Confession only on Saturdays?


#1

When I was growing up, 10-15 years ago, the church my family and I attended offered confession before mass on Sunday mornings. I don’t know if that was the exception or if that was common in the U.S. But now I’ve noticed that nearly all churches around me, which there are several because I’m in the Dallas area, only offer confession before the Saturday vigil mass.

My question is is there a reason that weekly confession is held Saturdays over Sundays? I would think more of the people would attend confession if it was on Sundays, as many people work Saturdays or have plans on Saturday nights.

I understand that I could set up an appointment with a priest, but the fact is I’d be more likely to make more confessions if they were held on Sundays before mass…

Thanks


#2

Purely speculation, but I would imagine that Sunday morning mass, as the 'big gig' for the parish, means that, as more people are in church, more people want to see the priest for something (blessing a rosary, mass intentions, etc). If he was closeted away in the confessional none of these people would be able to see the priest.

That said, it would be possible for Sunday mornings in a Parish with more than one priest, but there are not many of those about; or I imagine people would get used to not being able to see the priest before mass and wait until after (although this would have complications as priests will usually say goodbye to the congregation as they leave, increasing the wait, and there may be baptisms after mass).

I imagine any priest will hear a persons confession before mass if you were to tell the priest that you had a mortal sin to confess, in order to allow you to fully take part in the mass. Scheduled confessions tend to be frequented (in my experience) by those who confess regularly because they choose to (and there's nothing wrong with that) rather than by those who need to because of mortal sin.

All the best

Martin

P.S. Perculiarly, our parish has Saturday confessions straight after mass (10.30am), during a period of exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.


#3

[quote="Martin15, post:2, topic:295789"]
Purely speculation, but I would imagine that Sunday morning mass, as the 'big gig' for the parish, means that, as more people are in church, more people want to see the priest for something (blessing a rosary, mass intentions, etc). If he was closeted away in the confessional none of these people would be able to see the priest.

That said, it would be possible for Sunday mornings in a Parish with more than one priest, but there are not many of those about; or I imagine people would get used to not being able to see the priest before mass and wait until after (although this would have complications as priests will usually say goodbye to the congregation as they leave, increasing the wait, and there may be baptisms after mass).

I imagine any priest will hear a persons confession before mass if you were to tell the priest that you had a mortal sin to confess, in order to allow you to fully take part in the mass. Scheduled confessions tend to be frequented (in my experience) by those who confess regularly because they choose to (and there's nothing wrong with that) rather than by those who need to because of mortal sin.

All the best

Martin

P.S. Perculiarly, our parish has Saturday confessions straight after mass (10.30am), during a period of exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

[/quote]

The difference between having to wait to have a Rosary blessed and not having access to confession prior to mass or access to confession, period, could literally be heaven and hell. Confession after Mass deprives people of receiving the Blessed Sacrament, or worse yet, leads to the reception of the Body of Christ in mortal sin, and we all know what St. Paul said about that....

The reason that I bolded confessionals is because these days one is lucky if their Church even has confessionals. IMHO there has been less and less focus on the Mass as a sacrifice, the reality of hell and good and objective reality of good and evil. This reduces the focus on what the sacrifice was and is for - a meritorious action for the remission of sins.

Side story - Today I missed the EF and went to the OF to fulfill my Sunday obligation to God. The Gospel reading was John 6: 51-58:

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

This, one would think, would be a great opportunity to expound upon the true meaning and significance of the Blessed Sacrament - the greatest gift given to us this side of heaven. As I recall, the Priest did not talk even once about the consecration that takes place on the altar as being a sacrifice. I listened for that word. There was brief mention of Jesus sacrifice on the Cross, but he didn't carry it through to the Sacrifice of the Mass. At least he did a decent job of driving home the real presence, though without a sufficient understanding of the Mass as a sacrifice, a true appreciation for the Real Presence is difficult. Somehow the homiy morphed into a longer talk about how much Scripture focuses on and promotes song and how essential it is for everybody to sing the hymns, and loudly and boldly at that. :shrug - Not too sure how the two ideas had much correlation to one another, but such is life. Anyways, I digress....

Thus, there is a prevailing lack of awareness of sin or what constitutes a mortal sin. I know many people who think that confession is only for the likes of a murderer. All of their sins they consider to be of a "minor" nature and assert that they can confess straight to God. I'm considered a strange duck in my family when I say I'm going to confession. Penance is a Sacrament we need more of and simply cannot go without. I've heard it said - "Once one falls into mortal sins, the lights go out and they can no longer see things for what they really are." I like that quote.

Pax.

J.M.J.


#4

A parish near where I work, has confessions every Wednesday and Friday evenings and twice on Saturdays.


#5

You might ask the priest to consider hearing confessions an hour before one of the Sunday masses so that he'd be finished before the busy-ness of Mass. Even if he only did this one Sunday a month, that would be a help. If there is an associate priest, that would be even better, as I suspect if confessions are being heard as people gather, a line will form.

Do you attend daily mass? You can always request that Father hear your confession before mass then. I normally went at scheduled times in my former parish, but when I travel, I like to go to confession and mass beforehand, which prompted me to request Father hearing confessions before a mid-week morning mass. It was not scheduled, and I must admit he was reluctant to move the mass from the chapel to the main church where the confessionals were (he did, of course!), but even with my going early to be sure he wouldn't have to wait on me, I was third in line.

I hope your church will make the sacrament more easily available to the people. It's so important, particularly when the priest is a generous and loving confessor.


#6

Try Masstimes.org. You might be able to find a better time for you and your family.

That said, you probably won't find Sunday Confession. Priests are awful busy on Sunday morning.


#7

I quite agree that confession is important, and Priests cater for that in scheduled times (even if that is on a Saturday. What I meant was that if it was a mortal sin, I’m sure a priest would hear the confession, if not, then the person will be saying the mea culpa shortly anyway.

All the best

Martin

P.S. In a perculiar way, if people consider all their sins to be minor, then they are minor - that is, they cannot be mortal without knowledge that their sins are grave matter. Many people need to be educated in this regard I suspect, before they see the value of the sacrament of penance.


#8

Our priest is the only priest at the parish, and he offers the Saturday vigil Mass, and three Masses in two languages on Sundays.

I think there may be a reason a lot of churches don’t offer Confession on Sundays, with schedules like that!

We just go to Mass on Saturday after Confession.


#9

[quote="St_Francis, post:8, topic:295789"]
Our priest is the only priest at the parish, and he offers the Saturday vigil Mass, and three Masses in two languages on Sundays.

I think there may be a reason a lot of churches don't offer Confession on Sundays, with schedules like that!

We just go to Mass on Saturday after Confession.

[/quote]

I don't see our parish offering confession on Sunday anytime soon. This has nothing to do with the priest being busy blessing rosaries. It has everything to do with their schedules. We have two Masses on Saturday (daily Mass plus the Vigil) and usually three or more Baptisms, a wedding, and often a Quincinera. Plus scheduled confessions from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. On Sunday, we have five Masses. All of this with two priests. They are just too busy to offer a scheduled confession time. Normally, if someone approaches them after Mass, they will hear a confession.

We also have confessions on Thursday evenings, during Adoration. It's gotten so popular in town, the lines can be long. They are thinking of adding another evening during the week.

I think that parishes that used to offer confession before Sunday Mass had fewer Masses and more priests.


#10

[quote="dangerousdyls, post:1, topic:295789"]
When I was growing up, 10-15 years ago, the church my family and I attended offered confession before mass on Sunday mornings. I don't know if that was the exception or if that was common in the U.S. But now I've noticed that nearly all churches around me, which there are several because I'm in the Dallas area, only offer confession before the Saturday vigil mass.

My question is is there a reason that weekly confession is held Saturdays over Sundays? I would think more of the people would attend confession if it was on Sundays, as many people work Saturdays or have plans on Saturday nights.

I understand that I could set up an appointment with a priest, but the fact is I'd be more likely to make more confessions if they were held on Sundays before mass...

Thanks

[/quote]

Our parish Church has Confession six days a week. Mon - Sat.


#11

[quote="Martin15, post:7, topic:295789"]

P.S. In a perculiar way, if people consider all their sins to be minor, then they are minor - that is, they cannot be mortal without knowledge that their sins are grave matter. Many people need to be educated in this regard I suspect, before they see the value of the sacrament of penance.

[/quote]

:thumbsup: You are absolutely right. We need more quality catechesis, period.


#12

I believe that before St. Pius X. confessions right before Mass were favoured because people received so rarely and it was such an enormous thing that they were afraid to have even the smallest sin on their souls and wanted a situation where they simply did not have a chance to commit a sin between confession and Mass.

Things have now changed in this respect and I think hearing confessions right before Mass is not such a great thing for the priest. For one, he might want to reflect and pray beforehand; but also because what happens if he gets out of the confessional already 5 mins late for the mass and sees there are 4 more people queueing? He can't make a churchful of people wait, that would be very inconsiderate, and the queue might still grow - but what if any of those 4 people die that day? Or just never muster the courage to go to confession again? Of just can't receive? This must be an awful feeling for a priest and I don't think they need the extra burden of such a situation.

Many churches around where I live offer confession slots on Saturdays, not joined up to Mass either, i.e. say Saturday 10-11 am. This way people can go and if there are more people than expected, the priest can just go on hearing confessions with no pressure.


#13

[quote="Martin15, post:7, topic:295789"]

P.S. In a perculiar way, if people consider all their sins to be minor, then they are minor - that is, they cannot be mortal without knowledge that their sins are grave matter. Many people need to be educated in this regard I suspect, before they see the value of the sacrament of penance.

[/quote]

This is absolutely completely false, and is a heresy of modernism. Even if I think abortion isn't serious and is a minor sin, or even no sin at all, it's still a grave sin. People know this is a grave sin, yet choose to think it is a minor sin. They still have knowledge that it is grave matter. They simply choose not to believe it.

The problem is there are far too many lax consciences out there.


#14

[quote="Deo_Gratias42, post:13, topic:295789"]
This is absolutely completely false, and is a heresy of modernism. Even if I think abortion isn't serious and is a minor sin, or even no sin at all, it's still a grave sin. People know this is a grave sin, yet choose to think it is a minor sin. They still have knowledge that it is grave matter. They simply choose not to believe it.

The problem is there are far too many lax consciences out there.

[/quote]

I am not sure I understand your objection to what I said - if people do not know that their sins are grave, they cannot be mortal.

I agree that there are lax consciences, who do know what is grave and what is not; but I clearly mentioned the lack of knowledge aspect; what people know and do not know cannot be determined by anyone other than that person.

All the best

Martin


#15

I know one thing--you can't beat going to confession and then immediately going to mass.

I think you're able to receive more graces then because you are more able to receive them right after confession because you're all clean.

Pope Pius X was the last pope to be canonized and he went to confession every day!


#16

Most parishes in my area doing confession on Saturdays, but there is one parish that has confession every day, for a 25-minute period ending five minutes before (each) Mass, including Sundays. I think I like that better, but one downside is that the confession period is relatively short so not very confessions can be heard, unless everyone is very snappy about it.


#17

[quote="Martin15, post:14, topic:295789"]
I am not sure I understand your objection to what I said - if people do not know that their sins are grave, they cannot be mortal.

[/quote]

Technically you are probably right, Martin. But since no one is allowed to first communion without proper instruction, which will include instruction on sin, confession and actually making a confession, I think the Church assumes that if you have been admitted to first communion, you know about grave sins.


#18

[quote="GwenL, post:9, topic:295789"]
I
I think that parishes that used to offer confession before Sunday Mass had fewer Masses and more priests.

[/quote]

In our parish, confessions are heard for a 1/2 hour before every Mass, weekdays and Sundays.

Our Weekend Mass schedule is:

Sat 4:00pm, 6:30pm (Tridentine)
Sun 6:00am, 9:30am, 11:30am, 1:00pm, 8:30pm

Weekday schedule is

M-F 6:00am, 9:00am, Noon
T,Th 7:00pm

Confessions are also heard on Sat 1:00-4:00

We have a pastor and an associate pastor.

Generally, both priests are in the confessional before a Mass (the exception is 6:00am Mass, there is only one priest). The priest who is celebrating will leave 10 min prior to Mass to vest. For the weekday Masses, the remaining priest will hear confessions until everyone has been heard. On Sunday Masses, confessions stop at when Mass starts so no one misses Mass.


#19

[quote="Martin15, post:7, topic:295789"]

P.S. In a perculiar way, if people consider all their sins to be minor, then they are minor - that is, they cannot be mortal without knowledge that their sins are grave matter. Many people need to be educated in this regard I suspect, before they see the value of the sacrament of penance.

[/quote]

FYI, What is required one grave matter is that the person has knowledge that the Church teaches that the matter is grave.

If a person disagrees, that is immaterial, as the knowledge is present.

If a person knows that the Church teaches that missing Mass on a Sunday is a serious matter, and they deliberately miss Mass, the matter is grave and consent was given.

Even if the person themselves think that missing Mass is not a serious matter, as long as they have received the information that the CHURCH considers it to be serious is sufficient to fulfill that aspect of mortal sin.


#20

[quote="g_ncl, post:17, topic:295789"]
Technically you are probably right, Martin. But since no one is allowed to first communion without proper instruction, which will include instruction on sin, confession and actually making a confession, I think the Church assumes that if you have been admitted to first communion, you know about grave sins.

[/quote]

I quite agree, this should be the case, however I'm not convinced it is. I did not find out about the different types of sin (as in mortal and venial) until I was preparing for my confirmation, and then it was not taught per se, but more a result of my own research and a private discussion with a priest.

I'm sure there are many people in the world who, despite having recieved the sacraments of initiation, are ignorant in this regard. Better catechesis is needed I suspect.

All the best

Martin


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