Ad Te Levávi Ánimam Meam

To Thee have I lifted up my soul (Introit – 1st Sunday of Advent)

Penance Service

Posted by james0235 on December 23, 2007

This afternoon I went to confession at an Advent Penance Service at Christ the King Catholic Church in east Columbus. Fr. Steve Seever, a former Baptist and former Mormon, is the pastor there.

There were 15 priests there. I estimated somewhere between 150 and 200 people. But, that was maybe 10 minutes before the Penance Service actually started. And it seemed like people were continually coming in.

There was a reading from the Gospel (Luke 18:10-15), an examination of conscience, and then individual confessions. I waited until it seemed a majority of people had already confessed before I got in line. I was the last person in line to confess to a particular priest, a Monsignor. After I was through I went to a nearby pew to pray for a few minutes.

When I got up to leave I noticed something that I think had a more profound impact on me than my own confession and absolution. The Monsignor was absolving another priest who had obviously just confessed to him. And behind the 2 of them I could see 2 more priests across the Church – one confessing to the other.

All I could do was stare. At that moment I had more of a sense of the mercy of Almighty God than I did when I was forgiven of my own sins. It was a couple of minutes before I was actually able to move again. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it.

I think that with yesterday’s Benediction, Mass this morning, and the Penance Service this afternoon that I have more than “put in my hour” this weekend. I was planning on attending Vespers this evening at yet a 4th parish. But, I am feeling exhausted. I think I will call it an early night instead.

One Response to “Penance Service”

  1. Father Joe said

    Even the Pope goes to confession. We are all sinners needing the mercy of God. Peace!

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