Most people respectfully wait until the priest has recessed before leaving the nave, I have noticed that you have been leaving mass before the priest exits, can you explain why?
Yes, I can. I agree with respectfully waiting; however, I object those to pastors promoting their personal piety by inserting a prayer into the mass promulgated by Pope St. John Paul II. That is during the closing rites of the mass. I have noticed several priests adding the Saint Michael prayer or Memorare, or Hail Holy Queen, etc., following the blessing and dismissal, and prior to reverencing the altar and exiting.
Some have said, “but there is nothing “written” that prohibits it AFTER the people say, “Thanks be to God””. Actually, in the General Instructions of the Roman Missal (GIRM) there is. In paragraph ⁋ 24, it states the priest “is not permitted, on his own initiative, to add, to remove, or to change anything”. In ⁋ 90 it references the Concluding Rites consisting of:
a. Brief announcements, if they are necessary;
b. The priest’s greeting and blessing, which on certain days and occasions is enriched and expressed in the prayer over the People or another more solemn formula;
c. The dismissal of the people by the deacon or the priest, so that each may go out to do good works, praising and blessing God;
d. The kissing of the altar by the priest and the deacon, followed by a profound bow to the altar by the priest, the deacon, and the other ministers.
The Concluding Rites are inclusive in the liturgical directions for the mass and are a complete single action. Thus, the understanding that the mass is ended in the middle of a single action and anything else can be added is incorrect. To support my understanding, I draw your attention to ⁋⁋ 168-170.
168. Immediately after the blessing, with hands joined, the priest adds, Ite, Missa est (The Mass is ended, go in peace), and all answer, Deo gratias (Thanks be to God).
169. Then, as a rule, the priest venerates the altar with a kiss and, after making a profound bow with the lay ministers, departs with them.
170. If, however, another liturgical action follows the Mass, the Concluding Rites, that is, the greeting, the blessing, and the dismissal, are omitted.
To recite the Prayer to Saint Michael, or any other, when the priest has not completed the rubrics of the Concluding Rites at the end of the mass is a violation of the norm according to ⁋ 170: “If, however, another liturgical action follows the Mass, the Concluding Rites, that is, the greeting, the blessing, and the dismissal, are omitted.” This these priests do not obey. ⁋ 24, it states the priest “is not permitted, on his own initiative, to add, to remove, or to change anything”.
If the St. Michael prayer, or any other prayer, is to be said as a community, as the priest has instructed them, which is another liturgical action (not a part of the mass), the priest is obligated to follow ⁋ 170 the greeting, the blessing, and the dismissal, are omitted.
I know of one priest who said the diocese “gave permission”, which I checked and was not true. They were told the diocese could not give permission to add the Saint Michael Prayer. While there are bishops who choose to “ignore” this behavior, ignoring is not giving permission. Thus, I exit during “Saint Michael Prayer”, prior to the priest exiting as he has shown disregard for the Divine Liturgy.
One thought on “At the end of mass”
Hello Father Paul! I just found out about your website, and have enjoyed reading your posts. Regarding the above (prayers led after Mass is over), I tend to agree with you. However, what are your thoughts on how these prayers may differ from the usual Sunday Mass tradition of singing a recessional hymn? Is it the fact that the presider isn’t leading it, and is in fact departing? PS-We miss our Scripture sharing mornings we had with you during your time at OLOF.