Kneeling in the confessional?


The confessionals as my church have kneelers. The priest is in the middle confessional and moves between the two adjacent confessionals, so you have to kneel on the pressure-sensitive thing to signal that you are inside. After I finished confessing my sins today, the priest began to talk to me about them, about avoiding sin in the future and fixing up my life.

But as he was talking, I noticed myself starting to get extremely dizzy. I have passed out twice before in situations that involve a lot of kneeling, and I was getting really scared of what would happen if I lost consciousness alone in the tiny confessional. I could hardly listen to the rest of what he was saying because I was trying very hard to not faint, which was really quite sad because what I did hear was very good advice.

My question is, what do I do if I come across this situation again? I didn’t feel like there was any way for me to stop kneeling and keep listening to him. I didn’t want to interrupt him to explain my health issues with kneeling. What can I do?


I would suggest speaking to the priest (or emailing him) before the next confession and explain the situation. I doubt that you are the first or only one to struggle, so I would be very surprised if he did not have other options available e.g. a way of setting off the pressure pad without kneeling or alternative confession times.

We have a kneeler and a chair and the priest is positioned so that all he has to do is move round on the chair in order to listen to anyone who is unable or struggles to kneel. The priest will also hear confession anywhere. But we are a low tech church.


In my church we have a chair in one of the confessionals to accomodate those who cannot kneel. Would it be possible for your parish to do the same? You can ask your Pastor if this could be possible.


Definitely speak to your confessor before your next confession. There’s got to be something to accommodate people who can’t kneel. The last thing Christ wants for you is to pass out while he’s trying to grant you absolution! :smiley:


I really think you should have. How would he have felt if you did pass out?


Since he already knew you were there, you could have stood up to help your dizziness. Or perhaps turned to sit on the kneeler?

Our church has that same type of kneeler but I always thought they just controled the lights outside the confessional so the next person knows that box is taken.

I agree that you should ask the priest.


I have medical issues that have caused the same problem for me. In my case I am willing to go face to face so I can sit. In situations where there is only the “traditional” confessional available I do explain to the priest that I am not capable of kneeling. I simply state that “due to medical reasons I can’t kneel.”

I then place my foot on the kneeler to provide the needed pressure to activate the light. The priest has no trouble with making this accommodation.


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