I think I understand that the only normal method for absolving sins is through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. And only in dire situations is it licit to conduct a general absolution.
Considering this, why do so many parishes continue to offer communal penance services? If not for the purpose of intentionally disregarding the rules, what exactly is the purpose of these services? Perhaps I am misunderstanding the intent, but I believe that most parishioners who attend these services think that they have been absolved.