Daily Mass / Daily Confession

There are only 2 parishes in our diocese that offer daily confession, one downtown, and one far away suburb. The downtown parish is a mission, and is actually a wonderful place that is very welcoming.

The suburban parish offers confession prior to the daily mass. As it happens, the people who attend the daily mass and the people who go for confession are often not the same folks. This, I think, is because the time is in the middle of the day, and it would be hard to do both on a lunch hour. I have done both when possible, but this is frequently not the case.

So, it seems that the folks that go to daily mass are not very happy to have the confession folks in the chapel before mass waiting for confession? I understand that some of those coming for confession are not members of the parish, as there are not many other opportunities in this large diocese to go.

So, being a convert, I have to ask - is it wrong to go to a parish that you are not registered in for confession? What about mass? Is it wrong to go to confession and not mass???

Today, confession was cancelled as there was a communion service due to Father being out. Just before the mass began, 30 minutes after confession was to start, and with people patiently waiting for Father to arrive, one of the altar servers turned around from her chair announced that the deacon asked her to say there would be no confessions that day. This is after she had been lighting candles and “chit chating” for the entire half hour we were waiting. She then shot a glance at those of us who were waiting, looked at her friends that were there for daily mass, and giggled. I have never felt more unwelcome before in my life.

I thought the sacraments were open to all… And if I am a member of a diocese, then that is really the real unit of organization, now? Parishes are areas where priests, on behalf of the bishop, minister to the people, right. But you aren’t really a “member” of a parish, only a “registrant.”

I just feel really upset, and I’m trying not to be discouraged and pray for this woman’s soul. Seems she should not look down on us. We are not subhuman becuase we are sorry for our sins! Shouldn’t those w/out the need to confess be rejoicing for us??? I took the opp to pray for our priests as well, as they are such a blessing.

Any words of encouragement? Thansk!

I’m sorry you had to experience this. You are absolutely correct, you should be welcomed in every parish, everywhere. It is not wrong to go to a different parish to confess.

May God bless you abundantly.

Wow, what a terrible experience. :frowning: I’m sorry that happened to you. :console:

Yes, the sacraments are absolutely open to all Catholics. You are Catholic. Feel free to go to any Catholic Church for Confession and/or Mass. Don’t feel bad about it!

I’m not sure why some people get so territorial with their parishes. :shrug: In my diocese, when one parish was closing, one woman at the closest neighboring parish (which was remaining open) said “I hope they don’t think they can come here.” :eek: Some people simply have a poor understanding of ecclesiology. :frowning:

Don’t let this woman’s issues get you down. It’s great that you are wanting to frequent the Sacrament of Confession and also attend daily Mass. Pray for her.

one of the altar servers turned around from her chair announced that the deacon asked her to say there would be no confessions that day. This is after she had been lighting candles and “chit chating” for the entire half hour we were waiting. She then shot a glance at those of us who were waiting, looked at her friends that were there for daily mass, and giggled. I have never felt more unwelcome before in my life.

Yes, a Catholic can go into any Catholic church for confession or to attend Mass. Often, the parishes are large enough that no one would likely know that you are or are not a member of the parish. And a downtown parishes, they are very used to people in the city for work coming there, tourists, etc.

If the specific issue you menetion is the only reason why you think this parish doesn’t welcome visitors, I would disagree. I am assuming that the altar server is a child or young teen from the parish school (say aged 10-14), she was probably just embarrassed at having to make an announcement or just having the ordinary teenaged attitude toward life in general. The chit chatting may have been them egging each other on to see who’d make the announcement.

Probably the best solution would have been for them to post up an announcement (actual piece of paper) on the church doors or confessional doors ahaed of time so that people who were only there for confession could leave. However, it may be that the priest just thought he’d be running late instead of missing altogether. If you feel comfortable doing so, perhaps make a quick call to the parish office with that suggestion.

On another note, if this was a daily Mass and this parish does have a regular priest, then they shouldn’t have been having a communion service in his absence. Instead they should have had a prayer service (Liturgy of the Hours) lead by the deacon. The communion service is really designed for those parishes or groups (ie, Catholics in a nursing home) who do not have regular access to a priest and are meant for Sundays only.

If the specific issue you menetion is the only reason why you think this parish doesn’t welcome visitors, I would disagree. I am assuming that the altar server is a child or young teen from the parish school (say aged 10-14), she was probably just embarrassed at having to make an announcement or just having the ordinary teenaged attitude toward life in general. The chit chatting may have been them egging each other on to see who’d make the announcement.

You are right that I should not judge the entire parish because of this. :o

As for the altar server, based on how she behaved, I can see why you would think that… Actually, she was middle aged, and her friends middle aged and up. I’m not sure if she would be an “altar server” or not. Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, Lecter, and I think she presents the gifts, and maybe holds the liturgical books???

I’m not sure if it was her behavior, or the way she invited all the others to join in that made it worse… Anyway, thanks all for your helpful comments.

And believe me… she was not embarrased. She was enjoying making the announcement!!!

God Bless you Gadflea

I am so sorry you were treated this way. Any and every Catholic is welcome at any and every Catholic church and any and every Mass - worldwide! You needn’t be a parishioner to partake of confession. You don’t need to be a parishioner to attend Mass at a parish. And there is no requirement to attend Mass right after confession.

As for the other – I think you could search the world over and have a very hard time finding anyone who fits the description of “those w/out the need to confess”. Whether they recognize it or acknowledge it or not, we all need to confess. Often. And repeatedly. Congratulations and bless you for recognizing your own need to do so, and presenting yourself humbly to our Lord’s servants here on earth. I pray that you will find continued comfort in the Lord, and peace and joy from confession, wherever and whenever you partake!

God Bless,
CLM
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I have occasionally gone to confession in a parish that offers it six days a week before the daily morning Mass. The Mass starts at 8 a.m. or 8:15 (depending on whether the school children attend). I have to be at work at 8:30. So on a workday, I can make it to confession if necessary but I can’t stay for Mass. I leave as soon as I have said my penance or other prayers and no one bothers me about it. Of course this is probably due to the fact that the confessions are at the beginning of the workday and everyone there understands if you have to leave for work.

I had the same experience in another city I once lived in, in a downtown parish that had three Masses daily and confessions in the morning. Again, there was never any problem with people coming in just for confession if they were on their way to work. (Even priests went to that parish for confession!)

It might be different with the parish you mention because the Mass and confessions are in the middle of the day. Perhaps that Mass draws mostly retirees or stay at home moms who see going to Mass also as an opportunity to socialize with others, and don’t want “strangers” intruding on it.

You should have told her that they were going against Church directives by holding the communion service.

BTW I feel free to go to 4 different parishes for confession and Mass.

No.

They are indeed open to all Catholics.

yeap that’s the reason!

I thought this was a local (parish, diocese) decision. Is there something the Church teaches that indicates what you say? Thanks.

I would say it’s wrong of anyone to get upset at you for going for confession in any parish you choose.

I know at times, though, I have wanted to go to confession before Mass so as to be able to recieve the Eucharist worthily. It certainly is disappointing to be denied the opportunity due to long lines for the confessional. And if someone ahead of me in the line didn’t even stay for Mass … well, it might be just a tad aggravating, although of course I shouldn’t be judging my need to be greater than theirs or anyrhing.

I’m wondering if anyone was left unable to go to confession (and hence possibly to communion) because you attended?

Could it be possible that even she did not know that Father was not going to show up and she was instructed by the Deacon to make the announcement if Father did not show up by a half hour before Mass was to begin? Our pastor and previous pastors have always tried to get replacements when they were away. However, in years past we did on occassion have some miscommunication or forgetfulness by an elderly priest.

From Redemptionis Sacramentum:

[166.] Likewise, especially if Holy Communion is distributed during such celebrations, the diocesan Bishop, to whose exclusive competence this matter pertains, must not easily grant permission for such celebrations to be held on weekdays, especially in places where it was possible or would be possible to have the celebration of Mass on the preceding or the following Sunday. Priests are therefore earnestly requested to celebrate Mass daily for the people in one of the churches entrusted to their care.

So, yes, it is a decision of the Bishop, but the Church cautions them not to make this decision easily. Since this was daily Mass at a parish that has a regular daily Mass, they could easily have skipped it for the day (just as the did confessions).

From what I know it is perfectly okay to go to confession and not attend the daily Mass. I would imagine though if someone has the time and just went to confession, their soul would like to receive Christ as soon as possible. So if it is within your time budget, stay for the Mass.

Imagine a suffering pilgrim walks by and you want to offer then a break because you can see a kind and noble heart. If you had the means, you would let them take a shower then give them a nice meal. We are pilgrims on the road back to the Father. Going to confession to wash ourselves and receiving Christ to nourish on the journey seems like the best hospitality ever =).

If other people are unkind or does not receive all the hospitality from the Bride of Christ, no worries – Just make sure you do.

Thanks. I thought that section applied to Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest, and that such a service should not be permitted to take place on a weekday, i.e. you can’t pretend that a weekday liturgy is an acceptable way to fulfill the Sunday obligation. I guess it could be read either way.

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