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Church irregulars get special lines for confession.

Come clean. But come ahead of the pack.

An official of the Manila Archdiocese Liturgical Commission has urged regular churchgoers to take advantage of the daily confessions heard in churches to ease the long confession lines during the "Kumpisalang Bayan" (Mass Confessions) designed for those who seldom attend Mass.

"Our observation during the Kumpisalang Bayan is that those who have not heard Mass for some time really come in droves so we encourage regular churchgoers to give way to [these people] to confess so that more could receive the Sacrament of Penance," said Fr. Carmelo Arada, assistant director of the Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission told reporters.

Parish churches across the country hold a Kumpisalang Bayan, usually on Holy Thursday, to prepare Catholics for Easter Sunday or the commemoration of Christs resurrection from the dead.

Arada said many of those who do not go to Mass regularly look forward to the Lenten confession.

Expect surge of penitents

Expecting a surge of Catholics trooping to the confessionals this Holy Week, Arada said parishes were coordinating with each other to accommodate all those wanting to go to confession. He said many parishes invited as many priests as they could.

"The priests stay as late as 10 or 11 at night to accommodate the many faithful who want to go to confession," he said.

Arada earlier said that the act of confession was the key to repairing a broken relationship, not only with God, but also with ones neighbors.

Some Catholic bishops believe receiving the Sacrament of Penance is the "greatest penitence" a believer can do during Holy Week since it entails sacrifice, which is the spirit of Lent.

In "Catechesis for Filipinos," the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines mentioned the decline in Catholics regularly going to confession over the years, saying the practice has become "routinary and impersonal" that they consider it of little significance to their daily lives.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Mar 31, 2015
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