SACRAMENT OF PENANCE / CONFESSION

 
CONFESSION DURING COVID-19
 
We have resumed Saturday confessions from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm but we will continue to hold them in our parish driveway just in front of Notre Dame Academy, as we have been for the past several weeks.
 
A Priest will be waiting in the driveway just south of the bollards that restrict vehicles from entering the plaza. You may come in your car and start a line in the St Thérèse of Carmel driveway that leads to the parking lot. Enter the driveway from the west side entrance (furthest away from the building) and exit from the east side (near the parish center). 
 
ONE WAY ONLY PLEASE! See the diagram below.
 
Please watch for the celebrant who will either be seated on the wall under the trees or come to your passenger side window to hear your confession through it. If there is more than one penitent per car, exit the vehicle one at a time while the others wait inside with the windows up. Walk-ups/Bike-ups are welcome. Please note your place in the line and be careful around moving vehicles.
 
Appropriate social distancing should be observed as we try to provide a safe space and confessional confidentiality. Also, please wear a mask.
 
Once you have completed the sacrament, please proceed to an exit or the parking lot, being mindful of the traffic, so we can serve the next Penitent. You may complete your penance in a location of your choosing. If you wish to remain on the parish property, please ensure you keep your distance from any confessions in progress.
 
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About the Sacrament of Penance

The first and most common is private, individual Confession.  This is the most commonly used form of penance service, and most of us are familiar with it.

The second type of penance service is usually called General Absolution.  This is very rare, and to be used only in extraordinary circumstances when the bishop authorizes it or practical needs require its use.  General Absolution is given only when the number of penitents is large, and the danger of death is great, or a large number of penitents cannot wait for private individual confession because of unusual circumstances such as natural disasters, wartime conditions, and other calamities.  When general absolution is given, the penitents are given absolution as a group without confessing their sins to a priest, with the understanding that they will go to individual confession at the earliest opportunity.

The third type of penance service is usually called a Communal Penance Service.  Many parishes, including St. Thérèse of Carmel, hold communal penance services during Advent and Lent.  This is a form of sacramental confession and mixes public prayer and individual confession of sins to a priest, followed by absolution.