I can remember being a kid about 10 or 11 and walking down to the church with all the other neighborhood kids. There was somewhere between 12-20 of us. Our mothers would send us, walking, in New England (read snow on streets) to confession during Advent and Lent. Looking back I am not sure it was a penitential service or just regular confession times. But with that many coming at once we certainly had our own service. We were told by our mothers that it was our duty to go to confession during advent and lent. The fact that we kids made it a party, dancing down the street, throwing snowballs. Made it easy for us.
Our own parish had a penitential service last Thursday, but due to our lovely weather it was not well attended (read – the priests were there, everyone else stayed in fraidy holes).
Why do we go to confession? In a nutshell Catholics are required to be in a state of grace to receive communion. All Catholics have an Easter Duty. Your Easter Duty refers not to going to confession as I used to think it did as a child, rather it refers to your obligation to take part in communion at least once a year, preferably during the Easter Season, which by the way lasts until Pentecost.
Catholic.com states that to receive holy communion you must be in a state of grace,have made a good confession since your last mortal sin, believe in transubstantiation, observe the Eucharistic fast, and, finally, not be under an ecclesiastical censure such as excommunication.In essence your duty is a double one confession of any mortal sins and receive Holy Communion during the Easter Season.
So it is you duty to go to confession but so what, Only old ladies still go to confession.
When was the last time you went to confession? Confession can be cathartic. it allows you to unleash a burden on your soul. In sharing your failings with an other – the priest, you no longer have to shoulder them alone. You have given up the sin to Christ. There is still time to go before Easter. I bet if you showed up the local priest will make some time for you. For me I will be going to the parish down the street. I prefer the priest I don’t know, My husband prefers the priest he does know. Lucky for us we have options.