Thanksgiving after Communion: staying 10 minutes

According to this article, There is no other time than thanksgiving after Mass when we can so easily enrich our soul with virtues, or so rapidly advance to a high degree of perfection, says St. Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church. “There is no prayer more agreeable to God, or more profitable to the soul,” said another Doctor of the Church, St. Alphonsus Liguori, “than that which is made during the thanksgiving after Communion.” Cardinal Francis Arinze: Doing 10 minutes of thanksgiving after Mass is good for both the priest and the congregation.

  1. Do you know of any parishes or seminaries that actually encourage this practice?

  2. If this is really a good practice, what can we do to make this practice more widespread?

If anything most churches I’ve seen rather discourage it than the opposite. However, plenty of people do do it, God bless 'em.

Myself I prefer to arrive early than stay afterwards. There’s often more distractions - organ music, people talking and so on - after Mass than before. And I DO make sure to pray the Rosary on my way home even if I do leave straight after Mass, so I’m giving thanks either way :thumbsup:

at my parish people pretty much leave ASAP… dont know much about seminaries but the ones i’ve been too, namely legionary seminaries. Right after communion (that is to say, before the final blessing) there will be a 5 or 10 minute period of silence. After mass, there is silence until after breakfeast. (except on feast days)

I used to make a thanksgiving after Mass, but I heard a tape by Fr. Larry Richards in which he encouraged us to go out of the Church after Sunday Mass and be social with our parishioners. He says do your thanksgiving after daily Mass, but reserve your Sunday after Mass time to nurture your parish community.

I thought it was a valid thought. And, I thought being kind and warm to others esp when my inclination is not to socialize (ever) was a good thanksgiving. I think you could argue either way.

Interesting point. Especially when the priest directly after Communion invites us to ‘go in peace to love and serve the Lord’ or words to that effect. One is dismissed even in the TLM (‘ite missa est’).

They don’t say ‘Mass is ended, stay for 10 minutes of thanksgiving prayer and THEN go love and serve the Lord/and THEN you are dismissed’

Interesting topic.

As far as I understand, the Lord remains with us for 15 mins after communion so it would be an ideal time for thanksgiving, and meditating on exactly what it means to have the Lord of the Universe in our hearts! wow. As the Saints say it is the best time to receive God’s graces, and with these graces we are commissioned to go out and love our neighbour. Can’t think of anything more beautiful! seems to me to be the right way to do things. I tend to stay despite the distractions, if anything it is a good witness and a reminder to others why you’re there. Let’s hope that witness inspires others to do the same and maybe teaches others who are just learning about the faith. As St Francis of Assisi advises, we should witness through our actions and lastly through our words.

No better way to start loving and serving the Lord than thanking Him first. IMHO.

I agree, but how everybody making a thanksgiving first and then going out and being social?

Back in the early 60s, when the Tridentine rite was said everywhere, staying 10 minutes after mass for thanksgiving was uncommon for several practical reasons.

The foremost of the reasons was that there was a lot of interest in moving the people out to make room for the people coming for the next mass which wasn’t that far down the line.

I agree, but how everybody making a thanksgiving first and then going out and being social?

The two things aren’t at all incompatible - thanksgiving is an attitude of the heart, not words on the lips. And an attitude that is often better shown in our behaviour to others than in our prayers.

That’s why loving our neighbour as ourself is so important that Christ could hardly separate it from loving God Himself as the greatest of the commandments.

It would seem — that taking those few minutes for thanksgiving helps in internalizing the wonderful gift we have received. This in itself would help going out and serving the Lord.

I have always heard thanksgiving after Mass commended by Priests, both “novus ordo” and Traditionalist alike.

A few months ago I stayed after Mass and was praying the psalms for a newly departed soul. After about 15 minutes of prayer I was told the doors were going to be locked and I had to leave. I left the church in tears because I was totally horrified at having been asked to leave the house of our Lord on his day.

My husband and I went to another church to pray and found it closed also. A woman was working in the flower beds and she said it was necessary to lock it … “you understand?” … to which my husband replied “no, I don’t understand.”

Where has the faith in God gone? Yes sometimes churches get broken into but not often enough to warrant closing them to those who want to pray. I believe it is simply a worldly thing … the priest says Mass then goes home. No one wants to have to come back and check on the church or to have to lock it up later.
No wonder people are so lost!

We are a one car family and I often want to go to the church and just sit with Jesus and pray. But the hours I can go and the hours the church is open often differ. I wish so much we could go back to the days when you could visit Jesus anytime of the day or night … at least until dusk …

Oh and by the way I think it is a good practice to stay after Mass to pray. At our church though it is pretty impossible to pray within the first 10 to 15 minutes because of the noise. People are so loud you can’t concentrate. And if you wait for it to quiet down … well I just told you what happens!


You have no idea how often churches are broken into - not that many cases are reported, just like most house break-ins aren’t. And the risks that are run in terms of lawsuits by people who may be attacked, insurance premiums etc etc etc.

Besides which, remember just Whom is in that tabernacle. Would you prefer to run the risk of having Our Lord stolen and profaned just to satisfy your whim for popping into Church at odd hours?

I don’t mean to sound harsh, admittedly I know I do, but there are all sorts of factors as well, in terms of electricity and other amenities that would have to be kept running for hours a day to cater to such a scheme.

There *are *ways these things can be done though - contact the pastor beforehand and arrange to visit, maybe obtain a key if he knows you and trusts you.

My local church has just such a system for those who wish to visit the Blessed Sacrament - a little chapel which is separate from the main body of the church but from which the altar and tabernacle are clearly visible, with its own keypad-controlled entry (code obtainable from the priest).

Other quotes from the article on Thanksgiving after Communion:

Pope Benedict XVI in Sacramentum Caritatis referred to the “precious time of thanksgiving after communion”, urging everyone to preserve the importance of communion as “a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus in the sacrament.” He recommended that during this time "it can also be most helpful to remain recollected in silence. "

St. Louis de Montfort wrote, “I would not give up this hour of Thanksgiving even for an hour of Paradise.”

St. Josemaria: Do not leave the church almost immediately after receiving the Sacrament. Surely you have nothing so important on that you cannot give Our Lord 10 minutes to say thanks. Love is repaid with love."

My parish always has 15-20 folks kneeling in prayer after Mass, some stay for 5 minutes, others are still there when I leave (5 to 10 minutes for me). We have 3 shrines that are visited by parishioners after Mass. Our Lourdes Grotto sometimes has a line of folks waiting (5 to 10 usually).

Before Mass and after, there is seldom anyone talking. Those leaving are very respectful of those still in prayer.

Folks gather outside for conversation.

I feel fortunate to have a NO parish with priests who say the Mass with reverence, and members of like mind. Our weekday Masses are well attended :slight_smile:

I’ve also attended Mass at parishes that sound like the last hour of a church picnic as soon as the Mass was over. No one praying. No wonder. :frowning:

I am happy to hear that there churches that people will be quiet and some stay and pray. My St. Bernard church was that way - not so in AR. I do go to the Adoration Chapel after to light my candles - very quiet in there but I miss not having the peace following the Mass. I have always felt better getting in my before and after Mass prayers.

While it is a good practice, it can be hard to spread things like that. People can’t be forced into prayer and it shouldn’t be attempted. The whole idea is that it isn’t required of anyone, which is why doing it is special. Doing something that isn’t reuired of you is a way to show special love.

My family, and others in my church, go for the thanksgiving and then socialize route. But I can’t blame those who go socialize right after Mass. It’s such a happy occasion! It’s God’s fault for putting us in that celebrating mood! :dancing:


After mass my family and I have always stayed after mass to give thanks, about five minutes. We have never had a problem with it, and we visit lots of churches. I guess we just never stopped to ask it was okay we just assumed that praying in church is just what you do and telling our Lord thank you for calling us to His house and celebrating His mass with Him is just the polite thing to do. Hum… I guess now you guys might have me looking around and thinking is someone going to ask us to leave now. :rolleyes:

Suggestion: Perhaps you can find a good traditional priest who can instruct you and have him bring the Blessed Sacrament into your home for Eucharistic Adoration for certain periods of time.

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