What do you do if you miss confession?

My church has confession immediately prior to the Sat. Vigil Mass. If the line is too long, you may not get in before Mass starts, at which time the priest will exit the confessional and disperse the line, even if he isn’t the one celebrating Mass. Would a sin such as masturbation, swearing, or lying , un-confessed, preclude one from receiving the Eucharist? The Mass is full of occassions to ‘confess’ after all. Which sins would preclude reception and could one still go up to receive a blessing?

Dear Gracefam,

Masturbation is a mortal sin and must be absolved in the Sacrament of Penance (Confession)—which is never a part of the Mass. Lying can be a mortal sin, depending on the seriousness of the lie and the situation surrounding it. Swearing (using foul language) is not ordinarily a mortal sin.

From now on get to Church early so that you will not be turned away. And pray for your priests. They are obliged to make confession as available for the people as mush as possible. In too many places this is not being done.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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