confession/mass followup

confession/mass followup
Question from Debra on 6/4/2008:

Father, I go to a very reverent Dominican church and they have 3 masses a day and confession everyday but Sunday. ( and many people go!)Sometimes the 11-1145 or 4-445 confession time runs over and 1 of the 2 priests hearing confession in the back of the church will go do the 12 or 5 pm mass. People will turn around in line when mass starts and follow along until it's their turn. After they finish confession they will go join the mass in the pews. I can't imagine this is wrong if it has been a long standing practice. Many people go to our church and the priests don't want to deny someone communion if they have a mortal sin. Of course if it's just 1 priest, he'll tell the waiting parishioners that he will be back after mass to hear any confessions that are left. If it is as I explained, in the back of the church, the waiting penitents following the mass, is that okay?
Answer by Jason Morin on 6/12/2008:

Hello Debra,

Yes it is fine that they follow along. In fact, this happens at my own parish as well. In various parts of the world, confession is held every day but Sunday and even continues throughout the Mass with the penitents dutifully following along until such time as they are able to confess. Of course, if confession continues into Mass and perhaps through it, it is equally permitted for the penitent to reflect on their sins in silence.

Pax Christi,


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