some personal views for Catholic readers
Dear Father Blake,This was a pleasant piece of reading for a lazy Sunday afternoon, pot of Ceylon tea and excellent chocolate chip 'cookies' at hand.I was struck by the mention in paragraph 42 that there is supposed to be a greeting, invitation to repentance and reading from Sacred Scripture. I wonder how often this is done; I am unable to recall ever having any of this as part of the sacrament, except during penitential services. Surely the extra minute or so to do these things would be of great benefit to the penitent, especially one who is returning to the Church. (Being someone who follows the instructions, you undoubtedly follow this format, so please take my last comment as being general in character).
I went about 15 years (from my first confession as a 7 year old boy to about 23 years old) before my 2nd confession. It was a very emotional and scary process at first. The priest was a very liberal university chaplain. However he was extraodinarily kind and generous. It's been about another 15 years since that time. I go to confession weekly or at least twice monthly now. However, I'll never forget that 1st adult confession so many years ago and that priest. My entire world changed after that experience. And, he did use the full form.. greeting, reading from Scripture, and prayer, before we got down to the normal parts of the confession. I don't think he normally did this. He knew the momentous nature of this particular confession for me. My heart still swells with love for that man.
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