Tried to go to confession but priest ran out of time.

I am going on vacation on Thursday and wanted to make a confession before then. My parish was having confession between 5 and 6 tonight. I got my husband to come home from work early to watch the kids and made it there by about 5:10. At 6:20 I was fourth in line and the priest said he could only do two more as he had an appointment at 6:30. He did one more then left.

This is the second time I’ve tried to get to confession. On Friday I was going to meet some other moms at my church at a noon confession. We planned to watch each others children while we went in with the priest. I made it there with two very grumpy little ones, only to realize at about 12:15 that I was at at the wrong church :sigh: At that point my kids were losing it and I didn’t think I could make it to the other church before the rest of the moms were done, so I went home thinking I’d go either the next day or Monday.

So anyway, here is the point. I don’t know if I’m going to have another opportunity to go before my flight on Thursday morning. I made an act of contrition to the best of my abilities on my own at home. Does this “count” as far as being forgiven until I can get to confession? I am really nervous about getting on a plane without absolution :frowning:

Thanks for your help!

No one can know whether it counts or not because perfect contrition is generally hard to do. Literally only you and God can know whether you have made an act of perfect contrition or not.

My advice to you is to call the parish as soon as it opens tomorrow and set up a meeting for confession. Nearly all parishes will allow this.

During Lent there are usually extended times for confession. Check the parishes in your area for additional confession times. Or call for an appointment before Thursday. It is better to be sure if you are concerned about a mortal sin.

If you have repented and tried your best to confess your sins (which definitely seems to be what you’re doing), it is like trying to be baptised and not succeeding before you die: You will not be held culpable for failing to confess before you die if you failed to confess through no fault of your own. Don’t live fear, but do keep making an honest effort.

You can also call the parish office and make an appointment to go to confession before your trip. If you mention the circumstances, there is a good chance that time can be made for you. (Our priest will usually come out and tell anyone whose confession was not heard before Mass that he’ll come back after Mass to finish up.)

People make confessional appointments outside the regular time all of the time. In any parish I’ve ever been, no one has ever batted an eye. (Usually the priests are so happy that people are coming to confession, they want to make it as available as their other duties make possible.)

Thank you everyone. I will try to make an appointment to go before I leave. I’m just not sure when I can do it. I don’t think my husband will be able to leave work again, and I work in the evenings. I’ll have to try to figure it out. I have never made such an effort to get to confession in my life. I guess the silver lining is that there are so many people trying to go! That’s a good thing!

One more thing - if I make an appointment do you think the priest will be just waiting in the confessional for me, or will I have to lose the anonymity that I would usually have? I’ve never done it like that before so I’m not sure how it would work.

I think this is great advice. Most parish priests have certain times they do confession but they also have their number on the bulletin just in case someone needs to set an appointment if they are in desperate need of confession.

I tend to have a problem with any priest that will put off any of the sacraments. The sacraments should be first and foremost to any priest. These type of priest needs to be “wacked” upside the head until they gain some common sense. The problem with that solution is that committing an assault on a priest is automatic excommunication.:hey_bud:

You do not know what appt that priest had so wanting to knock him upside the head is uncharitable…

No advice, but that has happened to me several times. It is beyond frustrating.

Thanks, yes it was frustrating. I’m sure the appointment was important and I didn’t expect him to sit and hear confessions all night. There were four people still waiting when he left, it might have made him very late to whatever meeting he had. I think the most frustrating part is that I don’t see how I could have done anything differently tonight. I really did get there as early as I could. Sometimes they call in another priest or two if the lines get long, I guess they must have not expected such a large number of people.

When you make the appointment, ask if the priest can wait for you in the confessional. This should be no problem as it is no different for him, really, than waiting wherever else.

Your post made me chuckle! Once I was in line for Confession in front of a busy mom of two little children who were fidgeting in the nearby pew. The priest announced that he only had time for one more Confession, so I let the mom go ahead of me and I watched her kids. The mom was very grateful. I made her promise to pray for me in case I got hit by a bus on the way home and then I made a really sincere act of contrition.

What a thoughtful thing to do! Good for you :slight_smile:

Another question for anyone who gets this far down the thread - if I were to momentarily lose my sanity and try to bring my boys with me, what would I do with them when it was time for me to go in? Could them come in with me? They’re too young to be left on their own even for a couple of minutes.

I can’t mention names but I know a priest from personal experience that doesn’t like hearing confessions, not a good thing :frowning:

I wonder what kind of appointment is serious enough that it can’t be put off, called off or delayed to grant penitents official reconciliation with Almighty God.

Lauraabarlow, much like a shrink who doesn’t like to hear people talk about their problems!

You know our priest is our only priest. He has much to do. He provides reconciliation times…twice a week. But priest are not only sacrament dispensers… They have other commitments to the parish. By all accounts it appears that he stayed there a half hour over the normal time. So…we want mercy in reconciliation but we don’t want to show it to our priests?

Lets be a little kinder to our priest…shall we…

An appointment to give Last Rites to someone whose life support is due to be turned off? A sick mother who he is sole carer for who needs him to give her her medicine at that time? 100 people at another parish waiting for him to say Mass for them?

There are things that take precedence even over confession.

To the mom who asked about taking her kids in with her-

I don’t think you want to do that. Maybe call your parish and ask if they could recommend any baby sitters for you? When I was new in town, that’s what I did. The babysitters we’ve had were in the youth program or college campus ministry we are affiliated with.

It was a good thing on a number of levels.

Good luck!:wink:

This reminds me of the time when I went to confession and said the whole confession formula, and confessed my sins only to realise that Fr had left the confessional and I had confessed to air.

Someone from the staff might be willing to keep an eye on your children, too. I know I have done it a few times for people going into Confession.

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