Anonymous vs. Face-to-face confession

Just curious as to what everyone’s personal preference is, and the reasons to why you may find one more beneficial than the other.

I prefer face to face confessions. It is very humbling to me, and I feel God’s graces in a larger capacity when I see my priest absolve me from my sins. I think overall, it makes the sacrament more fulfilling to me - if that makes sense. Since the priest is acting “in persona Christi” (I think that’s the right phrase), I want to be in that moment with him, seeing him.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with doing either. I have confessed behind the screen only once, and I just didn’t like it for some reason. Again, just my opinion. There is absolutely nothing wrong with either method. The important thing is that you go.

I really enjoy going face-to-face. I guess that I just like the personal interaction between myself and my priest. This may also do with the fact that I have a regular confessor - and that the emotion that he shows in his face means a lot to me - whether that be concern, empathy, encouragement, etc.

Obviously - both ways are valid and people should do what makes them feel most comfortable.

I prefer to kneel when I am asking for forgiveness & that is usually behind the screen. Also, if I am behind the screen, I visualize Jesus sitting there instead of the priest. If I go face to face, I am focusing too much on the priest, and not on Christ.

I am infinitely more comfortable going behind the screen. I will do either, but face-to-face is near torture for me. This is strange since I can talk pretty openly about most anything, including my misdeeds.

I, too, have a regular confessor, so going behind the screen seems a little silly. :smiley: What’s funny is that I find that I’m usually looking down at my knees or hands, or anywhere BUT at him, so it’s not as if I have the benefit of seeing his expressions. On the other hand, one thing that I really like is when he is giving absolution, he will lay his hands on the penitent, and there is something very healing in that.

I wish I had one. But unfortunately the priests at my parish haven’t reconciled their schedule with my personal needs :rolleyes: Someone is always available, of course, but not always the same one :frowning:

I absolutely love my regular confessor - he is such an amazing priest and the best confessor that I have ever come across. I am dreading when his assignment is up at my parish - which should be in the next year or so. He has been such an important person in my faith journey - but I know that he will be needed (and loved) at his next assignment.

I’ve gone both ways…but either way I’m always very nervous when I go to confession!

If I’m in ‘the box’ I close my eyes when I make my confession.

If I go face-to-face, I try and go to a priest I’m familiar with. I tend to keep my eyes down so to concentrate on what to say…but I still come out of the confessional dripping wet with sweat!

What can I say…? :shrug: :blush: :o :frowning:

If I know the confessor, I prefer to go behind the screen. Even though we recognize each other’s voice and know who we are, it keeps me from focusing on the person that I know. If it is with a priest that I do not know, then it doesn’t matter.

How do you manage getting a regular confessor, though? Any tips or tricks to obtaining one? :slight_smile:

I go to confession behind a screen at my parish but here on campus we don’t have a screen but we kind of have a more private way to go to confession because we are at an angle where the priest would have to look sideways or out of the courner of his eye to see who it is. But it really depends on how much I have to confess and how embarrsing the confession itself is that day.

Honestly - a friend in the seminary recommended that I see him when I cam back to the church after a 7 year absence. He is the associate pastor at my parish and has been a priest for about a year and a half - at that time just shy of a year.

I made an appointment with him to hear my first confession back - and have just kept coming back to him either with scheduled appointments or just see him during the regularly scheduled confession time.

I think it’s really just a matter of finding a priest that you really trust and respect…and it helps if you have kind of a repoire with them. My confessor is also my spiritual director and friend so he’s kind of a catch all for me. :smiley:

I prefer face to face. If I were sitting down with Jesus I can’t imagine that either of us would want a barrier between us. Going face to face – to me – is much more like sitting down with Jesus. I’ve only gone behind a screen once in recent years when I stopped into a church and that’s all they had available. I wanted to yank down the drape and see the person I was talking to!

Choose the priest you want and then make an appointment to see him for confession. Or call and ask him when he’ll be in the confessional.

One thing I have realized the benefit of the face-to-face is to help me be more opened and less nervous to a person whom I seek advice from … especially my spiritual director.

Definitely!:thumbsup:
Besides which, I am so shy that going face to face would greatly decrease the amount of times I go to confession, allowing me much less Grace.:shrug:

If I had to go face to face, I probaby couldn’t go.:blush: I am just to shy. Besides that, with the screen it seems to me more that I am talking to Jesus rather than having a chat with the priest.

It depends on who the confessor is. If it is my spiritual director, I’ll confess face to face. Otherwise, I will most likely confess anonymously even if I know that the priest knows who I am.

I prefer face-to-face. I figure God already knows the story, and since the priest has to sit in for Him, there is no sense in talking through a wall. I have found that when I am confessing, most priests will look down or avoid direct eye contact, and that is just fine with me. But when he is giving advice, I find the eye contact helpful.

Sometimes I blame my preference for face-to-face on my dad’s insistance(when we were growing up) that we NOT yell across the house at whoever we wanted to talk to; that we be in the same room with them.

As for finding a regular confessor… our parish has one priest - our pastor. If you go to confession at our parish, he will be the one in the confessional.

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