Sin and repentance: Interview with Father Mesrop Aramyan

We all have committed sins in our lives but aren’t there any ways to get rid of them?

During the meetings with Father Mesrop Aramyan, we discussed the sins of humanity
many times. This time we talked about how to get free from sins.

The Father reminded the Golden Rule of the Bible: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” He stressed that the rule referred only to doing and expecting good things.
However, in this case, another question arises. What is good? This was the topic of numerous discussions. Nevertheless, many people find it challenging to define the term good for themselves because very often, the so-called good has a very relative meaning.

The primary source of good in Christianity is God. From him spread truth, love, virtue,
peace. We should develop a deep understanding to recognize the word peace. At The Last
Supper, Jesus told his disciples that he leaves the peace of his soul to them. A person can
be in a complicated and terrible situation. In this case, their soul should have Jesus’s
soul peace.

This also happens during the process of baptism. Only after baptism the person is sealed and ready to receive the peace of the soul of Christ. The priests have accepted that peace with great
honor and passed it to other people.

Returning to the topic, Father Mesrop asked to pay attention to the fact that guilt is not
just a violation of specific laws. Sin is the denial of God’s love, the denial of God’s essence in
us. The process of deliverance from sin is called repentance in the Bible. It is significant to
understand that remorse represents only one part of the process of repentance.

Repentance is a greater process. It is one of the seven sacraments of the church,
performed regularly, and is considered a source of nourishment for human life. Repentance is
carried out in 3 stages. The first is repentance in the heart. As Narekatsi notes in his “Matyan
Voghbergutyan” (The Book of Lamentations), “There is nothing more magnificent than the heart of a sinner who has rediscovered his sense from the darkness and received the help of God.” The second stage is verbal confession. It is possible to do it in the Armenian Apostolic Church, under the guidance of the clergy.

Confessing our sins is very important, too, as there is a high probability of omissions. To
complete the second stage, the pastor in the church performs the order of repentance authored
by Grigor Tatevatsi. This helps to become free from sins.

The third stage is repentance of act. At this stage, people do some good things to be
cleansed from sins. For instance, if during the first two stages it turns out that a person is filled
with hatred towards other people, he must do acts of love. Conventionally, the community of
clergy decides what the person should do to complete the repentance.

Father Mesrop talked about the significance of the liturgy. He believes that the
liturgy sums up 99% of the meaning of Christianity. During the ritual, people connect with
God through wine and bread.

With the help of centuries-long experience, repentance is now used even in psychology. It opens our eyes and makes us self-aware.

Victoria Mamyan, 11th grade


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