Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Confession adventures as we approach the Triduum...

Happy Wednesday of Holy Week, everyone. :) Mine is going along swimmingly, how is yours? Well, swimmingly in that I feel very spiritually happy and content, although I did have a bit of a snafu attempting to get to confession late yesterday afternoon. Let us chronicle, no?


I've been wanting to get to confession for AGES, and just kept putting it off. I've talked about my spiritual dryness on this blog of late, and that was a big part of the problem. I didn't feel right about going if I was really forcing myself to go. I didn't feel a true *desire* for the sacrament, you know? Since Palm Sunday, I have been feeling worlds better, and yesterday, for the first time in months, I truly desired to visit the sacrament. The parish affiliated with Henry's school has confession on Tuesday afternoons at 4 pm (I know, random, right?) and thus I made plans to leave work early so that I could go.

I park, head toward the church, and plot a few minutes of prayer in front of the tabernacle before I actually head to the confessional. I step inside the vestibule. Apparently, Holy Week brings out a blitz in the desire to seek confession, because at least a dozen people turned my way. This gave me pause. What were they all doing there?!

*gentle snort*

Usually, you can hear crickets chirping anytime you go to your parish for the weekly scheduled confession slot. At least at my parish. Not this time. I dipped my fingers into the holy water font and headed to a pew to pray, also figuring I could use the time to sort out my approach. Most of the others present were clumped up on one side of the church nearest to the confessional usually put to use by the pastor. I see him approach the confessional, go inside, and turn on the green light. Someone hustles over to get inside and immediately a huge line forms.


I was hoping this was going to be a quick affair, because yesterday night I was scheduled to make chili for dinner. Mike has play rehearsal every evening during the week, and the chili takes about an hour and a half to make. I needed to get it started to assure that we could eat, clean up, and take care of everything that needed doing before he had to leave. I was on a time crunch.

As I'm contemplating my next move, another priest enters the sanctuary. Huzzah! He goes into a confessional on the opposite side of the church, nearer to where I was praying. I feel triumphant. As I stand up, however, several older men from the other line start to zip over to shorten their wait time. And by "zip over" I mean they hobbled with their canes as fast as their legs would carry them. It just felt wrong to rush over and get ahead of them. So I waited until they made their way over toward confessional #2. Another lady slips into line as I walk over.

As I step into line behind her, something happens that has never happened in all of my Catholic years. Someone was in the face-to-face side of the confessional, and hence the red light was on. One of the zipping older men apparently does not notice this and swings open the door to the screened side. The lady ahead of me calls out a warning to him, which he also does not hear. He closes the door and apparently gets comfortable in there. :0

We all stand there, not really knowing what to do. A few moments later, the well-intentioned interloper emerges, clued in by the priest, assumedly. He waits *right outside* the confessional door. The rest of us wait in line awkwardly.

By this point of the action, I'm getting antsy. I'm worried about getting dinner started on time, and there are now 3 people ahead of me, plus the person currently in the confessional. I glance at the other line. They have moved a tad, but the line still snakes like a leviathan. Penitents seem to have multiplied exponentially over on that side of the church. I glance up at the clock. It's now nearly 4:15, and face-to-face guy is apparently having a lengthy and intense conversation with the priest. We haven't moved an inch.

I wait about 5 more minutes, and make the difficult decision to step out of line. Confession just wasn't happening yesterday, as much as I would have liked it to. I hurried home to get the chili going, and we were able to get everyone fed and cleaned up before Mike had to leave, but we didn't exactly have any down time in there. I made the right decision.

When I called that church yesterday to make sure the confession time was the same, the parish secretary told me that they were also offering confession today from 4-6. I have an appointment with the periodontist at 3:30, so I'm hoping to stop on my way home (again :)). Mike is home on Wednesdays and is making dinner for us tonight, so I won't have the time crunch situation. Here's hoping.

Has anyone else gone to confession this Holy Week? Leave me a comment. *beams*


  1. I went on Saturday. I'd intended to go the week before, not wanting to risk the Holy Week rush given it was my first confession, but I arrived that Saturday to find about 5 people in line...and no sign of a priest! No one could find any word that Fr was supposed to be back in town in time, and there was speculation that a substitute was being sent for the vigil mass, but it left us with no sacrament of reconciliation... So then I had to get my nerve up again a whole second week!


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