St. Gregory Russian Orthodox Church logo

Saint Gregory Russian Orthodox Church

Messages from Altar (English)

ПРОЧИТАТЬ НА РУССКОМ ЯЗЫКЕ (To read messages in Russian - Click Here)
The Sacrament of Penance
Jesus gave us a sacrament in which our sins are forgiven. This sacrament is called Penance. We receive this sacrament when we go to confession.
   On Easter Sunday Jesus came to His disciples. He stood among them and said: "Pease be with you". He showed them His hands and side. Then he breathed on them, saying, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
   The Apostles received the power to forgive sins from Jesus. The people would go to the Apostles to confess their sins. To confess, means telling all your sins.
   All priests receive this power from the Holy Spirit to forgive sins. The priest can forgive our sins in confession. In confession we tell our sins to the priest who is a servant o God. God knows all our sins. He must keep our sins a secret.
   The Sacrament of Penance is wonderful. We should be thankful for this blessing. It makes our souls clean and pleasing to God.
   When we sin, we are offending God, but He is always ready to forgive us. God forgives our sins in confession.
   To make a good confession we must prepare ourselves very carefully.
To receive the sacrament we must:
  • Try to remember all our sins.
  • Be truly sorry for our sins.
  • Make up our mind not to sin anymore.
  • Tell all our sins to the priest.
  • Fulfill the penance our priest gives us.
   On the day of your confession, arrive early enough before Liturgy so as not to feel uncomfortable and rushed to finish. Sometimes you may have to wait a while for your turn to go up to the priest. While waiting, quietly think of God, remember your sins, and read prayers in your prayer book. When your turn comes:


  • Get up from your seat quietly.
  • Kiss the icons on all three tables up front in the nave.
  • Kneel at the foot of the steps where Father will be waiting and touch your forehead to the floor.
  • Go up the steps to the priest.
  • Kneel in front of this table.
  • Father will then place his stole on your head.
  • You then say softly, but loud enough for Father to hear, the prayer before confession:
I, a sinner, confess to the Lord, God Almighty, One in the Holy Trinity, to the Blessed Virgin Mary,
 Mother of God, to all the Saints, and to you my Faher confessor, all my sins.


  • Father will ask you if this is your first confession, or when you made your last confession.
  • Confess all of your sins. Father may ask you questions to help you remember your sins. Answer his questions.
  • When you are finished telling Father all your sins and answering his questions, recite the prayer after confession:

For these and all my other sins, known and unknown, by which I have offended and angered the good God against me, I am heartfully sorry; I repent sincerely and I promise with the help of God to better my life.
For these and all the sins of my past life, I humbly ask pardon of God.

  • Father will then read a prayer in which he asks God to forgive all your sins.
  • Father will then give you some instructions. Those insructions are your penance- listen well.
  • Return to your seat. Quietly fulfill your penance and thank God for forgiving all your sins.

      This is a wonderful moment, and you feel that everything is all right with you and God, and all your family and friends. You feel very happy, and you feel like trying more than ever to the best Christian you possibly can be.

Serving Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas.

Nearby communities include Duck Hollow, Munhall, Squirrel Hill, Swisshelm Park, West Homestead, Whitaker.

St. Gregory Russian Orthodox Church    214 East 15th Avenue, Homestead, PA 15120    412-462-8256