So I have a bit of a dilemma over confession. I have a really big problem with a particular sin. I don’t want the priest to know who I am,I think he will still recognize me even if I use the screen. Which do you think is preferable the screen or face-to face? Any advice on the above would be appreciated. Thanks!
Is it possible for you to go to another parish, where you don’t know the priest, and confess through the screen?
It is not possible because of my parents.
I would just go, then, to the priest you mention. If it is a common sin, you may be assured he’s heard it hundreds of times before. Just go and don’t worry about whether he knows you or not. Use the screen.
Just go to confession behind the screen. Even if he “recognizes your voice”, your priest has likely heard the same sin dozens of time in the past week. It is a trick of Satan, making us think our sins are so specially bad that they will cause the priest to think badly of us. Don’t give in, realize that most sin is super common and super boring.
I wouldn’t stress too much over it. There is nothing new under the sun that a priest hasn’t already heard, and they do not judge you. When in the confessional they are acting in Persona Christi. That being said, if you choose face to face there will be no doubt who you are. The screen offers some anonymity, which you might find a bit more relaxing than face to face.
Just go. Many, if not most, people have a problem overcoming some particular sin. Like others have said, nothing a priest hasn’t heard before. I’ve heard a priest say behind a screen results in a faster more direct confession, but I think it just depends on the person.
I recommend that you’ll feel more comfortable behind the screen.
As others have said, there is nothing you can say that will surprise or shock the priest and he won’t think less of you. In fact he won’t even think of you at all, other than as the penitent coming to him for absolution and healing. Once he’s “done” you, he’ll be onto the next one - just like a doctor moving to the next patient.
Do yourself a favor and go behind the screen. A problem which many of us have is overthinking when going to Confession. Do not forget that for the priest, you are just another soul seeking repentance. There is no way you are going to confess anything shocking. Unless he is newly ordained, he has heard a lot worse before.
If it is helpful for you to know, I am a teenager myself, and I have gone to Confession numerous times with several priests, said things that I have been extremely embarrassed about. No matter what sins you struggle with, know that you are not alone, and many of us have confessed it as well.
As pope Francis says; Don´t be afraid of Confession.
The priest is there to help and guide you through the Sacrament. The Devil is the one trying to keep you from going. Just go to Confession and God will liberate you from the burden of your sins. Also, if you would like, you may ask the priest for advice in Confession as well - but that is completely up to you.
God is waiting for you, and wanting to offer his mercy and forgiveness for you. Go ahead and answer His calling
Yours in Christ,
One of my favourite stories on this Sorry to those who’ve heard it before.
A priest once told me about hearing confessions: “You’ve heard it all after the first week. The devil is very boring”.
I used to routinely go to confession behind the screen or in a standard confessional. Lately I’ve been going face to face, because of bad knees I can’t kneel anymore. It really doesn’t make any difference. The priest will have heard similar confessions as yours a hundred times a week. He won’t think any less of you. He’ll be glad you came to confession. To every penitent, each confession seems like a big deal. To a priest, it’s just another day on the job, same old thing.
Don’t worry about it. Just confess and be done with it. The Priest probably hears similar sins from others regularly, and probably much worse at times. Even if he recognizes you, he cannot treat you any differently . You know what else? Priests have to confess too. They have their own sins they struggle with, like all of us.
I know it is easier said than done, and I know I get anxious too. But the worst fear is in anticipation. Once you are done, then you will see you won’t be blacklisted. Everything will still be okay. The sun will still rise in the East. Father will hear many embarrassing confessions after yours and yours will not likely stand out, even if you go face to face.
^ This pretty much covers it.
Remember that the priest is bound to keep silence about what you confess or that you have been to confession. There are serious canonical penalties if he breaks the silence.
Just go. Behind the screen or face to face, just go.
Your priest is there to help and won’t judge you. He will be happy you’re in Confession! Trust in the Sacrament and be brave.
I’ve had some doozies and they were tough to confess, but things said in the confessional stay there. I’m active in my parish and it’s never affected the way my priest interacts with me. Whatever you are confessing I’m sure he’s heard before. Peace.
I stand corrected
As horrible you think your sins are, the priest has heard much worse. No secret is worse that the tragedy and sorrow of an unconfessed sin. Knowing that you will have to confess it again, once you have, will be a powerful influence to help you from committing it again.
Priests are trained to forget these confessions, they have heard so many of them anyway. Even though you might not think so, your priest wants very much for you to unburden yourself.
I struggle with this too, but I remind myself not to let my fears keep my from confession and God’s grace!
I doubt priests try to associate the voice with people they know so that they can learn about all our sins. They are there to listen and to offer us God’s forgiveness, not play a guessing game. And even if they do recognize your voice… they probably won’t remember what you said.
Secondly, I’ve been to face-to-face confessions and I’ve never had a priest treat me differently after hearing my confession. Although I usually go behind the screen (in many churches that is the only option), I think face-to-face can also be a healing, humbling experience. In some ways the human interaction makes it less intimidating. It feels awkward at first but I never regret it leaving the Confessional.
Finally, remember that priests have to go to confession too, so I think they get it.