Friday, August 03, 2007

Be sorry at 3 PM sharp!

Looking at the web sites of churches in the Archdiocese of Vancouver, I see each parish has specified confession times. What happens if you can't make it at that time? Or say you just can't muster up enough contrition on Saturday at 3 PM or Monday morning at 8 AM. What if you want an appointment that falls outside of their schedule? It sure would be nice to see another box that says "Confession also available on request."


8:00 - 8:20 am

Saturday 3:00 - 4:15 pm

Oh, the days when priests used to sit in the confessionals waiting for penitents! Does anyone remember that? I do. We had a Franciscan priest who used to do just that. He died in 1998, and I knew him for two years before he passed away. He would sit in the confessional before every Mass, with the door open, holding his rosary beads, an open invitation to sinners to come and make reparation for their transgressions. That was only nine years ago, and I still remember how prayerful and holy this priest was. He would kneel and pray before the Blessed Sacrament prior to every Mass, never once taking a kneeler. He always knelt on the hard floor, even though his age made it difficult to get up again. He set a holy example of reverence that I've never forgotten. Anyone who wanted to go to confession didn't need to track him down to make an appointment. All we had to do was head to the confessional. We knew where to find him. God rest his soul.


318@NICE said...

What I don't understand is why they don't provide confession prior to Mass. At St. Anthony's Fr. Novak has confession at 11:30 AM prior to the 12:30 PM Saturday Mass. That way one can get there have their confession, then go and pray for a while and commune with God and then right into the low Mass.
On Sunday we have Confession at 7:30 am. Then at 8:30 am the alter boys come up to the kneeling rail and lead the faithful in the Rosary. After the Rosary, there is complete silence in the Nave of the Church as the faithful pray and prepare themselves for the High Mass. The line is always long for confession and Fr. Novak will not start Mass until he has heard all the confessions. I like the small delay because I usually have time to kneel and pray the devotions for Mass out of my Missal.
But I like doing it this way. For it provides the faithful to have Confession and Mass on the same die together at a time when the faithful have off work to go to Church.


Divine Mercy said...

perhaps you can call the diocese there when you move and speak to the priest for a confession?

paramedicgirl said...

DM, yes of course I can call and make an appointment, but that's not my point. Have you ever read about St. John Vianney? How he could never escape the confessional because of all the people who wanted to confess to him? Priests who encourage confessions by making themselves accessible are rare these days, but God must truly reward them for bringing sinners to repentance. Without priests and the sacrament of confession, there would be no salvation. Priests are the instrument God makes use of to bring us to heaven; they alone can bring a soul from the brinks of hell back into the grace of God. So why are confession times so sparse?

jim klasz said...

In almost every parish in the Youngstown area and I've attended a goodly number of them, there are the regular posted confession times - and- invariably another session one half hour before Mass.

:o) said...

In many places people no longer go to confession. I went this evening before Mass. There were at least 30 people in line at all times. We are fortunate to have a good parish and excellent priests. God be praised!

Anita Moore said...

So why are confession times so sparse?

Well, because we've given up on the idea of sin. And since we've given up on the idea of sin, we've lost our understanding of the critical importance of the Sacraments.

Remember the article I dissected earlier this week about the "ordination" of the priestesses? Remember how one of them is said to have responded to questions about excommunication: "They added that excommunication, contrary to popular belief, does not remove one from the church; it only means that one cannot receive the sacraments." Only! That attitude has infected both clergy and laity. So there we are, with 30 seconds a week for confession.

Anonymous said...

We have confession 3 times per week for about 15 minutes or we can call the priest to set up a time. We have about 1000 parishioners. While the lineups are only long when a visiting or substitute priest is hearing confession they are even longer when we have Penitential services at Lent and Advent. Two other priests come to help Father and they typically hear private confessions for about 3 hours each so that's 9 hours of confession in one day.

I hate the services because I hate waiting in line and I like to go as needed.

Divine Mercy said...

i have not read about john vianney, no.

Anita Moore said...

I hate the services because I hate waiting in line and I like to go as needed.

Plus, there's the hurry to get confession over with, along with the lack of privacy. Can anybody say, "sacramental seal"?

Speaking of which, I have noticed that some new and/or wreckovated churches have confessionals (oops -- "reconciliation rooms") that seem specifically designed to violate the seal of the confessional. I went to one of these once after being away from the Sacrament for nine months, and I almost turned around and walked out when I realized that I could clearly hear everything the penitent inside was saying: there was about a three or four-inch gap underneath the door! I had to wait halfway down the nave in order not to hear anything. (I ended up not walking out, because by the time I got to another church, confession time would be over, and my need to go to confession was greater than my concern over being heard making it.)

The two freshly-minted and completely adorable priests at one church in a nearby town have come up with a terrific way both to ensure the integrity of the sacramental seal and to foster contemplation on the part of those waiting to go to confession: they pipe Gregorian chant into the chapel outside the confessionals! These same priests, by the way, are busy studying the rubrics for the Tridentine Mass in preparation for September 14th, so that I can reasonably hope to have this Mass available close to home in the not-too-distant future!

Robert Garrett said...

I hate making an appointment for much for anonymity!

We only have confession twice a week - Wednesdays and Saturdays. One hour each. I came at the 1/2 hour one time, and there wasn't enough time to hear my confession...out of luck! No Eucharist for me!

I used to go to a parish where they had confession before each Mass. I told father about it at lunch. I didn't make the demand on him, just thought I would mention it. :)

Anonymous said...

Here in the Midwest (under Bishop Robert Finn) we have a fabulous young priest who is in the Confessional for at least 30 minutes before all but Sunday morning masses. He would probably be there then as well but he usually has baptisms after Mass which would likely run into that time.
He, too, is studying and has trained, to say the extraordinary form of the Mass and will likely begin doing so regularly around the first of October. He also recently delivered a homily, the subject of which was the orientation of the Priest during Mass, and why/how it is desirable for the priest to face the same direction as the people. The NO Mass he offers in Latin on Saturday mornings is offered facing the same direction as the people.
I attribute his success in part to our Bishop who, very wisely, invited the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, to our Diocese. Their main charism is prayer for priests. They are currently clearing land to build their Priory of Ephesus. How blessed the local faithful are to be able to contribute to the building of this House of God. Plans include a finishing school for girls. As the mother of 5 girls I am eager to see its completion.
Feisty Muse