Leaving mass immediately after receiving

I’m probably going to regret posting this but, I will do it. Yesterday, at the Saturday Mass, the homily was only about the fact that many people have been observed leaving Mass right after receiving communion and how this made the priest feel and many of the reasons he imagined for why people did this and what it meant for the state of their soul or at least the sort of flippant regard this indicated for the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I know it is wrong to do this. Having said that, I have been leaving just like he said.
What I don’t agree with are all the reasons that he said tht it indicated about how people felt regarding the body and blood of Jesus.
I basically became convinced of the truth of the Catholic Church back from approx 1998 through 2002 by studing the faith on the internet, downloading apologetic material, articles et commentary on catholic web sites reading several books by Chesteron et others. I began going to RCIA before I ever attended Mass. You would not believe the way RCIA is taught at the church I went to. I overheard one of the instructors, who was a convert from a protestant religion ask the priest what she should tell her protestant friends when they asked her if the host really became to body of blood of Jesus Christ. He said that she could tell them "no it doesn’t. My daughter heard him say it also. When I go to Mass anywhere around here it is more like a three ring circus than any solemn worship. The people who do the music are always trying some new song, or pounding their guitars or playing over the top of the priest who doesn’t seem to care a bit anyway. I could go on and on about what goes on and on and I know this is wrong too.
So the priest was sort of scowling the all through the mass. I recieved communion and went back to my place. There was no mediation or reverence, he immediatly said, before he gave the blessing that a couple wanted to give a little presentation regarding some Encounter Group or something of the kind. Then he went through a list of announcements. Then the blessing, then the horrible music started up again. I love the Catholic faith but I would like it to be more orthodox. I know I am a rotten person and a terrible sinner. We have had new priests from time to time but they just seem to go with to flow. I have tried to keep a better attitude but nothing ever changes except for the worse. I have left out a lot. I don’t know why I’m even posting this.


Elrod –

I hear what you are saying. I am at a place in my life where it takes every bit of my resolve to attend Masses which I am obligated to attend. There is NO joy, no “celebration,” no “parish family,” just a dull and painful obligation. I go only because I must, and no amount of praying, thinking or wishing makes it any easier.

There have been some Sundays when I used every ounce of my resolve to attend Mass, and had to leave early because I simply couldn’t endure a second more.

It hasn’t always been this way for me. I believe God sometimes leads us into the desert, where all spiritual practices become as dry as dust. I also believe he understands when we break under the strain and leave a few minutes early - or maybe don’t make it at all. People who enjoy Mass are never going to understand this.

I can understand his frustration at the faithful who leave Mass early. If memory serves, the first person who did that was Judas.

Now, regarding the attitude at the church you are attending, are the rest of the parishes in your city like this? You may have to go around like a wandering Aramean until you find a place where you can call home. Believe me, for three years, I was like that. You need to go where your Faith will be nourished. If your city is the seat of your diocese, you might try visiting the Cathedral as your first stop. Look at your diocesan website and start your search from there (if you don’t live in the seat of your diocese). You might also consider attending a parish that offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form. That, too, might help you. Don’t be discouraged. You will find a parish. It just takes time. At least you have come home to the Church.

I understand your sentiment. It’s a two edged sword for many.

This is the way I see it (a convert) that we must first look into our own souls and go deep to see what our real problem with the Mass is.

Can we truly have a problem with the Mass, with the Body and Blood of Christ? Can anyone not be drawn to be presence and to receive the fullness of Christ?

Do we want Jesus and the Mass to be more like a movie, a Broadway production, etc…

Do we want to come to Jesus in our broken condition asking for forgiveness and Grace?

In regards to the original question I always ask this of people. Would they have diner with a politician, movie star, someone famous and leave right after they finished the main course. would they say thanks and leave right then, while still chewing their own food?

No - no one would. then why do we think it is OK to leave the banquet of our Lord before the Mass is done?


I know I’m not the original poster, but your suggestions may not work for everyone.

I live in a rural area in a non-Catholic part of the country. It’s 40-50 minutes of hard driving to ANY parish, and most of the parishes in this area have one vigil Mass and one Sunday mass. Heavily influenced by the surrounding Protestant culture.

The Extraordinary form isn’t always a solution either. I am unwelcome at the Extraordinary Form nearest me, as I have been judged not “holy enough” to participate. They are a very cliquish, exclusionary group. It’s not much fun walking into a chapel that feels like the living room of a family that doesn’t want you there…

Not complaining. I know my duties and obligations. But am trying to offer some support to the OP who may be encouraged by hearing about the difficulties others experience meeting their Sunday and Holy Day obligations…

Perhaps, as other posters have suggested, you could try a different parish. In my community, which is mostly Catholic, we have a large number of parishes which range from onw who observes only the Latin Mass to some who do not even have kneelers in the pews and the Mass is offered in a very casual manner–and anything in between., My own personal belief is that Christ is present in the Eucharist at all Masses. My parish strongly suggests–in fact even prints it in the bulletin–that we “respectfully remain until the ministers have left the church.” If this continues to be an area of concern to you, I would suggest that you speak to your bishop. Peace be with you.

FInd a new parish if this parish is weakening instead of strengthening your faith. It’s monday so you can start looking on your diocese’s website now. Try popping up another parish during the week or for adoration. And pray and surrender your self to the will of God through the Holy Spirit.

Keep in mind also that there may be a good reason for someone to leave right after receiving Holy Communion, from time to time. (Not every Sunday)

I have had to do this a few times. I started getting a migraine and felt horrible. I managed to get enough strength to go up and receive, but, when I got to my pew, I was already feeling worse. I asked God’s forgiveness and walked to my dad’s Jeep. The other time, I had a bad stomach ache. Not a good feeling to have, but, I tried to get through, but somehow I could not.

I try to always remember areas like this in my prayers. When we pray for vocations, we should always raise up places like this. I am blessed to live in an area with 3 wonderful parishes within about 15 minutes of my house. I need to thank the Lord for that!

Elrod, I will be praying for you. As others have said, if possible you can seek out another parish. Does you church have other Mass times? Usually the early morning Mass is quietest and that may help you also.

It sounds like the announcements, etc were all in the right place, so there is nothing truly abusive happening at your parish. It’s just noisier than you’d like and with a kind of music you don’t appreciate.

In order to have more time to reflect after you receive, try sitting a bit closer to the front. Then you will receive sooner and can kneel in your pew and pray while others receive. Then your thanksgiving will not be interrupted by the announcements and recessional.

I wonder also, if some discreet earplugs would help you to be more prayerful after communion? :wink:

I may be wrong—but I get the impression that what you don’t like about your Mass is that it tends to be on the more orthodox side.


i am so sorry that Mass is such a “dull and painful obligation!” i too used to feel bored at Mass and i wasn’t as strong as you, i eventually quit going altogether.

i ended up causing a horrible mess in my life and got to the point where i could not attend Mass (i was in prison). It was there i realized what a blessing it is to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

The music, the homily, noisy children, many things can distract us from the most beautiful gift we have been given.

Pray, read Sacred Scripture and ask Jesus for the Grace to see Mass for what it truly is, the Lord’s Supper. It is you celebrating along with the Body of Christ, His Church, celebrating together with Jesus who is physically present in the Most Blessed Eucharist.

Often we don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone!

**Now when the Priest says "This the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, HAPPY ARE THOSE WHO ARE CALLED TO HIS SUPPER! i cry tears of joy!!!

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!


That’s what Judas did at the first communion service: left right after receiving.

Today leaving mass early is called “the Judas Shuffle”!

Maybe I missed something, but I don’t think you addressed this – you went right into errors in catechesis and liturgy at your parish – but, you didn’t answer what the Priest said are the reasons and why you disagree with them.

Please, call and schedule a meeting with the Pastor. Explain to him that parishioners have told you that you are not holy enough to attend Mass. He will take care of that!!

LOL! I really wish it were that easy! I don’t think you understand how small towns work. Your suggestion would simply cause me more grief…

Walking_Home, you most definitely have a wrong impression. :stuck_out_tongue: I prefer the Extraordinary Form, and an orthodox as possible liturgy otherwise. What I was trying to say is that, try as I might, I am at a point in my life where intellectually I know what the Mass is, and how great a gift it is, but cannot translate that into feelings. I know it isn’t about feelings, but doing anything out of a sense of obligation, when one can’t connect with it on any level, is draining and can result in someone leaving early. I would rather someone make the effort and leave early if they must. If the priest berates them when they are in this delicate frame of mind, they may decide none of it is worth the effort and stop going altogether. :shrug:

I think we should be very careful not to assume that people leaving Mass early don’t have a legitimate reason. They also might be at a stage in their faith where being called on the carpet about it would do more harm than good. That goes for everything else we see others doing, by the way! Things are often a great deal more complicated than they appear.

One of the reasons I prefer the Extraordinary Form is that it is not focused on what the laity are doing. Before Vatican II, one could enter and leave a Church during Mass without causing any disturbance. People frequently stopped into Church to pray while Mass was being said and left after a few minutes. What went on at the altar went on regardless of whether laity were present. Now, everyone is watching everyone else to make sure they are “doing it right.” Participation has turned into lockstep conformity, more rigid than anything that existed before 1969. /RANT OFF/ :smiley:

I live in a small town, in a rural state and work at a small parish. The pastor is the pastor, he is charged with acting as a father.

Leaving early is one of my pet peeves, but, after reading your account, I can certainly sympathize with you. Usually, I can and do sing whatever hymn is selected, but there are one or two that I won’t sing. That said, I’d encourage you to try to stay in the church until the proper dismissal or find another Catholic Church where you will feel more comfortable with regards to the music and reverence.

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