Penance

img300-penance1According to the Armenian Orthodox Church, Holy Communion is the fulfilment of a genuine desire of repentant Christians to reconcile with God.  Therefore, spiritual preparation and Holy Penance must precede it.  Sorrow for sins, humility and open and heartfelt confession are the main elements of penance.  In the Armenian Church, group confessions are made openly and publically before taking communion because the Holy Spirit is present in the Church.  The third element of penance is the formal prayer of absolution through which the forgiveness of God through Christ is sacramentally bestowed upon the repentant sinner.  The fulfilment of penance is the reception of Holy Communion and the genuine reconciliation of the repentant sinner with God and all men according to the commandments of Christ.  What must follow is the necessity of a sincere attempt by the penitent person to refrain from sin and to remain in faithful obedience to God.