Who set Saturday afternoon as universal confession time?

Anybody know how this little t tradition came about? Every parish I’ve ever belonged to set Saturday afternoon as its regular confessions time. It almost makes me wonder if they are TRYING to discourage people from going to confession. Maybe singles or empty-nesters can pull this off, but for family people, Saturday afternoon is not much better than Tuesday afternoon.

Why not Saturday morning, right after morning mass?

A parish in my area used to offer Sunday night confessions at 9:00 pm. The line always went until 10! (Had much to do with the priest). Sadly, the practice died when he was transferred.

Why don’t more parishes try this? Schedule regular confession at a time when people can come that doesn’t cut their only full day off in half?

I can just hazard a guess, but it would go like this: The weekend is easier for most people than during the week, due to jobs and school. While people are busy on the weekend, they are more in control of their schedules (I say most people).

In my church, the busiest Masses are the 4 PM and 5:30 PM Vigil. So they have confession between the two Masses. Many less people are at Saturday daily Mass, and there are lots of kids activities on Saturday morning. So they are trying to make it convenient around the Masses people mostly go to.

Just my .02…

The old tried and true methods were and remain the best.

Imagine if you will:

Once upon a time they used to actually have confession a half an hour or hour before mass, that way, people could actually get to confession since they were obviously going to church anyway. Nowadays you have maybe 15 or 30 minutes set aside on Saturday afternoon at 2.

And does anyone else get this one: why do they have adoration 9-5? Then they complain noone goes to adoration and they cancel it. Is something going on here?

S

hmmm…not to be snotty but if it were important enough to you, wouldn’t you place reconcilliation on a higher priority than say Susie’s Birthday party, Jimmy’s ball game or little Johnny’s bowling league? I have 4 kids (ages 18, 16, 14, 10) and we all go as a family about once a month.

My uncle makes it available an hour before every Mass at his parish. However, Saturday is the most convenient for me personally.

I wish I knew the answer to that question, myself. I know that I haven’t gone on a Saturday in the last 20 years, probably. I’ve gone before weekday Masses - sometimes taking a day off of work to do that, I’ve gone to reconciliation services on a week night, I’ve gone on retreats. But Saturdays - don’t ever remember going then. There is one parish near me where the priest hears confessions after a Sunday Mass - a different Mass every Sunday. To me that makes a lot of sense.

My 2 cents.

I agree…fortuneatly, I belong to a wonderful parish with a wonderful priest and confession is offered every day excet Sunday…and it really makes it nice to know I can go in there any day for reconciliation. I belong to a more traditional parish…however, the Cathedral of the Diocese also has confession every day except Sunday. I believe this practice of having it every day when people started thinking they were born immaculate like Our Mother, Mary…and decided they don’t need confession any more…that is why there are so few people in the lines for the confessional. It is sad.

[quote=manualman]Anybody know how this little t tradition came about? Every parish I’ve ever belonged to set Saturday afternoon as its regular confessions time. It almost makes me wonder if they are TRYING to discourage people from going to confession. Maybe singles or empty-nesters can pull this off, but for family people, Saturday afternoon is not much better than Tuesday afternoon.

Why not Saturday morning, right after morning mass?

A parish in my area used to offer Sunday night confessions at 9:00 pm. The line always went until 10! (Had much to do with the priest). Sadly, the practice died when he was transferred.

Why don’t more parishes try this? Schedule regular confession at a time when people can come that doesn’t cut their only full day off in half?
[/quote]

I go on Wednesday mornings around 6:30 AM.

The practice of Saturday afternoon was actually Saturday afternoon and early evening for the children and “young people” of the parish, and Saturday evening for the adults. Kids had Saturday off, but most men until about 40-50 years ago worked at least Saturday morning, often Saturday all day (My dad worked until Noon on Saturdays from the 1950s into the 1970s). If Dad was going to get to go to Communion, he was going to need to “hit the box” first, which was the practice. Anthropologically, it was even a “date” night for young couples and newly married, confession and dessert, or confession and dinner.

I wonder if there is any connection to the apostolic tradition of people going to church on Saturday evening and staying through Sunday morning with vespers, orthros, and divine liturgy. Just a wild speculation.

when I was little it was still common for working men to work at least until noon on Saturday, and to come to church for confession on the way home from work. Of course there was no Saturday evening Mass. confessions were at least two hours, sometimes all afternoon. Parochial school children usually went to confession Friday afternoon after school.

Hi all,
I recently relocated to the other side ot the valley(phoenix) and my new parish and most of the surrounding ones offer it on Saturday afternoon. However, as luck would have it the fomer associate Pastor at my old parish is now the pastor of two adjoining smaller parishes and offers confession on Monday night and Tuesday morning or by appointment. My pastor at my old parish (an 80 year old dynamo) is always happy to squeeze you in, walking to his car after a kof meeting. I own my own business so sometimes I schedule it right into my day like any other important meeting. The point is, were there is a will there is a way, get to know your priest and avail yourselves of the sacraments.

P.S. I’m new to these forums, good stuff!

[quote=manualman]Anybody know how this little t tradition came about? Every parish I’ve ever belonged to set Saturday afternoon as its regular confessions time. It almost makes me wonder if they are TRYING to discourage people from going to confession.
[/quote]

I wonder about this, myself. I’m usually on the road Saturday afternoon – there is no worse time for me. I wish more churches had confession before Mass (and I’m single, by the way). It’s even worse when the scheduled time is only 15 or 20 minutes – then even if you are around on a Saturday afternoon, you may get shut out if the person in front of you in line is in there for a long session.

I think most of us are forgetting the long lines that use to be waiting to confess. If the faithful return to this Sacrament, then the before Mass time would probably revert to Sat. There just would not be enough time before Mass.

Deacon Tony SFO

for obvious reasons. Saturday afternoon confession places the confession time before all of the Sunday obligation masses because it gives the sinner a chance to HIT THE BOX . It only makes sence to absolve before you recieve. If it was after mass those of us with mortal sins wouldn’t be able to go to communion and if you did recieve you would have committed a mortal sin during mass and would be adding another sin to the list.

[quote=manualman]Anybody know how this little t tradition came about? Every parish I’ve ever belonged to set Saturday afternoon as its regular confessions time. It almost makes me wonder if they are TRYING to discourage people from going to confession. Maybe singles or empty-nesters can pull this off, but for family people, Saturday afternoon is not much better than Tuesday afternoon.

Why not Saturday morning, right after morning mass?

A parish in my area used to offer Sunday night confessions at 9:00 pm. The line always went until 10! (Had much to do with the priest). Sadly, the practice died when he was transferred.

Why don’t more parishes try this? Schedule regular confession at a time when people can come that doesn’t cut their only full day off in half?
[/quote]

Simple

Confession Saturday afternoon & evening gives you less time to commit a mortal sin before Holy Mass. Of course, confession right before each Mass is ideal.

Sunday pm kind of misses the point. It’s like going to a huge feast honoring some great person then afterwards taking a bath and putting on some fancy clothes. If you go to the feast once a week and bathe only after the last feast then by the next one you’re gonna be pretty stinky & your fancy clothes pretty ratty looking. You have to prepare ahead of time.

I think decn2b hit the nail right on the head with his assessment.

My current parish offers confession on Saturday morning, but I don’t know how well it is attended, because that’s a difficult time for me to get to confession.

My previous parish was part of a three church cluster. Father offered confession 45 minutes prior to the Saturday Vigil Mass at the main parish (The choir’s call time was 30 minutes prior to Mass, so he went 15 minutes early so any choir members who needed the Sacrament could get in before our pre-Mass rehearsal). On Sundays, he offered Confession 30 minutes prior to Sunday Mass at his other two parishes. This cluster was in an area that priests retired to, so he always had a local retired priest handle one of the Sunday Masses in the cluster, and if the Mass they said wasn’t at the main church, then they were expected to hear Confessions too. Sometimes when the retired priest said Mass at the main parish, they also offered Confession 45 minutes before Mass because they weren’t hustling in from another parish in the cluster. This way all three parishes had Confession available just prior to the first Sunday Obligation Mass at that parish.

Sorry to hijack the thread with my overview of that particular arrangement. Thinking about it just made me realize how much I miss that particular priest, and what a truly OUTSTANDING person, priest, and pastor he was. If you have the privilege of having someone like Fr. Don for your pastor, please remember not to take him for granted!

Every time I read a post like this, I am learning never to take our availability of Confession for granted. :o

Growing up, I was told that the reason for Sat afternoon confession was to give everyone an opportunity to “clean the slate” before Sun Mass, and to encourage folks to behave themselves on Sat night…because there wouldn’t be another chance before Sun Mass.

Anyway…that is how it was portrayed to me. To discourage folks from spending Sat evening drinking, carousing, seeing improper films etc.

cheddar

One previous poster hit the nail on the head. It is a matter of where Confession lies in your schedule of importance and it is a question of personal inconvenience.

If saturday morning doesn’t suit you then you don’t have to go.
There are times when I simply cannot wait for Confession on Saturday. In these circumstances, I will turn up for 7.30am Mass 20 mins early. I ask the Priest to hear my confession and it is never refused.

You are free to call a Priest at any time to hear you confession. The saturday afternoon ‘phenomonen’ is a scheduled times for the Parish in preparation for the great feast of Sunday. You can always make an appointment if it doesn’t suit.

There again the effort to do this and keep the appointment may just interfere with something else??:rolleyes:

[quote=cheddarsox]Growing up, I was told that the reason for Sat afternoon confession was to give everyone an opportunity to “clean the slate” before Sun Mass, and to encourage folks to behave themselves on Sat night…because there wouldn’t be another chance before Sun Mass.

Anyway…that is how it was portrayed to me. To discourage folks from spending Sat evening drinking, carousing, seeing improper films etc.

cheddar
[/quote]

And in years past when most working people worked a half day Saturday as part of the regular routine, great preparations were made the balance of the day for Sunday services. Shoes were polished, best clothes prepared, much washing, ironing and starching in those days. As one Protestant friend put it to me for their services: we bustled around on Saturdays because Sunday was the day for good eating, good preaching and good singing. Many Catholics did the same.

Going to church was seen as a social, a communal and a religious obligation and as a priority in family life. As such it was prepared for in a big way, not the least of which was Saturday confession.

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