Divine Worship & Sacraments

Q. Is it appropriate to go to confession during Mass?  Should a parish church have the Sacrament of Penance offered simultaneously as the Sacrament of the Eucharist?

A. The answer is, generally, no. In earlier liturgical practice, confessions were routinely heard during Mass. This was possibly due to the fact that the accepted norm prior to the liturgical reform of St. Paul VI saw one’s obligation to assist at Mass fulfilled by attending from the Offertory of the Mass onward and thus the faithful often engaged in other liturgical and devotional practices up to that point of the Mass (including praying the rosary, reading their own devotional texts, and – yes – going to confession.)

There is no prohibition strictly speaking about the Sacrament of Penance being offered at the same time as Mass, though the Rite of Penance does state that “[The faithful] should be encouraged to approach the Sacrament of Penance at times when Mass is not being celebrated” (n. 13).  This has a practical value in that everyone who is participating in Mass should not be distracted by anything else, including the Sacrament of Penance. 

Therefore, it is highly laudable that  only those NOT participating in  Mass  should be celebrating the Sacrament of Penance while  Mass  is going on.

The idea of “2-for-1,” i.e. going to confession while the Mass I’m participating in is happening, is not ideal and detracts from the vision of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal that says that ”the entire celebration [of the Mass] is arranged in such a way that leads to a conscious, active, and full participation of the faithful, namely, in body and in mind, a participation fervent with faith, hope, and charity, of the sort which is desired by the Church and which is required by the very nature of the celebration and to which the Christian people have a right and duty in virtue of their Baptism” (n. 18).  

So, if confessions are regularly scheduledduringMass   (a practice to be discouraged for the above reasons), catechesis should be provided to ensure the faithful know that confession should precedeMasswhenever possible, and not take place while they are participating in Mass to fulfill their Sunday obligation.

Parishes should ensure adequate times outside of Mass during which the Sacrament of Penance can be celebrated.  A mere 30 minutes on Saturday afternoon before the anticipated Mass may not be enough and likely isn’t a great time for many people.  Consider the most generous schedule, ensure confessors are always present when scheduled, and encourage the faithful to come.

For assistance in crafting a suitable liturgical schedule for your Family of Parishes, contact the Office for Divine Worship and Sacraments, 513.263.6609.

Effective Apr 24, 2022 (the Octave Day of Easter), distribution of the Precious Blood may again take place generally at the discretion of the pastor.

The Church teaches that “by reason of sign value, sharing in both Eucharistic species reflects more fully the sacred realities that the Liturgy signifies.” (Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion under Both Kinds)

Thus “Holy Communion has a fuller form as a sign when it takes place under both kinds.” (General Instruction of the Roman Missal)

In This Holy and Living Sacrifice, the 2016 archdiocesan policy and formation document on the ministry of Holy Communion, Archbishop Schnurr states: 

“To the best of their ability, each parish should offer both species at all Sunday celebrations of the Eucharist, and if possible, at other celebrations of the Eucharist when it can be done with reverence and dignity.”

With questions or concerns, please contact the Office for Divine Worship and Sacraments

You can find Pope Francis’ prayer for peace here.

Consider one or more of the following intentions for the Universal Prayer in the coming days at Mass:

  • For an end to the violence perpetrated by harsh words, deadly weapons, or cold indifference; may our homes, our nation, and countries around the world become havens of peace, let us pray to the Lord…
  • For the grace to see every human being as a child of God, regardless of race, language or culture…
  • For solidarity in our global human family, that we may work together to protect those who are most vulnerable and most in need…
  • For leaders of nations and all who hold the public trust, that they may seek the way of peace together…

You can find more resources on the USCCB website.

Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us!

 

With the pandemic continuing to wane and availability of boosters for adults and vaccinations for children 5-11, we hope to see more and more people making their way back to worship in person.

Here are some strategies for parish leaders to help welcome everyone back to church for Christmas and in the New Year!

TOGETHER Homecoming

At the direction of Pope Francis, the Synod of Bishops in Rome has convoked a synod that will run from 2021 until 2023 entitled “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission.” It officially opened on October 10th in Rome and on October 17th in dioceses around the world.  

Over the coming weeks, consider using one or more of the following intentions in the Universal Prayer:

  • For an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Church as we undertake this synodal journey; let us pray to the Lord.
  • That the Holy Spirit would fill the hearts and minds of all the faithful, and accompany us on this synodal journey; let us pray to the Lord.
  • For the Church, gathered in Synod; that by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit this journey would be marked by humble listening, courageous speech, and lively hope; let us pray to the Lord.
  • For the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, that as we gather in synodal meetings in the coming months, the Holy Spirit will move among us as we listen to one another; let us pray to the Lord.

You will find the Adsumus prayer of invocation of the Holy Spirit used at Vatican II, as well as logos and other promotional materials on the Synod website.

Click here for more information about the synodal process in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.