How long is the Mass you attend?


Hello all,

My wife and moved away a few years ago from a parrish that had an excellent priest and we have been trying several Churches in our area and we have not been led to a Church that we can call home. It seems of the 5 Churches we have been to, 4 of the Churches only have sermons that last maybe 10 minutes. The 5th Church, which we enjoyed has a longer sermon but it a good hours drive from our place. We are going to try another Church soon that is another hours drive away. Although I read the bible as much as I can, it is discouraging when we attend a Church and the sermon is very, very short. It would not bother me one bit to even go over an hour for a service. We have almost visited every church within a 1 hour drive from our home. The next Church is a 2 hour drive. We have been praying to God that He will bring us to a Church. There is no doubt it will happen, its just a matter of time. Maybe, God is using this time to bring my wife and I closer to Him? So how long is your Mass.

Thanks, Take care and God Bless


I find that some priests can make more impact on me in a five-minute homily than others could if they were to speak for an hour. How about concentrating on whether the content is good rather than how long they speak. It’s only one part of the Mass, and not the most important part, after all.

And if the priest leaves you wanting more at the end of the homily it’s an excellent sign - spurs you on to do your own thinking, talking and reading about the issues they’ve raised. It’s far better than if you start to wonder when they’re going to finish towards the end or something.


I agree with you, Lily - when it comes to a sermon, it’s quality not quantity which is important. If a priest can keep the congregation engaged fully for ten minutes or more, then he may do so, but in my experience there are very few priests who can do this regularly. However, I do think that sermons can be too short and priests don’t get a chance to put some meat on the bones - I know that some bishops have told priests not to go over four or five minutes. I think that often, while some priests can speak wonderfully in four minutes, such regulations lead to poor quality sermons.

The Mass I go to on Sunday mornings is normally about an hour and ten minutes long. The length, however, is usually not down to the sermon - though the quality of preaching is generally quite good. It is a Mass of the Ordinary Form in Latin, and Holy Communion is distributed under both species, which takes quite a long time. NMHS, I think it’s a pity that you have to travel for so long to find a church that you’re happy with. However, I am in favour of shopping around if you don’t feel you’re being nourished as well as you need to be. I’d advise you to stop timing the sermons and make a decision based purely on the quality and content of them.


The best homilists I have heard can say it all in less than 10 minutes, some in less than five. I have heard some go on and one for 20 minutes or more and they make so many points that I can’t remember most of them after mass. Also we have some foreign priests who I can’t understand at all that go on for a long time. I too would rather hear a short GOOD homily than a long bad one.

I traveled 45 minutes on Sunday just to hear a homily…it was maybe about 12 minutes…which was long for this priest. I went because at the first Mass I went to the priest didn’t say a word about the readings and they were such wonderful readings that I needed to hear a homily about the readings.


One of my former priests was a deeply holy man and I am sure he is in heaven right now. But God bless him, the man would stand in the pulpit and free associate for half an hour. By the time he finished, my eyes were glazed over. Our current pastor preaches for only a few minutes at a time - but his sermons are meaty and keep me thinking for a week.


Maybe it’s just me, but I tend to prefer the shorter homilies. When it’s longer, my mind starts to drift, and I don’t take away as much with me from it. Do I necessarily seek out parishes with priests who give shorter homilies? No, of course not. I think there’s a reason why the Church made it the priest’s discretion how long he wants to make his homilies, and I appreciate the variety that I get in this respect. Just my $0.02.


It takes 20-30 minutes to drive there, depending on the traffic. High Mass itself is about 2 hours long on ordinary days.


Thanks for all the responses,

I see there is some continuity in the length of the masses. I should have elaborated a little bit more into my question. I can definitely see the points of getting lost in a longer sermon on the readings but I guess I was trying to say that our priests do not give enough meat and potatoes in the alloted time given for the sermon. They start to get into the “Meat and Potatoes” and then its ended, leaving me wanting more. We live in a remote area so we can not exactly find a real close church. Thanks, for your replies anyway.

God Bless!


I don’t believe in ‘shopping’ for a parish. Unless your local parish has something really, really funky going on, I beielve that is the church you should attend. Remember that within a dioscese, all the priests are being formed by the same bishop. Yes, there will certainly be variations between priests, especially between those of different age groups, but outside of that, they are all attending the same retreats and getting the same directive from the bishop.

What will you do if once you settle on a church–perhaps a 30 minute drive from your house say–and the priest there is transferred? Will you follow him to a his new parish on the other side of the dioscese? Will you really drive 2 hours every Sunday (one way!), passing 3 or 4 other parishes on the way? Where and how will you attend daily Mass? Participate in church events at times other than Sunday? Form communion with other members of the parish?

Unless you are hearing hetrodoxy from the pulpit, settle on a closer parish and form a relationship with the priests so you can suggest to them they lengthen their homilies a bit.

Now, to answer your original question: our Masses are all about 1 hour long. We have 4 Masses on Sunday morning. When one Mass runs over too much, there is quite a bit of confusion with folks arriving for the next Mass who need a parking space, would like a few quiet minutes to pray, etc.



Thanks for the response, our closest Church is 15 minutes from our house but it is a mission. We go to Church there on occasion but for many reasons I wont disclose, we do not go there on a regular basis. I am open to going there if God wills it though. I wouldn’t say it is church “shopping” but we are asking God to lead us to a Parrish we can call home. Yes, we do want to have a parrish to call home and be able to participate in all the activities. We live in pretty remote area so most of the parrishes around us are at least an hours drive. That is not issue though. I know God will bring us to the Church he desires us to be at.


God Bless!!


There are families that are good and well that I wouldn’t want to live with because it wouldn’t feel like home. There are a thousand fathomable reasons to settle for something less than optimal, but as long as God is a part of all of it, I say let the folks have their preference.

I’ve only been to Mass a little less than a dozen times in my life, at this church near my university, but it was always about 45 miniutes in length. For me it was just enough time to get oriented on God for the duration of the day. However, Mass, I understand, may be more of an experiential thing (worship) than an orientation thing (focusing) [as long as we’re talking about what we prefer, psychologically]

I hope that you find that Church that’s right for you. God bless. :thumbsup:


It’s about an hour and a half long. I’ve heard my priest talk a really long time to a very short time. He likes to tell his own life stories (he had a very intresting family) that correlate to the readings, so that makes the sermons very engaging.



But every Catholic Church is part of the Body of Christ, so we are already one family. My concern with the idea of individual preferance for a regular parish is that it is a Protestant construct–that I should have all my preferances and interests met by the Mass I attend. The Mass is not for our individual gratification. The purpose of Mass is for us to worship God. Again, unless something truly hetrodox or illict is happening during Mass, we can worship God at any Mass. It may even be that in subdueing our angry or impatient thoughts during Mass, we are able to increase our humilty and burnish our souls.


The Sunday masses here run about 1 hr and 15 to 20 minutes which is fine. It is the weekday masses 7:00 am which last almost a full hour that cause me to be late for work. It would be nice if the masses were shorter because I don’t want to have to avoid morning mass in order not to be late for work. Maybe I am looking at that the wrong way though. Going to mass is probably more important than worrying about being late for work.


My analogy doesn’t really extend as far as you’ve read into it. If it helps, you may think, “there are Catholic families that are well and good - they are indeed my family - but I wouldn’t call it home to live with them.”

No, Mass is not for our gratification, as sex is not for our own gratification, but just as we’re not prohibited from enjoying sex while engaging in it for it’s rightful purpose (procreation), we mightn’t be prohibited from finding a church that is both edifying and enjoyable, esspecially since edification may more easily come from that which is enjoyable than that which is flat.


May I suggest, before this thread strays too far from the original topic, that you look at this thread if you wish to discuss the issue of “church shopping”. It’s just over a year old and it became quite a lengthy discussion. As I said before, I don’t have a problem with “church shopping” - while we all agree that we are one Christian family which goes to Mass in order to direct praise to God, the atmosphere (church building, music, quality of preaching, faithfulness to liturgical texts, etc.) does affect one’s ability to offer this praise. If the soul isn’t being nourished to the extent that it should be in order to direct the highest praise possible to God, then one should certainly do their best to find somewhere where they will get this nourishment.


These are all great points, and thanks for answering the question. Sally, I can see the points in your message. I attended the closest mission for awhile and one of the reasons I did not change earlier is because of the points you brought up. I truly feel God brings us to the church He wants us to call home and the place where He can work the most in us. And sometimes that is not the closest parrish. At least not for us, not right now. I believe NPC said it best. Thanks for all the great points, NMHS


The very-early EF Mass I attend most commonly is about 30 minutes long. Other EF Masses are about an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes.

A nearby parish offers the Latin Mass twice on every Sunday, with one being Lw Mass and the other High Mass.

The sermon tends to be the primary thing which lengthens the service, although the early Mass also is done without sung psalmody and hymns.

If I attend an EF Mass, I prefer the shortest Mass possible, so usually go to the early Mass.

If attending the Latin Mass, I go to High Mass, which can take about an hour and a half to two hours.


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