Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Let's play a game!

Well, enough of all that.

Had a nice few days, bought a bunch of needful stuff, new pj's and whatnot, to get ready for Chemo 2.

They were going to start me today, but having seen the results of some blood tests have decided to put it off for a week or so, to let my liver have a bit more time to recover. I'm taking liver-fixing drugs as well as a bunch of vitamins. Other than this everything's fine. Back to work in a limited way, which is really great.

Nice to have a week of reprieve so I can get some more cooking done and get things ready for Dorothy's visit and ... (fanfare) The Return of Sarah! (woop!)

Starting chemo 2 next Wednesday, if the blood tests come back favourably.

In the meantime, let's play a game.

Name the strangest place or circumstances you've ever had your confession heard.

Mine is on the steps of Canada's parliament in Ottawa.

Behind a plinth.

Oh, I almost forgot. I've also made confession in Latin at the Jesu in Rome. I had been told that there were always English speaking priests available at the Jesu, which is a conveniently located church in Rome (near a big bus stop). So I went in and sure enough there was a box near the entrance that had a sign on it saying "English" but when I asked the old chap in the box, he shook his head and said, "Mi dispiace". I went away annoyed, and then thought, wait, this is the Jesu and that's an ancient, retired Jesuit. No way he doesn't know how to do it in Latin. So I went back and asked and he looked a little startled, but said, in Italian, that we could try. I knelt down and riffled through my mental Latin files and we stumbled through on a halting combo of Latin, English, Italian and French. I got the gist across, he gave the ancient absolution formula. And "three Hail Mary's and one Our Father" is pretty easy to understand in any language.



Ingemar said...

I've only ever had Orthodox confession, which doesn't really do the booths. Instead you do it in front of an(y) Icon of Christ and sometimes other people will be around. The challenge is listing off all your sins whilst hunched over and whispering.

John said...

That's a tough one. I can't beat the Canadian Parliament confession. Certainly not my back pew at Blessed Sacrament Church in Westminster or Msgr P's office.

How about if I were wearing a kilt at the time?



Fr.T. said...

In a confessional---which is pretty strange in today's Church, don't you think?

Felix said...

I went to a French priest in the confession area at Lourdes. He was about the only priest around.

First, he tried to tell me to wait until an English speaker was available.

And then, after I had confessed, he talked to me in baby French. (Hey, my French isn't that good but ...)

Anonymous said...

In a Salvation Army hall.

Fr. T. said...

I win, don't I? How many pints? Sorry,I mean points of course.

Adam's Rib said...

Once in France to a Polish pixie priest who was new to the French language, while I knew very little, so we muddled through in English, Latin and French

Another time, between 2 parked cars, but in English

Notburga said...

Oddest place: My own childhood bedroom, when a priest was visiting my family.

Oddest circumstance: Going to confession in the sacristry of a monastery church, I was just getting rid of some particularly embarrassing stuff when someone knocked at the sacristry door. A monk came in to get a key to something and left. Disconcerted, I continued, and had just regained my composure, when there was another knock and the monk brought the key back.

I suppose one cannot count the 'Penitential Service' in Spain to which I once went while still a protestant, and during which a queue suddenly formed. Not speaking any Spanish, I did not know what it was about, but since it couldn't be Holy Communion, I joined the queue. I suddenly found myself in front of a priest who indicated to me to kneel down and expected me to say something. Not knowing what was happening, I was rather shocked. He asked me whether I was sorry for my sins, I nodded, and he put his hands on my head saying stuff I didn't understand. I still don't know whether this was meant to be sacramental absolution, but I very much fear it was.

The Crescat said...

circumstances and place ... in the cafeteria, the Immaculate Confection, the cafeteria in the Basilica in DC. The young Dominican priest accused me of Calvinism and called me a heretic.

Good times.

Seraphic said...

Hospital lecture room.

hyoomik said...

Once Father Damian got leprosy, a priest listened to his confession from a distance on a boat. Father Damian shouted out his sins in Latin.

Nathan said...

More than 30 years ago, I went to Confession in a shopping mall community room, where the confessional was a screen attached to the top of a kneeler. I had been received into the Catholic Church less than six months, and the priest had been ordained less than a week.

Because I had been up much of the night before, and there wasn't a pad on the kneeler, somehow it cut off the blood flow to my head enough that I passed out for a few seconds while Father was giving me advice and my penance.

I can only imagine what Father thought when he saw my feet sticking out on one side of the screen..."Oh no, I haven't given him absolution!"

I got myself off the floor, assured Father that I was ok, and we finished the confession.

In Christ,

Cliff said...

By a lake at night during a windstorm. And it was some pretty horrible stuff and because of the wind I had to shout pretty loud. That should have been penance enough but alas.

The most awkward though was when I was in seminary. I had lined up for confession with the priest who had Mass that morning. He went on a 30 minute or so talk (was also my spiritual director) about virtue. So after 30 minutes of the whole seminary sitting there wondering when Mass was starting, out we came from the booth. I got a real ribbing from the guys afterward but was all in good fun.

JP said...

When honeymooning in Rome, I needed to go to confession before attending Mass at St. Peter's the next morning. I had all but given up hope when we stumbled across Sant'Eugenio on the way back to the hotel. It was Saturday night and the evening Mass was just letting out.

I wander about the old parish until I find a rear hallway with a secretary. I ask her first in English, then Spanish (for I know no Italian) whether a priest is present. I wind up finding one. I ask him "Do you speak English?", to which he replies "No.". I then proceed with, "Parlez-vous Francais?", to which he replies "Un peu." Finally, I ask him, "Habla usted EspaƱol?" to which he replies, "Si." Well, I then ask him "Puede usted oyer mi confession?", to which he smirks and replies, "Pues, yo tengo las faculdades...", thus handily making fun of my use of 'poder' instead of asking the whole matter in the conditional. He laughs and we proceed to the confessional. I begin my confession in Latin ("Benedic me, quia peccavi... etc.") and proceed in mixed Spanish and French for the parts I can say in each. He absolves me in Latin and afterwards as he walks us to the door, we have a fantastic chat in Spanish and French.

So there (to all who have claimed otherwise), my Hitler-esque acquisition of romantic languages does have value!

Rebekah said...

On the bleachers at a gym while attending Army boot camp.

Ms JT said...

At the Washingtion National's baseball field (during Pope Benedict's visit to the US). They had a bunch of priests there hearing confessions.

berenike said...

Oddest that I can remember: a sort of porter's lodge with smoked glass walls.

Worst - being last to go at a penitential service in a former, tiny, parish. Priest sitting right at the front, elderly and slightly deaf. All the scheduled hymns and readings were done, all other confessions were done, just me - and the priest saying "could you speak up a bit, please?". Eeek.

Muckiest: a wet field.

hyoomik said...

I have to leave comment just because my verification word is "dognome", and that is just too good to go to waste.
'Dognome it, Jethro, we's all a living in Beverly Hills and all"

Rachel said...

Interesting stories! I especially like JP's fun with languages.

I've never confessed outside of a church, but then I've only been Catholic for four years, so give me time. :)

Statius said...

My first confession was in a hospital cardiology ward. I'd just missed the RCIA session in which we were supposed to discuss confession and then have our first confessions, but under the circumstances (an impending and unexpected procedure under general anaesthetic scheduled for the next day) I didn't think it was prudent to delay it.

Thankfully I had done some preparation by myself beforehand and knew more or less what to do, and the priest was very helpful and sympathetic and helped me make a giid confession.