Scheduling a confession?

So, I need to go to confession. My parish offers it for an hour on Saturdays, but I missed it yesterday, and so I am going to schedule an appointment.

I have never done such a thing before, and I’m kind of nervous. I have also never been to confession at this particular parish, which is awkward.
What if I’m late? What if something comes up and it turns out I can’t make it? Do I meet with the priest beforehand, or what?
I mean, confession is scary. And somehow, this is scarier. I’ll admit, I keep putting it off - I meant to call and schedule yesterday afternoon when I found I couldn’t make it, but I didn’t. Now, I don’t know. I’m trying to work up the courage to call now to go this afternoon, but I don’t know if that’s plausible or advisable…I’m nervous.

Simply make the call. If you are going to be late or find you can’t make it call to reschedule. But I suggest you make the appointment for a time when you know you can make it. When I worked in the parish office many times the people who called to make appointments weren’t known by the priest.

There are a couple of options to consider.

First, you can be absolved from any priest who has faculties from his Ordinary, so you don’t have to go to confession at your own parish. While normally people go elsewhere for the purpose of anonymity, it could be done for a matter of scheduling, as well.

If you consult mass times dot org, you can find out not only the times of Holy Mass at nearby parishes, but also, in a lot of cases, the times for confession!

As far as if you do decide to have an appointment with the priest in this parish, yes, you should treat it with the same seriousness as you do a doctor’s appointment or an appointment for a job interview. In other words, when you make the appointment, you need to keep it…and if something comes up, you owe the priest the courtesy of letting him know as soon as possible and rescheduling. With the priest shortage that most of the country has, their time is particularly scarce.

As far as the “scariness” of confession, I will offer you two things:

  1. The Seal of Confession. If your confession is revealed in any way. the priest just excommunicated himself:

Can. 1388 §1. A confessor who directly violates the sacramental seal incurs a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See; one who does so only indirectly is to be punished according to the gravity of the delict.

§2. An interpreter and the others mentioned in ⇒ can. 983, §2 who violate the secret are to be punished with a just penalty, not excluding excommunication.

  1. Unless the priest was just recently ordained, it is highly likely that he’s heard worse. And likely far worse.

**This. Please never be afraid to approach the Sacrament. The Priest has very likely heard far worse or at least as bad as what you’ll confess. He is also bound by the most severest laws to never reveal anything mentioned in confession. **

The hardest part of going to Confession is the examination of your conscience. The worst part of Confession is having to admit to yourself you did wrong and are sorry for it. Telling your sins to the Priest should be easy after all of that.
If you have a problem in examining your conscience, just enter “examination of conscience” on any search engine and you will find a number of sites that will be of help. Most of them lead you through the Ten Commandments and the Precepts of The Church by a series of questions. You might want to write down your sins and how many time you did them and take the list into Confession with you. It really makes things easier…and don’t forget to destroy the list afterwards!
Don’t worry about making an appointment to see a priest for Confession. They are used to this.
If you can’t make Confession at any other time, Get to the Church about 20 minutes or so before Mass, enter the Sacristy, and ask the priest to hear your Confession before he puts on his vestments for Mass. I never have heard of a priest denying hearing anyones Confession.

Treat this as any other appointment. If you are going to be late or can’t make it at the last minute, call and reschedule. It is perfectly normal to be nervous, the priest will understand. It might help to be prepared with a list beforehand and if you are going to a different parish than where you attend weekly Mass, then it will be unlikely you will ever see this priest again.

Well, now you have. I went to a regularly scheduled confession time, no one was in line , no one else showed up for confession, but the seemingly rushed priest refused to hear my confession. I have not been back since. I have an appointment with another priest/parish on Wed. With my luck the priest will cancel.

Just do it! Call and make the appointment, don’t let fear be a reason to cancel. Make sure you are there and feel the healing grace of the Words of Absolution.

Which is why I love the option of being able to confess before and during Mass at my EF parish. Confession starts 30 minutes before Mass and ends during the Sanctus. No better way to make sure confession is available for people than by having it available when people are in church on Sundays! Plus, for the penitent, you can confession and receive the Lord before you have a chance to sin again :wink:

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