Attending Mass At Different Parishes

Crazy as this may sound, it would be better then expecting people to stay for 4 more verses of a song.

We are there for Mass, not a choir performance.

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I personally, don’t like to leave until the final notes are sung (which irritates my mother who likes to leave ASAP to avoid being crushed in the crowds of people).

On the rare occasion that we have had to leave early, our priest has known the reason beforehand and been very understanding.


I’ve always thought, “It’s a recessional hymn, why aren’t we recessing?”


I was taught that it’s rude to leave before the recessional hymn is finished. It is rare to see someone leave beforehand.

At my old parish we sang every stanza of every hymn and I loved that and thought that was the norm. Sadly, I was mistaken as other parishes only sing two or three stanzas. We have asked our priest to let us sing the entire recessional hymn but he doesn’t want to make that change, which is fine. It’s his decision.

People used to be expected to remain for a few minutes after Mass was over in order to offer a prayer of thanksgiving. I see this when i attend a TLM but not so much at a NO Mass.


At the Cathedral, at the Archdiocese, we used to pick up the hymnal upon entering and recess singing, hymnal in hand, and replace it in the bookcase on our way out the door.

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Do you know who taught thjs? Was it a “church” teaching or a family/group teaching?

I know that there is an official ending of the Ordinary Form. There is a time that the priest says “Mass has ended.”

Is there a time when the Extraordinary Form ends? Or is the end more fluid?

A few people will do this at both the Sunday and weekday Ordinary Form Masses. Probably more people do it at weekday Masses.

I feel like the recessional hymn is one of the few opportunities I have to “vote with my feet”. Approve of the musical selection and arrangement? Stay. Don’t approve? Leave ASAP.

Maybe it’s petty, but I have strong feelings about sacred music and that’s that.

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Two verses of the recessional is what we do at our parish. The priest, deacon, and altar servers start processing out at the beginning of the second verse.

Well, responses like yours has surely given me pause to think further about my opinion on this issue of leaving before the last hymn is over. I never thought of it this way I will meditate on it further.

Thank you all for your responses.

We were taught never to leave until Father had finished consuming the Sacred Species and purifying the diskos and chalice after Liturgy.
You said your prayers after Liturgy while Father was doing those things. When Father leaves the altar, then one could leave.


In our church, on big feasts (e.g. Pentecost) we have anointing (Myrovania) after Liturgy. As the lay cantor, I lead the singing until everyone has been anointed.

Signing off now. Good night!


Mass does not need to be that long. If you do not have a long, elaborated sermon, an extended message after communion (“please be seated”), and only an opening hymn and a recessional, Mass can easily be over in less than an hour. I used to attend a fairly small parish, and very often it didn’t take over 45 minutes.

I noted this in another thread a few weeks ago, but sermons, especially by younger priests, seem to be getting longer and longer. No disrespect intended, but many is the time that I have sat there and thought “the sermon could end right here and it would make perfect sense”, but no, it lasts another 5 to 10 minutes, the priest wants to say more and to elaborate on matters. Compared to Protestant sermons, that is nothing, but we do not go to Mass primarily to be taught and to be inspired, we go for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and, if we are worthy, to receive the Body of Christ.

Strictly speaking, yes, Mass is “over” when the priest says “the Mass is ended, go in peace” (ite, missa est), and you would “fulfill your obligation” if you left at that point, but it is customary, and viewed as more polite, to wait until the priest has left and the recessional hymn has ended. Remaining even after this to give thanks to Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist is the best five minutes you will ever spend.

“Obligation” sounds horrible to non-Catholics. We really need to find a different word for that.

I’m not seeing a problem with younger priest sermons, but several area deacons and also a couple of older charismatic priests I have heard just go on and on and on. The deacons need to learn to be more concise and the charismatic priests seem to like to ramble, sometimes disjointedly. There are some other charismatic priests who keep it short and sweet so I know it can be done.

Younger priests and longer sermons are something I have noticed. Maybe it’s just this diocese. This is the South and people in general just tend to be more verbose. African priests also tend to speak longer — that may just be a cultural thing with them as well.

Our former pastor, now deceased, was formed before Vatican II and his sermons tended to be “to the point” and relatively short, though not too short. At daily Mass he would offer a “mini-sermon” of just three or four sentences, very brief and pithy. This was a nice touch.

It does not surprise me. No one seems to want to stay behind after Mass these days for even five minutes quiet reflection or prayer. It may be linked to recent surveys that have showed many Catholics do not accept, know or understand the concepts of the Real Presence and transubstantiation. If people do not feel awed by what they have just received they are not going to feel compelled to spend a few moments thanking God for it.

It would be interesting, of course, to see how the liturgy is celebrated in the place you visited. I don’t think people take this attitude because they know what they’ve just received and couldn’t care less. I think they learn by example. If the liturgy and honour due to the Blessed Sacrament isn’t there and if in homilies they’re not occasionally reminded of the awesome thing that happens at Communion they may not realise.

If people are rushing out after Mass for other reasons perhaps its time to think about where their priorities lie. What is more important to them. It is Mass or is it getting a good table at a restaurant afterwards or whatever else they are rushing off to after Mass.

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It often is. I’ve heard that African congregations expect the priest to talk at least an hour or they complain.
We currently have a couple of African immigrant priests at two parishes I regularly attend. Both of them do very well on homily length and are also good speakers.

At my church 99% of the people stay until all verses of the final (recessional) hymn are sung because the priest doesn’t begin recessing until the final verse. But, we all do move fast to leave after that because the organist plays a “postlude” that is so loud your ears hurt. You can hear it outside. I feel for the people who try to kneel in prayer after mass.


Perhaps some of us sit in the front of the church. And, therefore, are some of the first to receive. We then return to our seat, kneel and pray, spending more than just a couple of minutes thanking God for the gift we have just received.

Just because someone doesn’t do what you do, doesn’t mean that they don’t believe what you do. They may be expressing it in a different way.

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Like possibly getting home so they can relive their spouse who is taking care of a sick child so said spouse can now go to Mass also? Or any of a number of other things that normal faithful people must do to fulfill all of their responsibilities?

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