THE Sacrament of Penance is not readily associated with the communitarian liturgical move
ment today. Yet at the recent
meeting of the French Centre of Pastoral Liturgy. a day was de voted to the study of the question.
It was stated that the Sacrament of Penance should not he thought of as a purely individual matter out of relation to the general parochial interest.
In certain parishes and missions in France a start has been made in this direction. The parishioners are gathered together on the evening of Ash Wednesday for a special service that relates itself to the Paschal Vigil at the end of Lent. Suitable Bible readings are given in preparation for a general examination of conscience under the guidance 'of the priest who takes the opportunity of reminding the faithful of matters of conscience ofen overlooked.
Then, in the second part of the service, beginning with a publicly recited act of contrition, confessions are heard hy the clergy available. After the confessions, Mass is said, with a special memento for those who will be baptised during the Paschal Vigil, and Holy Communion received.