It seems to me that private confession, at least in the United States and Canada, is a thing of the past. Most of the churches in my area don’t offer designated times for reconciliation. For the majority of parishioners, the only opportunity for confession is during the Advent/Lent “Penance Service”. It’s sad. Seems like most people don’t know that receiving the Body & Blood of Christ while in a state of mortal sin is a mortal sin in and of itself (God forgive me, I’m guilty of this too).

At my parish’s Reconciliation Service last week, we said the Confiteor and Lord’s Prayer after hearing the Word. When I went to confession, the priest said that the Confiteor took the place of the Act of Contrition and the Lord’s Prayer was my penance, so I could basically just leave after absolution and do nothing.

Is this allowed/the norm for other churches, or is mine just crazy?



In my part of the country, confession is alive and well. I don’t know of a single parish that doesn’t have regularly scheduled confession times. For most of these parishes, I don’t know if anybody comes, but the times are available. In my own parish, which only has 22 families, there is always a short line for confession unless I make an appointment. In a local parish that I sometimes attend, confession is held on Saturdays from 3-4 and again from 7-8. They usually have 3 priests hearing confessions and the line is 20-30 people deep for each priest. Another local parish holds a family Holy Hour monthly. During the Holy Hour, they have 2 priests hearing confessions. I don’t even try to go then, as the line is so long.

[quote=]At my parish’s Reconciliation Service last week, we said the Confiteor and Lord’s Prayer after hearing the Word. When I went to confession, the priest said that the Confiteor took the place of the Act of Contrition and the Lord’s Prayer was my penance, so I could basically just leave after absolution and do nothing.

Is this allowed/the norm for other churches, or is mine just crazy?


In my pretty limited experience with Reconciliation Services, this is pretty normal. Part of the service (Act of Contrition) is communal, while the confession itself is private. As far as penance, if the priest is planning to give everyone the same penance, I suppose it works to say it beforehand. It seems a little bit odd as I’m used to penances that are directed toward me specifically, but I know that many priests just do a standard “3 Hail Marys” or whatever.

I hope things show improvement in your part of the country soon. It seems that this is very regional. Perhaps it has to do with seminary formation or the priorities of the bishop. At any rate, I think it is turning around.


You seem to be extrapolating your local experience to a national conclusion.

I travel extensively for work and personal reasons and go to many different parishes. In all the bulletins times for the sacrament are listed. So, I don’t think having “no” scheduled time for reconciliation is the norm. We have it scheduled twice a week in my parish and all surrounding parishes have times listed. Additionally, we will have communal penance services in Advent and Lent.

Yes, the Confiteor is an act of contrition when you have communal penance. That the priest chose to give you the Lord’s Prayer as penance (which you already said) is within his ability to do so-- you can say another LP if you want.


I find confession making a comeback. My parish offers confession before every mass and that includes most weekday masses. And there’s usually a line.


perhaps a letter to your priest, and then again to the bishop if no response. but check online, most parishes around here list the hours of confession.

i do wonder sometimes if a certain parish might eliminate scheduled confessions because no one ever comes? when i go, there’s almost never anyone there, and the pastor is reading or working on his homily. you should be able to make an appointment for confession with your pastor.


Confession is alive and well at my parish. It starts about an hour before vigil mass and I have seen people still standing in both lines after Mass. And that is only in the main church. TLM and the Spanish Mass has confession before Mass in the historic church. :shrug:

It may just be a local thing.


Confessions in my area are once and in some churches twice (this is due because they have two parishes under one priest so the priest goes one week to x parish and the following to y pariah) only from 3 to 4 pm. It is very difficult because is very little time for so many people. Most of the time not everybody gets to confession because the window is so small and there is a lot of people trying to fit in only one hour. The towns where is once every two weeks is even worst. I do not like this at all and I think there should be more reconciliations. I’ve heard that the priests do not have time usually but the window is too small and this causes too many people not to get confessed. I just don’t like it


I like that a lot Kendra! I need to move to your parish! I think that is the way it should be.


Come on down! :slight_smile: We are fortunate that we have 4 priests, so we kinda have enough that we are able to have confession go over the set times.

I’m visiting family right now and went to confession here, I got there a few minutes early, thinking there would already be a line. While I was there only like five people showed up. I’m a convert and was totally expecting what I see back home. Father seemed shocked that there were so many there. I was very confused. Lol.


Ditto what 1ke said.
We have weekly confession times and almost no one comes. Short lines, but many people “wait” for the Advent & Lenten services. It could speak to many things:
people working on Saturdays
people not committing mortal sins (which would be good)
people not understanding the graces received in Reconciliation (believing it’s only for big problems)
people not wanting to go to their parish priest, if he’s the only one.

Hard to assume why things happen the way they do, but I find it very unusual that a parish would not have at least a once a week opportunity for Confession.


Oh wow yes you are lucky that you have four priests! I recognize that part of the problem in my area is that in some towns you have only one priests for two parishes in two different towns so the priest needs to jump between two different places. :frowning: that is quite hard.


I agree, while for several decades confession seemed to be an almost forgotten sacrament, but lately it seems that there is a lot more interest in the importance of the sacrament. I find a lot of the younger priests seem to be more traditional and urge their parishioners to take their faith more seriously.


My own parish is having daily confession starting this Monday (I believe) and leading up to Christmas Eve. We’re likewise having a special confession service tomorrow, which will include seven Dominican friars hearing folks’ confessions for as long as it takes to do so completely.

Granted, these are special circumstances given the Advent season and a desire to emphasize penance, but it’s nonetheless a wonderful sign, I would think.


This has been my experience.

My parish is staffed by the Dominicans, and, given comings and goings, we’ve had something like eight priests filling five roles over various parts of the past several months. While both the old and the young Dominicans are absolutely wonderful, I can’t say enough about how excited I am by the youngest of the friars.

If their generation of priest is anything to go by, then we certainly have a great deal to be grateful for in these days.


Most of the parishes around here have a regular confession schedule. In my parish, the priest is in the confessional before every Mass, plus much of the time on First Fridays. He also has an outside priest come in at Easter and Christmas times.


The local cathedral has Confession before every Mass. They have Mass three times a day.


It seems that today’s “old” priests were the guys who, back in the day, embraced the culture of the 60s and 70s and “spirit of Vatican II”.


Here we go…


We have as very old priest, who is very involved in confession. Out of our 4 priests, he is always one of the two hearing confessions. He also is the priest who, during RCIA, hears the first confessions.
I’ve only been in the Church for less than 2 years and I’m already tired of hearing about Vatican II.


We are very fortunate in my Parish to have 4 Priests & 2 weekend Associates. Confessions are heard every Saturday from 11:30A - 12:30P; as well as before each of the 3 Saturday Vigil Masses. The lines are always long.

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