My husband and I have a disagreement as to when it is okay to leave Mass. He said he was taught that it is okay to leave after Communion. I believe that you should not leave before the priest walks down the aisle. I told him I would find out for sure, can you please help to clarify this issue?
So far as I know, this is not something that the Church has legislated on, and so we must rely on prudential judgment.
Unless there is serious reason to leave Mass immediately after Communion, one should stay until the Mass ends. Technically, the Mass ends with “The Mass has ended. Go in peace.” Even so, it is considered polite to wait at least until the recessional has ended, which is after the priest has walked out.