Thursday, 8 November 2012

St. Wilfrid, pray for us

Another stage of the refurbishment of our lovely church is now complete. Today the new glass went into the Confessional so it is now ready to be used. Huzzah! It will certainly be wonderful after the last few months having to use various parts of the Church as a substitute. For those of you who haven't seen it yet here's afew pics I snapped earlier today...

 The statue of St. Wilfrid used to be in the sacristy but it seems fitting that he, known as the 'apostle of Sussex', should be on display in the Church itself.

The text on the glass (which you can just about see here) reads, "Saint Wilfrid, Pray for us." The glass has been specially made so that you can see in (to ensure the safety of the penitent and the priest) but can't make out what the person is saying. Another new feature is that whilst there are still two doors there won't now be any confusion about who's in where. The interior has been re-jigged so that the penitent enters through the first door (nearest the back of the church) and has the option to either kneel behind the grille or sit on a seat, facing the priest through a hole in the wall. Rest assured though if you, like me, prefer anonymity when going to Confession the priest will not be able to see who's coming in unless they sit on the seat.

The seat is by the statue of St. Wilfrid
One of the things I always thought would be difficult for me once I became a Catholic was going to Confession. The media tend to hype it up something rotten and paint a rather ridiculous picture when the truth, in fact, is far more gentle and beautiful and it has fast become my favourite sacrament (after the Eucharist, of course). And why not? In this we come before God, acutely aware of our sin and our need of his mercy and forgiveness, we come to the foot of the cross and ask for his forgiveness and place all of our hope and confidence in his love. Fr. Aaron spoke powerfully about this back in March, you can read his excellent thoughts here. In the absolution we are assured that we have been washed clean of our sin and can start afresh. It is a beautiful and humbling encounter with God, something that helps us to stay on the right track with our lives ever focused on Jesus. The prayers and advice of the priest aid us too in avoiding sin again. Since we now have our shiny good-as-new confessional why not come and try it out? It doesn't matter how long it has been (the priest will guide you through if you've forgotten what to do or say), God will welcome you with open arms! Confessions are available in the church after Mass on Friday and Saturday mornings and from 5:15pm to 5:45pm on Saturday evening or by appointment. You really won't regret going!

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