Instead of a Priest. Most churches have designated times for confession. It is only an hour at the church I attend. the line is always long. Plenty of people do not get a chance to confess or they do it briefly to be mindful of others. Mass is right after confession. There is usually not enough time.
Sure you can confess directly to God. In fact its good to do so; BUT, Christ gave the priests/Bishops the power to absolve sins. The priest acts in place of Christ by His command.
I bet there is a good place to go within a half hour drive from where you live.
Look online and see what confession times there are for the churches in your area.
If that doesn’t work, make an appointment with the priest and arrange a time to go.
There is usually a church or two within a 30 minute drive that offers daily confession, or at the very least confessions on days other than Saturday before vigil mass. I travel often for work, and in addition to looking for times to attend mass, I seek out confession times, should that need arise.
Where I live, there is a church that does confessions on Saturday morning, as well as my local parish and three others within a 15 minute drive that do confession on Saturday afternoon. Most of these have a weeknight confession as well, and the Cathedral does daily confessions for half an hour before noon mass.
Of course, if you’re worried about the line being long, you could show up earlier!
Most priests are VERY accommodating with scheduling confessions by appointment, as well.
I think I would confess my sins directly to God if I found myself in danger of death; however, it is important to know that at that point, true repentance is necessary since we can’t turn to God motivated only by fear of Hell because although that’s a good starting point, it’s never a good ending place.
I would never give up, though. If I really didn’t feel repentance, I would ask for God’s Mercy since it is unfathomable, but God knows what goes on in our universe of a mind.
God knows our sins the moment we commit them and, in His Infinite Mercy, He can forgive them directly. God can also put us in a perfect state of grace prior to our receiving Christ’s Body and Blood. God can do anything.
The question is: what would you do to receive God’s Grace? How do you demonstrate that you love Him in the best way possible? As some have already suggested, come early to the church or set up an appointment. These are very good suggestions and I would favor setting up an appointment with the realization that priests are very busy men. They scarcely have enough time for themselves so be patient and understanding if you don’t get the day/time that you want.
I’m always glad when I see a long line to the confessional booth; tells me these Catholics really care and are strong enough in their faith that they’re willing to show up and confess their sins. I’ve never been turned away from confession due to time constraints so I can’t relate to your situation directly but I suppose I would come back another time unless my sins were so grave. Then I would opt to attend Mass but not go up to receive the Eucharist. I’d rather receive the curious glances than receive Jesus knowing I’m not in good grace. Hope this post helps in some way.
God Bless you.
I’m a new Catholic, and since my conversion I’ve attended Mass quite a few times (I try to go daily) while not in a state of grace, though I do try to confess often. Frankly, I think one can serve as a good witness to others by refraining from receiving the Eucharist. Don’t let that discourage you from attending Mass. Take the extra time to commune with our Lord spiritually.
If you check your parish bulletin regarding the confession times, you will probably see the phrase “or by appointment”
Also, it is not a sin to arrive early and offer prayer before our Lord in the Tabernacle - while also being first in line for confession.
Confession of mortal sins:
1456 Confession to a priest is an essential part of the sacrament of Penance: “All mortal sins of which penitents after a diligent self-examination are conscious must be recounted by them in confession, even if they are most secret and have been committed against the last two precepts of the Decalogue; for these sins sometimes wound the soul more grievously and are more dangerous than those which are committed openly.”
(One must confess all mortal sins - and confession is to take place prior to Holy Communion if one has fallen into a mortal sin) (all mortal sins…in number and kind (adultery 2x) and circumstance that changes the kind - like the building you burned down was a church and thus sacrilige. If one examines and does not know the number one can approximate according to that one does know)
Confession of venial sins:
1458 Without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults (venial sins) is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church. Indeed the regular confession of our venial sins helps us form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit. By receiving more frequently through this sacrament the gift of the Father’s mercy, we are spurred to be merciful as he is merciful
(if one falls into mortal sin one also does not wait for the Sacrament but already starts to repent and turn towards the Lord again - seeking the grace of perfect contrition (out of love of God -see the CCC - which can mean forgiveness can begin by the grace of God prior to the Sacrament --though one still needs goto Confession and wait for Holy Communion. Also one may not have this grace of perfect contrition …but one seeks it anyhow and begins by actual grace to make the return to the Father who looks for one…one cries out to the Good Shepherd…seeking his sheep)
(and one can add that confessing sins in the Sacrament of Confession - is a kind of confessing directly to God - in his Sacrament where we encounter him and his mercy and love and true life).
Returning to venial sins by themselves.
We struggle with such “daily sins” …well ~ * daily.* Those venial sins that happen daily.
One need not (not good to wait) -wait Confession to seek forgiveness (though let us go often!). Though it is very recommended that one goes to confession frequently (see the Catechism and all good that this brings).
Venial sins are forgiven in many ways -acts of perfect or even imperfect contrition, prayer, reading Sacred Scripture, the Mass, Holy Communion, the prayerful use holy water, other sacramentals, little short prayers during the day, acts of love etc
I will add a related section of the Catechism:
From the Catechism:
1436 Eucharist and Penance. Daily conversion and penance find their source and nourishment in the Eucharist, for in it is made present the sacrifice of Christ which has reconciled us with God. Through the Eucharist those who live from the life of Christ are fed and strengthened. “It is a remedy to free us from our daily faults and to preserve us from mortal sins.”
1437 Reading Sacred Scripture, praying the Liturgy of the Hours and the Our Father - every sincere act of worship or devotion revives the spirit of conversion and repentance within us and contributes to the forgiveness of our sins.
Let us pray the Our Father as St. Augustine spoke of being prayed for such daily venial sins …“forgive us our trespasses…”
Indeed in the early Church such was often prayed three times a day. A wonderful practice that my family follows.
CCC The first communities prayed the Lord’s Prayer three times a day, in place of the “Eighteen Benedictions” customary in Jewish piety. scborromeo.org/ccc/p4s2a1.htm
As to confession - one may make an appointment as well.
Yes, you can confess your sins directly to God, however, you will not receive absolution and all mortal sins must be confessed before you may receive communion. How great that the line is so long there is not enough time for everyone! Maybe you can get together with other like minded folks and ask Father to extend the time one half hour once a month or add a day during the week.
I have encountered parishes which refuse to make the Sacrament of Reconciliation readily available to parishioners. When I have taken this up with the pastor, I have usually encountered someone who considers Reconciliation superfluous and old-fashioned. Younger priests seem to make it a greater part of their service to the Church.
We can always confess directly to God. In the case of mortal sin, only perfect contrition suffices without a sacramental confession, and even then the obligation to confess as soon as possible remains.
When you approach your pastor about this matter, the following from the Code of Canon Law may be useful as a baseline as to what you, as a Catholic, are entitled to as a parishioner:
Can. 986 §1. All to whom the care of souls has been entrusted in virtue of some function are obliged to make provision so that the confessions of the faithful entrusted to them are heard when they reasonably seek to be heard and that they have the opportunity to approach individual confession on days and at times established for their convenience.
§2. In urgent necessity, any confessor is obliged to hear the confessions of the Christian faithful, and in danger of death, any priest is so obliged.
There are additional documents issued by various Curial bodies and the Holy Father admonishing priests to make Reconciliation a significant part of their ministry.
If you are unable to obtain a reasonable response from your pastor, a letter to your bishop would be completely appropriate.
God chose to recognize salvation using the 5 senses he gave us. He Physically came down. He physically died for us. We physically gaze upon the reality of salvation. His sacraments have physical form. That’s the way it is. Nothing more really needs to be said aside from the fact that any other way to look at it is a man made interpretation. Remember the CHURCH is the pillar and foundation of truth.