not seek confession and spiritual laziness. It is impossible to put under the stencil, this is life. And each person is responsible for their own life. Every man for himself right and sober look. Again I repeat: why does everyone have to be under control, under such a strict eye: and not a criminal if you're really not the enemy if you're a Church?

If, nevertheless, man himself is difficult to understand, it needs to look smart Confessor, the priest is able to understand, to help determine the extent of his prayers and the extent of his fasting, frequency of confession...

To start over about posts all the same: a measure of freedom and personal efforts of God. People should be zealous, as a real Christian. He should always want something more than he has. To pray is better than he prays, fasting is better than he is fasting, to repent is better than he repents. Don't constantly force yourself: "Wow, I usually don't read, now I read it as! Uh, read, uh, now, finally, your favorite TV series". In another way it should be. Although your favorite show may be present in a Christian's life including.

Jealousy is not given as something ready that you can copy, on the contrary, it nurtured. It is the divine pedagogy, pedagogy of the Church, when you go from simple to complex, from small to large, from public to things that need a specific person.

If the person who is long in the Church, suddenly woke up and saw that his whole faith, the whole Church life – just walking in the annual circle, there is no master, no Christ, then we have to start all over again. It all starts with the gospel, and not with rules and posts. At this moment, when such a disaster happens, when man can neither pray nor fast, and doesn't want to confess, he should do just that – open to the gospel and begin to read it. He can do nothing else. He may even forget about the prayer rule. It is important again to find this joyful meeting point with God.

And then, when you found her, when through the gospel revived its existence, revived his memory of the meeting with Christ, you can start all over again. You again slightly to start in the morning and evening to pray, but by force and with joy. Also capable and happy to fast. As quietly begin to confess and take communion. But happily and freely.published

Prepared By Oksana Golovko


P. S. And remember, just changing your mind — together we change the world! ©



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