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Friday, 6 April 2007

Confessions on Good Friday and Holy Saturday

There is a rubric in the 1970 Missal at the beginning of the texts for Good Friday which reads:
"According to the Church's ancient tradition, the sacraments are not celebrated today or tomorrow."
(The next rubric gives an exception for Viaticum.) This has led some priests to think that confessions should not be heard on Good Friday or Holy Saturday. In fact, as everybody knows, Pope John Paul regularly did a stint in the confessional in St Peter's on Good Friday.

The 2000 Editio Typica Tertia of the missal has unambiguously clarified the matter. The rubric now reads:
Hac et sequenti die, Ecclesia, ex antiquissima traditione, sacramenta, praeter Paenitentiae et Infirmorum Unctionis penitus non celebrat.
"According to the Church's ancient tradition, the sacraments are not celebrated at all today or tomorrow - except for Penance and Anointing the Sick."
So there is no reason at all why we should not have confessions on Good Friday and Holy Saturday. In fact, it is obviously an important time to make the sacrament available.
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