Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
During the season of Lent, it is the perfect time for us to evaluate our spiritual lives, see where we stand in relation to God and neighbor, and perhaps feel the need to seek forgiveness. Luckily, we as Catholics have the beautiful opportunity to do so in that great Sacrament of Reconciliation.
As you’ll recall, in Advent the parish attempted something new in regards to providing opportunities for confession. Rather than having a Penance Service one evening, we had a Day of Confession on a Saturday. It was, from the feedback I received largely successful, with both priests and parishioners finding it to be a good experience.
That said, with any first attempt, there are a few things that could have gone better or been improved. What does that mean for Lenten confessions? We are going to try again a Day of Confessions, this time on Saturday, March 30th. It will run from 10:00 AM until the regular confession time ends at 4:30 PM. However, there are going to be a few tweaks to how it goes.
The first and perhaps largest shift will be the inclusion of a Penance Service to start the day. We will have at 9:30 AM a Penance Service similar to the ones in years past for any and all who are interested in participating in it. This comes out of the realization that there is something worthwhile in coming together in prayer and penance which was somewhat missing in the Advent experience.
It also comes out of the recognition that in Advent, many people took advantage of the chance for confession right after the Mass we had that day for the Immaculate Conception. There will be more than one priest available in that first hour or so to accommodate a higher number of people seeking God’s forgiveness.
The other tweaks are mostly minor and cosmetic. There will be more copies of Examinations of Conscience throughout the church, music will be played throughout the day to help foster a better spirit of prayer in the space, and hopefully there will be a greater variety in the priests who are hearing confessions throughout the day.
The Sacrament of Penance is an important aspect of our Catholic faith. Especially in the season of Lent, we are invited to participate in it and receive the Lord’s mercy, both as part of our Easter duty and for the good of our spiritual lives. I hope our Day of Confession will help many in this regard.
Peace and Goodness,