Foregoing the Final Blessing: Leaving Mass after receiving Communion


#1

Attended Mass today at a church I normally do not attend. Noticed that approximately 1/3 to close to half of the Mass goers had left Mass after Communion. I really felt embarrassed for the presiding priest. (Although he may be used to this).

I am sure that we receive graces when blessed by the priest at the conclusion of Mass. Why do many decide to forego such graces? Maybe they are unaware of the significance of the final blessing. Maybe they feel it is enough to receive enough graces through reception of the Eucharist. Maybe they just want to beat the traffic and catch their favorite tv program in time.

Should priests inform their congregation that is of benefit that they remain til the end of Mass? Is the final blessing that important anyway?


#2

Perhaps we need to go back to the days when the Church had ‘doorkeepers’ who would lock the doors at the beginning of Mass!

(Yes, I know, modern health and safety regulators would have a fit at such a suggestion!)

Yes, people should stay until the final dismissal. It’s rude not to.


#3

I can understand skipping out for work but ...1/3 of the congregation sounds to me like something else is up.

To miss out on the Priests final blessing to beat traffic is kind of contradictory in my way of thinking.


#4

Its not a sin to leave early but in my view is certainly disrespectful. Mass should not be viewed as an obligation we wish was over and done with quickly. For me Mass is privilege and something to be looked forward to attending.


#5

We also can look at it this way: if Jesus is really present in the Eucharist would you be in a hurry to leave? Now we are not trying to judge those who come late or go back early from/for mass but really sometimes we tend to forget this belief but instead being entangled by the day to day problem of our lives that mass has become a mere obligation and nothing more.

A few minutes before or after the mass, the time we allocate in attending it, surely does not make that much difference though it could mean being late for work or missing the bus. Surely in that case a better plan should be in place. Sure there are genuine reasons but it is for those with less, missing some parts of the mass is really childish. That may include myself.


#6

**The Priest should hang a sign over the doorpost to the Church so that the leaving congregation can see it. On the sign should be written:

“Judas left early too”

:cool:**


#7

^^^This. :thumbsup:


#8

It breaks my heart to leave Mass early every Sunday after receiving my Lord in Holy Communion, but for me, the sad fact is I have to work.

Maybe though, Father can address those who leave early to "beat traffic". Maybe he could say something like,,,"For those who have to work, those that have health issues ect...I can understand the need to leave early, but for the rest, what valid reason do YOU have?" It seems as if priests are affraid to "hurt someones feelings":shrug:


#9

[quote="mymamamary, post:6, topic:313673"]
**The Priest should hang a sign over the doorpost to the Church so that the leaving congregation can see it. On the sign should be written:

"Judas left early too"

:cool:**

[/quote]

I actually attended a church that did this. It was painted across the exits doors in the transept . I think it said "The only Apostle to leave the mass early was Judas Iscariot" or something like that.

I'd never really thought about that before either; it certainly made me rethink leaving the mass early :p


#10

[quote="blaskoman, post:1, topic:313673"]
Attended Mass today at a church I normally do not attend. Noticed that approximately 1/3 to close to half of the Mass goers had left Mass after Communion. I really felt embarrassed for the presiding priest. (Although he may be used to this).

I am sure that we receive graces when blessed by the priest at the conclusion of Mass. Why do many decide to forego such graces? Maybe they are unaware of the significance of the final blessing. Maybe they feel it is enough to receive enough graces through reception of the Eucharist. Maybe they just want to beat the traffic and catch their favorite tv program in time.

Should priests inform their congregation that is of benefit that they remain til the end of Mass? Is the final blessing that important anyway?

[/quote]

Another point a spiritual author brought to my attention is that the worthy reception of Holy Communion does not end when He is placed on our tongues (or hands) but it depends on our disposition for a short time afterwards as well, while His Precious Body resides in us. If we leave unthinkingly right after Holy Communion and turn our minds to the events of the day, we're failing to give God His due and offending Him, Who is so loving as to remain with us until the end of time through the Blessed Sacrament. He deserves to be adored for a short time after Holy Communion.

I think that's more significant than the lack of a final blessing, which is not always given anyway (at requiem Masses, for example).


#11

We leave early sometimes. We have a 3 year old and a 1 year old, and our masses usually last about 1:15-1:30 (we have a priest who gives long, but wonderful homilies). By the time communion is over, they have had about all they can take!


#12

EWTN: "Leaving Mass right after Communion". Quote:

This is a perennial problem, but one which must be faced with patience, insisting, as St. Paul would say, "Opportune et inopportune" (in season and out of season), until the message reaches home.

This question reminded me of the story of a saintly priest who had the same problem with one of his devout parishioners who attended daily Mass but left immediately after Communion. He solved the problem by ordering two altar boys with lighted tapers to walk on either side of him as soon as he started to leave the church and accompany him all the way to his carriage.

When, after three days repeating this action, the somewhat flustered and embarrassed gentleman asked the priest for an explanation, he was told that since Christ was still present in him as he left the church, his presence had to be honored by lighted candles. Needless to say, he never left early again.

Perhaps a strong admonition during one of the Sunday homilies, recalling how the apostles were all there to partake in the Bread of Life at the Last Supper, but left the Lord alone in the Garden and on Calvary, and how we should always follow and be with the Lord, remembering that "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God"? Just some ideas.


#13

I see that a lot as well. It is sad to see people go through the motions as if what they DO as part of tradition will give them salvation.


#14

[quote="DexUK, post:2, topic:313673"]
Perhaps we need to go back to the days when the Church had 'doorkeepers' who would lock the doors at the beginning of Mass!

(Yes, I know, modern health and safety regulators would have a fit at such a suggestion!)

Yes, people should stay until the final dismissal. It's rude not to.

[/quote]

Indeed; I see quite a few people leave after Communion, and I think it is rude not to stay for trivial reasons, but if you absolutely must leave (be it an emergency, etc.) I can see the exception.

My mother and I (we both cannot receive Communion; I have not had my First Communion and she has not gone to Confession yet) once left after Communion, but only once did we do so. Every Mass afterwards, we stayed until the final dismissal ("The Mass has ended, go in peace to love and serve the Lord").

[quote="mymamamary, post:6, topic:313673"]
**The Priest should hang a sign over the doorpost to the Church so that the leaving congregation can see it. On the sign should be written:

"Judas left early too"

:cool:**

[/quote]

:p That seems quite clever!


#15

[quote="thistle, post:4, topic:313673"]
Its not a sin to leave early but in my view is certainly disrespectful.

[/quote]

If a person is showing disrespect to the Mass, the priest, and his fellow parishioners, how is that not a sin?


#16

#17

[quote="ProdglArchitect, post:9, topic:313673"]
I actually attended a church that did this. It was painted across the exits doors in the transept . I think it said "The only Apostle to leave the mass early was Judas Iscariot" or something like that.

I'd never really thought about that before either; it certainly made me rethink leaving the mass early :p

[/quote]

Our parish when I was a kid had a sign that read, "The first person to leave Mass early was Judas."

VERY though-provoking!


#18

[quote="babochka, post:15, topic:313673"]
If a person is showing disrespect to the Mass, the priest, and his fellow parishioners, how is that not a sin?

[/quote]

You are right.

However, if this is done carelessly, that is, without knowledge of having shown disrepsect to the Lord, then there is little or even no sin.

God does not expect the impossible from us. He expects very little. And we are barely able to do it anyways. Some good teaching and even admonition can help, but we can't be too harsh Consider that it's already a chosen few who go to Holy Mass, and they deserve to be especially loved just for that. After all, even the most holy of the members of the Church is an unprofitable servant (Luke 17:10).


#19

I don't notice how many leave immediately after communion since we sit toward the front. However, I did once arrive toward the end of a Mass in order to get the host I needed to visit a homebound parishioner. Some people were leaving, but most stopped at the holy water font before going so I presume they weren't leaving out of disrespect.

My thought is that people just don't know or understand the importance of the final blessing. They are probably just thinking about missing the announcments and recessional hymn neither of which are judged to be too important. I agree with R_C that a bit of teaching is in order.


#20

[quote="R_C, post:12, topic:313673"]
EWTN: "Leaving Mass right after Communion". Quote:

Perhaps a strong admonition during one of the Sunday homilies, recalling how the apostles were all there to partake in the Bread of Life at the Last Supper, but left the Lord alone in the Garden and on Calvary, and how we should always follow and be with the Lord, remembering that "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God"? Just some ideas.

[/quote]

I agree with R_C. But does "...every word that comes from the mouth of God" include the catechism also? I think the Holy Scripture is "God-breathed" is sufficient teaching, rebuking... (2 Tim 3:16-17). Not sure why we need another book, especially one that is "man-breathed".


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