Am I Missing Something?


#1

I go to confession. Frequently. Or as often as I can, given the circumstances discussed below.

I went to a Catholic school, learned how to make a good confession, etc. And I'm typically in and out of the confessional in less than five minutes. Unless I have an unusually talkative priest. And even then it's well under 10 minutes. I just say how long it's been and the specific sins I've committed. I would like to be able to say how many times I've done everything, but I really don't know how many times in a week I fall into the sins like yelling in my car at the terrible drivers around me, not being as caring to others as I should be, etc.

There are two priests at my parish and one has even said I make really good confessions- detailed, yet concise. (The other once said I made a good, albeit "rapid fire" confession one day when I was speaking rather quickly, trying to allow a couple more people in the 8+ long line behind me in the final 5 minutes of confession)

But regardless of what parish I may end up at for confession time, it seems as if I can get in line behind someone who can take literally 35 minutes. And these are sometimes people who are going every week! I'm sorry, but there is a line of 10 people that would like to go to confession. You get the right combination of people, and it's just too bad for anyone not first or second in line. Too bad for the person 4th in line that may have a mortal sin they are trying to confess before Mass.

I am sincerely curious,
1)How does one make a weekly confession last 15-20 minutes, and
2) Am I wrong to urge these people to make outside appointments with the priest? Or am I just going to have to park myself in line well before confession starts each week so that I don't wait in line for 90 minutes, only to not have my confession heard before Mass?

Thank you in advance.


#2

Wow, if they are going every week and take that long, one does wonder. I am like you, OP, I learned to say my confession in kind (of sin) and number (of times committed). My own confessions take about five minutes or less also, again, unless the Priest speaks to me about something, and even then only about 5 minutes or less.
Occasionally, I have had to wait an awful long time too, but, I am not as attentive as you, I don't pay any attention to who is in there or if I saw them a week or two ago, or a month ago. I never really look at anyone as a matter of fact. I am always too busy recalling my sins, asking for St. Pio's intercession and our dear Blessed Mother's intercession to make a good confession and praying my act of contrition. (which I usually repeat again after my confession, while in the confessional.)
Maybe, just maybe, God is trying to teach you patience? (I mean if its happening over and over to you....just a thought.) :)
Also, perhaps you could say a prayer, while waiting, for that poor soul in there, who must be having an awful time of it. (Not to mention for Father, if he has to deal with the same person every week taking that long.) :D


#3

Rocheb, I think we are rather similar people. I too, make an effort to confess sins in number and kind. My confessions go rather quickly, almost always five minutes or less. This situation you mentioned has happened to me before on numerous occasions. Sometimes that person is just being very talkative, like ":eek:" talkative. In that situation, the priest and penitent could use your prayers. Someone may be returning to the Church after years away and may not think of scheduling an appointment. The priest and the penitent could use your prayers.

Basically, what I'm saying is, try offering it up ;):D


#4

Many people struggle with confessing the number and kind only. Some feel the need to also present circumstance and/or commentary as well. I know it is so frustrating to wait when someone takes so long... but try to focus on what is happening: someone is being again reunited with God and His sanctifying grace. Whether confession lasts two minutes or two hours, try to remember that God is rejoicing and we should too. :)


#5

I agree! I'm one of those people that make everyone wait because I don't confess by sin and number .....Never have. Most of the time I have to talk about situation and intention - usually because most of the time there are sins that I didn't even know I committed or that they were even sins to begin with! I'm quite detailed too and always require a lot of feedback and commentary. I tend to be a reflective person in that manner. I'm also am conscious of how to improve so that I'm not committing the same sin over and over ....I really want to make sure I'm making a good confession cause I usually don't know if I am most of the time! I agree with Ophelia on this one. The most important thing here is reconciling with God, making sure that I'm pleasing to God and in his good graces. I don't know but it's always awkward to remember a memorized act of contrition so I'm having to try to remember it off the top of my head...takes a few minutes. I go to confession about every two weeks or so.... Nothing all that serious though, mostly venial sins but you never know... Practicing the virtue of patience is important in these situations while praying and preparing yourself before going into the confessional.


#6

Thank you all for your excellent insight and suggestions. I really appreciate it.

I will definitely focus on the joy of the souls who have been reconciled rather than the poor souls in line that may not have the chance to receive the Eucharist that weekend. I think that will be a silver lining that I will find helpful.

My mother reminisces on the days when almost every parish had confession every day before Mass. It would make things easier I think...


#7

[quote="rocheb, post:1, topic:323956"]
I go to confession. Frequently. Or as often as I can, given the circumstances discussed below.

I went to a Catholic school, learned how to make a good confession, etc. And I'm typically in and out of the confessional in less than five minutes. Unless I have an unusually talkative priest. And even then it's well under 10 minutes. I just say how long it's been and the specific sins I've committed. I would like to be able to say how many times I've done everything, but I really don't know how many times in a week I fall into the sins like yelling in my car at the terrible drivers around me, not being as caring to others as I should be, etc.

There are two priests at my parish and one has even said I make really good confessions- detailed, yet concise. (The other once said I made a good, albeit "rapid fire" confession one day when I was speaking rather quickly, trying to allow a couple more people in the 8+ long line behind me in the final 5 minutes of confession)

But regardless of what parish I may end up at for confession time, it seems as if I can get in line behind someone who can take literally 35 minutes. And these are sometimes people who are going every week! I'm sorry, but there is a line of 10 people that would like to go to confession. You get the right combination of people, and it's just too bad for anyone not first or second in line. Too bad for the person 4th in line that may have a mortal sin they are trying to confess before Mass.

I am sincerely curious,
1)How does one make a weekly confession last 15-20 minutes, and
2) Am I wrong to urge these people to make outside appointments with the priest? Or am I just going to have to park myself in line well before confession starts each week so that I don't wait in line for 90 minutes, only to not have my confession heard before Mass?

Thank you in advance.

[/quote]

          This makes for a good read... thank you for that..... I have not been to confession for years.... I try to talk to God a couple times per week... when I know I have sinned I think about actually what made me do that thing... no one forced me to do it,,,,it was me....that did it.... then I understand human stupidity better..... then I tell God why I was so stupid.

#8

I wish that priests in parishes where this happens frequently would consider scheduling more times for confession and encouraging some people to make special appointments. It's a very good thing for us to be patient, but it's not a good thing when penitents get turned away because 4 confessions took more than an hour.


#9

[quote="Phil_Marinus, post:7, topic:323956"]
This makes for a good read... thank you for that..... I have not been to confession for years.... I try to talk to God a couple times per week... when I know I have sinned I think about actually what made me do that thing... no one forced me to do it,,,,it was me....that did it.... then I understand human stupidity better..... then I tell God why I was so stupid.

[/quote]

Forgive me for asking, but if you haven't been to confession in years, how do you do your Easter Duty? Confession is manditory before receiving the Holy Euchrist....at least that was what I was taught well before Vatican II, and I don't think that has changed.


#10

[quote="George_Stegmeir, post:9, topic:323956"]
Forgive me for asking, but if you haven't been to confession in years, how do you do your Easter Duty? Confession is manditory before receiving the Holy Euchrist....at least that was what I was taught well before Vatican II, and I don't think that has changed.

[/quote]

We are not obliged to go to confession unless aware of mortal sin (see Canon Law 989). Venial sins do not have to be confessed in the confessional during the Sacrament of Penance, (although doing so is highly recommended), as they are asolved in many other ways, especially at the beginning of Mass.


#11

[quote="aspirant, post:8, topic:323956"]
I wish that priests in parishes where this happens frequently would consider scheduling more times for confession and encouraging some people to make special appointments. It's a very good thing for us to be patient, but it's not a good thing when penitents get turned away because 4 confessions took more than an hour.

[/quote]

Yes!!

I sincerely wish and pray that all parishes had a daily confession time. Even if nobody showed up, couldn't the priest use the time waiting to pray, prepare his homily, what have you? It may not be possible, but it sure would be ideal. I just wish there were an increase in confession in general. I hate to see people have to walk away because the time is up and they didn't get heard.

Granted, the Cathedral here in St. Paul does offer confession every day. There have been times when I still was unable to confess because it was time for the Mass to start and time had run out. When that happens, I just try to offer it up and abstain from the Eucharist for daily Mass and try to offer that frustration or hurt as rejoicing in God's grace. :)


#12

It would be nice if there were more confession times. My local churches all do Saturday afternoon and maybe one day during the week in the morning. During the week I'm at work and sometimes on Saturday you're busy and can't make it out to confession. So you could have a mortal sin that you have to confess and then you're stuck.

But anyway, I'm also a kind and number type person. I may mention to the priest if it's something that I struggle with and how I'm attempting to fix the problem so that he has some background, but other than that I don't go into much detail. I typically take a couple minutes. I never understood how people take forever either. I remember one time I needed to get somewhere, I figured I'd go to confession and then go after. I told the person I'd be there in 10 minutes. 10 minutes later I was still waiting for the same person as when I got there. It's always great when you walk into the church and you see the light on and the door open :D.


#13

If you’re going every week and it takes you 30 minutes to confess and there’s a big line, sorry but I think that’s selfish. Schedule a meeting with the priest, and let other people have their turn.

(Having been in that ‘same’ line more than once).


#14

One time when my husband was behind one of "those" people, and there were only minutes left before Mass would start, he looked in the window of the door to see what was taking so long - hoping the person going to confession would see him & cut it short. (The confessional room has a window in the door where you can see the one confessing but not the priest.)

The woman was relaxed, laughing & chatting. My husband didn't make it to confession that day. The long-winded chatterbox was the last one. Her "confession" took well over 20 minutes.


#15

[quote="Bonnie, post:14, topic:323956"]
One time when my husband was behind one of "those" people, and there were only minutes left before Mass would start, he looked in the window of the door to see what was taking so long - hoping the person going to confession would see him & cut it short. (The confessional room has a window in the door where you can see the one confessing but not the priest.)

The woman was relaxed, laughing & chatting. My husband didn't make it to confession that day. The long-winded chatterbox was the last one. Her "confession" took well over 20 minutes.

[/quote]

He peeked in on somebody's confession??:eek:

You really can't make conclusions. My last confession lasted a really long time and a casual observer might have assumed that we were just having a casual conversation. The confession part of the sacrament was over, but the priest and I were discussing some of my sins and struggles and we were doing so in a relaxed manner. I probably even laughed (at myself) from time to time. It was a good confession. I walked away feeling strengthened and renewed in my struggle against some particularly difficult sins and I greatly appreciate that my priest was willing and able to take the time to give me that guidance.

Now, we both knew that nobody was waiting. This wasn't exactly an appointment, but it wasn't during regularly scheduled confession times, either. We just both happened to be at the church at the same time and I asked him if he had time to hear my confession. If I'd known that somebody was waiting, I wouldn't have been so "chatty" and neither would he. Nonetheless, we weren't just having a casual conversation.

I try to always assume the best of others.


#16

[quote="babochka, post:15, topic:323956"]
He peeked in on somebody's confession??:eek:

[/quote]

If we're not supposed to peek, there wouldn't be a window! :D
My guess for the window is if someone closes the door when leaving confession, the next person to come in can check to see if someone is in the chair. Otherwise he'll be standing outside until the end of confession, and the priest will be wondering why hardly anyone goes to confession.

The priest should have been more aware, but that particular one isn't. The time allotted for confessions was only 30 minutes, and that lady was the 2nd or 3rd in line. There was quite a line.

This sort of thing happened a lot at our previous parish. I got so frusrated about getting to the church before confessions started, but still not being able to go to confession, that I finally gave up. People in line talking about movies, tv, parties, etc., didn't help my frame of mind any. :(

The parish we now attend has no time at all for confession. It's a mission parish & the priest gets there about 10 minutes before Mass starts & has to leave about 10 minutes after it's over. As a result, I haven't been to confession since the Advent penance service. Fortunately, I'm perfect. :shrug:

Just joking! But no mortal sins to worry about - so far.


#17

[quote="Bonnie, post:16, topic:323956"]
If we're not supposed to peek, there wouldn't be a window! :D
My guess for the window is if someone closes the door when leaving confession, the next person to come in can check to see if someone is in the chair. Otherwise he'll be standing outside until the end of confession, and the priest will be wondering why hardly anyone goes to confession

[/quote]

It is one thing to peek in to see if someone is there. It is quite another to peek in and judge the person sitting there. :mad:


#18

[quote="maryjk, post:17, topic:323956"]
It is one thing to peek in to see if someone is there. It is quite another to peek in and judge the person sitting there. :mad:

[/quote]

You'll have to talk with my husband then. I ran out of patience long before he did & had already gone to our pew.

The person in confession knew there was a line after her, she either wasn't aware of the passage of time, or didn't care. I never asked her so don't know which. If she were a friend rather than just an acquaintance, I would have asked.

But the priest should have been aware. Occasionally a priest has asked me if anyone was in line behind me. I love those practical priests!

And to forstall the question, "Why don't you make an appoinment for another day?" We live too many miles from the closest church, & the cost of gas makes it even more difficult to run into town. We severely limit our trips into town.


#19

[quote="Bonnie, post:16, topic:323956"]
If we're not supposed to peek, there wouldn't be a window! :D
My guess for the window is if someone closes the door when leaving confession, the next person to come in can check to see if someone is in the chair. Otherwise he'll be standing outside until the end of confession, and the priest will be wondering why hardly anyone goes to confession.

[/quote]

That makes sense. It actually doesn't bother me, as Byzantine confessions are out in the open anyway.

[quote=]The priest should have been more aware, but that particular one isn't. The time allotted for confessions was only 30 minutes, and that lady was the 2nd or 3rd in line. There was quite a line.
[/quote]

You're right. When there is limited time, both the priest and penitent should be aware of others, but we just need to be aware that we don't really know what work of the Holy Spirit is going on in that confessional and we should look upon the situation with all possible charity.

[quote=]The parish we now attend has no time at all for confession. It's a mission parish & the priest gets there about 10 minutes before Mass starts & has to leave about 10 minutes after it's over. As a result, I haven't been to confession since the Advent penance service. Fortunately, I'm perfect. :shrug:

[/quote]

That's so sad and it is a good reminder that not everybody has seven Catholic churches within a 5 mile radius.


#20

[quote="babochka, post:19, topic:323956"]
That's so sad and it is a good reminder that not everybody has seven Catholic churches within a 5 mile radius.

[/quote]

We don't even have a Protestant church within 5 miles! (And they outnumber Catholic churchs by about 20 to 1.) Farms, yes. Lots of cows, sheep, goats, etc. At the Catholic churches, we don't even have 1 priest per parish. Most priests around here have 2 parishes, some have 3.

But I finally had a "thinking-out-of-the-box" aha moment. My husband went on a Cursillo retreat & I'm invited to the monthly Ultraya meetings. Haven't been yet, but I'm pretty sure the priest who usually attends would be willing to show up a little early or stay late for confessions.


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