Friday, 30 November 2012

Pay a visit to the 'Wobbly Room' this Advent

I came across the term 'Wobbly Room' on a Catholic Primary School website.

"Bless me Father for I have wobbled"

It refers to a room where the teacher sends the child that is bad or disruptive.

Having grandchildren, I do know that the current trend is to banish children who misbehave to the 'naughty spot' or to the 'naughty step' (at the bottom of the stairs).
This appears to work quite well; it allows a cooling off period when feelings run high and it gives a chance for the child to reflect and to, hopefully, step up to the mark and say "sorry".

I guess that the 'Wobbly Room' works in much the same way but I would much rather that they called it the 'Naughty Room' because that is what it is.

Wobbly Room is just a shade too Children's TV-ish for me.

Catholic adults have access to a Wobbly Room in the form of a confessional box; a visit there also causes us to reflect, examine what we have done or failed to do and to say sorry and resolve not to be naughty again.

I do not like going to Confession which is daft because, afterwards, I feel as if I am floating on air.

But I have to screw my courage to the wall to go.

A close relative told me that she does not go as often as she should because her parish church has done away with the Wobbly Room Confessional and you now have to sit face to face with your Confessor and he, inevitably starts proceedings by saying something like:

"Have you seen the latest Bond film yet S......?"

This, frankly, gives her the heeby jeebies. She yearns for the dark of the Confessional box and for the small amount of false anonymity offered by the grille.

And also, when you have struggled to recall all of your sins and to mentally list them in descending order of seriousness, you do not want to have to give your view on Daniel Craig's performance or the result of X Factor.
That is what Mike my builder calls "naff" and we already have enough "naff" issues to worry about in today's Church.


  1. I can emphasise with your relative.I have great difficulty with face to face,and there is only one place with a "Box" within eight miles ,and I have to say I dont venture there very often!I would rather kneel in the dark before a crucifix and confess my sins.Words dont come easily for me face to face,and all that I meant to say,I dont say,and come away feeling bit downhearted.Also in face to face the priest often forgets the penance,and I am usually too dumb to ask.

  2. How can I concentrate of my wrongdoings and reconciliation if I have give a movie review?

    Wobbly is a funny word.

    I've only gone face-to-face.


  3. "Wobbly room" ... hopefully that'll make my windup a little easier this Advent.


  4. Sandy, it's awful and quite wrong yet the priests will insist on doing it.
    Lena, face-to-face is the only way.
    Tony, you and me also!

  5. Over here in Canada if something is wobbly it means it is unsteady, like a chair with uneven legs wobbles to and fro.

    A wobbly room would suggest that the room rocks to and fro.

    A confessional here in Canada is the one with the priest in the middle cubicle (for lack of a better word) with a penitent's cubicle on either side. The penitents side is dark and there is a screen (to secure the anonymity of the penitent)and a sliding door which closes to secure the seal of the confession of the other penitent. The name was given to this "room" when the sacrament was called The Sacrament of Confession.

    The Reconciliation Room is a room that has a chair and a kneeler and though it may have a screen it does allow for face to face confession. It is given this room when the sacrament was renamed The Sacrament of Reconciliation.

    I have no knowldge of when the sacrament was renamed The Sacrament of Wobble to warrant a change of name to Wobbly Romm

  6. Thanks Puff, I like your terminology. I also have an aversion to the term Reconciliation Room, smacks of Victorian style punishments!

  7. I not only prefer the word confessional I prefer the darkened cubicle, curtained, with a kneeler and screen and screen's sliding cver. The darkness removes all destraction for a good meditation and strengthenes the illusion that the concfessor won't know exactly who is confessing.

    Okay I know that my parish priest knows my voice but the illusion of anonymity is important to some of us.

    The priest might be obliged to keep the seal of the confessional, and can't tell anyone else but I don't think I could be competely honest face to face. I'd be concerned with "what will Fr. think of me." And that would make it very difficult to confess honestly. And if you can't be honest in the confessional really why go?