When is Mass - officially over?


Once again, I have to complain about various Catholics at my church.
They talk - before mass - loudly - and continually.
I mean public library’s have more respect in their reading rooms.
It seemed to me as if there was this great gulf - between the altar - and the pews.

Anyways, mass finished, St. Micheal prayer was said -
and the song was announced and began playing…
I like to sing with the song - hold the hymnal -
But people started talking - saying good bye - laughing - etc
and we had even gotten to the chorus of the song.

Is mass officially over after the song - or after the Priest goes to the back room ?
This has always surprised me -
Are religious songs - to be somewhat honored - by no talking ?


Strictly speaking, the Mass is over when the priest or deacon says so (“Go forth, the Mass has ended.”).


This is when it’s over.


My understanding is that the Mass has ended with the words, “The Mass is ended; go in peace,” but that etiquette dictates that no one should leave before the celebrant. Leaving while the choir is singing is perfectly fine. We go forth singing praise to God.

Still, having loud conversations in Church just seems inappropriate, as it is a sacred space where people are often in prayer. Some stick around in the pews after Mass for precisely that reason. Loudly chatting while the choir is singing seems additionally disrespectful.

Perhaps you could speak to your pastor- he might offer a friendly reminder to the congregation.


I agree, you should complain @Seagull


That’s funny Lee - at church - before mass -
As people talked - it did sound like the overall vibe - was complaining.
I kid you not, I thought to myself…complaining must be a sin.
I was actually going to have that - as my question.

But I know - acceptance - is a huge part of God’s will.
Yet…it keeps people - too - from - well - bringing attention to certain things.
That’s bad too - as us Catholics know.


This opening line reminds me of feelings I’ve often had to deal with internally. The thought process goes something like:

“Why is that guy over there staring just because I saw someone at Mass that I hadn’t seen in years, and we greeted one another?”

“There’s a situation here that can only be helped by proactively addressing it and demands immediate attention, yet that person has a scornful look because he’s lost in his own thoughts and got disrupted.”

“I don’t know this song, and this person approached me to say something, to which I responded in charity. That guy with the hymnal over there acts like we just ruined his performance at Carnegie Hall.”

Not trying to be mean or anything, and yes, a bit exaggerated in my examples. My point is simply that I have had some negative emotional reactions to other parishioners before, too, but I have to remind myself to look in the mirror first. Those reactions are more telling of my behavior than theirs.


If complaining about a lack of respect in the house of God is a sin, well, it must be venial if at all.
It’s also a lack of respect for fellow Catholics too surely. It’s impolite if nothing else.

When I say complain I mean a quiet word with the priest nothing more.
Actually recently three elderly members of our congregation were talking loudly at the back and our priest hurried over to them and I think reminded them of where they were. After that they certainly looked sheepish…which is far more appropriate!

(We tend to talk after mass following the last hymn and that’s fine and a good thing since it aids solidarity and cohesion.)


You’d enjoy my local TLM, Seagull—a good chunk of people remain in silent contemplation until a good fifteen minutes have elapsed after the end of Mass, and a few continue to pray silently for about a half hour or so. Of course, there’s no chatter during this time (or ever, for that matter). I believe I’ve suggested this to you before, but if possible, you should take a look at the other parishes near you; perhaps you’ll find one that better aligns with your expectations.


Yes, yes, look in the mirror first -
Yes, yes, my reactions - are more telling - than their behavior.
I knew - I’d hear that reply - to - when mass is officially over ? Lol


I don’t believe you J Reed :stuck_out_tongue:
People - silent - for a good 15 minutes ?
Wowza !
That’s - amazing grace - to me.


Haha, it took me several months to find this particular Mass, and I was kicking myself when I finally did—it’s only an hour’s drive from where I live. Keep an eye out, the parish of your dreams may be closer than you think.


The Mass is over when the deacon says, “Go forth, the Mass is ended,” or one of the other forms of dismissal in the new Missal.

It’s polite to wait until the ministers have processed out, but not strictly required.

Some of the people in the back of Church leave as soon as they here the dismissal, which they can.

Deacon Christopher


Well, you can’t leave until the music ends.


Why is there any question about when the Mass is over? Years ago, after the Vatican Council, the practice changed whereas the priest comes in from the main vestibule and then “processes” up the main aisle. At the end of Mass, reverse that process.

I don’t think the chatter belongs in church, before, during, or after Mass. In my former parish there was chatter before, during, and after Mass. And it’s so at several parishes in my city - and in the adoration chapel.

My aunt told me that this talking is “fellowship.” Sure. One woman is telling another she’s going for a coney island hot dog for supper. A guy in front of me is excited about his new digital camera and telling his wife about it. And the three “regular” ladies at the weekday Mass are exchanging Halloween candy. The ushers in the back are chatting and when the organ swells, they talk louder.

Technically, canon law says something about this starting around canon 1205 or just before that.

We had a retired priest cover a weekend Mass, and the Mass was not over until he performed his slightly misogynistic Adam and Eve story.


A sad state of affair. Something has to be done about it in your parish. Maybe a gentle reminder and explanation from the priest or some notice somewhere or on the screen for the congregation to observe silent before the mass and in the church in general.


I once went to a Sunday Mass celebrated in a crowded classroom at a private high school where the students wouldn’t leave until they had sung every last verse of the recessional (or closing) hymn. I thought that was pretty cool!


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