Here’s a question I’ve wondered about lately: does the mass end when the priest says “the mass is ended go in peace…etc.” or does it end after the last hymn? At what point does the mass officially end? Bit of an odd question, I know.
From the behavior of some people, one would think that the Mass ends right after Communion. Practically speaking, it ends when the priest leaves the sanctuary. People should remain out of respect for the priesthood until the priest has processed out. But really, they ought to kneel down and spend some time making their thanksgiving for the Lord’s presence within them if they have received Him in Holy Communion.
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.