From a reader:
So something strange happened to me this past weekend. I went to confession and brought along my daughter (11) confessions are heard in my parish from 3:30 to 4:30 on Saturday afternoons I must confess, no pun intended, I did not follow one of your rules and arrive slightly after 4:00. The room was packed (praise God) but upon 5:00 when Mass was to be said the priest (not the normal parish priest) apologized, and excused himself to say Mass. My daughter and I were not the only ones still waiting, there were four of us total. Just to bad for us I guess? Hope we don’t die in the next week? I was courteous and just left but had a hard time trying to explain this to my daughter, the best I could do was…next week we go early!! Any thoughts, is this normative?
Normative? As in “is this normal”? Yes, normal priests cannot normally be in two places at the same time.
Mass was scheduled for 5 pm. Confessions were scheduled until 4:30. However, the priest heard confessions for about a half hour longer than confessions were scheduled, seemingly up to the very last minute, since he was scheduled to say Mass at 5 pm. Right?
I think your conclusion that “next week we go early” was just about right.
In my 20 Tips For Making A Good Confession I put in the number 3 spot: “…come at the time confessions are scheduled, not a few minutes before they are to end”. Your experience is why I added that tip.
I am sorry that you were not able to make your confession in that moment. At the same time, it seems as if the priest there was very diligent and was doing his best.