Changing a penance?


Hello all!

I am trying to understand or rather find where it says that a subsequent confessor can change a penance assigned

I went to confession recently and confessed that I had not done the assigned penance... the assigned penance was to go to Holy Communion frequently and pray for my family.... the priest that I went to confession last time though said that as long as I am going to mass every sunday and communicating that that is sufficient... does this mean I am no longer required to try to go to mass as often as possible to recieve Holy Communion? Not that it is a bad penance... it is a joy to recieve Jesus everyday if it were possible

In Christ through Mary,


SIGH That’s not a very good penance, as you’re left in doubt about it. I know my moral theology book for priests indicates that the original priest who gave you the penance may commute (change) the penance to something else outside of the confessional. Other than that, any other priest may commute your penance to something else inside the confessional. My confessor has had to do this a couple times when I had to go to a different priest who would give vague penances that I wasn’t sure if I had completed them.

No one here can with certainty address your question by what the priest meant. I would advise you to bring this up the next time you go to confession.


Thanks for your reply Deo Gratias!

God Bless,


ok… well a subsequent priest whom I confessed that I hadnt done this penance told me that It is sufficient that I recieve communion every sunday… does that make my penance commuted?


[quote="Podo2005, post:4, topic:305986"]
ok... well a subsequent priest whom I confessed that I hadnt done this penance told me that It is sufficient that I recieve communion every sunday... does that make my penance commuted?


I would bring the matter up in confession -- and seek to have it commuted to something that can be "completed".


We are not required to receive communion more than once a year, but we must attend Mass each Sunday. It sounds like the first priest was trying to encourage you to develop your devotion, but if you simply can’t get to daily Mass, it cannot be required of you. (And you shouldn’t receive at Sunday Mass if you are not properly disposed.)

The second priest has given you good advice. Certainly, if going to Mass during the week is possible, you should go, but again you are not required. Unless you are a member of a third order or other association of lay faithful, who make *promises *(not vows) to attend daily Mass. But obviously that has nothing to do with the first penance, and isn’t something you should take on unless you know it is possible.

Praying for your family is something that you can do, so continue that! :slight_smile:


So then what happens if you’re unable to receive communion one Sunday? Pfft!

Go back and tell the priest you want something quantitative that you know you have completed. They can’t give you a perpetual penance like “Receive communion every Sunday.” I don’t know the nature of your sins, but ask for something like the reciting the Rosary, or something you can complete in one sitting and know it’s done.


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