Priest leaves Mass every Sunday high fiving parishioners


Okay, I love my parish. I love our new priest. He speaks very Catholic and stands by Catholic teaching. My question is this.

At the end of Mass after the deacon and alter servers process out, the priest stays back and high fives as many people as he can row by row, mostly children and teenagers. The ending song is playing, but it is hard to sing a long because as this is happening the church becomes kind of a free for all with everyone talking and high fiving. Usually at other parishes and this one (before he came) two verses are sung at the closing hymn but because this is happening our parish now sings 3 or more verses. Some people go ahead and leave after the second verse but some stay waiting because, well, you are supposed to wait for the priest to process by but sometimes it can be another 10 or more minutes standing and waiting for him to finish. I love being at Mass and long Masses do not bother me but I have a hard time just waiting for this to all happen every Sunday.

Would you stay while he is high fiving or go ahead and leave?


The Mass is over as soon as the priest says “The Mass is over, go in peace”. After that, whether you stay awhile or leave right away is up to you.

I usually don’t leave until the priest does (unless I am helping with coffee hour) but 10 minutes is a long time to wait. I would probably go ahead and head out if that was the case.


I’m sorry, but I’ve just got to ask…
This is your ONLY problem with this priest?
You praise him and your parish/church and paint enough of a picture that I’m like: yeah I hope if I ever move into her area, that is the church I get to attend, and then… high fives which cause you to wait a whole extra verse of the closing hymn before you can leave mass. That is your issue?

While I am not any sort of expert on the rubics of the exit procession, and your Priest may very well be bending them sharply with his high fives, overall it doesn’t seem like it should be enough to complain about that I would bring it to a public message board, if it were me in your shoes. Maybe I’m wrong and someone with more knowledge of what should be done in the procession would come here and inform us of just how much of an issue this should be, since my impression has always been that it is a solemn yet joyous part of mass.

It just seems like you have a treasure otherwise in your new priest and this effort of his to boost morale of those attending mass could be discussed with him privately. Not saying you as much as others who I’ve seen on this forum nitpicking the way their priests behave or perform in their office to death that I am becoming rather more touchy then I’d like to be about seeing priests who are otherwise doing a bangup job being treated like that. I’m not saying to just blissfully go along without a single critical thought, but to try to weigh how heavy the “offense” as you see it truly is compared to the rest of his performance in the scheme of things.


I appreciate your input. Thank you. I am not trying to slam our priest. I have not a problem with him doing this. The kids love him and think he is great and he is. I am only meaning to ask if I (personally) need to wait for this event. I mentioned 3 verses OR MORE as an example of noting when Mass is typically over. Sometimes it continues beyond the song and the church becomes a social area with much conversation going on but people not sure what to do or when to leave, as I mentioned earlier. My post was not to slam the priest, as I said he is great but what is MY proper response in waiting for him to finish visiting each child and teen. Last Sunday besides all the rest of the children in the parish there was a large class in the front and each one received a high five, which is fine but this can go on for a quite a while and I just wanted to know if I need to stay and wait. I don’t like leaving before Mass is over.

I understand on these forums it is hard to interpret one’s attitude when posting something and a lot of times more gets read into something but that was my purpose of asking.

God bless…


This shouldn’t be a problem, provided the Mass otherwise follows the text and rubrics. I have seen and been there where some kind of extracurricular action actually cuts into the blessings, creed, and other things. That would be a no-no, not the high-fiving.


Don’t forget:
**R: **Thanks be to God.

Otherwise concur, there is no need to remain.

Still, I likewise sympathize with the OP, not because I feel particularly “captive” at the end of Mass, but because I am among a few who maintain the pious practice of saying a few brief prayers at that time, and I can imagine the difficulty in focussing in such circumstance. (It is difficult enough in the parishes I typically visit, where congregations begin mobbing out and conversing rather loudly when the recessional ends)



I have an idea. Why don’t you kneel back down and spend that time in thanksgiving and praise for Jesus coming to you in the Eucharist? :slight_smile:


If this happened in my parish, I’d stay. Not because it would be wrong to leave, but because I’d be busy videotaping it. No one who was absent from Mass would believe our priest did this if I didn’t get concrete proof of it. :smiley:

But yeah, as others have said you can just leave.


Our pastor routinely does this. Has for years. The younger and younger at heart members love it. When I first encountered this, I was a bit skeptical but have grown to enjoy this as a way of better connecting as community.

My two cents.



Nothing happens by accident and so I don’t think it’s wrong to discuss things that are on your heart because someone else might benefit from it as well…You’ll never get an answer if you never ask…:wink:

I would say appreciate the fact that your priest is reaching out to the youth of the parish because they are the future of Our Church so look for the goodness of God in all things…:slight_smile: I know my teenagers appreciate priests who can relate to them and that helps them grow in their faith…:slight_smile:



Thank you. I am regretting putting this post on here today just because of how people have misinterpreted it but I totally agree with you. As I said the children and teens do love him, and I think he is great too. I just wasn’t sure if it would be wrong for me to leave before the priest left. I have never liked leaving before Mass is over. I think it is fine that he stays and reaches out to them. They need it so.

That’s a good idea and typically I would but, and I know some people don’t have this problem, but I have a difficult time concentrating when so much activity is going on. I have learned to thank Jesus for coming to me in the Eucharist when first coming back to my seat after receiving Him and everyone else is kneeling and praying also but thanks for the suggestion. I definitely believe in the importance of doing that. We should always be grateful for the wonderful gift of the Eucharist.


Here is the deal. Usually I’d be right with you in being incredibly annoyed. Usually I am quite affected by liturgical issues. Usually I would see your logical point.

BUT, To some extent we CHOOSE what hill we die on. And this is not it. We had a priest who did the same thing at my old parish. And my sweet little kids got a HUGE kick out of getting a high five. And yes, it kind of bothered me and seemed out of place in the setting. But, there were MUCH bigger fish to fry in that parish. :shrug: Honestly, My kids liked it, and on the scale of “what is wrong with the CHurch” or even the liturgy it is WAAAAY down there on my list. That may not make it the best thing for him to do, but I’d be more concerned about why it bothers me so much.


I think a priest high- fiving parishoners, even if they are small children, is out of place. So is exiting the Mass before the recessional hymn is sung.

Then again, why wouldn’t your fellow parishoners leave early? If the priest sets the mood for levity before the recessional is sung, the parishoners will naturally follow suit. I’d almost rather be in favor of doing away with the recessional hymn entirely than to witness the spectacle of the crowd that just can’t wait to get through those doors.

And don’t get me started on all the applause after Mass that I’m seeing more and more of.


I am regretting posting this because everyone is interpreting it wrong. It is not the high fiving that is bothering me but am I allowed to leave while he stays up front visiting the teens and children. I just wanted to know if we were allowed to leave before the priest, since he is staying to address all of the children and teens and the deacon and altar servers have already left.


I suppose you may leave the feast before the host has left the room and is conversing with guests.:shrug: The end of Mass is liturgically clear.


I think the congregation ought to give him a high five after the Consecration. :eek::smiley:

Seriously, why don’t you kneel down and say a prayer for him before you hightail it out the door? You aren’t required to stay at all should you rather leave. :slight_smile:


Isn’t the host Jesus?


Shouldn’t we praise Jesus after the consecration?

As I said earlier it is hard to do that with so much activity going on. It can be distracting. I have been asked that twice now and I can think of only one family that I have ever seen be able to do that once everyone starts talking and visiting and leaving.


You like to split hairs don’t you. :wink:

Yes, and Jesus is also the Body of Christ in the members of the Church and the Priest is “in place of Christ” for the Consecration. The priest is the celebrant and the delegated head of the Church by the Church. C’mon you know that…


Lighten up, people. The OP wasn’t complaining about the priest. She just asked what others would do and if it was ok to leave before this element was finished.

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