“Ask a Priest: Should I Skip Communion If I Attended a Bawdy Comedy Show?”

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Q: Do I need to do a second confession if I did the first confession last week after almost a year? I went to confession on a Saturday afternoon, and that same evening my boyfriend and I went to a comedy show where they happened to be speaking some explicit sexual jokes – something I wasn’t expecting. In the back of my mind I told myself that I wasn’t ready to receive Communion the next day because my mind was already polluted by the show. So, do I need to go for another confession? Let me know, please. – A.

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: If the jokes were unexpected, and if you didn’t “give in” to them or consent to any impure thoughts, etc., then it seems you didn’t commit any mortal sin. If that is the case, you could receive Communion.

It’s good, though, that you apparently refrained from receiving Communion because of your doubts in this case. That shows that your conscience is active.

That said, this might be a good moment for a heart-to-heart talk with your boyfriend, and to figure out how you both ended up in this show.

For instance, did the two of you do enough research beforehand? Were there any telltale signs that things would be a bit risqué? Was the venue recommended by friends?

In other words, this might be a good moment to step back and look at the bigger picture of your social life.

For instance, what is the normal center of gravity in your relationship? Do you attend Mass together? Do you encourage each other in the prayer life? Do you attend Catholic events (for instance, adoration or formative lectures)?

It might be a good moment to make sure your time together is spent in worthwhile activities. This is how you can get to know each other better and to see if your values and aspirations are compatible.

Good, too, would be to take advantage of the sacrament of confession more often. It’s not just meant for serious sins. It’s a sacrament that can help you and your friend grow in holiness. I hope some of this helps.

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One Comment
  1. It is great that after going to the comedy show and hearing the jokes told, you felt the ‘pang’ to your conscience. The Holy Spirit is at work.

    Let’s face the truth, ‘this world’ is all risqué, the ads on the internet, tv, newspapers…modesty in dress and speech is ‘rare.’ So, how to zig and zag? Father is correct, you must set the example for others of your generation. Rather than going to a ‘comedy’ club / consider community playhouses (musicals or well known plays that might have been on Broadway but done locally) College campuses also put on plays and comedy that is entertaining and acceptable. The movies? If it got an R… it probably has some ‘suggestive impurity.’ PG . . . isn’t always for kids, it means there is ‘a word’ tossed in (but not always spoken) or it can be scary or something. BUT GENERALLY a good storyline. Enjoy nice dinners in nice restaurants, a glass of wine, maybe even dinner theater. If there’s one sport you both enjoy… spend time together doing it: golf, tennis, bowling. Visit a specialty museum if you enjoy a particular topic. Or Auto Shows for him. Or browse flea markets for you? If you like a particular hobby or arts and crafts (ceramics or painting) take a class together or if you like ceramics you go alone, if he likes auto shows, he go alone….IT GIVES something to share when together. PLENTY OF DECENT WAYS TO ENJOY a night or day out. And heck, find a charity you both like and volunteer together… helping out at soup kitchen, visiting a nursing home, etc. (what good you do, bring it to the MASS and ‘offer up’ the good, uniting it to Christ’s supreme sacrifice for intention of (name it)
    . . . YOUR SANCTIFICATION will increase…

    When dating, avoid hiking alone on some wooded trail … as it avoids temptation part of human nature.

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