[quote=Fortiterinre]Is communal confession still the trend it once was? In my diocese we never had the communal absolution, so you would sit through a fairly long service and still confess individually to priests scattered around the church. Face-to-face, danger of being overheard, and a big chunk of time–I never understood it.
We still have it here (although we call it a Reconciliation Act). In my parish, it is usually on Wednesday of Holy Week. It’s mainly for those who just keep putting things off for the last minute. Even then our pastor has to point out in Mass that there are still people who haven’t gone to confession - and that they need to, and “I will be in the back of the church for confessions after Mass this morning.”
The thing about these services is that there are usually 7 or 8 priests in attendance, so if you don’t like the pastor, you can select another one. Oh, and the Wednesday is in our parish. It’s Monday in another, and Tuesday in another. That way all three parishes are covered and everybody has a chance to go to confession.
What we do NOT have (and which I have only seen once or twice) is the communal confession without individual confession.
It does take a lot of time - but there are something in the area of 33,000 Catholics in this parish.