It was not a fool-proof system, of course, but it was a logical and sincere attempt to ensure that nobody was making a sacrilegious Communion in the parish.
A couple of significant problems with this approach are perhaps the reasons why it is not a current, widespread practice.
By Easter he had a huge stack of cards, showing which parishioners had made their Easter Duty and who hadn’t.
But nowadays, people hardly ever go to confession like they used to, and nobody ever talks about Easter Duty.
What can change over time, however, are the disciplinary practices (what one might call “housekeeping details”) pertaining to this sacrament, like that described in Janet’s question.
Let’s take a look at what the current law says about confessing one’s sins at Easter time, and compare it to church law in the past.
The implication, therefore, is that once a child has reached the age of reason and has received the sacrament of penance for the first time, this annual requirement applies. Thus if he is not conscious of having committed any such sins, there is no requirement to receive the sacrament.It is well known that the late pontiff himself confessed his sins every single day—and one might reasonably assume that they were venial, rather than mortal sins!So what was happening in Janet’s parish when she was a kid?The most fundamental theological teaching about the sacrament of penance—that reception of the sacrament is necessary when we are conscious of having committed grave sin (c.988.1 )—will never change, because as Catholics we believe that this sacrament was instituted for this very purpose by Christ Himself.