Confession times--frequency or infrequency


Does anyone else here get frustrated by parishes offering the sacrament of confession once per week for an hour and then even sometimes cutting that short, or even completely out, for weddings and funerals?

I realize it is the penitent’s fault for committing grave sin. However, I am wondering if anyone else has experienced their parish making available this sacrament on a very infrequent basis.


Yes, it’s frustrating. This time a year it’s often a little better though. Look around. Some parishes have it more often on a regular basis… We have it everyday. Usually early morning on a daily basis and afternoons on the weekend.


The Sacrament of Penance is often neglected these days, so it isn’t uncommon for a priest to leave the confessional early, or start confessions late. In my parish bulletin, it says that confessions start at 3:30, but my pastor doesn’t start until 3:40-3:45, ad he has to get ready for Mass at 3:55.

Let us pray for those poor souls that yearn for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, but are unable to access it. :gopray2:


I think it would be frustrating if that’s all that was available in your parish or your area. The pastor at my church is in the confessional before every Mass on Sunday and during the week. Plus he is available for confession much of the day on first Fridays. There is a nearby parish that offers confessions almost every day of the week also.


I am blessed to live where I do in this regard. Within a 10 mile radius, I can receive the Sacrament of Confession every day of the week (except maybe Sunday), often times in the morning, always in the late afternoon. I am a morning person, so those times work best for me :thumbsup:


That is very nice that he makes himself available in that way.


Case in point: Just a little over an hour ago, after I started this thread, I went to a local parish that has confession from 12-1, got there a few minutes before 1, and the priest was gone and there was, what looked to be, a private baptism being held in the church. This is the second time this has happened in the last 2-3 weeks. I realize it probably sounds ungrateful, but I am really starting to get annoyed now. Guess I am putting off receiving the Eucharist again this week…

There is a church near my work that has confessions daily…I think I am going to have to make use of that. (What is frustrating is that the parish that I am supporting doesn’t seem to offer it frequently and will many times find ways to put it off…)

I guess I am more mad at myself for having to be in the position to have to go to confession.


Wow, I am really sorry about that. I pray for your pastor because he isn’t doing his job and fulfilling his ministry. Ten to fifteen minutes a week is extremely unacceptable.


Wow, that’s unfortunate. I have heard my pastor turn down events saying “no, that won’t work for me…I have confessions”.
We have few confession times, mostly because he prefers people to make appointments. Some priests really believe that counseling is what people need, (in addition to absolution) and want to make themselves available for that. Having said that though, I find most people are scared to death to talk to or open up to their priest…believing that he somehow will not put their problem out of his mind. You can say all you want to that priests don’t carry around a list of names and sins in their heads, but the average Catholic doesn’t seem to embrace or believe that. I do, because being a confessor has to be the most difficult job on the planet. They have to cultivate this to be able to function.
I would just go to the nearby parish for confession. We only have the one priest, and he wouldn’t pass over Confession for anything.


Yes. I haven’t run across the issue of confessions being cut short, but that’s probably because they are only for an hour on Sat. before the Vigil Mass. We get an extra hour per week during Lent. The thing is, there are a LOT of parishes near me. I’m in the suburbs. But they all have confession the same time. I wish we had more options during the week. The one parish that does have confessions in the middle of the week is about a 25 minute drive for me and the lines, even on Wed. are long.


Hello Brooklyn Guy. (Sorry I guessed the shorthand name)

Some of us actually frequent the Sacrament of Confession even without grave sins so don’t sit in the parish pews and think everyone in line HAS to GO to Confession! That just isn’t so. It is never the penitent’s fault if the Priest cuts short or omits his parishes opportunity for Confession. While it is true that only mortal sins MUST be Confessed, and no one can be forces into the Confessional, there really are those among us who frequent the Sacrament for other reasons.

I just left. We have ours at 3:30 on Saturdays as well as in the A.M. after the Saturday Liturgy. I prefer the afternoon. And yes, sometimes a wedding has just ended and they are still snapping pictures as I come in. I don’t mind. I love the gowns and flowers and finery and the cheerfulness of everyone there. More than once I’ve seen those among the wedding party there waiting noticing Father in the Confessional and take the opportunity to receive the Sacrament.

We are all called to be Holy. The Sacrament of Mercy is very necessary for us who actually are trying to live this thing called Catholicism and those who take their spiritual life seriously go often.



We have mostly the same problem around here. I live in the suburbs a well, and almost all the local parishes offer an hour of Confession on Saturday afternoons, somewhere between 3:00 and 5:00. There are notable exceptions, however. One parish has confession from 3-4 on Saturday, and again from 7-8. One parish offers confessions on Tuesday evening, in addition to Saturday afternoon. The Cathedral offers confessions before the 12:10 Mass every day. While that is convenient for those who live or work downtown, it isn’t practical for the rest of us. The FSSP parish offers confession every day.

My own Byzantine Rite parish has confessions on Sunday morning. We have quite a few people who come for confession, but don’t stay for the liturgy. I’m assuming that they attend Mass elsewhere, most likely at the parish down the street. I think that speaks to the need for Sunday morning confessions, although I realize that Sunday morning is a very busy time for priests.

In general, though, I think we need to frequent the sacrament, let the priests know that we appreciate the times offered and make an appointment for confession if you can’t get in at a scheduled time. If enough people are making appointments, perhaps the priest might consider expanding the times confession is offered, due to increased demand. It can’t hurt to nicely communicate these thoughts to our priests, as well.


We’re fortunate at our parish – our priest is in the confessional before every weekend Mass (one on Saturday evening, 3 on Sunday). And I’ve never seen him cut it short.


Can you not call and make an appointment with the priest for a time that is more convenient? Many priests are happy to have folks do that. I’ve been in the parish office at various times of day when people have come in for confession appointments.


I recently heard of a small [30 families] country parish (several states away from me) which has confessions twice a year. If there are more than 10 people waiting the priest decides he can’t handle them all; so just gives a general absolution. :eek:


That’s sad. My parish has 20 families and we have scheduled confession before every service. Hearing these stories makes me feel very blessed.


That’s a good point. I can check on that. Also, I am about 10 blocks from a Basilica and I believe you can go there on a Saturday between 9-4 and request a priest. I’ll have to check into that.


Confessions are only heard twice a year? That’s completely inexcusable. I would probably contact the diocese about that.


I’m just curious; why did you get there just before 1, that is, right at closing time? The priest may have been there for 30 minutes, alone, before leaving; it might have been a full hour. Could you have waited until the baptism was over, and asked the priest for confession then?

We do not only have to go to our home parish for confession. What do you mean, ‘puts it off’? They purposely cancel confessions on a regular basis?


My tiny home town parish (700 people in town, less than 10% Catholic, 1/2 of those regular attendees) was lucky to have any confessions; we shared a priest with 2 or 3 other towns, and were lucky if Father arrived more than a few minutes before Mass started, and then he had to leave to get to the next town’s Mass. The ‘nearest’ other towns were a hardship for my family to get to on Saturdays or Sundays. We never missed a Mass, but rarely went to Confession.

God bless the priests who sit in silence and wait for hours with no one showing up. If you have grave concerns, call the priest and ask for a confession before Mass, or go to another parish. There is a TLM parish that has confessions through the beginning of Mass, and during benediction. Let’s remember that there is in some areas a priest shortage, and Confession is not the only sacrament that they attend to. (Baptism being one of them…)


My sister’s parish in the Southwest US does that. I always thought that general absolution was to be done only in the most EXTREME situations, like wartime in the trenches, etc.
Is this up to the Bishops? Any clarification would be appreciated…Thanks Joe.

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