Do you speak to your priest as you leave Mass?

Recently, we had a welcoming weekend for the new priests (we are so blessed!) at our parish; coffee and rolls were offered after Mass, and we were encouraged to use the opportunity to meet the new priests.

One of the new priests said the Mass, and as he stood in the lobby near the doors, he was often standing there alone. This is not the first time I’ve seen this, nor has it been only with this priest.

We always say hello to the priest after Mass, and perhaps relate something quick to him if it strikes us (like his homily); at the least, we thank him and wish him well. I’m amazed at how often the priest is standing there alone, while groups and groups of people are speaking to each other, and not looking the priest in the eye.

Why wouldn’t you speak to him on your way out? It’s not like there is a line, (although I will wait), you aren’t interrupting him, and he just helped you celebrate the most glorious part of your week.

Also, since our new priest was saying one of his first Masses, having been here but a couple weeks, I’m the only one who introduced herself to him before we processed into the church. Sad. :frowning:

Different tempermants…some are not “hey lets go say hi” and other are :slight_smile:

My parish is super small, so it is difficult to not speak to the priest. If a person stays for lunch (most people do), he’ll be sure to seek out and speak to you. He’ll stop by and speak to almost everyone there for a few minutes.

In larger parishes, my experience is the opposite of yours. I rarely see the priests alone and they are always in demand.

Our Pastor makes it impossible to not speak to him, he stands right by the door and extends his hand. To not shake or at least say ‘hello’ would be the height of rudeness.

But his sociable ways don’t come close to the experience that I had a few weeks ago when I went to the 8:30 am Mass at the Cathedral while at a conference in that city. When I walked in the priest didn’t just say hello, he reached out, put his arm around my shoulder and hugged me. I was taken aback but since I have a few friends, male and female, who have no sense of personal space, I’m not unused to people who violate mine. Luckily I didn’t have a problem with that. I could see that some people would.

As I’m a free slave for the clerics during Mass (also known as an acolyte :rolleyes:), they perhaps get too much of me already! But they’re the sort of guys that you can always have good conversations with, I talk with them until they get tired! :smiley:

But yeah, I think it’s not very nice to just leave the priest there alone. Rather, it may be a bit rude; he’s not a waiter, that simply serves the bread to the waiter. People should engage in conversations with him, and engaging with people of this type is never an effort, but it’s usually joyful. I agree it’s a bit sad indeed… :frowning:

Try to see if you can have a group of people with you, and suggest to approach him to the group, not even if it is just to say hi. It’s always nice to do that with priests that rcently arrived, and it lets him to become more familiar to the flock. You know the deal; the more the sheep knows, the more the entire flock trusts! :thumbsup:

My experience is the opposite; everyone likes to say hello to our priests after Mass.

Phemie, I hope the one who hugged you had simply mistaken you for someone else. :slight_smile:

Our former Priest would shake hands or say hello to quite a few people (not all – too many to greet at a time when most were leaving). However, our new priest (who is originally from Nigeria) told us at our first Mass, just after the final blessing, that in Nigeria, everyone hugs after Mass, it is custom, and not in any way sexual or overly friendly, just custom. After Mass, he hugged everyone (men and women) as we left the Sanctuary (out in the entrance hall). Now, it’s a habit with all of us to not only hug him (very briefly) as we leave, but we also hug each other! (We are careful about hugging teens and children, due to most of us having had Virtus training), but those of us who know them and their parents well, will give a brief hug to our teenage servers, although the men, unless they are close friends of the parents, do not do so --mostly older women hug the teens & kids, as we’re in our 70’s and up. I think it has made a wonderful difference in our Parish. What used to be Mass with a formalized “hello” on our way out, has now become a group which is friendly, open and smiling after Mass. Our Priest also always has a huge smile on his face as he greets us after Mass, and everyone else has started smiling as well, which hasn’t happened in this Parish in 21 years!

Definitely go speak to your Priest and tell him you enjoyed his homily, or that a part of either the homily or the Gospel reading spoke to your heart in a special way. Hugging a Priest who was not raised in a tradition of this being custom, is not a proper means of greeting, although permissible, perhaps at Christmas, which is so special to all. Remember, your Priest has many Masses to say at Christmas, if he does Midnight Mass, he has to arise only a few hours later to say the Christmas Morning Mass, is tired, and does not have his family with him at Christmas! He might appreciate a brief hug and a cheery “Merry Christmas”, as this is not only a very busy time for him, but often a lonely one!:slight_smile:

Our priest had the same experience for over a year (nearly 2) with only a couple of us speaking to him. Some were downright rude and hostile, turning their backs on him and not answering his greeting when they entered the church before mass. Sadly ours is not a welcoming community and there is some attitude. I think even the best of the Pope’s would have the same experience.

By the way he is a wonderful priest but has an outward appearance of solemnity and reserve in our church, but this falls away at the Cathedral and 2nd church in our parish where people are more open and welcoming. It is sad because people are missing out on the fruits of his gifts, one of which is his spiritual direction and the other is a fantastic sense of humour.

Yes I have spoken to the priests leaving mass. I would like to just stand there and listen too but the people already there rush away like I am imposeing. I would like to talk in a group after mass with the priests too, not just alone. I don’t always have that much to say. I find listening to conversation interesting too. I think it is sad that the priests at your church would stand alone after mass. Something strange is happening. I wonder what it is?

Not usually; he is normally like a rock in the middle of a stream of people. But no matter, he already knows I love him :smiley:

It depends on whether the priest stands at the entry/exit point at the end of Mass to greet the congregation.

Some of our more extrovert priests in our parish do like to stand at the entry/exit point and to say hello or goodbye to members of the congregation.
Other priests in our parish do not partake in this.

I do make a point of greeting the priest, usually on my way out of Mass, and I say “thank you” to the priest for celebrating Mass with us.

Our priests graciously make themselves available after every Mass, with the exception being when confessions are requested, and then he will immediately retire to the confessional and proceed to heal souls instead of chit chat.

I am a special case, because I rarely line up to speak to the priest after Masses, partly because sometimes I am rushing for a bus. But I have two other reasons: (1) I work at the parish and volunteer often, so I have ample opportunity to converse with the priest when he isn’t so busy with the rest of the flock. And (2) I am a liturgical minister, and the end of Mass is often a busy time for me, as I might be tearing down the setup in the choir area, tending the gift shop, or filling in as sacristan.

So the end of Mass is actually the least opportune time I have to chat with the priests. But I highly recommend it for the rest of the faithful, particularly if you have a compliment owed to him. Too many people will make complaints to priests about the liturgy they just saw, and so I feel that priests should always be complimented if we perceive they did something RIGHT. I always pat them on the back if they chose the Roman Canon, or used more Latin or chant, or made a strong homiletical point about going to Confession. I make my preferences and favorites abundantly clear, and I just try to keep my mouth shut about annoyances, out of a sense of charity.

The priest and deacon stand at the door after Mass, so it’s hard to not say “hi” to them. If you forget to say “hi” to either one of them, they will grab your hand, shake it, and tell you to have a good evening.

Great replies, and what I was looking for.

I did forget that one of the most important :wink: football games in the city in many years was yesterday; still, I find the priest more important than a quarter of football. However, many people were in the foyer

Thanks for the information and perspectives that I may have not considered.

Most of the time I don’t. I usually sit in the first couple of pews and by time I get to the back of the church he has hugged/shaken hands with 500+ people. My ride usually sits towards the back of the church and can usually be at the car by time I make it out of my pew! I have taken to sneaking out of the side chapel and avoiding the crush. I miss saying hi to them though :frowning:

to: Elizium23: I asked once before, but since I have a major “curiosity bump” in my make-up, I’ll ask again: What is “formerly ultamontane”? I’ve never heard the term, and as your posts make it clear you are now Catholic, what is the “ultramontane”? I’m very curious. I understand “ultra”, but the “montane” sounds French, but have no idea what it is. Thanks!:shrug:

Thank you Elizium23! Interesting History, and sounds like it may have started as Italian, but still sounds more like a French term…Interestingly, it seems to have been most strongly used in both Italy and France. Never had heard the term before, although my study of History did mention some of this, but without using this particular term (as far as I remember!) Appreciate the History lesson, and found it fascinating!:thumbsup:

I don’t talk to my parish priest after mass because there is a line of 100 people all taking 5 minutes each to talk to him.

To the OP,
I wonder if your new priest gives off kind of a shy, introvert vibe?

My parish priest is very extroverted and sociable and he can’t go anywhere without people pulling him aside to talk to him. I went to a luncheon once and he couldn’t get away!

I always try to at least thank Father for the Mass. I try not to talk his ear off or anything unless I genuinely need something, so as not to deny access to him to those who need to say something serious.

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