What do you think of a parish that offers confessions DURING the Mass?

I was reading about a large parish the other day that offers confessions during Mass. It has 4 priests so while one is celebrating the Mass, 3 are hearing confessions.

Is there anything canonically wrong with this?

On the plus side FAR, FAR more confessions are heard that this parish than any other in the archdiocese – including the cathedral. All 6 of their Sunday Masses are also packed. I really wonder if there is a connection?

It certainly eliminates one excuse.

The Church has done this for centuries, and there’s nothing “canonically wrong with it.” It is far less common today than it used to be for several reasons, the shortage of priests being chief among them. One is more likely to see this practice in traditional parishes where the Latin Mass is celebrated, or in large downtown parishes that are staffed by religious orders.

People can have strong opinions about this, so I hope that this thread doesn’t become contentious.

Two thoughts:

If you go to confession during Sunday Mass, does the Mass count as your Sunday obligation?

In our church, the confessionals are right next to the pews, and are not well “sound insulated.” And the priest who hears confessions is half deaf, and talks loud. I vote against confessions during Mass in this situation.

EDIT: I should add that our parish has daily confessions available at 6am and 6pm.

For what it’s worth, some priests sent to that parish over years did not like it because it made for a VERY long Sunday – either they were celebrating the Mass or hearing confessions.

Now more scrutiny is paid to those priests chosen to serve at this parish and there have been no complaints for quite some time.

Yes, the Mass would “count.”

I have actually been to this parish. It has several sound-proofed confession rooms, so the practical concerns you note are not an issue.

I think it shows a profound disrespect for Christ laid bare on the altar.
The Mass is the Church’s greatest prayer.
Everything else is secondary.
In our parish, NOTHING goes on while the Mass is being offered. Not even in other buildings. Nothing.

That certainly seems…odd.

We had confession during Eucharistic Adoration though. (Is that bad?)

No, that’s different. It’s wonderful to pray your penance in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

Same in my Parish.

This was very common when I was growing up, but today there usually are not enough priests around to do this. IMO, it is not good practice because every part of the Mass is important. It seems to me that having Confessions before Mass would be better.

More than one priest…that would be a novelty for us!

If it truly results in a lot more confessions and the Church does not prohibit the practice, I have to say it sounds like a wonderful thing.

To suggest it somehow shows disrespect to Jesus Christ to ask for His forgiveness within the seal of the confessional at any time makes no sense. Actually thinking about it a bit makes me believe that we couldn’t pay God a greater compliment than by asking for His forgiveness during His Crucifixion.

Again, if it’s not prohibited by the Church, it really seems like a great idea if resources allow.

So its your opinion that Confession is more important than the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?

It would depend on the size of the Church. Large churches around the world often have multiple things going on at the same time, Confessions and mass being two of the most common. I have seen baptisms being done during a mass.
Heck, when we went to Rome, we had a priest saying mass for us every morning in St Peters. I bet there were 20 masses going on at the same time.

I seriously doubt this man’s parish is like a Gothic Cathedral. Rome has many tourists and hundreds more priests. Plus side altars. Baptism during Mass is common. We have that every third Sunday, and we renew out baptismal vows.
Again, totally different.

That has been my understanding for awhile now, that this was once the norm, but in modern times going to Confession during Mass has mostly fallen out of practice. It is an interesting thought and seems odd, but perhaps it is just traditional.

My local FSSP parish offers confessions before each Mass (and offers Mass daily at varying times) as well as before Sunday Mass. The priest hearing confessions on Sunday will begin before Mass and continue this through the Mass until communion where he may join the celebrant distributing at the altar rail. Confessions continue, if needed, after the Mass.
The lines for the confessionals is long; those waiting will stand, kneel, and join in prayer with those in the pews.
Given the length of an E.F. high Mass, this makes 2 to 2.5 hours of confession time available to our parish each Sunday, in addition to the daily opportunities and additional opportunities on holydays. We are blessed!


That’s a good point. The parish I’m talking about has a large church and it has thousands of members in by far the largest archdiocese in the US. Confessions are heard at this parish during the celebration of Sunday Mass without causing any interruptions or other problems.

Sounds like an FSSP parish. :stuck_out_tongue:

My parish does this, and it is very effective. No, there is nothing wrong with it.

And it’s not like the parish doesn’t offer confessions every other day of the week too!

If confession is widely available there is no conceivable reason why one would ignore the Mass in favor of Confessions.

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