Most Catholics have a preference for confession either “behind the screen” or “face to face”. I personally, am a “behind the screen” type of person. Being a very private person, the thought of having to face a particular priest after a difficult confession would be very uncomfortable. That being said, were I to commit a mortal sin, would I be obliged to go to the first available confession of either type?
In most churches the reconciliation room is set up so that you can go behind a screen or continue past the screen and go face to face. So even in an unfamiliar church you should have the option of the screen.
Your question of whether you are “obliged” to go even if it’s face to face seems a bit off to me. If you are in a state of mortal sin, which is more important to you – your pride or receiving absolution?
I don’t disagree with you that one must go to confession if in a state of mortal sin. If I absolutely had no choice, I would most definitely suck it up and go for a face to face confession. I was only wondering whether it would be acceptable in this case to possibly delay that confession for a short time, maybe a few days.
No, I think you need to go at the first available opportunity.
However, you have a canonical right to anonymous confession. You could phone the parish and make an appointment. The priest would know to be “in the box” at 3 PM, or whenever was mutually convenient.
But does the parish have “caller ID”???
- I am private too, but the priest knows my voice
- Be quick to repent and God will bless you
You know, our sin has so many consequences that we can’t see. If all I have is the embarrassment, I consider myself lucky
Suck it up It’s a good future deterrent!
As bilop mentioned, you have the canonical right to anonymous confession. Every parish should have confession times available and anonymous confession must be available at those times.
For me, I prefer a face to face confession. Thats the way I have done most of my confessions. But to each his or her own. BTW, when I lived in a bigger city I would sometimes go to another Church and have the Priest hear my confession. Most Priests I have dealt with have no problem with that.
I used to always confess “face to face.” I have rediscovered the beauty and wisdom of “behind the screen.” My best advice to you would be, if you are in a state of mortal sin, go to confession at once whichever way. If only the “face to face” option is available, offer up the discomfort that you experience for the sake of all souls who avoid confession and in fact denounce it, because they are not comfortable having their sins forgiven the way Jesus meant sins to be forgiven, through the ministry of His priests.
Think about how pleased Our Lord will be with you when you forget yourself and your unease and offer even that as reparation for your sins and for the sins of the whole world!!!
The world so needs souls who are willing to repair for others, even at a great cost to themselves…
God Bless You!!!
To Jesus, through Mary
The cathedral of the diocese where I live has confessions every day except Sunday - maybe you could check yours to see if offered during the week. I was away from church for 20 years and just returned this year. I made an appointment with the priest for confession, which of course was face to face. Was the first time for me as I had always went in the confessional. Was a great experience and I now can’t understand why I was so anxious. The priest was very kind and understanding and guided me thru the process. Give the face to face confession a try. You don’t have to go to your parish priest - can go anywhere.
Its my understanding taye, that Confession must be behind the screen (or something similar) to it according to Canon Law.
The faithful are supposed to always have the option of going behind a screen, if they so choose. However, face-to-face is also a legitimate option if both parties are agreeable to it.
I prefer going behind the screen, but have gone face to face. It is interesting to note that I have gone on traditional pilgrimages to the Shrine of the North American Martyrs in Auriesville, N.Y. During the 3 hour walk to the shrine, F.S.S.P. and other approved traditional priests were available for confession. We would walk side by side with the priest, and go to confession, so he did see who we were. I had no problem with it, and was happy to get the pre VII absolution in Latin.