Confession by Appointment


#1

hi, first time posting
I made an appointment for confession once instead of going to Saturday confession.
I was nervous about making a appointment by confession but it was important that I go then. However, there was mix up of where we were to meet. I was thinking the church, confessional. Father wasn’t there, after waiting around awhile, I thought maybe he meant his office, which he did because we met halfway. When we finally met, instead of going to the confessional, we went to the chapel and sat in the chapel chairs. And proceeded.

**QUESTION: How come we went to the chapel instead of the confessional? I found it weird to be confessing my sins outside of the confessional. I know it’s just a room but it has a certain “leave the sins in here and go in peace” type of feel to it.

Because of all the mix-up from my first time, I’m afraid to make another confession by appointment. I was planning to go to regular Saturday confession tomorrow but am getting all stressed out and worried as I timed my confession and it’s 8 minutes. (I practiced. I have it written down so I take less time by being able to read it, instead of getting nervous and stumbling through!) So I did research online which gave me two opinions 1.)“sometimes a penitent has more than a fast-list and that’s okay.” 2)"if penitent has a longer list either be at the end of the line, tell Fr how many ppl are left, or call to make an appointment.
And I’m getting stressed if I go tomorrow if it will be the patient priest or not. (we have two, they take turns.) I know what matters is confessing, not the priest you have, but it does make it go easier when it’s the patient priest. So I just hope.
I’ve been putting off going to confession for a few months and since all this stress is happening the night before, it might be the devil trying to get me to delay so I think maybe I should just go to regular like planned.
**QUESTION: Is 8 minutes too long–I should make an appointment? Or go to regular Saturday?


#2

If I am in a hospital’s emergency room waiting to get treated, I am not going to get upset if the person being treated before me needs 20 minutes of the doctor’s time whereas I might need only 5 minutes of the doctor’s time.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is all about healing. Take what you need. If you need 8 minutes, take 8 minutes. What’s important is that you walk out of the confessional absolved of your sins.

Thanks for asking a great question. God bless.


#3

You said there was a mix up. Was the place to meet specified or was the mix up because you just assumed where the meeting place would be.
When I have made such appointments I always make sure I know exactly where to meet the priest.

The where does not matter. I’ve had a priest hear my Confession walking around the Church car park. I was on my way to Church and saw him having a walk and asked him if he would hear my Confession.
I have often been to Confession in the Church pews.


#4

Just make an appointment and tell your priest that would like your Confession done in the confessional. He should be happy to respect your wishes, because some people (like me), like to have Confession behind the screen.

May God bless you! Merry Christmas! :slight_smile:


#5

If a priest schedules confession between say 3-4 or 9-10 does that mean he has to be done in exactly one hour and if anyone is still in line
they don’t get to have their confession heard if the hour is up.

I like to make appointnents to have confessions heard, but priests are busy and I got the feeling they don’t want you to make a habit of it.


#6

Not that odd. I once went to the abbey at perhaps a bad time seeking confession and ended up having it in the greeter’s office. Some places in Europe I know of only have open confession, even when done in the church.

8 minutes isn’t too bad if you haven’t had confession in a while. I know I’ve been in there longer than that. Don’t even think about how long it’s going to take. I agree it’s best to go when the priests are scheduled for confession as it may be inconvenient to ask them for on. It also takes away the anonymity, if there is any.

Confessions at my church I believe start half hour before Mass. Sometimes there’s a lineup and Mass starts late. If it gets to be too late I believe my priest would hear any other confessions after Mass. A priest can’t exactly cut your confession short.


#7

Not that odd. I once went to the abbey at perhaps a bad time seeking confession and ended up having it in the greeter’s office. Some places in Europe I know of only have open confession, even when done in the church.

8 minutes isn’t too bad if you haven’t had confession in a while. I know I’ve been in there longer than that. Don’t even think about how long it’s going to take. I agree it’s best to go when the priests are scheduled for confession as it may be inconvenient to ask them at another time. It also takes away the anonymity, if there is any.

Confessions at my church I believe start half hour before Mass. Sometimes there’s a lineup and Mass starts late. If it gets to be too late I believe my priest would hear any other confessions after Mass. A priest can’t exactly cut your confession short.


#8

From what I have seen most parish priests have posted in their weekly bulletin their schedule for confession with the addendum “or by appointment”.
The whole idea of the appointment is to accommodate you as well as the priest.
I think there are very few priests that would frown on “making a habit of it”. I like to think they would be glad that you were ‘making a habit’ of receiving the sacrament.


#9

I just got home from an Advent reconciliation service with two Friar priests held inside the sanctuary. One was on each side of the church and you had to go up and whisper. Not normally how I prefer, but sins were forgiven and that is the most important part of the Sacrament. Peace. :slight_smile:


#10

if penitent has a longer list either be at the end of the line, tell Fr how many ppl are left, or call to make an appointment.

I really don’t want you to worry about who else is in line just because you read something on the internet. Show up, wait in line, go to Confession. Don’t worry about being at the end of the line because you may take longer.

I think if the priest needs to know how many people are left, he can ask you. It really is their job to manage through the number of people; you should just focus on your task of confessing your sins with a good examination of conscience. Sometimes, they will do this in order to pace the Confessions so every one can go.

Also, some larger parishes may have a sign that asks penitents not to use prearranged Confession times for spiritual direction out of respect for those waiting in line.


#11

Inform the priest before confession starts your time constraints - usually helps the process


#12

The chapel is a perfect place for the Sacrament since there is a tabernacle and Jesus’ Real Presence is there. When you do confession with the priest , the priest is persona Christi. What would be better if Jesus is really right there along with the persona Christi for this beautiful Sacrament?


#13

My answer would be “It depends”.

Some parishes will have a longer time for Confession than others. A lot have an hour given for it.

Do the math - if the average is 5 minutes, and the line is full for that average (12 people), the last person may not be able to go to Confession.

On the other hand, if lines are short, the priest may sit there saying the LOTH because no one is coming in during a good part of that hour.

More than once, having not arrived at the church at the start, I have found myself cooling my heels while several people take 8 to 10 or more minutes to confess. That was in one particular parish, and more than once I had two or three people still waiting ahead of me when the priest left the confessional - because that parish had a rule that confessions would not be heard during Mass.

What is critical is confessing one’s mortal sins. Venial sins may be confessed, but are not required to be - and yes, I realize there is grace in doing so; but how about any responsibility, because you have chosen to do so, for the people behind you who are not able to confess - and have mortal sins to confess?

And some people seem to not understand the difference between confessing, and seeking spiritual advice/spiritual direction. Spiritual advice and direction may be given while confessing, but it should be sought outside the confessional - if for no other reason than that others may need to confess.

Add to this the issue for some people (and I do not presume this of you) who are scrupulous. They can tie up the confessional over matters which are not sinful at all (although they seem to take them as mortal sins) and take up everyone else’s time. I am very sympathetic for anyone who has that condition, but they need to understand they are suffering from an issue that, should they get in the “one hour” line, will prevent others from confessing.

So - it depends on the parish, and how this fits in with everyone else, and what you are confessing.

As an additional thought: I could confess a list of 5 to 7 sins in about one minute (time it - that is not ripping through them). Part of what we seem to think, at times, is that we need to set the scene for each sin, with details of how we went about it.

That is not necessary; the priest does not need to know all sorts of details; it is not that I think anyone needs to rush through; but rather, that we don’t need to dawdle and provide all sorts of details. If the priest needs details, he will ask specific questions. And if you feel that you cannot make a good confession without going into details, then perhaps making an appointment would be best; likely the priest is going to help you to get focused.


#14

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