Reading a post about confession on another blog reminded me of an experience I had while waiting in line for confession here several months ago. The confession line at St Ignatius in Tokyo is very competitive because you have to get there before the 5pm start time or else you had better bring a book, or a rosary, and be prepared to wait for around one hour. Don’t worry there are chairs to sit on while waiting. So I’m sitting, waiting, and the evening mass has started which is fine but the line isn’t moving that quickly and it is now into the liturgy of the Eucharist. Time comes for the faithful, and in a state of grace, Catholics to receive the Holy Eucharist and I don’t because I’m still unconfessed waiting in the line. This is where it gets tricky as three or four Japanese women (well their books were in Japanese) one or two even wearing a mantilla leave the line and go get the Eucharist, then return to the confession line!!! First one went then the others followed in a sort of uncertainty, although I got the impression they looked more worried about leaving their bags or losing their chairs in line than uncertainty if they should get the Eucharist or not. Maybe they only had venial sins and could actually go who knows but I thought it looked bad. Plus I think the church should get a second priest hearing confessions to meet the demand so people can have time to confess their sins BEFORE going to Communion.
By the time I was squeaky clean absolved the mass had ended long ago and a taize prayer thing had started in the church sanctuary. I had heard of the word taize and knew it wasn’t Catholic in origin but I had never actually heard what goes on at one of their meetings before and it was spectacularly awful! I couldn’t stand their “singing” it was like cats in heat scratching their claws on a blackboard. Maybe it`s great to listen to for people who are into smoking a joint, banging bongo drums, and swaying around a campfire but not in the church sanctuary. They didn’t have bongos just a guitar I think but you get the idea. Listening to that was already like a penance but I got my absolution, rushed out, and said my real penance on the train.