EDIT: Leaving Ash Wednesday mass early


Hi guys,
So yesterday I attended a 7:00 am service for Ash Wednesday. Our church also had a 7:00 pm mass, where we had a speaker come and talk during the homily who was said to start speaking at 7:00. I had wanted to attend this speaker, but didn’t realize she was speaking during the mass. Due to lack of parking, by the time I walked in, she had just started talking (I had thought by this time i had missed a good portion of her talk since it was aroumd 7:30)however I was at this point late for mass. I left at the end of the homily.

My question is, was it alright for me to show up late and leave early since I had already attended a mass in the morning. Thanks!


Ash Wednesday is not a holy day of obligation, so there’s no requirement (per se) to attend Mass.

However, your question seems to be one of prudential judgment: is it ok to walk out of Mass for any particular reason? In this particular case, there doesn’t seem to be a problem, unless someone might have seen you and been scandalized by your actions, misunderstanding your intent. Otherwise, there seems to be nothing wrong in what you did.

However, let me ask you a question: did you have a pressing engagement that you had to attend to, that prompted you to leave Mass after the homily? Could you have stayed and participated in the Mass, as part of your Ash Wednesday observation? There was no obligation to stay, but there was the opportunity:wink:




A better question is whether it is acceptable for the homily to be replaced by a presumably non-ordained “speaker” giving a “talk”. It is not. The homily is not optional and reserved to clergy.


I have to ask: What do you mean by “scandalized by your actions”?


I had a Dr. appt. right after and had to leave right after getting Holy Communion for the doctor. I hope God understood.


‘Mass’ is a proper noun.


Let me rephrase my question. Say I had already attended a Sunday/Holy day mass and had a speaker or something of the sort come to my church to talk during a mass at a different time. Would it be acceptable if I only stayed for part of the mass, having already attended another mass at a different time?


Also, in regards to the homily, the lady who was talking ls a theologian who will be speaking for the next two days as part of a “Lenten Retreat” (yesterday was the only mass she will speak at. The next two days are just going to be held at the church and won’t be part of the mass), and I’m guessing the priest may have received permission from the bishop in order to have this lady talk.


Bishops don’t have the authority to permit a homily by a layperson. If this laywoman wanted to promote her Lenten retreat then she could have made a brief announcement after the Post-Communion prayer, but taking over the time allotted for a Homily by an Ordained Minister is a clear abuse.


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