Is it just me or does any one else feel they would go to confession more if there were more times and opportunities. I know there is a priest shortage and they are very busy, I am just wondering if it would help. Sometimes I find the times very difficult to get to.
Well yes, I think there ought to be as much opportunity as possible. My own parish has confessions six days a week: a half-hour before weekday afternoon Mass, and an hour on Sundays. And there are other parishes nearby which also have confession times, so I think nearly everyone has a chance to go. But if not, one can always make an appointment.
(Probably if every parishioner went to confession biweekly or even monthly, though, it would not be enough.)
Unfortunately, there aren’t always enough people going to confessions to warrant more available hours / days.
When we go (which is every other week), we are usually one of two or three other people / families that go. Yet, the line for receiving Holy Communion extends out the door!?!?! How sad.
At least, that’s how it is at MY parish.
The only time my parish offers confession I’d 8:00-9:30 on Sat mornings.We are a huge parish over 4,0000 registered families.Sooo,I go to a nearby parish that has Sat.at 3:30;)
If you cannot make it to Confession at the scheduled times, why not go to the Rectory of any Catholic Church and ask to see a priest? Or, many Catholic Churches have a daily morning or evening Mass. Show up about 15 or 20 minutes before Mass and go into the Sanctuary. When the priest arrives, and before he vests up, ask him to hear your Confession. I am sure he will accomodate you.
Remember, you are not limited to Catholic Churches in your neignborhood. You can do this at any Catholic Church. And, at least in the US, unless upi live in the middle of no-where, there usually is a Catholic Church within walking distance. You can find them in the Yellow Pages of your phone book.
Thank you George. You are correct and I do realize that I can make appointments. I do have difficulty making the times. There are 12 Catholic churches near me and they all have confession around the same time. Either Saturday afternoon or early in the morning during the week. I usually go on Saturday because I have family to get off to school and work early in the morning during the week. There is one a little farther that has 11:15AM. It is a little harder to get to but when needed I go. I should say, I guess too, just because of how things get misinterpreted on the forum, that I truly understand the shortage of priests and how busy they are and I do know I can get to confession when needed and that I absolutely love the Catholic church and in no way want to sound as if I am putting it down or complaining. I was just wondering if anyone else found the times scheduled for confession difficult to get to or if it was just my area. I remember when I was growing up long lines at the confessional and able to always get there during the week.
For us it gets a bit chaotic Sunday mornings so our time to go before Mass is limited. We have taken to doing a Saturday night family trip to the cathedral so we can all go and have time to pray before hand.
Well, I guess we’re in the middle of nowhere. It’s about 20-30 miles between parishes in my neck of the woods.
And, like one of the other posters, we have confession only on Saturday afternoons from 4:14 to 4:45. There is seldom more than 4 people in line. And most everyone goes to communion or for …wait for it…a blessing*.
*(thinly veiled reference to the blessings in communion line thread)
Don’t be sad! Be positive! That long line very well might be a long line of people in the state of grace! It is presumptuous to assume many or most are receiving the Eucharist with unconfessed mortal sin.
I have noticed that if there is ample opportunity to go to Confession people will go. At the parish I attend there is Confession every day before the 8:00 am Mass as well as Saturday afternoon. It is not a huge parish, but there are always people going to Confession. I suppose it may be because it is a more traditional parish.
Yes, it would be better if there were more times scheduled for confessions. In my diocese there are a number of parishes are made up of 2 or more churches manned by only one priest so it’s tough for one man to just cover the weekend masses, much less offer confessions at each church each week.
In my parish, made up of three churches, we have three priests plus a couple more in residence. We are offered confession in one location three times a week and in each church on Saturday afternoons, plus - of course - priests are available by appointment. Those of us who frequent this sacrament know just how fortunate we are to live here and are very thankful.
Me too. Currently my current parish only has two confession times. Wednesday and Saturday evenings. They don’t have any before any of the three Sunday masses. My former parish did, which meant that I had a minimum of six different opportunities to go to confession during the week, instead of only two.
I’ve always wondered why nearly every parish in the area has the same confession times. One parish has confessions on Wednesday evening, and the FSSP parish and the Cathedral have confession everyday, but most local parishes have confessions from 3-4 on Saturday afternoons, or some minor variant like 3:30-4:30. Wouldn’t it be nice if the times were coordinated, perhaps within a deanery, to offer a wider variety of options?
My own very small parish offers confessions on Sunday morning before Divine Liturgy, 30 minutes before any scheduled service, or by appointment, but “appointment” is understood to mean “ask Father if he has a few minutes for confession”.
I think that if priests had many people scheduling appointments to go to confession, they might start adding more regularly scheduled confession times into the schedule, just as a practical matter. It is less time-consuming to do it that way than to deal with a bunch of individual appointments.
Let us pray for our priests, that they preach on the need for confession and are generous in offering confession to the faithful.
Every parish should have Confession at least once a month during a weeknight so that it is made more available. For those of us with very busy jobs and young children, Saturday afternoon is just not a convenient time.
And priests need to speak more about Confession during homilies. If you never talk about it, people will think it is a bygone relic of the past.
No, I think it is a fairly logical induction to notice that if 10 people go to Confession a week out of 1500 Mass goers, and 99.5% of those Mass goers go up to Communion, it is quite easy to compare this to historical anecdotes where much of the congregation did not receive and come to the conclusion that most people are receiving in mortal sin.
I can think of no positive interpretation of the facts where, in this day and age, where miniscule Confession attendance + universal reception of the Eucharist=well, I guess they are all in a state of grace.
Fr. John Hardon S.J. once made this same observation, in fact.
Might it not also be a fairly logical deduction that the widespread but erroneous notion as revealed by historical anecdotes that confession was required before every reception of the Eucharist regardless of the presence of mortal sin is not nearly so prevalent today.
I’m not sure you can come to the conclusion that most people are receiving in mortal sin just from historical anecdotes. In the early church, confession and absolution was pretty much a one-time opportunity, but frequent communion was the norm, if not required. From your logic, we could come to the conclusion that most of those in the early church were receiving in mortal sin. We are still living with the vestiges of the practice of the middle ages, however, in which the reception of Communion became so infrequent that the the Church, at the Fourth Lateran Council, was led to require that, at a minimum, the faithful were to receive Holy Communion at least once each year. The church has never considered this a good thing. Over and over, the faithful have been exhorted to frequent Communion. I found this interesting article (from the Catholic Encyclopedia) on the subject:
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t go to Confession more than the minimum. Myself, I try to get to Confession every two weeks or so. I haven’t always gone this frequently, and getting to this point has been a work of the Holy Spirit in my life, and as a result of a few priests who preached on Confession and made themselves available. It has also been the result of finding a couple of priests who are wonderful confessors, who put their heart and soul into leading souls to Christ and helping me grow in this area.
The 1950s model of Confession on Saturday, Communion on Sunday is a good one, but it is not the only one that works. If people are going to Confession every few months, and going to Mass and receiving Communion every Saturday, good for them! Let’s assume the best about individual souls who receive Communion, even if we haven’t seen them in the Confession line in a while.
Of course, surveys tell us more of the whole story. We know that Confession isn’t all that popular in the Church these days, and individuals feel entitled to receive Communion under any circumstances. We know that many disregard Church teachings in a variety of ways, yet still feel that they don’t need Confession in order to receive Holy Communion. This is a failure of catechesis in our day. In the Middle Ages, there was a different sort of failure of catechesis - the people failed to learn that they needed to receive Holy Communion as food for their souls, for forgiveness of sins, for strength in living the Christian life. In this day and age, the failure is on the opposite end of the spectrum. We fail to teach that Communion is special, is Holy, is the very body and blood of our Lord and we eat and drink condemnation unto ourselves if we partake unprepared. Both extremes are to be avoided. We need to pray for our brothers and sisters, and ask their prayers for us. We also need to pray for our bishops and priests, as well as those who catechize our children, that they faithfully transmit the faith, without compromise. We need to pray that our priests preach boldly about sin and repentance, and God’s infinite mercy in a way that reaches the faithful. Only then will we see a turnaround.
It seems to be supply and demand per parish, I wish there was more opportunities. Maybe there would be more demand if more priests actually encouraged people to go to confession, not just at Advent, Lent etc. Just my opinion.
No, given that according to polls taken, most Catholics don’t even believe in the need for Sacramental Confession anymore, I highly doubt this is a case of theological understanding becoming more mature.
I know some priests who offer confessions every day, and hardly anyone shows up, even when he keeps recommending people do so.