Glossop Catholics

Confessions on Saturday

Thanks to the generosity of our stewards, we will be able, God willing, to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation next Saturday (3rd October) and again on Saturday 17th.

10am to 10.30am, at St Mary Crowned. Please come dressed for the weather, as you may have to wait outside.

Here is some information that first appeared in our Glossop Parishes newsletter.

As you may imagine, with scientific advice continuing to develop, it’s been very difficult for church authorities to come up with guidance about celebrating the sacrament of reconciliation in a way that simultaneously protects the health of the penitent and the priest, and maintains a guarantee of secrecy by preventing any eavesdropping, and complies with safeguarding rules. Early proposals that a confessional might be used as long there is a cloth barrier between the penitent and the priest has now been changed, because of the risk of coronavirus lingering in the enclosed space, and a person being infected by someone who went to confession up to 72 hours earlier.

Current advice is that the largest church available should be used (for the largest volume of air) and the penitent and priest should stand two metres apart. […] If a penitent sits or kneels down […] a steward sanitises the area ready for the next penitent.

The penitent must wear a face covering, and the priest may wear a clear plastic face screen so a penitent who needs to see the priest’s lips in order to understand him is not disadvantaged.

You can imagine how, in those conditions, in a silent church, it would be easy for someone with good hearing to eavesdrop, unintentionally or otherwise.

One method of complying with the requirements would work like this.

[…] At the appointed time, stewards welcome the penitent and instruct them about wearing their face covering and sanitising their hands.

The penitent goes to where the priest is waiting.

The stewards step out of the church while confession is heard, and welcome anyone arriving for the next confession, telling them to wait until the person presently at confession comes out.

When the previous penitent comes out of church [a steward sanitises the seat or kneeler used by the penitent, then a steward] enters with the next penitent, and proceed as previously.

It is very important [for anyone who is shielding and so can’t get to confession or have a priest visit them] to remember the beautiful advice that Pope Francis wrote about making confession without a priest.

The Holy Father said, at the very beginning of the present crisis, “Many will say to me: ‘Father…I want to make my peace with the Lord. I want Him to embrace me… How can I do that unless I find a priest?’. Do what the catechism says. It’s very clear. If you don’t find a priest to go to confession, speak to God. He’s your Father. Tell Him the truth: ‘Lord. I did this and this and this. Pardon me.’ Ask His forgiveness with all your heart with an act of contrition, and promise Him, ‘Afterward I will go to confession.’ You will return to God’s grace immediately. You yourself can draw near, as the catechism teaches us, to God’s forgiveness, without having a priest at hand.”

Glossop Parishes Newsletter, 12 July 2020

We hope that it will be possible to continue with confessions on the first and third Saturday of each month.