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Is it wrong to leave Mass after Communion?

I am saddened when I see a large number of people leaving our parish church immediately after receiving Holy Communion. I always believed we were to stay until we received the final blessing. Am I wrong?

You’re right; we should stay until the end. Those who don’t are letting their habits of haste pull them out of what should be an atmosphere of reflective gratitude. If that atmosphere is not there, you might encourage your pastor and your director of liturgical music to create it. If it is there and some are not affected by it, you might suggest the need for a few homilies focused on the centrality of the notion of gratitude to our faith and religion. The quiet time after reception of Holy Communion is, after all, intended to be a time of thanksgiving.
I can recall being encouraged as a child to recite a prayer called the “Anima Christi" after reception of Holy Communion. Perhaps you remember the words: “Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Body of Christ, save me. Blood of Christ, inebriate me. Water from the side of Christ, wash me. Passion of Christ, strengthen me. Within thy wounds hide me. Permit me not to be separated from Thee. From the wicked foe defend me. At the hour of my death call me, and bid me come to Thee, that with thy saints I may praise Thee forever and ever. Amen." If prayers like this were available in the pews, perhaps there would be fewer departures before the final blessing!



  1. Michelle tavakoli Reply

    Unless you have to get to work and you’d be possibly fired yes or energ ed ncy reasons, not habit to be first out of parking lot o TV to eat quicker.without health reasons attached.

  2. Tami Bednarz Reply

    I know we had to leave early several times but my mom was ill with acute lukemia and she just couldn’t make it the entire time but she DID NOT want to miss MASS

    1. Angelite_B4U Reply

      Tami, your response should teach everyone that it is unwise to form opinions about why people do what they do. There are many reasons someone might leave earlier than the Pharisees might think is appropriate. We all know we should wait — but none of us knows why another might leave early.

  3. catstclair12000 Reply

    Yes, they are wrong. Mass does not end until the dismissal. If invited to dinner, would you leap up as soon as you finished dessert and run for your car? That’s no way to treat God while you are in His House. Wait until the dismissal and for Father to leave the altar. Some priests want the congregation to follow them out. The idea is that he is leading you out to proclaim the gospel. Other priests want you to remain and finish the final hymn. If there is no choir, it is rather sad to allow the final hymn to just peter out.

  4. Tami Bednarz Reply

    At St. John Newmann my mom Barbara Ann Bednarz passed away on January 4, 2003 at 9.35 pm on Saturday

  5. Marshall Reply

    Plus, one must go back to their pew, kneel, and meditate, having received the body of our Lord.

  6. Teresa Reply

    It saddens me too when this happens. Sometimes some people just do not seem to understand the Sacrament of Eucharist. We, as Catholics should understand the importance of the Holy Mass. This is only my opinion. I think we, as Catholics should learn more and be well versed about the Holy Mass.

  7. smcd Reply

    Remember, Judas was the first to leave mass early!

  8. Bart Reply

    Let us pray for those catholics who do come to Mass for the sake of it….

  9. Mia Reply

    I still say the Anima Cristi … but I do leave after Mass. Not right away I usually do not return to my pew… but stand in the back of the Church til the Eucharist is placed back into the Tabernacle and I receive the Priests blessing. However; I do not like my church moving the Tabernacle to the side. It should still be behind the Priest. I think people leave early because they have modified the Mass so much. Just my opinion. Proud to be Catholic!

  10. Melanie Reply

    I almost always leave early for work. I am a home health registered nurse and I see patients who need services by a specific time.

  11. charles fernandez Reply

    I see this happening in churches and it is always by the same people. It is very distracting too. there are also those using hand-phones while mass is in progress.

  12. shawnie Reply

    Should a child with cerebral palsy partake in the communion, although we are not sure whether she has the understanding or the concept of the whole thing ?

  13. Chester Summers Reply

    Why even bother coming to church? What all should do is wait for the final blessing; sit down in the pew; wait a minute, then relax and listen to the POSTLUDE played by the organist and let you ears receive some good sounds.

  14. Coleen Reply

    I heard it called “Grab & Goer’s”. I am going through RCIA and cannot partake as of yet but I stay until the end.

  15. edgar Mondejar Reply

    Yeah , they always comming late and leave before the blessing . Thats the question they answer above., wheres the blessing I gave you. I wonder if they comming late and leave movie theater the same.Don’t want to see the ending?

  16. Lyn Clements Reply

    I’ve had people tell me they attend a particular church because they can go to Mass and be done in 45 minutes or less. I always say that Jesus was on the cross for hours for us … we can spend all the time we need to to be at Mass until it is over.

  17. Steve Rotolo Reply

    I attend Mass every day, and recently I had to stop going on Saturday morning because that mass ends at 8:20, and I have to drive 40 miles to get to work by 9 am. In addition, I am the one who opens the building on that day. I tried leaving after Communion, but in addition to feeling guilty at church, I felt guilty showing up at work 10 or 15 minutes late. I also felt bad about speeding, which is dangerous and therefore, even worse. So I stopped attending mass on Saturday morning until the semester/summer break. I never leave early on the other days, when mass is at 7am and work starts at 10.

  18. P Leonard Reply

    Yes i agree its disrespectful. i agree that unless there is an emergency but further more leave after the last hymn.
    i have heard of people coming into church just before communion is served, they missed the entire mass before communion. is this a new trend? we as kids were taught if you come to church when the readings are read, go home its of no use.
    I have heard of people actually telling their friends they just slipped into Mass just in time for communion!!!
    where is the respect gone.? The church should start looking at this and start preaching on this disgusting behaviour. people come to church, they stand outside for the entire service and then say they were in Church??????

  19. Albert Reply

    Let the Holy Spirit guide all our actions in our lives….at home, at work, at church, everywhere.

  20. Darran Reply

    The Mass isn’t actually over until the reccesional to the sacristy ends and the priest blesses the servers. It’s acceptable to leave after the priest leaves the building/enters the sacristy but it is really a bare minimum.

    You’re supposed to give thanks after Mass is ended. Some places in the world people will give thanks for at least 15 mins. Some of the saints spent an hour or more. A quick prayer while kneeling doesn’t have to take long.

    This really only happens (leaving Mass after Communion) because people don’t know what Mass is about. It’s nothing to do with the “experience” being offered, it’s a matter of knowledge. If the priest says Mass properly and reverently and uses his homilies as a way to educate and instruct instead of being vague and sentimental then this wouldn’t happen at all. If someone is there for a vague reason, it’s not totally surprising that they would leave at a vague time.

    Unfortunately though, it seems that things are becoming a little better in this way. Slowly but surely. As people stop going to Mass the ones that do are becoming hardier and better educated. As that process continues a good outcome is only a matter of time.

  21. Robert Mclaughlin Reply

    I served Mass for many years in the 50s and 60s, mostly with”old school” Irish priests.
    Their reply when challenged on this was
    “The Lord said,”Do this in memory of me!”. I don’t recall any reports of processions or hymns in the Gospels.
    So, if you’re in time for the Consecration and receive Communion, you’ve completed the obligations”
    Later in life I don’t this with an Archbishop (who went on to become a Cardinal) and he agreed..
    That’s good enough for me!

    1. Darran Reply

      There’s a number of fairly big faults in that, but to name one to save a lot of writing, the Gospels (and Sacred Scripture in general) aren’t the sole source of Christian doctrine and/or practice. That is the Protestant teaching of Sola Scriptura, the priests and particularly the Archbishop-turned-Cardinal really should have known this.

      Unfortunately, as one of the remaining remnant of young Irish Catholics, this answer more underlines the problems among clerics of the past years than of anything else.

  22. Don John Reply

    My wife & i always try to stay at least until the priest says “the mass is over”. Every man for himself after that

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