Confession during exposition – emended

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Regarding this post, , for your consideration… 

With Advent (in the context of the Eucharistic Revival) approaching, I was asked about the practice of hearing confessions during a time of Eucharistic exposition and adoration.

I found the post above (which, frankly, surprised me), and was wondering if your thinking had changed on this matter…. As I think about the practice, I get very nervous.

First, while RS allows for Reconciliation during Mass, the assumption there is not that people are leaving Mass to go to confession, but simply that confessions can be heard while Mass is going on. Obviously, the presider would not leave Mass to hear confessions….

Second, there is a real splitting of attention and purpose here… gathering for reconciliation is one thing, adoration another. If I go to exposition, leave to go to confession, and come back… that seems odd to me. It seems that the distinction between exposition (a liturgical rite) and simple adoration before the tabernacle (a devotional act) gets blurred this way. Why not have time for confession, and then expose the Blessed Sacrament – as a response to the forgiveness experienced?

Third, I am concerned of the magical thinking that may be going on here; if confession is good, confession with the Blessed Sacrament exposed is “better.”

Are we sliding down a slippery slope of quantifying grace?

Finally, I can’t find anywhere in the rites themselves, including the most recent new editions, that this is in any way anticipated as an option.

The Liturgy of the Hours (and even the Rosary, with limitations) is mentioned in HCWEOM; but not other sacraments.

Would we baptize or marry or confirm before the Blessed Sacrament exposed? Celebrating Mass thus is expressly forbidden.

The new OP mentions devotions (such as stations of the cross) after a penitential celebration, but not during. 

Thanks for your thoughts,


A: It took me a while to find this, but I did emend my initial reply in an admittedly unintentionally obscure way:

I think it’s not a good idea to provide the sacrament of reconciliation during the liturgy of exposition and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Each liturgy is complete and deserves full attention when it is underway.