I try to make regular use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and usually go to the one where I attend weekday Mass, as I can have my confession heard immediately beforehand, or even afterwards.
In the past year, I’ve probably been to Confession, for various reasons due to travel and work, in 3 different dioceses, with 2 churches in the same diocese. Not one follows the same form; in fact, if I am remembering correctly, the priests in my own parish have different ‘forms’.
At my regular confessional, you enter (it’s a private ‘box’ separate from the priest), and I say “forgive me father, for I have sinned; it’s been XXX since my last confession.” Then there is silence! The priest doesn’t say anything! So I dive on in to my list of sins. Afterwards, he tells me I’ve made a good and sincere confession (which is always my intent), and offers either questions for clarification (rarely), or more often, very helpful words of love, forgiveness, sometimes justice, with references to scripture. After my act of contrition (although once it was not asked for; I did say I was sorry at the end of my sins and at that one, I was crying), he gives me my penance and absolution.
Is this ‘regular’ now? For the priest not to acknowledge you as you begin? I don’t know if he recognizes my voice and thinks I’m a regular (which I am…usually no less than every 2-3 weeks), but some other priests start with scripture, or at least, acknowledgment.
Don’t get me wrong; I love my confessor. With the Grace of Jesus Christ, he has helped me greatly over the past year in the confessional with the Sacrament. Perhaps it’s because of time constraints, due to a usually long line both before and after Mass. I just feel ignorant when I enter and each priest does it differently.