The Mass Concluding Rites

In the Catholic Mass, the concluding rites refer to the series of prayers and rituals that take place at the end of the Mass. These rites include the recitation of the closing prayer of the Mass, the blessing by the priest, and the the dismissal of the congregation. The purpose of the concluding rites is to give thanks and praise to God, to ask for blessings on the congregation, and to send the people forth to live out their faith in the world.

The concluding rites of the Catholic Mass usually include the following elements:

  • The priest's recitation of the final prayer, which is typically the "Prayer over the People."
  • The priest gives a blessing to the congregation, often using a traditional formula such as "May the Lord be with you" or "May the Lord bless us and keep us. May he show his face to us and have mercy on us. May he turn his countenance to us and give us peace. Amen."
  • The priest then dismisses the congregation, saying something like "Go forth, the Mass is ended."
  • The congregation responds with a phrase such as "Thanks be to God."
  • Finally, the congregation may sing a closing hymn or song before departing.

During the recessional hymn, it is proper for the congregation to remain in their pew until the priest and other members of the procession, such as deacons or altar servers, have passed by.