Frustrating Confession experience


#1

I went to confession today at a different parish, because the time was easier for me to get to and I didn't want to wait until the last minute to go to confession before Mass tomorrow. The church I went to had confession at 12:00 and 3:00. I got there at 12:05. There was one person in confession and one person in line. I waited until 1:15 and had to leave for an afternoon appointment. The first person was in there until after 12:50! I mean I am glad they were getting good counsel and getting (I assume) a lot confessed, but taking up an entire posted time instead of setting an appointment seemed a little, inconsiderate...I just don't know. It was frustrating.

Now I have to make sure I make confession just before Mass tomorrow, I always feel rushed going to the pre-Mass confession, the entire time is only 20 minutes, and lots of people go then, I would never dream of taking up the entire time allotment!

I hate to sound like I am complaining, but I've never seen anyone be in there more than 10-15 minutes, let alone over 45! I just wanted somewhere to let it out I guess. I said something to DH, but he's not Catholic so he just kind shrugs it off. Is that normal and I've just never seen it or is it odd?


#2

you just never know. One time I went to confession at a parish (not my usual parish) and I was in the confessional for 30 minutes. NOT because I had a lot of sins, or even any very serious ones, but because the (rather old) priest just started talking and wouldn't stop!!!!

He rambled on for literally 25 minutes before he said the words of absolution. I don't know if he got lost in his thoughts or what, or if he was getting a little senile, because he was just telling stories and talking about scripture (and I really could not figure out what these had to do with what I confessed)... then he suddenly said..."well anyway... I absolve you..."

When I got out there was a trail of people a mile long glaring at me.

So, moral of the story... you just never know what is going on in there.


#3

That happened to me once. I was the first one in and no one else was on line. I only has some venial sins. The priest was foreign and new to the parish. After I confess (in less than a minute) he went on for we’ll over 20 minutes telling me about his move, his upcoming surgery, the fact that his room wasn’t painted yet. Then he gave me “advice” that had nothing at all to do with what I confessed. When he finally absolved me and I got out there was a long ling. I felt so embarrassed and wondered what people thought since I was we’ll known in the parish. There was a long ling.


#4

The best thing to do in these circumstances is to assume the best-someone returning to the church after being away for a long time. Those can sometimes take significant time, and it can be very difficult to make an appointment from an emotional and psychological perspective. Just going to confession after being away is nerve-racking. I've been there, and am coming up on my two year anniversary. When I stand in line now, I get flooded with the memory of doing that two years ago.


#5

[quote="misspriss, post:1, topic:315233"]
I went to confession today at a different parish, because the time was easier for me to get to and I didn't want to wait until the last minute to go to confession before Mass tomorrow. The church I went to had confession at 12:00 and 3:00. I got there at 12:05. There was one person in confession and one person in line. I waited until 1:15 and had to leave for an afternoon appointment. The first person was in there until after 12:50! I mean I am glad they were getting good counsel and getting (I assume) a lot confessed, but taking up an entire posted time instead of setting an appointment seemed a little, inconsiderate...I just don't know. It was frustrating.

Now I have to make sure I make confession just before Mass tomorrow, I always feel rushed going to the pre-Mass confession, the entire time is only 20 minutes, and lots of people go then, I would never dream of taking up the entire time allotment!

I hate to sound like I am complaining, but I've never seen anyone be in there more than 10-15 minutes, let alone over 45! I just wanted somewhere to let it out I guess. I said something to DH, but he's not Catholic so he just kind shrugs it off. Is that normal and I've just never seen it or is it odd?

[/quote]

Actually I think you are justified in your feeling of frustration. There is, of course, room in the confessional for some counseling, but if the matter is serious enough, and a longer time would be required, then the discussion should be carried out outside of the confessional. In my opinion the priest has the responsibility on this matter because he has the training and experience. If he sees that the penitent has many doubts, or needs a lot of counseling (which would exceed, say 5 minutes), then he should invite the penitent to call the rectory at a future date to set up an appointment with him. Then he should simply guide the penitent to focus on the sins that he or she is sure of, rather than the sin of which there are many questions or doubts.


#6

While it can be good for one to make an appointment -a penitent may also wish to confess with the screen and without the Priest knowing who he is. Which may be difficult with an appointment. Though it could be done but say one who is returning to the Church after years may not have the where-with-all yet to think of how to do such. They may need to go to the normal time. Or even if they are not "returning to the Church".


#7

Ah yes, I did consider that we are now in the season of Lent, so I was thinking, perhaps these people (I believe they came in together) had been away from the church for so long, and I didn't want to pass any judgement on them for what they needed, but I was indeed frustrated to spend so long waiting and then have to leave.

Ah well, I will just go in the AM. It is not too big of a struggle to get there early, I am just always worried there will be a line and we will run out of time, I mean, Mass starts when Mass starts, whether you get through the line or not! I will be brief though, it has only been...one week since my last confession :blush:


#8

Hi Ike, re ur comment ‘u never know what is going on in there’ - i wish u wouldnt say that, cause i have a good imagination & am now thinking all sorts of possibilities that could be ‘going on’ which i wish hadnt occurred to me. But i guess i might think that if a confession had taken that long anyway. :confused:


#9

Then you need to practice custody of the mind.


#10

When i was a young man my wife at the time ran out on me with another man. I hadn't really gone to confession much so I went for counciling. After a few minutes my priest told me not to use the confessional for counciling but to call and set an appointment. Only he said it in a pastorial and caring way. I'm sure I was in there longer then I should have been.

Today I went to confession, It's from 3-4, I got there at 3:15. After about 10-15 minutes I realized the same person was still in there that was in there when I came in. It took about 20 minutes before they came out. Who knows how long they were in there before I got there. Then I remembered when I did it. But yeah it's really frustrating.


#11

[quote="Deo_Gratias42, post:9, topic:315233"]
Then you need to practice custody of the mind.

[/quote]

This could be true. However there r times when an informed modern imagination can be very helpful; & if we happen to practise too much 'custody of the mind' then the media & the world (other people) will fill us in on all the possibilities. ;);)


#12

The simple solution is to arrive at Confession before anyone else. That’s what I do. It costs a few extra minutes, but it’s worth it for the freedom you get by not worrying about your place in line, follow-on appointments, etc… You can just focus on God until the priest shows up.


#13

Yeah, we do have to be careful about making assumptions. I went once and the priest rambled on for so long that I had to interrupt him and remind him that he still hadn't absolved me!


#14

[quote="Deo_Gratias42, post:9, topic:315233"]
Then you need to practice custody of the mind.

[/quote]

:thumbsup:


#15

[quote="misspriss, post:1, topic:315233"]
I went to confession today at a different parish, because the time was easier for me to get to and I didn't want to wait until the last minute to go to confession before Mass tomorrow. The church I went to had confession at 12:00 and 3:00. I got there at 12:05. There was one person in confession and one person in line. I waited until 1:15 and had to leave for an afternoon appointment. The first person was in there until after 12:50! I mean I am glad they were getting good counsel and getting (I assume) a lot confessed, but taking up an entire posted time instead of setting an appointment seemed a little, inconsiderate...I just don't know. It was frustrating.

Now I have to make sure I make confession just before Mass tomorrow, I always feel rushed going to the pre-Mass confession, the entire time is only 20 minutes, and lots of people go then, I would never dream of taking up the entire time allotment!

I hate to sound like I am complaining, but I've never seen anyone be in there more than 10-15 minutes, let alone over 45! I just wanted somewhere to let it out I guess. I said something to DH, but he's not Catholic so he just kind shrugs it off. Is that normal and I've just never seen it or is it odd?

[/quote]

Just about anything can happen. For example I have experienced these:
1. the priest is late and is celebrating a Mass just after confession, so very few can confess in time
2. arriving at the normal time for confessions, the priest is there, but says he is not hearing confession that day, because of bad weather
3. confessions are to be heard at a certain time, and the priest is not there at all and people are asking about his whereabouts.

Also, amusing, as I finish my confession the priest says emphatically, "How come I don't see you here on Sunday?" I explained that I am a member of a different parish and only come to confession there because it is near work.


#16

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