Excellent news and a question
#1
Big Grin 
Hi My younger sister has been sort of circling back to the Church for about a year now - she’s driven an hour to meet me for Mass (TLM) a few times and is always happy to listen to all my Catholic talk and doings, but she doesn’t attend regularly and is in an irregular marriage (probably could be regularized fairly easily, were they to look into it). She asked if she could come to Easter Mass with me, and says she knows she must go to Confession before Mass and is going to make it a priority to find one to go to (she doesn’t have a home parish). What with her work schedule and it being Holy Week, if she cannot get to Confession beforehand, would it be okay for her to receive, so long as she has the intention of confessing with Father directly after Mass? (he stays for Confessions).

Thanks! And all praise and thanks to Our Blessed Lord and Our Blessed Mother for guiding my sister back to the Church!  HeartETA: i realize the “irregular marriage” may seem like an impediment; however, we don’t know what she would be confessing, what Father may say, and as far as i know, tgey have been living as brother and sister for quite a while.
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#2
(04-14-2019, 09:25 PM)Margaret-Mary Wrote: What with her work schedule and it being Holy Week, if she cannot get to Confession beforehand, would it be okay for her to receive, so long as she has the intention of confessing with Father directly after Mass? (he stays for Confessions).
No. One need to be already in the State of Grace for Communion, else he commits a grave sin of sacrilege.

Why can't she get to confession before Easter Mass? Can she not come a few minutes early? Can she not call the priest and arrange a time?

Most priests are happy to take a confession outside of the usual time, if asked. People too often forget this. Father is a priest 24/7, not just when the bulletin says that he's in the confessional or saying Mass.
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#3
(04-14-2019, 10:41 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote:
(04-14-2019, 09:25 PM)Margaret-Mary Wrote: What with her work schedule and it being Holy Week, if she cannot get to Confession beforehand, would it be okay for her to receive, so long as she has the intention of confessing with Father directly after Mass? (he stays for Confessions).
No. One need to be already in the State of Grace for Communion, else he commits a grave sin of sacrilege.

Why can't she get to confession before Easter Mass? Can she not come a few minutes early? Can she not call the priest and arrange a time?

Most priests are happy to take a confession outside of the usual time, if asked. People too often forget this. Father is a priest 24/7, not just when the bulletin says that he's in the confessional or saying Mass.

Thank you, I thought I remembered once hearing or reading that having the intention to confess asap was acceptable, but I wasn’t positive, hence my question. I didn’t say she cannot confess beforehand — she is serious about finding a church in which to go to Confession. She has to work extra hours this week, in addition to probably not finding available Confessions on Holy Saturday, i wanted to find out if this was an option for her, just in case. I’m sure she will refrain from receiving Jesus if she’s not sure she’s not committing a sacrilege. As for Father, he belongs to a monastery, so is not generally available for requested Confessions, and he is also an hour away from her. But when i tell her this isn’t a valid option, she will make every effort to find a way to go to Confession, and Our Lady will help her. Thanks again. ETA coming early won’t work as there is a Mass directly before the one we’re going to.
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#4
I just re-read and missed something in the first post.

If she's not in a regular marriage, she must fix this first before she can even be absolved. If she's living in sin, she does not have the requisite disposition to be absolved, since one condition is to avoid the occasions of sin.
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#5
(04-14-2019, 11:09 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: I just re-read and missed something in the first post.

If she's not in a regular marriage, she must fix this first before she can even be absolved. If she's living in sin, she does not have the requisite disposition to be absolved, since one condition is to avoid the occasions of sin.

What if at the time of their marriage, neither of them understood that it was a mortal sin? And does the fact that they have been living as brother and sister for years make any difference? Should she not tell the priest about her situation, or should I just bluntly inform her that she cannot be absolved, so don’t even go to Confession? Although she was “raised Catholic,” by an adoptive family, she never received much teaching and over the years wandered into various kinds of “spiritual paths.” After many years (decades, actually, no pun intended) of Rosaries and Masses for her, she seems to be serious about wanting to return to the Church. Her understanding of some aspects of the Faith is still somewhat limited, so do you have any advice on how to teach her about her invalid marriage, while not discouraging her new desire to rejoin the Church? Sorry if this is unclear/has typos, phone posting taking forever.
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#6
(04-15-2019, 07:29 PM)Margaret-Mary Wrote: What if at the time of their marriage, neither of them understood that it was a mortal sin?

Highly unlikely they didn't understand there was something wrong here, and if they though something questionable, then they would have been obliged to solve those questions, or they accept the consequences.

Today a young man who was baptized, but never really raised Catholic might fornicate with his girlfriend. The world tells him, it's okay, but he really can't say that somehwere along the line he's never heard that someone thinks its a sin, and thus, he'd need to solve that question. A reasonable investigation of that would certainly reveal that the Church teaches it is sinful. If he chooses to go ahead anyway with that information or not answering the natural questions that arise, he's agreed to the sin.

You commit mortal sin if you know or should know something to be gravely sinful. At best, however, if someone were truly ignorant, he would not be guilty of the sin, but still be in an occasion of sin, and a source of scandal for others.

If a couple is not legitimately married, and this can be publicly known, a priest is obliged to deny Communion. If he finds this out in Confession he must deny absolution until the situation is fixed (or he can be reasonably sure that all occasions of sin are eliminated or minimized).

(04-15-2019, 07:29 PM)Margaret-Mary Wrote: And does the fact that they have been living as brother and sister for years make any difference?

Why would they be living as brother and sister if they don't understand there's a problem?

In fact, the situation is not their own state of soul (which might be fine), but the scandal. This is why they would need to be denied Communion in public. A priest might be able to, if he knew the situation and it were really necessary, and there were true safeguards, perhaps, maybe, provide the Sacraments privately. That's a big maybe.

(04-15-2019, 07:29 PM)Margaret-Mary Wrote: Should she not tell the priest about her situation, or should I just bluntly inform her that she cannot be absolved, so don’t even go to Confession?

You should tell her to tell the priest about her situation outside of the confessional, so she can get it resolved and he can tell her what she can do. She might be able to be absolved if the right safeguards are in place, the situation necessary, etc. But this is something that requires work outside of the confessional. To dump that on a priest who is trying to get through a line of penitents when it could be discussed in private and in a way that could start the fix for it, is wrong.

(04-15-2019, 07:29 PM)Margaret-Mary Wrote: Although she was “raised Catholic,” by an adoptive family, she never received much teaching and over the years wandered into various kinds of “spiritual paths.” After many years (decades, actually, no pun intended) of Rosaries and Masses for her, she seems to be serious about wanting to return to the Church.

Then make sure she gets the chance to return, and not in the meantime, mess it all up by committing all kinds of sins, or reassuring herself of false things. If you take the time to let her see the seriousness of the Faith and that we do things differently, it will stick and she won't be bouncing around again.

(04-15-2019, 07:29 PM)Margaret-Mary Wrote: Her understanding of some aspects of the Faith is still somewhat limited, so do you have any advice on how to teach her about her invalid marriage, while not discouraging her new desire to rejoin the Church? Sorry if this is unclear/has typos, phone posting taking forever.

Don't tell her about the marriage situation yourself, unless you already have. Tell her that you were reading something (you were) and you think that it's great that she come to Church again, and Easter's a great time to do it, but she probably needs to sit down in a private meeting (not in the confessional) with a good priest so he can get her sorted, just in case there's other things she needs to do before returning to the Sacraments. Kind, concerned, loving, and prevents Sacrilege and disappointments.

Then find a good, kind and orthodox priest, and introduce her to him (maybe at Easter). Tell Father beforehand a brief summary of the situation, and that she seems ready to return, but doesn't understand she's in an invalid marriage and you don't want to mess it all up, so you were hoping he can explain this to her. Then reassure her that Father will be happy to help her.

Then, let him deal with the problem. He will have the grace of state and be the one who can setup a plan for her so she can do what she needs to do, and a plan that is effective. He could also in that situation evaluate their exact situation, and see if he could not privately give the Sacraments. Perhaps their situation is such that he could. Perhaps it's not, and he could make it so. Perhaps they just need to convalidate and she's good to go with a good confession afterward. Perhaps she's actually left the Church by her wanderings, and needs to be properly received back. Father can figure this all out. It's not your job. Your job is to be a good sister.

Get the priest involved, and in the meantime encourage your sister and give her lots of love. Reassure her that you're supporting her and a good priest will get her all sorted, but she can't sort this all out herself. That's why we have priests. Let him unclog this sewer. It's what he was ordained for.
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#7
Magister Musicae Wrote:Why would they be living as brother and sister if they don't understand there's a problem?

Lots of civilly (and sacramentally) married people don't have sex -- not out of virtue (necessarily), but because they've lost interest, the mystery's gone, they've gotten old, etc. It's not at all uncommon.
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#8
Thank you very much, MM. This is extremely helpful. God bless.
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#9
(04-15-2019, 09:30 PM)VoxClamantis Wrote:
Magister Musicae Wrote:Why would they be living as brother and sister if they don't understand there's a problem?

Lots of civilly (and sacramentally) married people don't have sex -- not out of virtue (necessarily), but because they've lost interest, the mystery's gone, they've gotten old, etc. It's not at all uncommon.

Yes, thank you — it’s one or more of these reasons.
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