The Patriarchal Sigillion of 1819 Under St. Gregory V of Constantinople on Frequent Communion with Confession

The Patriarchal Sigillion of 1819 Under St. Gregory the Fifth


The Ecumenical Patriarchate to the Sacred Community of the Holy Mountain

Gregory by the mercy of God Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch

Most Holy Overseers and supervisors of the community of the Holy‐ named Mountain; abbots, priors, sacristans of the Holy and Stavropegic Monasteries situated there and the remaining Fathers, who are in the Holy Sketes and Cells abiding in the solitary life. Beloved and dearest children in our Lord, may the grace and peace of God be upon you, and our blessing and prayers.
Years before during my second time by divine mercy as Patriarch, the Church, beholding the ongoing quarrels and disputes between the most holy Fathers there, published its Patriarchal and synodical decree, abolishing and stopping the immoderate ambition of some, and rejecting the satanically inspired scandals and removing from the midst that which was causing spiritual ruin, thereby treating your God‐beloved conduct and realizing your irreproachable solitary state.

[Here the kollyva issue is expounded at length.]

Concerning Divine and Holy Communion, you must be sure and know that the pious have the obligation at every Holy Mystagogy to approach and partake of the life‐creating Body, for which reason they are thus summoned by the Priest “With fear of God, faith, and love, draw near.”

Also, concerning the precariousness and incompetence of people receiving Communion every day, the Church is entrusted with this and each one is commanded to approach the Holy Communion, whenever one confesses to one’s spiritual father, finds oneself worthy of Holy Communion and receives the permission of one’s spiritual father. But if one proves to be a criminal, one must submit to a penance, carry out the assigned penance with repentance and tears first, then present oneself again to one’s spiritual father to receive permission, and thus become worthy of the Divine and Holy Communion, for which neither is there a predestination of days, but nor must forty days first pass after having received Communion. Since [Communion] is unobstructed and unhindered, and whoever wishes to receive permission from their spiritual father, as one irreproachable, it is permitted for this person to receive Communion every week; however, neither is this a limit, nor is it an Apostolic Canon [i.e., neither is weekly the limited frequency, nor is it demanded for all to commune weekly].

These things we order and advise to everyone, to which you should be firmly rooted, and do not deviate from them, but neither break out into untimely and arrogant quarrels and disputes and satanic convictions, which are the fruit of death and destruction of the soul. Whoever is caught, out of malevolence or an evil mindset, persisting in this spiritually detrimental mindset and is proven to be quarreling about these things and resisting or that he thinks lawfully that memorial services be performed and kollyva presented for the salvation of the souls of the dead only on Saturday and not on any other day, or out of obstinacy and passion he carries out these things and presents them on Sunday, rewarding those who on occasion fall into minor sins, or he is seen saying that we must receive Communion every forty days and neither less nor more frequently than forty days, such a person, whatever his class and rank and age may be, must know that if it becomes known to the Church, he will be required to submit to its legal exasperation and punishment and to experience things which one could not even imagine in one’s dreams.

Therefore, pay close attention to everybody, do so willingly and obediently, as we are already writing to advise and request you, and do not choose otherwise. May you be healthy in the Lord. 1819, in the month of August, 7th indiction.

+ GREGORY V of Constantinople New Rome
+ POLYCARP of the Holy City of Jerusalem
+ JOANNICIUS of Caesarea
+ ATHANASIUS of Nicomedia
+ GREGORY of Dercae
+ DOROTHEUS of Adrianople
+ JEREMIAS of Bizye
+ CALLINICUS of Siphnus
+ MELETIUS of Heraclea
+ MACARIUS of Nicaea
+ JOSEPH of Thessalonica
+ ZACHARIAS of Berroea
+ CALLINICUS of Dydimotechus
+ DIONYSIUS, Metropolitan of Reos