It started two years ago as outside confessions for three hours in the parish parking lot. It was an idea for access to Holy Eucharist, as one would drive up “curbside” to the priest in his car in the parking lot. He could distribute Eucharist to those ready to receive Christ. Confessions were done for mostly all comers in the three hours. 

It was what we could do at Resurrection in offering sacraments. The churches were all closed by the government by a pandemic control strategy of keeping crowded places empty. There were no public Masses, just private ones by the priests. The parish also filmed a Sunday Mass every week for people’s home viewing anytime on the Lord’s Day, via our website. We filmed a daily devotion, as well. 

People wanted to be with Jesus as Sacrament.  Added to the parish lot was an invitation for Eucharistic Adoration over the three Friday afternoon hours of 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. . A 24/7/365 window was chosen on the church side for view of a parish tabernacle, easily seen from the parish parking lot on our Greencastle Road side lot. Cars could park in 20 spaces that were as close as 30 feet outside from the parish tabernacle inside the church at the window. Spotlights were put on the tabernacle for clear viewing.  The Reconciliation Parking Spot of the priest was in clear view of the tabernacle, so he became the constant onlooker of The Lord as Euchartist from his confessions spot. 

That was two years ago or more. Resurrection Burtonsville parish keeps devoted to its every Friday time of 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. for the faithful’s access to Reconciliation and Eucharist. The Friday practice has kept going—even long after a good many members have returned for Sunday Mass!  It’s become a regular Friday holy time for parishioners and other Catholic guests. 

The parish keeps to its outdoor times from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. each Friday in the parish lot, where adorers of Jesus and penitents to Jesus gather. Then the Confessions and Adoration move inside the church from 6:30 until the 7:30 p.m. Benediction prayers begin.  It makes for three hours availability each Friday of Adoration and Confession. By the numbers still visiting the parish’s Friday afternoon offering, it shows that the practice has served a a crucial need—made most obvious in the pandemic times. We needed more Adoration and better and longer Confession times. People of other nearby parishes are welcome to come on by and benefit by it. We also post what other nearby parishes offer for other times of confession availability or Eucharistic Adoration..Our regular Friday times offer a new option of serving Catholic’s needs. Added on to the schedule has been First Saturday morning Masses at 7:30 following by a Holy Hour with Adoration (a silent time). 

Fr. Barry, the sole ADW priest at Resurrection, covers most of it, and gets regular Friday help in Benediction closing from the other ADW clergy here–Deacon Beiberich, who also leads the Adoration-Benediction time at Riderwood Community.

Fr. says that all the Fridays and the First Saturdays are “ worth the effort because of the need and the response we have had with it since the beginning. Deacon and I wanted Christ to be Sacramentally available to as many as we could serve. Friday afternoon to evening was a common free time to offer here… we’re not stopping the practice right now in Easter 2022, because it is still so appreciated and supported… I know how the curb-side Confessions practice seemed odd at first, or so the viewing of a Monstrance or Tabernacle through a window was different. Yet,  Jesus in a Lukan parable in chapter 16  said how He wanted His servants to be as clever or more shrewd than worldly enterprises. Therefore, if restaurants were doing curb-side, and getting some business back—then we felt the Church could do her more valuable service in a curb-side way. We found an immediate response to it! We do Confessions in a reverent way, despite the car-to-car side-by-side situation or of the walk-ups. The number of people in Eucharistic Adoration also surpassed any amount of participation we had before the pandemic, even if in outdoor practice for so long.” This pastor is likewise getting much more Friday adoration time in, too, from my car or from any outdoor seat!” 

Fr. Barry hosts most of these weekly triple hours; people can visit whenever they want to. Even during the rest of the week, the 24/7 Tabernacle view has regular visits day and night by people.  The church is also open to visits, via the office now, and we have all the regular liturgies taking place. 

Our other Catholics at Riderwood Chapel also have kept to their monthly times of Confession and Adoration times there.  

For more Eucharistic Amazement and more emphasis on the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the parish has a new First Saturday 8:30 a.m. Mass in church, followed by a Holy Hour with Adoration and Confession time up to 10 a.m. Benediction. Pope Francis has encouraged the above practices, saying: “The Christian life needs to be nourished by attentive listening to God’s word and, above all, by the cultivation of a personal relationship with the Lord in Eucharistic adoration, the privileged place for our encounter with God…(and) to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation means to be wrapped in a warm embrace...(and)We are called to be ‘ambassadors for Christ’ (2 Cor. 5:20). Ours is a ministry of reconciliation…(it) means above all to invite everyone to a renewed personal encounter with the Lord Jesus.”  

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