Leaving Mass early - when do you consider it okay?

This is a hypothetical question and need to ask it in case the situation arises for me.

Due to my work schedule where I must work weekends, I must attend the closest Mass to my office that starts at 8am. Most of the time it lets out right at 9am then I must be to work and set up to start work at 9:30am. It takes about 5 to 10 minutes to get to work, then another 5 to 10 minutes to set up all I need to do my daily work (I work in IT Support, inbound calls and customer email inquiries).

If Mass does not let out by 9:05am at the latest, getting out of the parking lot at the church can be a bit of a problem. Is it okay to leave after the final blessing as the final hymn starts so I get to to work on time, I do notice a few others who leave right after Communion but before final blessing & hymn.

Unfortunately, there are no Masses that start sooner than 8am that are within reasonable driving distance to my place of work and none that start at 6:30pm or later (Saturdays or Sundays) . Also, I cannot ask to start later at my job due to staffing needs to have 2 people working on Sundays right at opening time.

Why wouldn’t it be acceptable to leave after the final blessing? The Priest says “the Mass has ended…”, that right there means well, the Mass has ended.

Me singing would bring pennace to the ears around me, but I choose to remain to enjoy those who can sing.

My policy is not leaving until the priest has left and is waiting in the lobby to shake hands. I sometimes stay for the closing hymn but not always. That’s just me, though. Final blessing is fine, as far as I know.

You have a very legitimate problem and you are handling it the best you can, what more can you do? You should not spend any time thinking any more about it.:thumbsup:

Sometimes the people who seem to be leaving actually stick around in the narthex for the remainder of Mass. Thus they are not truly leaving early even if those who were sitting around them earlier think that to be the case.

You might find that would work for you if Mass runs a bit late.

My rule is, as taught by my mother, is that you should stay until the priest leaves the altar.

I also try to stay for the closing hymn.

Again, that’s my rule; if others have pressing time commitments, so be it.

I don’t consider it “okay” at all.

However, I occasionally need to slip out following Communion in order to set up for catechism. This is due to necessity, similar to your work situation. :sad_yes:

The minimalist Mass attendance requirement is from the Creed through when the priest receives Communion (once Mass was running so late, I actually skipped out at that point). That misses so many blessings so I don’t care to repeat it.

The important part is to recognize the importance of the whole liturgy (as you do :thumbsup:) and to not be callous about when your other responsibilities (or accidental delays, etc) require you to miss some part.

I would not take the words *“the Mass has ended…” *as meaning we can leave at that very moment. My understanding is the celebrant and ministers leave first. I think it’s ok to leave between the final blessing and the exiting of the celebrant and ministers if there’s an important reason to.

I would add that making sure the priest knows that you are leaving for a good reason and only when necessary. I’m sure he would appreciate the courtesy.

I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old. Sometimes I have to leave with them without even taking communion. The CCC states that staying home for the care of children is acceptable, so I figure I’m good. Sometimes you just do what you can and hope it’s enough.

I think you are fine, but I hope that you can eventually adjust your schedule so that you are not quite so rushed and pressured at the end of Mass. I know that I hate rushing out for whatever reason, and I usually lose the peace and calm I have during Mass.

Your answer reminded me that I’m getting on in years. I forgot about those necessities. Otherwise I was going to answer:

  1. If I’m about to throw up, or my wife is.
  2. If I’m about to pass out, or my wife is.
  3. If somebody yells “fire!”

Speaking technically, though, it is my impression that a Catholic may satisfy his Sunday or Holy Day obligation if he is present for the “three C’s”; Creed, Consecration & Communion. But one ought not to leave even so, unless he/she has a good reason to do it.

If you must leave for work, then you must. You will have certainly fulfilled your obligation, and the situation is out of your hands.

Since you have a deadline, I think you should let the priest know the reason why you have to leave early, and leave when you have to. For politeness sake, try to sit in the back. Generally speaking at the very least, try to stay until after communion. Even if you have your things with you, you can receive the communion and slowly leave the church to get to your next destination. God understands. I think it is wonderful that you were able to find a church that enables you to attend mass regularly. Some people aren’t lucky to find a mass that fits well with their work schedule.

If you have to leave, you have to leave.

You’re obligated to attend the Mass, the entire Mass. Introit to dismissal. Theologians have opined that it doesn’t count if you’re not there for at least the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Offertory to Communion. If you miss it, you should attend another Mass.

Mass ends with the dismissal. It’s common courtesy to stay until the priest leaves. Ideally, people would stay and sing the last hymn and there’d be an organ voluntary while people leave.

If you’re in a rush to be somewhere I don’t see the big deal to leave after the Mass has been announced as being ended. However, typically I try to wait until after the recession.

I hope someday to get a more favorable schedule where I do not have to worry about rushing to make it to Mass on time or dealing with the traffic to get to work on time after Mass. I know I should stay but the times I’ve done past the finishing hymn, some people were leisurely walking and leaving as most do not have to work on Sundays (or if they do it is later in the day). And I would not consider it charitable to say to them, let me go first NOW yelling out my car window cause I will be late for work either!

If you have to get to work then go. I have to leave weekday Mass early to get to work. Even then if I leave with everyone someone may be talking in the parking lot (Just a minute or two but Work doesn’t care) making it hard to get out.
I would mention it to the priest. I know it bothers them to see people leave early so at least he would know it is for a good reason.
I don’t like leaving early and I give this to the Lord. I apologize to Him as I leave as I would if I had to leave someone’s dinner party early. HE knows that you would rather stay.

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