Leaving Mass early.

In my parish, at the Sunday Mass I attend (actually the Saturday night Mass), it’s quite common for people to leave before Mass has finished. One or two leave directly after receiving Holy Communion, still more before the last blessing or before the priest has left the sanctuary. One one notorious occasion, the priest was leaving the sanctuary at the end of Mass to return to the vestry, and got stuck in the queue of people leaving the Church!

I suppose what I’m trying to find out here is - how common is this type of situaltion? How do people feel about this? My Pastor has tackled it by asking if there is a problem with the time of Mass, are people leaving early because they are using public transport to get hope and need to leave early to catch their bus (as opposed to just being bad-mannered)? If your parish has/has had this problem how has the Pastor tried to deal with it?

I can’t see why people don’t stay for the last 3-4 minutes of mass after receiving the Eucharist. Unless you have a legitimate reason to leave early, then you’re ultimately doing the “Judas Shuffle”

I hate seeing this, but typically it’s only a handful that shuffle out after Communion at my Parish. Everyone else waits until Father is done processing (he would never get stuck behind people exiting the church).

Our priest has referred to them as the “eat and run crowd.” :smiley:

It isn’t very common in my parish, however, it seems to be families with small kids. Maybe it’s hard getting them settled back into the pew quietly after communion and they are going to the cry room? Maybe they want a head start out of the parking lot? It’s very rude. I once attended Mass with a friend and her husband and her husband insisted that we leave just as the last hymn was starting because, “if we stayed until the end his mother would start talking to people and we’d be there forever.”


It happens more in one parish than the other, but yeah, quite a few people sneak out after getting the Eucharist. A few priests have said something, one quite forcefully, and gotten no response. Sometimes I wish there was a magnetic switch the priest could hit during the Eucharist that would lock the doors shut! It’s horrible that people feel so comfortable doing it. Sometimes the pews are very empty as I look around after the Eucharist is taken to the tabernacle. Shameful.

Sadly in our parish it’s the older able-bodied folks. It’s always the same ones and they run like hell is on their heels. I have seen one even bump into the priest as he was recessing and they had the nerve to look irritated. Why go if you hate it that much? I know, I know but if they really are rushing to leave do they really believe in the actual presence?

On a post with some friends someone put up a picture of Judas and it said, “JUDAS: The first Catholic to leave Mass early.” I think leaving early sets a horrible example. One that I saw made me angry. It was a family; dad, mom, a teenaged daughter, and a son that looked about 9 or 10. We started singing the last hymn and the son was really enjoying it and the dad taps him that they are leaving. He sort of looked disappointed and put the missalette back and they left.

One time a couple was trying to leave early and I was singing. They acted like they seriously expected me to move to let them out. I said, “Sorry mass isn’t over.” They looked surprised and left out the other side. I know I was rude but why should I interrupt enjoying that hymn because they have to run off?

If you are worried about traffic in the parking lot then stay after and pray for about 15 minutes and lo and behold, the traffic will be gone. It’s the same ones every week that bother me.

Maybe the church should purchase cameras that take your picture if you leave early and then post them in the bulletin the next week. Ha ha ha ha! Sorry to laugh but it is totally disgusting. I’d like to go to their house and eat and then just get up and leave.

I used always want to leave early - but I always wait for the Priest to pass my row before exiting - and I always try and sit in the front Rows :wink:

It didn’t sound rude, but it wasn’t going the extra mile or handing over one’s cloak when a shirt is demanded, either.

I never heard it called the “Judas Shuffle,” but the explanation makes sense.

Despite the sometimes less than reverent behavior seen at some of the Sunday Masses in my parish, you only see the following leave: Parents with young children who are crying inconsolably (we don’t have a “crying room,”) a couple who are both trauma surgeons and occasionally get called out of Mass, and during NFL playoff games, some of the diehard football people.

Part of the problem at my parish is, after Mass, people don’t either spend some quiet time with the Lord, or leave the nave. Nope, they hang around and chat full volume so that people who do want to pray or meditate after Mass find the distraction irritable. I’m not saying they should receive communion and sneak out, I just wish they’d quiet down!

I leave after the finally blessing just before the recession begins. I just don’t want to be around when the carnival begins…

Sadly we have this in our parish on Sat night…it bothers Fr. to no end. But the people that do it don’t listen to what he has to say about it.:shrug:

I know that there are people with small children or that have to work and legitamate reasons…I also know that there is a group that has a standing reservation at a pizzaria and won’t change it…:frowning:

Technically Mass is over when the priest/deacon says its over before the recessional.

Well not to be blunt, but Mass is over when the priest or deacon says “The Mass is Over, Go in Peace to Love and Serve the Lord” or something similar and you response is “Thanks be to God”.

Any singing/recessional afterwards is technically not part of the Mass.

Something that I experienced and posted about a few years ago:

A large parish at which I served as an Associate Pastor, had this problem in spades.
Large groupings of people would rush out the door, starting after receiving communion and on to the end of Mass. Our 3 Priest team began to address this and asked for less rudeness. After several reminders, we began to see a lessening of this except for 2 families. Both Husbands were rude (they both told the Pastor that all 3 of us could go to h-e-double toothpicks as they were going to do what they wanted to do) ultra-agressive personalities and they would drive their families out the door right after communion to be the first ones out of the parking lot and head over to the local family restaurant for breakfast. The noise this made as they all left in great haste and the roaring of the cars as they left the parking lot was very unsettling.

One Sunday, a kind of intervention took place, as both idiots were roaring out of the parking lot they collided at the entrance. When I arrived outside both guys were going at it with fists flying. The Chief of Police who belonged to the Parish, sent for a squad car and both guys ended up being arrested and carted off to jail. After getting lectured before a Judge about their non-sense (and fined), both families quietly disappeared from the parish to which everyone breathed a sigh of relief…I couldn’t help but think of their wives and kids and pray for them and hope that both guys learned their lesson!

By the way, no-one was hurt in the parking lot fender-bender! But the 2 guys beat the beejeebers out of each other until separated.

People come to Mass and they are sent from the Mass, bringing the mission of Christ to the world. Who am I to stand in their way or judge the manner or motivations of their recession?

Because it is! Pray as they are leaving for the Holy Spirit to lead them to conversion and repentance! Its the devil who prompts them to leave out of impatience, boredom and all those other negative things.

I think some are there just out of obligation and not because they want to be there and I know believe it or not alot of people especially in the age of around 50 have never even heard about the teaching about the Blessed Sacrament and what they receive and why we go to receive is to receive Jesus.

I was stunned when my spouse never heard about Jesus’ Real Presence in The Eucharist.

On many occasions especially if the Homily is long or if we have an extra speaker on that day, my spouse will get up and leave after receiving Communion. I make sure that I sit so, my spouse goes after me and child before me and returns to the pew, then that is my spouse’s free will and choice to leave. A few times I have had to grab my child and say sit and wait, and just pray or sing. As a parent, it is part of my responsibility to teach my child about their Catholic faith and praying after we receive Jesus and staying for the final blessing is part of the way we worship God, even if my spouse is annoyed at me for making him wait in the parking lot. A couple of times, I was met in the parking lot with rude words which stopped after I remarked, “Why after you have just received Jesus, do you speak hurtful words?”

I read this great article a few years ago and it addressed those who leave after receiving communion. Basically it said, when you are invited to a meal at a friend’s house, do you sneak out the back door without thanking your host for such a lovely meal?

That is exactly what we do when we leave Mass early.

Yeah, like the red-light cameras - POOF! - a light goes off and you’re so busted! It would be fun just to plant dummy cameras up there and see who falls for it. You could just stick some Getty images photos in the bulletin and people would believe it. But I suppose that would be deceiving…so confession would be in order…


It makes me sick that people take the Lord’s Body and Blood and then just keep on strolling out the door! :eek: Like, OK, got what I came for, I’m good, I’m GONE!

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