Is It Considered Disrespectful to Leave the Church Without Greeting the Priest? (Or At the Very Least, Waiting Until He Returns From Disvesting?)

I’ve been wondering about this. I’ve been noticing that at my parish everyone seems to wait in the foyer to greet the priest before leaving, and almost no one leaves before the priest returns from disvesting. Is not doing so considered to be in bad taste?

In our parish, the priest greets the people leaving before he removes his vestments. Some people choose to go out the side doors simply because the line in the middle (where our priest is) moves very slowly. No one seems offended by those who use the side doors and leave without greeting the priest.

In your parish, it may simply be that people want to stay and greet the priest. Or it might be a regional type of social etiquette, or it may even be specific to your parish. You might ask someone else in your parish about it (even the priest, if you feel comfortable doing that).

As for me, I’d probably typically wait because I do like greeting the priest, but as long as the priest wasn’t offended, I also wouldn’t worry what anyone else thought about my leaving right after Mass when necessary. :slight_smile:

Perhaps it’s the kind of rule that varies from one place to another. You wouldn’t want to be guilty of a breach of etiquette, even if it’s only a local custom. Why not ask one of the parishioners, or even the priest himself?

It would be a tough and long wait to greet the priest at our parish. Fr. goes immediately into the Confessional to hear more confessions. He is usually there another 30 to 45 minutes. :thumbsup:

Same at our parish. Also, part of the parking lot is closer to the side door. So naturally those who parked there are more likely to use that door.

To my knowledge I have never read anything that says we must greet the priest before leaving mass. Although in this day and age when people have disregard for hiercharchy its not a bad idea to greet him.

Sometimes I would go into the repository to browse for some new items and when I came back, the Priest would be gone.

Also, sometimes the Priest also has to say Mass at the University and he has to leave in a hurry.

It depends on circumstances but I try to greet whenever I get the opportunity.

This reminds of when my husband first visited the U.S. in his 20’s. He was astounded that the priest was at the door shaking hands with parishioners after Mass.
In Ireland, the simply disappear into the Sacristy. When we were there a couple of years ago for a funeral, the priest and the servers retired to the Sacristy and only the parishioners gathered on the grounds to chat.
It’s a distinctly American phenomenon.
At my parish, the more beloved the priest, the longer the line. Although I really don’t think he appreciate it when people monopolize his time when they should really make an appointment. He likes to say hello and move on to the next person.

Meeting with a priest at the church door after Mass is a relatively new thing. I grew up attending a Jesuit parochial school and church in downtown Miami, Fla. during the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, and the priest never received parishioners after mass in the vestibule of the church. this custom came into being in the 1960’s and copies something that was done in Episcopal churches.

LOL. We call that “vestibule” the Narthex.

It never fails when I get in line to shake the hand of the priest, the person in front of me wants to tell them their life story and I am standing there like a dummy asking myself how long I should stand there before just walking away. Last Sunday, the priest sensed my awkwardness and extended his hand while the woman continued her monologue unaware or ignoring the line behind her. So i at least got to shake his hand. I would stand in line more often to greet the priest if this didn’t happen all the time.

I hope it isn’t.

We’ve got a couple of kids under the age of 3…my 3 year old isn’t too excited to wait in line to greet our Priest when she has friends she’d like to see…and after working hard to behave in Mass…she deserves it.

The line gets jammed up because so many people don’t just want to shake his hand and say Thank-You…but give their life story as well.

Usually, hubby and I skirt around the line and try to wave in his general direction.

I do think it’s very rude to duck out of Mass before the Procession at the conclusion.

In fact, I remember our Priest made a comment in his newsletter asking for Parishioners to avoid this because it’s rude and distracting when he is giving the final prayers and about 10 people are trying to sneak out of the Church.

The short answer is no, there is no obligation to speak to the priest after Mass.

:eek:You think that’s rude? Last Sunday I had people walk between the Priest and me while I was about to receive the Host. The second person waited for me to receive and then walked through (we were on side aisle of Church in front of doors). Of course I had a hot flash then bowed, said to myself Jesus Mercy and then received. I am starting to think people need to be taught respect and reverence. These were not young folks. It was the first and last time I go up that spot to receive. I will cross over and follow the center aisle folks. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m not too sure that this is a distinctly American phenomenon. I’ve been to Mass at different parishes in both Canada and England, and in every case, the priest and deacon(s) were greeting the parishioners after the Mass.

It could be that the Catholic parishes in England and Canada have adopted the American practice, though in that case I’m not sure why Ireland would not have done the same.

For my part, I always try to say hello to the priest before I leave, but it’s not a big deal if you don’t. Sometimes I don’t if I have to leave quickly or if someone is talking with the priest for a long time.

I am in Ireland and our priests do greet us at the door leaving mass and I have seen it done in other parts of Ireland so I don’t know why people think we don’t do it here. our priest feels its a great way for him to get to know people and of course it been Ireland its usually the weather or hurling or football matches we talk about. I admit I don’t greet them every time as I may use a different exit but because of my work and it been a small town I probably meet one of our priests 3 or 4 times a week.

I said that because they don’t do it at our parish in West Mayo.
I didn’t make it up. :rolleyes:

I didn’t think you made it up but just that we do it here. I think its a great idea and a great way for any priest to meet and get to know people. we have a new priest here and he got to know people quickly by doing the meet and greet after mass and we got to know him also. I hope more priests will do this,

See? This post is a wonderful example of why I love CAF. Very cool information! :thumbsup:

No, I’ve never thought so. But it seems like this might be a local practice at your parrish. But even at that, I wouldn’t say it’s in bad taste to leave. This should be left to the individual.

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