Leaving the church after Mass


I just posted a thread in which many people contended that it is polite to the choir to remain to sing the final song.

Can we agree, too, that when the concluding song finishes we ought to be aware of those staying behind in the church in the hopes of obtaining a few minutes of quiet private prayer? When the music is finished, it would be most polite if everyone could leave the church as quietly as is practically possible, including the choir and the musicians. On that account, an easily-accessible place outside the narthex for socializing is highly desirable.




How about PRIOR to Mass as well? Sheesh.
I am a musician and a former choir director…I never had the choir sing every single song or Mass part in the sanctuary before Mass. But that seems to be permissible now…
So annoying. My feeling was, if we don’t know it by now, we should NOT be singing it today. This whole “test-test-test-” of every mic stuff is terrible as well.
It seems that we remember why we go to church, but we forget that the Church is not House of God because we are there…it’s the House of God because HE is there.

Sorry. Hijacked your thread. End of rant. :wave:


As far as I know, the “final song” is the recessional hymn. We are only required to remain until the priest has left the sanctuary and entered the sacristy. As soon as the priest has disappeared, I kneel back down for further thanksgiving prayers.

Of course, I totally agree with your plea for silence and quiet exiting.


Yes but hopefully it was also made known that the official end of the Mass is when the priest says it is ended. :thumbsup:

Can we agree, too, that when the concluding song finishes we ought to be aware of those staying behind in the church in the hopes of obtaining a few minutes of quiet private prayer? When the music is finished, it would be most polite if everyone could leave the church as quietly as is practically possible, including the choir and the musicians. On that account, an easily-accessible place outside the narthex for socializing is highly desirable.

I am happy to say that this is recognized in my parish both before and after the Mass. I have been in parishes where it was not and it always seems to be defended by saying that this may be the only opportunity for socializing for some. That’s fine but why can’t they socialize outside the Church?:shrug:


Yes, it is the House of God, and extended rehearsals and soundchecks immediately prior to Mass are gauche and impolitic for those who appreciate the transcendent silence of the inside of a church with the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle. But you have to understand that the technology of microphones and PA systems absolutely require that sound be tested and checked prior to use. Clearly this soundcheck should be performed as early as possible, before too many people are gathered inside, but it is technically necessary for the adequate performance of the Mass.

I have been in both extremes. In my visiting parish, my mother is beginning to get annoyed with the constant testing of mics and banging around of equipment immediately prior to Mass. This is because the choir rehearses in a meeting room and rushes into the choir loft mere minutes before Mass begins, and also one of the members is slightly disabled and has trouble walking, drops things, etc. On the other end of the spectrum is my home choir, where we sit respectfully silent until the moment Mass begins when I turn on all the microphones at full volume. This is risky business! Without testing them, we don’t know if we will get feedback, static, no sound at all, or some other sound disaster. Anyone could be tweaking the knobs in the week intervening between weekend Masses. Sometimes I have time to do a quick visual survey of the knobs to see if they are right, but more often than not I only check them after something is known to have gone wrong.

I agree that respect is due the Blessed Sacrament and others who are praying before and after Mass. But with technology comes the responsibility of ensuring that it is functioning properly, this needs to be done tactfully and discreetly so that others are not offended.




Of course, common sense applies.
But one must also consider that it is not necessary for each person in the “choir” to be mic’d…it’s a choir, not a gaggle of soloists.
As you say, the deacons at our parish frequently have to trouble shoot the sound system prior to Mass. People love to mess with those knobs, don’t they? :stuck_out_tongue:
That’s really not what most people object to… it’s the total disregard for those in prayer and walking around like they are in a concert hall prior to a big show.


YES, before Mass too! I like to arrive about 30 minutes early to spend some time in front of the tabernacle before I have to prepare the altar etc. We have a bus that brings a group of about two dozen elderly folks, God bless 'em, from the nearby senior living facility about 30 minutes before Mass too. Now, I understand they may be hard of hearing, which is no doubt why the sit in the front few pews, God bless 'em, but do they really have to yell at each other until the organ starts to play the processional song? I kneel down practically in the middle of them and still . . . HEY CLEM, DID YA PLAY THE CANASTA GAME LAST NIGHT? . . . oy vey.:eek:


That would be nice, but it doesn’t seem to happen. Inside the church after Mass sounds more like a noisy parish fair. Many people seem to not even attempt to talk in lowered voices.



For sure. Last Good Friday, the ladies of the church were all atwitter about the last trip they took to the Biloxi casinos… I almost cried. Bless their hearts. Why is it the cradle Catholics are the first ones to throw common sense out the door? I love them, but it does make one wonder…:whistle:


I guess Idon’t get the obssesion with sound checks either. The equipement is the same as it was the pevious week, the choir is the same. And really the only person who needs their own microphone is the cantor.

Somehow the choir and cantors at our parish manage to rehearse in a meeting room, enter the church quietly, turn on the one microphone (all knobs etc are in the sacristy), and begin singing without a bunch of hysteria.

After Mass they sometimes quietly converse, more often they just put their coats on and leave just like everyone else. :wink:

God bless all church musicians!


LOL! Same problems at my parish, with the exception of sound checks.
I don’t know if the elderly folks are hard of hearing or are just being rude, though there’s plenty of places for them to talk without having to disturb the ones praying.
The music practicing is something that should be done elsewhere or a little earlier.


So many places I’ve been in don’t have an alternative spot to practice, so you have to come early and sometimes the only time you might have time to practice is within that half hour between masses. That means, maybe 10 minutes of practice. It’s awful, but with many older churches the loft is all that is offered or available in terms of space to practice especially in cities where space is limited. What we sometimes do is go over certain pieces as quietly as possible so as not to disturb anyone who might be downstairs. If it’s not difficult music, just hymns, etc. you don’t need full-blown rehearsal, anyway. Just enough to make sure you’re on the same page with tempi, etc., and you should be warmed up before coming into the church so you don’t need full-voiced singing.


Most churches in our area have an announcement about five minutes before Mass when everyone is a) reminded to silence their cellphones, pagers and other electronic gadgets, and b) the congregation as a whole is invited to prepare for Mass in silence. It has helped.

Of course, at one Mass I attended, there was still a cell phone going off loudly, and immediately after the Agnus Dei. Apparently the concelebrating priest was in the sacristy during the announcement. :rolleyes: :smiley:


I think that definitely does help, especially in certain parishes where it was a problem. Two of the parishes where I work on a continual basis don’t do that, but we rarely ever have a problem with that. At other parishes, the announcements are made because there was a problem and it really did help in diminishing the amount of phones going off and other things.

What I have always found interesting in many of the parishes I’ve been in is that it is often not the younger generations guilty of the cell phones going off or talking very loudly. It’s usually the older generations. With the loud talking, I’m wondering if it has more to do with not being able to hear and not realizing that they are being loud. My dad isn’t “old”, but he’s in his 60s and I’ve noticed that his hearing isn’t what it used to be and talks louder than he used to. In terms of the phone, the worst offenders have been the elderly. I will never forget the time I was cantoring a mass and an old man was sitting a few pews away from my stand. During the communion procession, his phone went off. He answered it and proceeded to talk very loudly over the music, telling the person on the other line that he was at mass and that he’d call that person back later. The other person must have had bad hearing as well because he kept repeating himself. I was just taken aback and trying to concentrate on the prayer in the music that I was singing so that I wouldn’t be thrown off. Although I remember looking up at one point and seeing people smiling or scowling as they walked by. Usually, though, the older ones don’t answer, but they don’t know how to turn off their phones when it happens.


No announcements in my parish but I think the reason we don’t have a noise problem (before and after Mass) in my parish is that the Eucharistic adoration chapel is within the Church itself.


DH and I go to Adoration on Sunday evenings, and there is a 5:00 Mass going on in the attached church. The music is extremely loud and pulsating, and I guess geared to teenagers. When DH and I leave the chapel we can very clearly hear some guy who is miked…must be the star singer…singing at the top of his lungs. And we see many people scurrying to their cars, obviously leaving before the music is done!!

DH said he thought Glen Yarbrough was their visiting soloist last week (I cracked up, it DID sound like “Baby The Rain Must Fall”!!). So glad we don’t have to go to that Mass…I’d never last.

And yes, at our parish there are some senior citizens who are the worst noise offenders. I thought people from that generation were raised to not speak above a whisper in church (if you had to speak at all)…but that idea has come and gone. I have heard about operations, trips, visitors, and shopping while some poor fellow is up front trying to lead the rosary before Mass. The rudeness can be mind boggling.


At my parish there was an elderly couple who sat in front, since he was in a wheelchair and we have a spot for wheel chairs there. The lady would sometimes loudly tell her husband to speak up because she could not hear him, but that was before Mass. During Mass she would yell at the priest during the homily to speak up and say, “I can’t hear a thing you are saying.” Then she would yell at her husband, “He talks so low. How can anyone hear?” Her husband would get irritated back and yell at her that she was yelling and to be quite. Then she would say the same to him. They were pistols. :slight_smile:


Oh, how funny that she yelled at the priest to speak up!!! I’m counting on God having a good sense of humor…imagine the stories He can tell!!


I think it’s the post Vatican II madness and the Mass being seen primarily as the communal meeting place of the People of God that has contributed to the mind set of some Catholics of a certain age.

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