Confessors in Britain report an uptick in the interest in the Sacrament of Penance. The Pope Francis effect? Pope Benedict’s visit three years ago? I’d prefer to attribute it to God’s grace. I’m sure the two most recent popes would likewise deflect credit.
We have found significant numbers of young people have come along to the Sacrament of Reconciliation which is a good sign …
But it is not just the young people.
I think it is also a new approach to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, or confession, which is less of a mechanistic process.
Less mechanical? Isn’t it interesting that smart phone apps are credited, in part, to a more wholesome and attractive approach?
First and foremost, the experience of a sacrament of the Church is liturgical. It is intended to be prayer. It is intended to be an encounter with Jesus Christ, truly present to the believer. It is intended to be adaptable to the needs of the believer, and not force-fed through the comfort zone of the presider.
In my parish, we discussed where to place this year’s evening hours. Last year we found that one weeknight hour was simply not enough. Two hours are now on the calendar each Wednesday. One hour on Saturday isn’t nearly as popular in a college town, even when football season is done.
I like the attention given to the reconciliation chapel in our parish. While certainly part of the church building, it has a sense of being a separate place off the edge of the narthex.
I feel a bit ambivalent about it being a “natural” location for special collections, maybe that’s not a totally out-of-place idea. Our parish’s extra evening time for form I commences tomorrow and every Wednesday from 7 till 9 in the evening.