This weekend is Pentecost Sunday, which marks the end of the Easter season. But it also marks the first weekend we’ve offered our normal Saturday morning confessions since the COVID-19-related shutdowns began in mid-March. I’m so happy to be offering the sacrament once again, especially since I know how many people wanted to make a confession during Lent but weren’t able to do so.
Just like Masses, confessions will look a little different than you’re used to. Here’s some of what you can expect:
¨ We’ll still hold confessions from 9am to 10am Saturday morning, but we won’t be in the confessionals. We’ll be using the Cry Room, as well as the Holy Cross Chapel, if both priests are hearing confessions. There will be signs in the church that indicate which rooms are being used.
¨ Chairs will be spaced a safe social distance from one another, and both the priest and the penitent will wear masks.
¨ People waiting to go to confession will remain in the church. Since the pews are already roped off to keep people at a safe social distance, people may wait in the pews (one person per pew). They may also choose to stand on the markers on the floor, which are also spaced appropriately.
This may be a slightly different experience of confession than we’re accustomed to, but obviously this is a season where most parts of our lives look different than they used to, and we’re called to adapt. But even though the room and the waiting line may look different, the most important parts of the sacrament are unchanged: the confessional is still the place where sinners like us can completely unburden ourselves of the worst sins that are weighing us down, the place where God can wash us clean and give us the grace to start fresh. I’m sure all of us have reexamined our lives and our relationship to the Lord over these last couple of months, so please prayerfully consider when and how to return to the Sacrament of Reconciliation