Thanks so much for the continuing responses to yesterday's blog post. I think we all struggle with issues of welcome and hospitality in our parishes.
A question for you.
First some background.
Throughout my time at my parishes in Florida (1984-1990) and here in Illnois (1992-1999), we celebrated a communal rite of reconciliation with general confession and general absolution twice a year, once during Advent and once during Lent. The churches were packed, many times standing room only, for these celebrations. Everyone was told that if they were in a state of serious sin, they needed to confess their sins to a priest in individual confession. These were powerful liturgies of the Church. I enjoyed preparing them and leading the music for them; the choir always sang and I had a deep sense that God's mercy had been poured out on us sinners.
Of course, that was then and this is now. I don't believe there are many places in the Catholic world that regularly celebrate this form of the rite. I don't want to get into rubrical or theological discussions about that here, because I have a question.
Some people have suggested that the communal celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation in parishes is dead. At least here in Chicago, there is a sense that since general absolution is not employed any longer, people have just stopped going to these communal celebrations, or that they are simply no longer scheduled in parishes.
What is your experience? Please share it here or on the Gotta Sing Gotta Pray Facebook page. Thanks so much.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.