Today our Diocese has instituted a diocesan wide day of Confession. So this morning I geared myself up and went. It was not easy because I had to take the 3 year old with me. Well I didn't have to, but since my confessions are not drawn out affairs usually I figured he could deal with it. It's good for children to see their parents go to confession. I've never seen my parents (to my knowledge) so I know this is one of those examples that needs to be set.
I've taken HB with me. He was old enough and mature enough to sit in the pew and keep himself occupied. Knee wanted to light a candle, go view the altar, dance around the pews, but when it came to confession....putting him in a tiny box with me and the priest terrified him. As in he ran back out the door. And I wasn't about to let him be in the sanctuary by himself or with the older people who came in.
Both the priest and myself had to go and chase him down and bribe him to come back in. The entire time I was giving my confession he squirmed in my lap and hide his face. I'm glad I brought my list along with an Act of Contrition because it was very difficult concentrating on what I needed to say.
In case anyone is interested, children can go into the confessional with parents. They are bound to the seal as well, but of course children below a certain age aren't likely to say anything anyway. This is the same for translators. If for example you are deaf, you can ask someone to come into the confessional with you and they too are bound by the seal.
Another interesting fact, you don't have to be Catholic to go to confession. You just have to be baptized and fit a certain set of criteria: from an Eastern Church (Coptic, Orthodox), in danger of death, or in the process of converting from Protestantism. That being said a non-Catholic should be respectful that it is indeed a Sacrament. I've read some stories of non-Catholic persons seeking out confession and spiritual advice from a priest during times of spiritual crisis. I would encourage speaking to a priest rather than just simply confession if you find yourself in that position.
I've read that the Pope has asked that Friday be a day of Confessions world-wide (I guess my diocese planned this in advance of the Holy Father's directive). So consider popping in and giving your soul a cleanse this Friday. No excuses! If I can do it with my squirmy bolting child, you can too.