Length of time in the Confessional/Brooding in Mass

I usually feel rushed in the Confessional. Not that any priest has said anything to that effect, but when there’s been a longish line ahead of and behind you, and there’s only 20 minutes or so before Mass starts, I feel the need to be succinct.

A few Confessions have gone at a conversational pace and have been very helpful.

I’ve never scheduled a Confession outside normal hours because I want to maintain my anonymity to the priest. But on the other hand, I don’t drive (so getting to any church is a major undertaking), and I’m not a morning person, so getting to Confession in the narrow little Saturday time block most churches have is often a problem.

I missed Confession today, for example. I called a cab three times, waited 45 minutes, then finally called a 4th time to cancel, since I wouldn’t have gotten to church in time for Confession. So I’ll have to go to Mass and sit out the Eucharist tomorrow.

I tend to brood when I’m at Mass–over my sins, over what a habitual screw-up I am, over the ways I fail God and myself–but I brood even more when I can’t take Communion.

Are you really annonymous? I just ask b/c the two parishes I’ve lived in have been small enough, and I’ve been active enough in them, that I figure my priest will recognize my voice. If you can give up the annonymity, I think your best bet is to schedule an appointment; that way neither you nor your priest will have to feel rushed.

I’m pretty sure I’m anonymous–these are pretty large parishes, with students and the whole bit. My own parish, the one I’ve not confessed in, is the largest one in the city.

When you schedule a confession for other than the usual time, do you give a name or just get told the priest will be in the confessional at a certain time?

[quote=seeker63]I’m pretty sure I’m anonymous–these are pretty large parishes, with students and the whole bit. My own parish, the one I’ve not confessed in, is the largest one in the city.

When you schedule a confession for other than the usual time, do you give a name or just get told the priest will be in the confessional at a certain time?
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It sounds like you are annonymous! When I scheduled my last confession, I just talked to my priest after an A.M. Mass; I had to get to work so we made it for the next day. I’d call the office and ask if you can schedule an appointment w/o giving your name. Since we are allowed to do this annonymously, this can’t be a completely unusual question.

I hope they can help you. I recently made my first confession in far too long and I would have been upset if it had been rushed for any reason other than an emergency, so I can understand what you mean.

[quote=seeker63]I’m pretty sure I’m anonymous–these are pretty large parishes, with students and the whole bit. My own parish, the one I’ve not confessed in, is the largest one in the city.

When you schedule a confession for other than the usual time, do you give a name or just get told the priest will be in the confessional at a certain time?
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Some priests will accomodate you if you call ahead and wait in the confessional if you want to go behind the screen. Just make sure you show up exactly when you say you’ll be there. No late cab excuses. A priest’s time is valuable.

Ah… The feeling of being anonymous… This has made confession easier to many people and allowed them to be more open with their confessor… All the while taking on the form of just a voice with no face…
In my own experience, I prefer to confess in the more anonymous type of confession then face to face… Confessing to someone you greatly respect makes it just that much harder to humble yourself… But, at times, it is, as some say, something you need to offer up.

Do not feel sad or rushed that there are lines for Confessional at your Parish… Feel rejoice and praise Our Lord’s name as so many people come to Confess their Sins and asks God’s forgiveness… I would celebrate time away from our Lord in Holy Communion if I can not recieve absolution due long lines at the Confessional. Offer up your seperated time and ask the Lord to allow you to recieve him Spiritually during the Sacrafice at the Mass.
Be joyful that others have found forgiveness and pray that it allows them to grow closer to Our Lord.

Also, don’t brood at Mass about your sins… Pray to the Lord and Sing Glories to His Name for the Miracle your are Witnessing in the Eucharist.
Satan is the great tempter and the great accuser… He will tempt you to sin then make you feel guilty and like a failer for sinning.
God does not abandon one, nor is he disappointed in one.
When a parent teaches a child to ride a bike, they are not disapointed when the child falls. They rush to their side to pick them up and offer them encouragment and get them back on their bike. They stay by the child’s side always watching incase the Child needs help.
When one sins, they are that Child falling off the bike, God is the loving parent picking us up and comforting us.

If you do not believe you have enough time for Confession, but do not want to call your Priest for a private confession time, Then become a morning person. Wake up early and go… There is no pressure to fit in all confessions before Mass then as most churches do not have Morning/Midday Mass after the Early Confessions. Offer up any sleep loss and set your alarm for the morning… I’m sure Absolution will give you that wake up perk and what a wonderous way to start the day.

If that won’t work, Call the Priest and schedule a Confession time… You might lose that feeling of being anonymous, but think of how much more you’ll feel when you are able to partake of Our Lord in Holy Communion.
If that still scares you, Call the parish anonymously and set up a time for Confession… I’m sure the Priest won’t mind setting up a time then waiting for you in the Confessional… How many Priests would turn down the chance to hear the Confession of one wanting to ask for forgiveness of their sins.

I hope this helps you in some ways and I’ll include you in my prayers tonight.

Thanks for that, Catholic Cid, and indeed, all of you.

Is it uncommon to be in a brooding, gloomy frame of mind during Mass? I’m not gloomy over being at Mass certainly, just gloomy over myself.

If you have not committed “mortal” sin since your last confession, you may recieve the Eucharist. Maybe you are too hard on yourself. Recieving the Eucharist can revitalize and give you the comfort you seem to long for. Maybe you don’t have to “sit out” and brood. Make a good act of contrition, ask God for His forgiveness and thank Him for all the many blessings you recieve each day, then recieve in with a happy heart.

Love and peace

Mom of 5

I assure you, Mom of 5, I am in a state of mortal sin currently. It’s very black and white now, but isn’t all the time.

I understand how you feel seeker…I’m in the same boat of having to sit out the Eucharist tomorrow. However, going through Confession more quickly can be useful…I have a tendency even in the confessional to dwell on things or “over-explain”, and often it’s me trying to say, “Hey, I’m really bad, how can I really be forgiven?” But God does forgive, and when I cut to the quick my sins are easier to let go of, and it helps the others in line to receive the same sacrament more speedily. Not that I’m advocating speed, just perhaps if you do the sme thing I do it’s worth examining how you can best “optimize” your confession.

Interestinly enough, I had an experience yesterday of being the person next in line who was the ‘cut-off’ point so the priest could get ready for Mass! I understand that he had to go and all, but the entire time for confession was a scant 45 minutes for a large parish, and there were at least 8 other people waiting behind me. Why can’t there be more time given for confession besides once a week for 45 minutes? Isn’t such an important sacrament worth giving up time for something else? :frowning: And does God take into consideration that you did your best to be there but were turned away?

Dear RockAndHoops,

I think part of my being OCD is that I feel the need to be thorough. I fear that if I don’t explain every little jot and title of the sin that I’ll be deliberately leaving something out and either be confessing in bad faith or have to go back again and again explaining the same old sin until I’ve got it all covered.

[quote=Sugabee43]Interestinly enough, I had an experience yesterday of being the person next in line who was the ‘cut-off’ point so the priest could get ready for Mass! I understand that he had to go and all, but the entire time for confession was a scant 45 minutes for a large parish, and there were at least 8 other people waiting behind me. Why can’t there be more time given for confession besides once a week for 45 minutes? Isn’t such an important sacrament worth giving up time for something else? :frowning: And does God take into consideration that you did your best to be there but were turned away?
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I’ve had that happen before as well… Really killed the anonymous feeling as the Priest walked out and apologized that he must take leave… But we could ask the Priest celebrating the Mass afterwards to hear our Confession (Someone else was with me)…
So we stayed for Mass (I was in Gym clothes… So kinda felt out of place) then afterwards, we went and asked, but Father apologized and said he had to leave as well… So no Confession that week :rolleyes:

But anyways, you can call the Parish and ask to setup a specific time with the Priest so he may hear your Confession. I’d highly reccomend doing so if your unable to attend on the set date due to time constraints… Or some Priests might be willing if you catch them early before Mass or a little after the hustle of the congregation leave after Mass.

I always thought i was anonymous at confession, until last week.

I made my confession through the grille and just as i was leaving my priest said “is your boss out of hospital yet Adam??”

AAAAAAAAAAAGHHHH!!!

Still, gotta laugh!!

This is probably going to be hard for you to do, but try to simply state your sins with no detail. Detail and description is not necessary. A lot of sins can be confessed in a short period of time if you just state them and leave out the explanations and details. Most sins can be stated in one or two words. After receiving absolution, forget the sins, and forget the details. Don’t bring them to your mind again.

OK, seeker, you live in an area that has more than one parish. Is there any way you can map out all the confession hours within say, a 10-15 mile radius? Does your diocese or archdiocese offer a web listing of different Masses and confession hours? Then you can go to confession as you need to do so, without worrying over when or not having anonymity.

What you described is known as “scrupes”. It especially effects those with OCD. The good news is that many a saint had at one time or another a scrupulous conscience. The bad news is that a scrupulous conscience can be hard on both the penitent and confessor. Here’s a couple links that have been helpful to many:

liguori.org/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=725

mission.liguori.org/newsletters/archives.htm#SA

[quote=seeker63]Dear RockAndHoops,

I think part of my being OCD is that I feel the need to be thorough. I fear that if I don’t explain every little jot and title of the sin that I’ll be deliberately leaving something out and either be confessing in bad faith or have to go back again and again explaining the same old sin until I’ve got it all covered.
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I understand; although I cannot say that I have OCD, the need to explain is something I struggle with, too. I often feel the need to give background or context to the sin and detail it so that I have “sufficiently confessed” in my mind. I’ve gone in many times telling the priest, “Look, I think I said this before, BUT I’ve got something else…” and one of them tells me each time: “You are a worrier; don’t worry, God does forgive.” Though my words here may not be very helpful, I will remember you in my prayers tonight.

Jim–One of the things I worry about if I don’t give details is I might not get any advice. It;s one thing to say you masturbated, and another to say you have an engrained history of it.

I also worry about sins that I have confessed, gotten absolution for, but that would seem to require restitution. But no priest has ever told me to make restitution.

OutinChgoburbs–I e-mailed my diocese. Their website lists all the parishes with their individual websites, but has no master list of Masses and Confession times. I’d need to look up each parish site for that.

I have my home parish, then I have three more I visit and confess in and often worship at.

One of the priests that works one of these parishes, the one that did my first Confession when I converted last year, tends to rush through so fast it’s often hard to hear him. He always seems to give the same light penance. (But I’ve never gotten a heavy penance.) I worry about going to him because I don’t want to seem to be seeking an easy way out.

Rock–I truly appreciate your prayers. Yes, this is clearly an OCD thing. It’s like the way I always check my stove burners several times before I leave the house because I’m afraid if I don’t the house will catch fire. I fear if I don’t mention every jot and tittle in Confession God will think I’m trying to hide something.

[quote=Adam S]I always thought i was anonymous at confession, until last week.

I made my confession through the grille and just as i was leaving my priest said “is your boss out of hospital yet Adam??”

AAAAAAAAAAAGHHHH!!!

Still, gotta laugh!!
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Two weeks ago at Confession, I had just kneeled down to pray when the Priest had to excuse himself from the Confessional for a “Restroom break” and I was like “gah… he’s seen my face” :stuck_out_tongue:

[quote=aurora77]Are you really annonymous? I just ask b/c the two parishes I’ve lived in have been small enough, and I’ve been active enough in them, that I figure my priest will recognize my voice. If you can give up the annonymity, I think your best bet is to schedule an appointment; that way neither you nor your priest will have to feel rushed.
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Actually, I was surprised at confession the other day when the priest recognized me by voice. He mentioned that I have “struggled with this before,” and he was exactly right. I had confessed to him two or three times before, always the same thing–but these are old-fashioned confessionals, where you confess through a screen, and the priest and I have never been introduced face-to-face, or by name. I’ve been to several Masses offered by him, though, so I knew who he was immediately. This is at the Cathedral of one of the largest archdioceses in the country, not my local parish.

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