Yeah, but the "form of the ritual" can inspire people. You probably don't go to the church for which this is planned, but I'd bet the line is pretty long at the confessional in that church before Mass.
I don't know how old you are, but once upon a time, there were two confession times per Saturday, and about 15 minutes of Confession before every Mass. People went a lot because if they went to Mass, the opportunity was there.
Plus, you didn't have the clergy telling you that going more than once a year was excessive (which I heard in CA).
I agree with Livius. My priest, who says the old and new Mass, has confession twice on Saturdays, before 2 new Masses on Sundays, and once or twice a week besides. Right before a major holy day comes up it is not unusual for him to be in the confessional for five hours a day!
My pastor mentioned this recently because he is 83 years old and long periods in the confessional are really getting hard on him. He always says, however, that no matter how tired he gets in the confessional, the peace he feels at helping people reconcile with God always guarantee that he'll sleep like a baby.
"I'm just wondering why interest in the Tridentine mass is so high, yet interest in the Sacrament of Confession/Reconciliation seems so low."
I've found that where the Tridentine Mass is offered, interest in the Sacrament of Confession is high. Interest in Confession at Novus Ordo parishes is generally low. At the church where I attend the Tridentine Mass, the lines for Confession are quite long week after week.
From what I understand, those Catholics drawn to the Tridentine Mass, frequent confession. They are more introspective about their faults vs their faith.
I go to Mass every week, and everyone goes up to receive Communion, but Confession is a mere two times a week, for a half-hour. I include myself in that group.
In my very small Maronite Catholic parish, Confession is offered up until 30 minutes before Mass. There are no takers. Recognizing and preaching on the need for Confession, Father also offers two Reconciliation Services at Easter and Christmas. These beautiful services are accompanied by two Readings + the Gospel, a homily and an introspective reflection on our faults, prior to private confession. Again, no surprise, that those who avail themselves of these two semi-annual events, are the Catholics who adhere to tradition and who attend weekly Mass. Of late, the attendees include more Roman than Maronite Catholics.
Conversion starts with the heart, not the form of the ritual.
Agreed. Unfortunately, in today's secular society, oftentimes the heart doesn't respond until the grim reaper begins to knock at the door.
"Conversion starts with the heart, not the form of the ritual."
The purpose of ritual is to speak to the heart.
Where there is beauty and majesty in the ritual, the heart may be inspired. Where the ritual is trite...
Because weekly confession is not necessary for salvation, nor is it physically possible for all Catholics. There are 400,000 priests in the world. If every confession was just 3 minutes long on average, absolving every Catholic weekly would require all priests to hear confessions 150 hours per week.
Confession is only necessary for salvation if one is committing mortal sin. If you are committing mortals sins every week, you probably have some pretty serious life issues, and just going to confess them all the time is probably not the answer. Confession is only effective if you've already resolved to change to life and are actually doing so.
Its nice to go to confession just for venial sins weekly or monthly, but we need to be aware of laying up burdens upon people that are apart from the Gospel. Regular reception of the Eucharist, and regular prayer, are more than sufficient to cure most of our venial faults.
We need to keep in mind that the first Christians managed to make it through life with usually just a single opportunity for confession after Baptism. Frequent confession was not widely practiced until at least 1000 years after the time of Christ.