How often do people receive the sacraments in your community?


#1

…and the places you’ve been to?

Everywhere in the U.S. I’ve attended Mass (Florida, NYC, Minnesota), almost all the congregation goes to Communion.

On the other hand, in the churches I’ve been to in Mexico, Spain, and Costa Rica, only a minority of parishioners present at Mass seem to communicate weekly.

Confession is offered at most parishes every Saturday, and some after or before daily Mass. Lines at weekly confession are notoriously short or non-existent. On the other hand, most parishes hold reconciliation services (with individual confessions) at the end of advent and lent. Those that I’ve been to are decently attended.

Of course, the other 5 sacraments of the church (Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders, and Extreme Unction) tend to be or are only received once.


#2

I am a lifelong member (54 years) of perhaps the largest parish in the Chicago Archdiocese. We have six priests in residence and seven Sunday masses (including vigil).

We have one weekly sacrament of confession on Saturday mornings. This is a 45 minute block of time in the weekly bulletin (although it is typically 90 minutes before completion), administered by one priest. However, there are six confessional boxes.

I attended confession this morning with my 16 year old son (he missed mass last week while camping with scouts). There were about 30 to 40 people who received the sacrament.

As a child I attended the school. We went to penance once a month as part of class, plus parents would take their children on weekends. I have an old bulletin from 1968 which shows that penance was available on Saturday mornings from 7am until noon. Also, penance was available on Sunday mornings prior to each scheduled mass (except the last mass of the day, which included benediction).

I usually attend one of two masses. Typically I choose based upon my favorite priest of over 35 years, or our retired pastor, both of whom present wonderful homilies.

The earliest mass is about 300 people, with most of them being older than me. About 3/4
of this group receives communion. There is typically just the priest and one EM. However, for all the later masses, there are several thousand attending, and the vast majority receive communion. IN addition to the priest and deacon, there are typically a dozen EM’s.

The final mass used to attract many Filipinos and Hispanics parishioners, and many (as I recall) did not receive communion. But I haven’t attended that service for a while. But that would be similar to what your experiences were in Spanish speaking countries.


#3

We have one priest who also has duties at the diocese. We are a smallish parish. Our church seats 250-300 people, and we have 3 Masses each weekend, which are pretty decently attended. Sometimes standing room only.

We have confessions for 30 minutes on Saturday afternoon and for about 10 minutes before daily Mass 4x a week. I don’t know how many people are waIting at 3:00 when confessions begin, but if I show up at 3:15, it is rare that I encounter a line or another sinner. More likely if we are in Advent or Lent. Same with daily Mass…sometimes there might be one or two others - perhaps on a First Friday. Our good priest adds an hour extra on a weeknight during Advent and Lent, and I think there is a pretty good turn-out for those. When I’ve been, it has been non-stop.

Holy Communion is attended by most, but not all. Black, white, young, and old. Daily Mass is attended by about 30 or so, and most of those receive, as well.


#4

We have 800 registered parishioners, 2 priests. Daily Mass Monday thru Friday, 4 weekend Masses.

Confession is on Saturday, from 11am-12p. While not particularly well attended (maybe 25-30 people?), it takes at least an hour. If I’m working and try to be first or second in line, you need to get there at least 30 minutes in advance, that’s when people start arriving.

On First Friday, confession is at 6pm, which is wonderful, and it’s also on every friday at 6pm during lent (which is NOT well attended at all)

It’s the same people/families over and over again in the confession line. For such a large parish, it’s a small select group of sinners (our family included)


#5

That depends on which community.

At my territorial parish confession is offered for an hour on Saturdays. Most of the time there is no line and I have occasionally gone into the confessional and father is reading a book. One time he said, “I am so glad someone showed up today.” (implication being that it was not unusual to have only 1 or 2 people show up). We have 5 masses in English (and 1 in Spanish) and each of those masses average between 350 - 500+ people. Of those I’d say anywhere from 85 - 95% of the people receive the Eucharist.

At the FSSP parish they offer confession 30 minutes before every mass (including daily mass) and for an hour Saturday morning and another hour on Saturday afternoon. The lines for confession before the Sunday masses are always packed. Since the confessional is in the nave it easy to see that confessions happen up until the consecration and there are often people still waiting. I’d guess there are generally 30 - 40 people there for confession in a church that has seating for maybe 150 people. In that parish I’d say it’s about 75 - 85% receive. I do notice that those who did not get to make their confession generally sit and don’t receive during that mass.


#6

First let me say I’m jealous that you have 2 priest for that size congregation. :stuck_out_tongue: We have close to 5000 registered parishioners and just got a second priest last year (and he has been on assignment to another parish for the last 5 months).

While I’m not at confession every week, it seems like I run into the same 5 - 10 people in line. Maybe I’m just lucky and the other 3 weeks a month are packed with the other 4000+ people.


#7

[quote="Usige, post:6, topic:286662"]

While I'm not at confession every week, it seems like I run into the same 5 - 10 people in line. Maybe I'm just lucky and the other 3 weeks a month are packed with the other 4000+ people.

[/quote]

Ha! That's what I think sometimes - they all come on the weeks that I don't, or we have especially holy people at our parish


#8

That’s presuming the parishoners at a particular parish only go to reconciliation at their registered parish and that may not be true. Its not unusual for Catholics in my area to go to a different parish just for reconciliation. I think one has to be careful with observations that people may not be receiving the sacraments in a manner that is appropriate based just on what one sees in their own parish. People in my parish may assume we don’t fulfill our Sunday obligation for mass based on how frequently we’re not in the pew week to week and that simply wouldn’t be true. We’ve been trying to visit all the parishes in our diocese and don’t always go to mass or reconciliation at our own parish. I know we’re not unusual.


#9

I belong to a small Byzantine Rite parish, with about 50 people (approximately 30 are adults and children above Confession age). Father hears Confessions before Sunday Divine Liturgy, but is always approachable after Liturgy and at other times. When I go on Sunday before Liturgy, there is almost always someone else waiting. I usually ask him at other times, as it is difficult for me to arrive at church early, since I have young children. I have also heard other people approach him for the Sacrament at various times.

Our local Latin parish has Confessions scheduled Saturday from 3-4 and from 7-8. During Holy Week and the week before Christmas, Confessions are available every day for several hours. They usually have two or three priests hearing Confessions, and there is always a line.

A local FSSP parish has Confessions before every Sunday Mass and there is always a line. Another parish in my city has the same thing.

I try to refrain from determining what percentage of people receive Communion, I actually try not to watch others receive at all.

I think that a parish like my local parish probably has people from other parishes come just for Confession, as it is so available. Some other nearby parishes have Confession for 1 hour on Saturday, or Wednesday night. If a parish doesn’t emphasize it and doesn’t make it very available, people are less likely to avail themselves of the Sacrament, at least at that parish.


#10

At the EF I attend, I would say 75% receive. On weekdays, 99%.

At the Spanish Masses I’ve attended, I would say maybe 25-50% receive.

I can’t remember the last English Mass I attended where at least 99% didn’t receive. Yet when I’ve gone to confession at those parishes, there were only maybe one or two others in line there. In one case, I was the only one there (other than the priest).

Apparently we have a lot of English-speaking saints the Vatican isn’t aware of. :rolleyes:


#11

Confession is only required for mortal sins. It may be that parishes these days are just filled with average, boring people who haven’t been committing mortal sin.

I am a firm believer in frequent confession, but also know that the ordinary, accepted reading of the Church precepts tell us that we do not need to confess venial sin before receiving communion.

Our parish is about 5000 families and has 3 full-time priests. Confession is scheduled 3 times a week during Ordinary time and much more often during Lent and Advent. There are also extra confession times scheduled for days like Divine Mercy Sunday. All the priests are ordinarily available for confession times and there are lines. All the priests also preach on the importance of confession.

We have 6 Sunday Masses during which the vast majority of the congregation receives communion.

I trust my pastor to know whether things are in balance in the parish. I have enough to worry about with my own formation. :o


#12

It also seems most are just convinced that all their sins are at worse, venial. And/or are unknowing of the indulgences associated with receiving both confession and communion.

The only other explanation I have for this is that those who are divorced and remarried or cohabitating simply don’t go to Mass. This is not good.


#13

I agree that the alternative of folks simply not attending Mass is worse. But given the percentages of Mass-goers, it is extremely likely that folks in those groups simply aren’t going to Mass more often that Christmas and Easter, if that. :frowning:


#14

[quote="ProVobis, post:10, topic:286662"]
At the EF I attend, I would say 75% receive. On weekdays, 99%.

At the Spanish Masses I've attended, I would say maybe 25-50% receive.

[/quote]

I really wonder why that is.

We have few Hispanics in our diocese, but they're the ones usually sitting in the pews.

(And no, I don't look especially to see who's sitting in pews at communion time, or who's going up...but sometimes you can't help noticing)

I don't believe for a second that Hispanics sin more often than Anglos, and I see few people at confession as it is.

What I do know is that it was a common practice throughout the Catholic world until recent history to only receive communion infrequently, perhaps annually. It was not really until the beginning of the 20th century with the promotion of daily communion reception by St. Pius X that people started receiving weekly en masse. This countered the long-condemned but still very alive Jansenist or pseudo-Jansenist notions that one had to be almost perfect and unblemished to communicate.

Obviously St. Pius X's ideas reached the United States, and after Vatican II confessions dropped dramatically but communion reception stayed the same or increased (because it couldn't increase much more from what it currently is).

Yet Latin America must have been a different story, and I think that accounts for the low reception rates.


#15

One of the more depressing sermons I heard in recent times was from our pastor who announced that the parish was to have some 200 first communicants but he was also facing the sad realization that that would be the last time most of them would attend Mass.


#16

I try to communicate daily (daily mass is offered down the street from my work, at lunch break, and is very brief, so it still allows me time to eat later on). I would like to go to confession no more than once every 2-3 weeks but I find myself going closer to one week.

At my parish the proportion of people confessing to those communicating is wildly out of kilter. Probably several hundred communicate. On a “bad” Saturday, the priests will hear two dozen confessions. Our parish is also very generous with allowing people to schedule confessions at other times, so perhaps some more people are availing themselves of confession that way, but… well, it seems unlikely.

Confirmation here is administered precisely once I think, on Easter Vigil; any other time they go to the diocesan cathedral to receive it from the bishop. Baptisms are done, I think, once or twice a month (something like the first and third Saturday after the Vigil Mass). We have marriages once in a blue moon – or church is kind of plain from the inside so most people prefer to go elsewhere. Holy Orders are conferred at the diocesan cathedral. And extreme unction I have never before witnessed anywhere – I suppose that’s why it’s extreme!


#17

I live in the Netherlands in the "non-Catholic north" (as opposed to the dense Catholic population in the "Catholic South"). We share 1 priest with 6 other churches. We have "proper" mass about 12-14 times a year (half of those times on a Saturday night). Sacraments aren't easy to come by.

Baptisms are done in a group and no more than one time a month. If there is only 1 person, they do request you wait another month to see if they can add more people. The vast majority receive Communion every service (we only have 1 service per week, most often run by lay-people). I haven't seen marriage yet, but I have only been at my local church for 2 years and maybe no one has been married in this time? Or they went somewhere else? Confirmation is done once a year on "Sacraments Day."

Ready for this? We don't have confession. At all. The current explanation is it's an old tradition that's been done away with in the 1970's so all converts and all children since that time are NOT instructed in it nor offered it (even before First Holy Communion). I have been told by several members they have never been to confession EVER. This is including those lay-people who officiate at our services. :(


#18

My local parish church has Confession 6 days a week, i.e. Mon - Sat.


#19

[quote="ProVobis, post:12, topic:286662"]
It also seems most are just convinced that all their sins are at worse, venial. And/or are unknowing of the indulgences associated with receiving both confession and communion.

The only other explanation I have for this is that those who are divorced and remarried or cohabitating simply don't go to Mass. This is not good.

[/quote]

the other reason for this that it could be that people arrange to have confession in private? As Anglicans or at least at parish church I go to, this is how I do so. But yet people if they think at all will think I don't bother, but it not about them is it :) So may be the ones who are perceieved as not going find other times to go. Who knows.

I attend Eucharist every Sunday and used to go in the week on tuesday mornings but he altered the time and can't do it now. There was only me there :blush: and it was half nice and half embarrassing so am ok that he has changed it. But it was the only time I went and I could make some of the other times but but.... :shrug:


#20

[quote="tvdxer, post:1, topic:286662"]
...and the places you've been to?

Everywhere in the U.S. I've attended Mass (Florida, NYC, Minnesota), almost all the congregation goes to Communion.

On the other hand, in the churches I've been to in Mexico, Spain, and Costa Rica, only a minority of parishioners present at Mass seem to communicate weekly.

Confession is offered at most parishes every Saturday, and some after or before daily Mass. Lines at weekly confession are notoriously short or non-existent. On the other hand, most parishes hold reconciliation services (with individual confessions) at the end of advent and lent. Those that I've been to are decently attended.

Of course, the other 5 sacraments of the church (Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders, and Extreme Unction) tend to be or are only received once.

[/quote]

Isn't it NONE OF OUR BUSINESS how often other people receive the Sacraments? It is only between them, God, and their spiritual parent and/or confessor.


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