Decorating our refurbished confessional: Ideas, please!

curtainHere’s one of our best all-time go to guys who can help get anything done. He’s holding up a section of curtain that had been hanging from a shower curtain rod attached to the ceiling of the cry-room, our makeshift confessional through the decades. This was a GlenMary parish until recently, as were all of the parishes in Western North Carolina. This was the last one they let go to the diocese, it being inclusive of perhaps the poorest county in all of Appalachia, Graham County. For the years I’ve been here we had an absolute priority: GET RID OF THE MOLD! It was deadly. The previous pastor is still on sick leave. But now it’s time to seriously refurbish the confessional. What we’ve done is to remove the curtains and put up office partitions which we hacked through so as to put in a traditional fixed grill:

confessional screen

What we need to do now is to put up some appropriate art and aids. Thus, on either side of the window, following the example given in the Pontifical Basilicas over in Rome, we would like to hang framed Acts of Contrition, English on the one side and Spanish on the other. I’d like to hang a big crucifix above, slightly to the left of center of the screen, perhaps that of San Damiano, with a framed image of the Guadalupana just slightly below and to the right of center of the screen. Dunno… Any ideas? Anything else? I think we need to add some cushioning to the kneeler. It seems like it’s just a board covered with white vinyl.

17 Comments

Filed under Confession, Year of Mercy

17 responses to “Decorating our refurbished confessional: Ideas, please!

  1. Sounds great – the only thing I might add is a picture of Jesus hugging the sinner. I think it is such a comforting picture. You have probably seen it. Jesus is standing on a could in a field of blue sky and a soul in a white gown being hugged by Jesus. Or perhaps a picture of Jesus holding a lamb.- the Good Shepherd. Most folks feel somewhat anxious when confessing. I think a picture showing Jesus’ gentleness and love would be nice.

  2. Father George David Byers

    Good idea, joisygoil. That totally didn’t come to mind. I like it. Anyone else?

  3. Teresa

    Can’t tell how large the room is from the pics, but perhaps a small shelf for a box of tissues.

  4. Father George David Byers

    @ Teresa. Excellent idea. Again, I just didn’t think of that. This is the difference between men and women. If men weep for their misdeeds, they just wipe their faces on their sleeves. ;-)

  5. Father George David Byers

    Someone just sent an email saying “How about a print of Rembrandt’s Return of the Prodigal Son?”

    That also didn’t come to mind, strangely enough, especially today. But there’s a reason why I don’t like it.

  6. nancy brockhoff

    Image of Divine Mercy? I like all the suggestions so far. Don’t make it too busy though. Gazing upon the crucifix keeps me focused on what my sin is. I really like having a copy of the Act of Contrition, because, dang if I don’t get so overwhelmed, my mind goes blank after “Oh God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee….”

  7. Deaconb

    Any room for picture or small statue of St. Pio or St. John Vianney?

  8. Father George David Byers

    @ Deaconb – Hey! What about Saint Mandic?!

  9. Nan

    I second the Rembrandt. It’s incredible in person but there’s a print available, a copy of which ius in the confessional near me. Yesterday, the priest at St Louis explained, for those who didn’t know, that the Father, who represents God the Father, always waits for the penitent and runs to meet him, so great is His love for us.

    There’s a pizza place in the skyway that has photos of St John Paul and of St Pio, courtesy of the owner’s mom, who brought them when visiting from Italy.

  10. Looked up St Mandic because I had never heard of him before. I love his reply to those who said he was too lenient in confession. “Should the Crucified blame me for being lenient, I would answer Him: Lord, you gave me this bad example. I have not yet reached the folly of your having died for souls.” Love it! Sounds like something a guy from Minnesota would say.

  11. Father George David Byers

    If only I could be that snarky!!!!!!!!

  12. meshugunah

    If you’re going to have the tissues, have a lined wastebasket as well. Ladies’ clothes are often without convenient pockets…. How close are the bathrooms for handwashing? Would hand sanitizer be needed? (Don’t mind me – I cry like a baby every time!)

  13. meshugunah

    Replying to myself – grocery bags are great watebasket liners FWIW…

  14. pelerin

    As I prefer a completely dark confessional I’ve never noticed if there is anything on the wall! Joisygoil’s comment on people feeling ‘somewhat anxious’ going to Confession made me smile as in my case it is an vast understatement!

  15. Nan

    Joisygoil, you have some reading to do? Father posted beautiful photos of the translation of Sts. Mandic and Pio from Rome, where they hung out with the Missionaries of Mercy.

    Oh, the door to my local Missionary of Mercy has the Year of Mercy logo on it.

  16. ~ In reply to Nan – I missed that post – thanks for the heads up.
    I’ll have to find that post.

  17. sanfelipe007

    All the good ideas have been taken. I got nuthin’!

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