Our parish really came out for confession!

I was impressed today.
I was running late this afternoon. When I got to church for the Penitential service the parking lot was packed. And the snow was coming down hard!

I often assist at an EF Mass. There is always at least one priest hearing confessions, sometimes right up to the Canon.
At my local, rural OF parish we have only one over-worked priest. Every Advent and Lent there is a Penitential service with a number of local priests hearing confessions.
I didn’t expect to see so many people.
The Sacrament of Penance is still important to people even though it sometimes seems to have become ‘out of fashion’ so to speak.

Ours is scheduled for 7 pm Tuesday. If it stays true to form, ~25 people will attend (out of a parish of ~1300), 5 or 6 will remain for confession and Father will home by 8 p.m.

That is good to hear, OP!

In our diocese, there are a handful of churches each Advent and Lent where there are "Opportunities for Confession". I think this is a different way of saying "Penance Service". THe dates and places are publicized.

Our parish times remain the same. I go every month or so, and seldom do I have to wait in line. But yesterday, I took my 2 boys, and had to WAIT! There were a good 6 people or so in front of us. I started to worry if I would be able to get in before time was up. (I was the last one, but I made it!) It was good to see other sinners!

In my parish we have at least 10 to 30 people lined up for confession before every Mass. They have confession every day of the week also before Mass.

It is inspirational to see so many Catholics make their confessions often.

Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary


In our parish, confessions are heard starting 1/2 hour before every Mass. Lines are long, so you really do have to be there when confessions start.

For a weekday Mass, one of the priests will remain in the confessional after Mass starts to hear the confessions of those who are still in line. Confessions stop before Sunday Masses though, so people can go in and fulfill their obligation.

Since we have 3-4 Masses each weekday and 5 on Sunday, plus some extra time on Saturdays, there are about 20 hours each week where Confessions are heard, often with both priests.

We must sin a lot at our parish, because there are always lines.

Well, our Penitential Celebration was tonight. Started at 7, we were out of there by 7:40. 17 people showed up.

What makes the difference?
What do the priests say in the parishes with the lines of people awaiting Reconciliation, that priests in parishes with few Confessions don't say? What other factors are there to explain the differences in attitudes?

For us I do believe that it is the 8-10 years of General Absolution. People would wait for those communal celebrations with G.A. and stopped going to private confession. When Rome brought the hammer down in 2002 people were angry and didn’t want to return to private confession. Since Penitential Celebrations no longer involved General Absolution people weren’t interested and from that moment attendance started to drop.

Priests in my parish did nothing to reverse the trend. No mention of sin, no mention of the commandments. When you have a pastor who tells the grandparents who are arranging to have their grandchild aborted that “you have to do what’s best for your family” you just know the sense of sin has flown out the window.

Location maybe???

Our parish is in a small town. It is partly a bedroom community and partially rural. The priest only makes an announcement and prints it in the bulletin.
We must have had about six priests present and a lineup for each one, especially the priest in the one and only confessional.
(For context, we are an OF parish that requires 3 weekend Masses – 5pm Saturday and 9:30 & 11 am on Sunday.)

Our parish is more like Phemie’s. Our penance service is almost a joke. Out of a parish of about 1200 regular attenders, maybe 15 - 20 people at best will show up for the penance service. Weekly confession is even worse. We have 30min of confession time available each week in conjunction with a holy hour, but often no one goes into the confessional.

We had our Parish Service this Monday.

Unfortunately, nobody knew it was taking place until Sunday when it was in the newsletter and it clashed with other Parish activities, and it was too late to cancel them. I was already committed to a presentation at our RCIA Group. To be fair our parish priest has also scheduled extra confessions every day this week, but all at 10am, which is useless for those of us who are working. I think a lot more people would attend with a little more notice and a little more consideration given to times for confession -


I don’t know about other parishes, but our priests preach about hell several times a year, and maybe that is why so many of our parishioners go to confession.

It seems that in many parishes hell is never mentioned or that it is a possibility that some of us might end of there. The sermons seem to mention the love of Christ and forget His judgement.

Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary


Penitential services have prevailed in my diocese for about a decade. Even the P. service has deteriorated to the point where private confessions after the service are not encourage or even available but rather lines are formed and people come forth with a single general sin to confess in the ear of the priest. After which time everyone is given the same penance and GA…so sad…I want my Catholic Church back for me and all people.

The pastor you describe sounds very sick. If priests lack a sense of right and wrong then how can they guide the flock to Goodness? That is the bottom line.

God have mercy on us all.

My Parish had a reconciliation service last night. I did not attend. I prefer to use the regularly scheduled reconciliation times.

This is what I heard from some of the other Parish members this morning.

There were 4 priests to hear confessions. The lines were long. Many of the parish teens also attended this service.

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