Going to confession

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Ally2k

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I would like some help on what to say when going to Confession. This may sound daft because it is different for everyone. I need a simple way to introduce myself to the Priest and to begin my Confession. Also, when we go into Church, the people go down on one knee in front of the altar as a mark of respect. Others merely nod their head. Is this enough?
 
Hi, Ally,

When going to Confession, many people start by saying,“Bless me Father, for I have sinned.” Then we tell how long since we last went to Confession and then tell our sins. If we include the number of times we committed a particular sin, e.g. I lied 4 times, it gives the priest a sense of what is problematic in our lives. When entering a church, look for a red light/candle near the tabernacle. If it is lit, then the Lord is present in the tabernacle, and we genuflect, go down on right knee. If it is not lit, the Lord is not present, and we bow to honor the Altar where the Sacrifice of the Mass is offered. In my own parish, we are currently using our hall for Mass because the celiling fell in the church. There is no tabernacle, so we bow to the altar. On Sunday, the priests bring a large ciborium to serva as a tabernacle, so the light is lit, and we genuflect. Hope this helps.

Peace,
Linda
 
I just give Father a friendly greeting, make the sign of the cross, say the “Bless me Father…” and just start listing my sins.
 
Um… we do NOT introduce ourselves… by name or any other way. Unless, of course, you feel a raging need to do so, go ahead.

Back when we went to Confession when I was a little kid in the 60’s, the confessional was this little bitty tiny room having just a little night like a night light and just big enough to stand and kneel in, with a grate in the wall with a screen in it just big enough to see some light through, and the hand of the priest – who sat in the little bitty tiny room right next door to “your” little bitty tiny room with the light on – motion the sign of the cross as he absolved you of your sins.

The reason for this was so that you could feel free to confess without any fear of the priest recognizing you in person outside of the Confessional, I think.

Besides, the only point is that it is YOU… and NOT “who” you are… for whether or not you are absolved. We are all equal in the sight of the Lord… and must be as well to His priest.

Make sense?

So, I follow the “form of Confession” that I learned as a kid… which still stands today. My first words are:

“Bless me father, for I have sinned. My last confession was (two/three/four weeks ago or “during Lent”). I am sorry for all my sins…etc. etc.” and then I launch into listing them… how often, included.

Sometimes I say something like “I chronically (this thing)” or “can’t seem to get over always (doing that thing).”

Hope this helps. It’s not like we introduce ourselves to the priest like we’re at a party.
 
Veronica Anne, again, here.

Neglected to say… I really MISS using that “old” style of confessional. It just always felt so SAFE somehow.

Not like my sins can’t stand the light of day, and all that. Still, it just feels somewhat way too informal and even scarier to sit in a chair in front of a priest looking at his face when I confess my sins.

Not scary that I won’t be forgiven and absolved. Just that there is NO WAY that I can feel “anonymous” when I confess any more.

Not that people don’t tell me that my voice is clearly identifiable as “me” when I’m on the phone.

Also, the confessional room at our parish has TWO doors to use to get into it. One of them gets you to a kneeler with a wood, tight latticed screen hanging from the ceiling between you and the priest on the other side.

The other door gets you into the side of that room where there’s a chair for you to sit in directly across from the priest who sits in the same chair he’s sitting in if you come in the door on the screened/latticed side of the room.

NEITHER side has a red/green light on the door outside. You just have to wait for someone to come out so that you know it’s your turn to come in.

One time, I sat on a pew in the church outside the confessional waiting for 20 minutes by myself (I would be next, of course) for someone to come out of the confessional. When the hour provided for confession was finished, I heard a door open and shut in the narthex behind me, turned my head and saw a priest walk briskly through the narthex to the door out to the parking lot. :eek:

But… but!!! I hadn’t been to confession yet and I’d been sitting out there all that time!! I got up, scurried out to the narthex, and called out “Father! will you hear my confession!”

He turned around, came back, and heard my confession. Afterward, I told him what had happened and why. He explained that he had been waiting for the last 40 minutes of the hour provided each week at our parish for confessions for someone to come in. 😦

“silly me…” I didn’t realize that in this new church there were TWO doors to the SAME confessional room!

There still isn’t any lights – red or green – or signs outside either door to that one confessional to give us a clue about whether we can go in. :mad:

Yikes!
 
What’s wrong with greeting the priest? - I don’t think there’s anything informal with that. I confess face to face. :confused:
 
I personally appreciate the “non-anonimity” of face to face sacramental reconciliation with the same spiritual director ona regular basis. For me, this provides a greater measure of accountability and insures that I don’t try to “pull the wool over his eyes”. Going to the same priest face to face has provided me with a spiritual director that has insight into my psychological makeup. He has an appreciation for what motivates my behavior & why I allow myself to fall into certain “traps”. He certainly doesn’t cut me any slack, but that is a good thing. Sure, it tool a little while to grow accustomed to this “relationship” (that is in fact what it is), but I believe that it is far more beneficial to my spiritual development than the anonymous method with which I had been raised.

God Bless

P7
 
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psevin:
I personally appreciate the “non-anonimity” of face to face sacramental reconciliation with the same spiritual director ona regular basis. For me, this provides a greater measure of accountability and insures that I don’t try to “pull the wool over his eyes”. Going to the same priest face to face has provided me with a spiritual director that has insight into my psychological makeup. He has an appreciation for what motivates my behavior & why I allow myself to fall into certain “traps”. He certainly doesn’t cut me any slack, but that is a good thing. Sure, it tool a little while to grow accustomed to this “relationship” (that is in fact what it is), but I believe that it is far more beneficial to my spiritual development than the anonymous method with which I had been raised.

God Bless

P7
 
I agree with P7 100%! For me a face to face confession mirrors my realationship with God. It is God, afterall, who is the one absolving my sins. When I confess I say “Good evening Father, It’s been x amount of time since my last confession, I committed x sins x times,” I conclude with my prayer of contrition, then the Father absolves my sins.
 
I confess face to face also. I became a Catholic overseas in Japan and shortly thereafter was moved to Indonesia where we used a small chapel at the top of a Catholic University. There was no confessional and no regular priest so confessions were heard by the priest sitting in the back of the chapel before Mass. Everyone was always respectful of keeping their distance from you during your confession so you wouldn’t be overheard but the habit of being face to face with the priest is one I brought home with me.
 
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