Moscow Parishes in the End of the 19th — Beginning of the 20th Centuries: Share of Believers Participating in Sacraments of Confession and Communion Among Urban Orthodox Citizens

In this paper the author considers the proportion between Orthodox city people, who did or did not take part in sacraments of confession and communion in Moscow parish churches at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. The study is based upon a sample of data about the numbers of parishioners, which was collected from confession and clerical lists stored in the Central State Archive of Moscow. Significant changes over the period between 1897 and 1913 were discovered: the share of those recorded in confession lists decreased from 30% to 15%.

Eastern Orthodox Confession in the Soviet Period

This article traces changes in the practice of sacramental confession in the Soviet period, from 1917 to 1991. The combination of secularizing pressures, church closures, and fewer priests, meant that the routine, institutionalized aspect of confession before 1917, which had made individual confession something familiar to the average Orthodox Christian believer, vanished, replaced in most cases by the general confession. On the other hand, for religious “virtuosi,” confession became a more central element of religious life.