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Confession etiquette

Jul 6th 2013 new
Today my son and I had a situation happen while attempting to go to confession and I need some guidance on what (if anything) should be done.

Confession is from 4 PM to 4:45 PM at our parish, and my son and I arrived (along with approximately 10 to 12 other people) shortly before 4 PM and waited for the priest. At 4:30 a homeless man asked my son, who was by now at the head of the line, if he could go ahead of him because he didn't have time to wait. Not wanting to be uncharitable my son said "yes". At 4:35 a man in a wheel chair arrived at the church and promptly rolled up to the confessional door (after the homeless man had left) and started loudly telling the priest that he needed the priest to come out and hear his confession since he couldn't fit through the door. The priest did. Immediately after that an elderly woman walked into the church and also went to the head of the line and went to confession. By now my son was irritated and walked off and the rest of the people that had been waiting for over half an hour, were making unhappy noises. In all my years of going to confession I have never seen this type of behavior. Has anyone else been through this type of situation? What is the proper way of handling this?
Jul 7th 2013 new
(quote) Chalsey-31908 said: Today my son and I had a situation happen while attempting to go to confession and I need some guidance on what (if anything) should be done.

Confession is from 4 PM to 4:45 PM at our parish, and my son and I arrived (along with approximately 10 to 12 other people) shortly before 4 PM and waited for the priest. At 4:30 a homeless man asked my son, who was by now at the head of the line, if he could go ahead of him because he didn't have time to wait. Not wanting to be uncharitable my son said "yes". At 4:35 a man in a wheel chair arrived at the church and promptly rolled up to the confessional door (after the homeless man had left) and started loudly telling the priest that he needed the priest to come out and hear his confession since he couldn't fit through the door. The priest did. Immediately after that an elderly woman walked into the church and also went to the head of the line and went to confession. By now my son was irritated and walked off and the rest of the people that had been waiting for over half an hour, were making unhappy noises. In all my years of going to confession I have never seen this type of behavior. Has anyone else been through this type of situation? What is the proper way of handling this?
WOW I wonder why this happened today and why now. I have never come across this. How sad for your son and all the others. Did any of you get to confession? I think that the point at which the man in the wheelchair came might have been the logical time for your son or you to make the man in the wheelchair go to a further place back in line. I honestly do ntot know what to advise, even that sounds hard to do and then the elderly lady.... I have never seen such a scene as you describe. In fact I had a very easy time getting in to go to confession today before 5:30 mass. There may be someone who can advise better than I... I think that some assertiveness can sometimes come in handy and it is ok for adults NOT to take advantage of children standing in line. I probably would have asked the wheelchair man to get to a later place in line. Call memean, I guess... I just don't know what I would have done. I probably would have tried again next Saturday and not said a word....
Jul 7th 2013 new
In normal circumstances I would definitely have told the man in the wheel chair that he needs to go to the back of the line, but holy cow, in church?!? I did get to confession, but honestly, I was still a bit perturbed about the earlier incidents. It is funny you mentioning "why this happened today and why now".... the man in line behind me leaned over and whispered, "I think this is our opportunity to practice patience". I do think he is correct! smile

I am pondering whether or not to mention this to the to the priest at the parish office. What do you think?
Jul 7th 2013 new
(quote) Chalsey-31908 said: In normal circumstances I would definitely have told the man in the wheel chair that he needs to go to the back of the line, but holy cow, in church?!? I did get to confession, but honestly, I was still a bit perturbed about the earlier incidents. It is funny you mentioning "why this happened today and why now".... the man in line behind me leaned over and whispered, "I think this is our opportunity to practice patience". I do think he is correct!

I am pondering whether or not to mention this to the to the priest at the parish office. What do you think?
Yeah it is enough disorder and chaos to make you feel like you can't do anything right and that confession is something you can't exactly fight over...making anyone feel like just by feeling perturbed that one is in another sin or something . YES talk to the priest this week and get his advice! I think that the church either needs to update its confessionals, or something to accomodate that man... in the wheelchair,... I don't know..... but do tell your pastor... Yes it was most definitely a challenge and a TRUE exercise in patience!
Jul 7th 2013 new
scratchchin Hmmm...depending on how old your son is (under or over 12?), I'd say you did the right thing by not interrupting the intruders...you set a good example to him about patience, compassion, and forgiveness.

"Whatsoever you do to the least of my people, that you do unto me", comes to mind...I agree with the man behind you--a test of patience and selfless-ness. The whole idea of the "last shall be first", you know?

I agree with Marian, I'd bring it up to your priest this week to find out what his thoughts and preferences would be in the future if it ever happened again.
Jul 7th 2013 new
My son is 19, which is the main reason why I left the decision making up to him. It is a treacherous path for a Mom trying to guide her young adult child! We are now laughing about the fiasco at the Church yesterday. Last night I mentioned to my son I felt like we should have been looking for a camera...... and waiting for some one to tell us we are on Candid Camera!
Jul 9th 2013 new
I'm impressed that in your parish confession is so popular.
thumbsup
Jul 12th 2013 new
(quote) Chalsey-31908 said: My son is 19, which is the main reason why I left the decision making up to him. It is a treacherous path for a Mom trying to guide her young adult child! We are now laughing about the fiasco at the Church yesterday. Last night I mentioned to my son I felt like we should have been looking for a camera...... and waiting for some one to tell us we are on Candid Camera!
hahahahahahahahaha It would make a very funny Candid Camera episode. I agree with Marge that it is amusing and kind of awesome that confession is so popular there that people might even bicker or cut in line! shocked
Jul 12th 2013 new
It's hard to be a regular confession goer and not feel a lot smaller though, I mean confession should vanquish egoism as we are visited regularly by the reminders of our weakness. Interesting that it hasn't had the effect of humility on them yet.

But hey chock it up to absentmindedness and/or a return to the Sacrament after a long hiatus or a recent conversion.
Jul 13th 2013 new
Hi Chalsey,

You and your son did the only thing you could under the circumstances. You showed that you truly understand the Gospel, and you both are to be commended for it.

Want to hear my favorite? I was in line behind our Deacon. He entered the confessional. After 30 minutes, I got upset and left! Like, how much can a Deacon possibly have to confess? :)

So I went back a month or so later. No problems. God bless, Doug.
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