QUAERITUR: Eucharistic fast… AFTER Communion? Wherein Fr. Z rants.

From a reader:

I heard recently that there is a rule that after receiving Holy Communion, a person should not eat for fifteen minutes (I think because that’s how long the Body of Christ is in us after Communion).

Most of the time, this wouldn’t pose an issue because with the prayers after Communion and after Mass it would be longer than 15 minutes after Communion before people even get out of the church. But at my college ___ we have Daily Mass before lunch. The Mass is very quick, and I believe that many times Mass gets out and people go and get lunch before the fifteen-minute period after Communion is over. Is there actually such a 15-minute rule? If there is, I’d like to spread the word around my campus to make sure people aren’t breaking their fasts!

There is a law, risible as it may be, applicable to most people to fast for one hour before reception of Holy Communion.  I say most people, because sometimes there are special circumstances and I risible because an hour is… simply put… not enough, in my humble opinion.  But it is the law of the Latin Church.  Also, the one hour is before reception of Communion and not, as some people mistakenly think, before the beginning of Mass.  Some Masses are long enough that you could be eating your pork and beans on the way up the stairs of the church and still be okay for reception of Communion.

There is no law concerning fasting after reception of Communion.

There is, however, a rule of thumb.

It is usually suggested that you allow at least 15 minutes to pass before taking food.

The reason for this is grounded in our belief that, after the consecration, as long as the accidents of bread remain, then the Eucharistic Christ is truly present.  Once the substance is broken, and we can no longer discern the accidents of what was bread, then Christ is no longer sacramentally present.  It probably takes about 15 minutes – on the safe side – for the Host to be changed in the process of swallowing and digestion to the point where it is no longer the Eucharist.

If we truly believe what we say we believe about the Eucharist, doesn’t it seem right to stay and pray a bit even after Mass and say “Thank you!” to our Lord?

So, the good rule of thumb is about 15 minutes.  And it turns out that in some parishes there are enough announcements and other blabblab that 15 minutes are eaten up, if you’ll pardon the pun.

Friends, we should cultivate the practice, and set a good example for others, by remaining in church in prayer of thanksgiving after Holy Mass concludes.  Fathers!  Bishops! You should talk about this as well!

Let us promote reverent silence for prayer after Mass! Rise up against the profaning of our churches by kneeling down in silent and prayerful thanksgiving!

Unite!  Promote the new evangelization!  Reclaim the sacred spaces of our churches!

Take our churches back from jabbering cretins who fill the air after Mass with their relentlessly mundane GABBLE!!!

ehem

No, there is no law.  But it is a good thing to remember after Mass on your way to the doughnut line.

Here is a prayer that you could learn and recite after Holy Mass during which you dared to receive Communion:

A Prayer For After Mass

I give thanks to Thee, O Lord, most holy, Father almighty, eternal God, that Thou hast vouchsafed, for no merit of mine own, but out of Thy pure mercy, to appease the hunger of my soul with the precious body and blood of Thy Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Humbly I implore Thee, let not this holy communion be to me an increase of guilt unto my punishment, but an availing plea unto pardon and salvation. Let it be to me the armour of faith and the shield of good will. May it root out from my heart all vice; may it utterly subdue my evil passions and all my unruly desires. May it perfect me in charity and patience; in humility and obedience; and in all other virtues. May it be my sure defence against the snares laid for me by my enemies, visible and invisible. May it restrain and quiet all my evil impulses, and make me ever cleave to Thee Who art the one true God. May I owe to it a happy ending of my life. And do Thou, O heavenly Father, vouchsafe one day to call me, a sinner, to that ineffable banquet, where Thou, together with Thy Son and the Holy Ghost, art to Thy saints true and unfailing light, fullness of content, joy for evermore, gladness without alloy, consummate and everlasting happiness.  Through the same Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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40 Responses to QUAERITUR: Eucharistic fast… AFTER Communion? Wherein Fr. Z rants.

  1. NoraLee9 says:

    I love that prayer. It’s Aquinas isn’t it?

  2. AnnAsher says:

    So we’re not all walking around as living tabernacles ?

  3. Cafea Fruor says:

    This brings up a question I’ve had for a while. On weekdays, I can get to midday Mass but have to sacrifice my 30-minute lunch break to do it, which is fine, as I can eat at my desk. But since walking to Mass, Mass itself, and walking back from Mass, technically take about 40-45 minutes, I’m already taking more time than I should. While my employer is Catholic and is OK with this, I really don’t think it’s right to stay after Mass any longer because my hourly job by its nature leaves no leeway for staying late or coming in early to make up the time. Even if I could stay after Mass, there’s one of those prayer groups that starts prayers aloud after Mass, so any thanksgiving would be a very distracted one.

    In lieu of actually staying, I’ve considered making a brief thanksgiving during the walk back to my office, which takes maybe 4-5 minutes, but I can be interrupted by coworkers who want to talk. I’ve also considered maybe making a very belated thanksgiving when I get home from work and pray my evening prayer, but it’s not like I still have the Blessed Sacrament in me at that point.

    Can anyone propose other suggestions? [Go back to work right after Mass and talk cordially with those who wish to engage you. If they are Catholic, suggest you say the Rosary as you walk along.]

  4. Cafea Fruor says:

    Fr. Z., that’s what I do currently. But what to do about a thanksgiving? None at all, or way later in the day?

  5. How about bringing back the Leonine Prayers as a popular devotion after Mass after the 4th ditty of the 4-hymn sandwich is over…mass descending to your knees and praying as Pope Leo asked.

    The Leonine were prayers voluntarily said on the people’s initiative. And given today’s circumstances, can’t hurt to call on the intercession of the Archangel Michael.

    That would help extend out to 15 minutes…and set an example that the church is for praying…and the school cafeteria is for socializing.

    Just a wild thought…

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  6. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    I usually make a B-line for the door and get the heck out of the church after Mass when I’m anywhere else but my home parish where people consistently respect the post-Mass silence. I find trying to pray interiorly after Mass at 99% of other parishes just results in me harboring resentful uncharitable thoughts toward all the garrulous, inconsiderate parishioners around me fraternizing about their most recent bowel movement irregularities or when their children are getting married or what they saw on TV before Mass.

    It’s better if I just leave.

  7. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    plus if I don’t get to Bob Evans and start eating within 15 minutes of Mass finishing, I miss the Sunday morning specials.

  8. lizaanne says:

    Being away from home this past weekend, I had to attend Mass at St. Suburbia parish. Complete with hand holding, double jumbotrons, 10 EMHCs, a priest and a deacon, girls in sparkly sandals at the altar, and the hit parade of hymns, starting with Lord of the Dance – oh yes, and we can’t forget herding out the little ones lest they be exposed the the “grown up” stuff. It was painful – but it was still Christ on the altar, so I endured the rest of it.

    Anywhoo – as is my custom, after Mass I knelt to say my prayers of thanksgiving. The place erupted in a chorus of voices, coats, shuffling, you name it – so they could get out of there because the rain had arrived (I guess – unless they scurry like that every Sunday. Ya think?). I shortened my prayers, mostly because I could not even hear myself think, so when I looked up, the pews were 99% EMPTY, when the church really was packed (a good sign, but still) when I knelt down.

    I had to wonder to myself — how many there really REALLY got it? How many actually understood what they just did, what they just participated in? I’m not “holier than thou” by any stretch of the imagination, though I never think that’s a bad thing to strive for to be honest. But a little reverence would be nice people!!!

    When one goes to a friend’s house for a meal, do they leave without saying “thank you”? Isn’t it the least we could do when Christ has given us the greatest banquet known to mankind?

    Sheesh…

  9. RafkasRoad says:

    Dear Lizaanne at comment *8,

    You mused, “When one goes to a friend’s house for a meal, do they leave without saying “thank you”? Isn’t it the least we could do when Christ has given us the greatest banquet known to mankind?”

    Remember Luke’s gospel account of the ten leppers healed by our Lord? how many actually bothered to go back and say thank you? only one.

    Re congregations that are a menacing riot to pray in after Mass, they’ll either cut and run in short order to get to the carpark etc and take it outside or (most irritatingly) linger afterwards; pray through it, (I’ve found the Rosary is best for this) and remember to pray for them, that even a few might stop and think. the vast majority have forgotten how to stop, think and reflect, if they ever learnt in the first place. I’m blessed at my local parish that the gaggle take their din out into the courtyuard leaving those of us who remain behind to pray in relative peace, but I’ve been to places where I’ve had to tune out the ‘wall of noise’; it can be done.

    may you and all here be richly and wonderfully blessed,

    Aussie Marounite.

  10. Lepidus says:

    Interestingly enough, there is a parish run the the Institute of Christ the King within walking distance of my job and within the last month or so I started going periodically to my first EF Masses. These are low Masses offered at noon and they always end with the Leonine Prayers, led by the priest.

  11. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Andrew Shipman has an interesting little 1907 article in the Catholic Encyclopedia about the ‘antidoron’ (and the “pain bénit”) – what are the contours of current practice?

  12. ByzCath08 says:

    In the Byzantine Divine Liturgy, after communion and after the eucharist has been moved from the altar to the table of preparation, the priest comes down from the altar and out among the faithful. He recites a prayer known as the ambon prayer. Afterwards, he returns to the altar for the proper ending of the liturgy.

    He comes out among the faithful because he prays where Christ is and that is among the faithful who have just received the eucharist. It’s a beautiful reminder of the real presence in the eucharist and it also slows things down after liturgy for us to pray and reflect on the divine mystery we have received in the eucharist.

  13. ByzCath08 says:

    @Venerator Sti Lot…In the Eastern Church, the portion of the Prosphora which was not used for the eucharist is distributed at the end of liturgy. Since it is not the eucharist, we offer it to all believers, not just properly disposed catholics. Since we use leavened bread baked by the faithful, we usually have a fair amount remaining that was not consecrated as eucharist. With the use of unleavened bread in the Western Church, there is really no unused portion to give out at the end of the liturgy.

  14. Wayward Lamb says:

    At our beautiful and reverent NO parish, the priest leads us in prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, then a Divine Mercy Chaplet. This happens every Mass, regardless who the priest is (even a visiting priest) and whether or not we sing a closing hymn. Then two-thirds or more of the congregants remain in the Sanctuary to pray. It’s easily fifteen minutes after Mass, let alone Communion, before our parishioners return to profane activities.

  15. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    “There is a law, risible as it may be, applicable to most people to fast for one hour before reception of Holy Communion. ”

    We HAVE to reform the pre-Communion fast. My follow-up article on this is due out at HPR On-Line anytime now.

  16. JacobWall says:

    I’ve had it happen a couple of times that when I pray after mass, someone will actually walk right up to me and start talking. No apology, no “excuse me.” In fact, when I don’t answer to finish my prayer, they repeat what they said even louder.

    I’m always kneeling, with my hands folded and head bowed. Now and then I’ll be leaning over to one of my young children beside me so they can hear what I say and repeat it. But still, I think it’s more than obvious – we would both be kneeling with our hands folded if we were just chatting about lunch. I can almost forgive them for their chatter on the way out, but just walking up to someone and talking to them in the middle of a their prayer … what’s with that?

  17. StWinefride says:

    With regard to the Eucharistic Fast, Una Voce’s Position Paper No. 10 on The Eucharistic Fast is available to read here:

    http://www.fiuv.org/docs/FIUV_PP10_EucharisticFastFinal.pdf

  18. philbert says:

    On the Eucharistic fast. I remember reading (half a century ago!) Frank Sheed on the subject of a small Jamaican lad who had eaten a banana just before a Mass at which he received Holy Communion. When Sheed gently pointed out the rule to him, the lad replied in all earnestness that he thought it better that the Lord should sit on the banana than the banana sit on the Lord! Yes, rules are rules, but isn’t the real point reverent awareness?

    People do want to meet each other and inter-relate (live communion) at a Sunday Mass. I remember visiting a church which had a notice in the Narthex: “When you enter the church, talk to God. When you leave church, talk to other people.” And the congregation took this injunction in all seriousness, with impressive effect.

  19. In England, at least in the area where I live people freely chat loudly both before and after Mass (and some during Mass and even during the sermon, too – a priest commented to me a little while ago that it was rather offputting). After Mass I usually flee as soon as the priest is out the door, partly to escape at least the last few stanzas of some awful happy-clappy “hymn” and because in the solitude of my car I can do my thanksgiving much better than in the church. People chat after the EF Mass, too, btw, loudly greeting each other and standing in groups in the church talking.

  20. VexillaRegis says:

    Organists have a big advantage to ordinary churchgoers – we can give thanks while playing the postlude after the recessional hymn. Noone will disturb you and as long as you play a piece that’s not too complicated (i e not Max Reger but perhaps Bach) it’s easily done to have a tête a tête with our Lord.

  21. Supertradmum says:

    Most Missals @ 1962, and the reprints, have all the after Communion prayers in them. One can set a good example by kneeling down and praying while others talk. This is what I have done. And, believe it or not, some people have also joined me in doing that.

    Setting a good example is not hard. Of course, the problem with people talking in churches in England is that very few of the churches have “gathering spaces” or “communal rooms” and one does not want to stand and talk in the rain and cold. Most churches in the countryside or towns are small and one can even hear talking from the outside.

    This problem is huge and must be addressed by priests, who sadly, in all the dioceses I have been in, (many here) have not done this. So the chatting continues.

    One man in a parish went up to a group of six or seven ladies who does this before and after Sunday Mass every week for years, and asked them not to talk in church. They complained to the pastor, who told the man he should not have said that.

    Oh, well.

  22. Supertradmum says:

    sorry about typos and errors–am on the run for London. Bye. And visit the Tyburn Chapel in London, there is no talking either before or after Mass there.

  23. Katylamb says:

    I never heard any mention of a rule, written or unwritten, concerning how long one should wait to eat after communion. And no, I did not have a bad Catholic education. I was taught the faith by the good old-fashioned sisters who were strict. Reading about this here is the first I ever heard of it. We all used to always sit down and have donuts or sweet rolls and coffee as soon as we got home from Mass. We were hungry after having fasted all morning. We never ate anything before Mass, which I still don’t, and my family still has that custom of sitting right down for a little snack after Mass. Some of my happiest and holiest memories of childhood are of eating a sweet and having Dad and Mum ask us questions to make sure we were paying attention at Mass. I guess it’s true you learn something new every day.

  24. guans says:

    grew up in a large family, thus am able to block out noise.
    I usually like to call to mind the Father and Holy Spirit too,
    then thank my patron saints, then ask Jesus to give a kiss to
    all the wonderful relatives that have passed on.

  25. Bea says:

    Reminds me of a story about St. Phillip Neri, who sent his altar boys with lighted candles to follow for fifteen minutes, a communicant who would leave immediately after receiving. And if the man questioned the altar boys, he had instructed them what to say in order to teach the man the importance of WHO he had just received.

    What a beautiful prayer and what a beautiful image.
    Is there any way one could get holy cards with the image on one side and the prayer on the other to distribute to parishioners?

    Right after “go in peace the Mass is ended, Thanks be to God” it’s party time in our parish. Everybody greeting inside the church. I remain behind a few minutes in prayer and cover my ears if it gets too rowdy. I am hoping this will be an example/hint to others but they won’t get the message. A visiting priest once went up on the pulpit and called for silence for the sake of those remaining in prayer, to no avail. (or I should say a very, very brief respite)

    We thankfully have one priest who says the Salve Regina and the St. Michael prayer and that tones them down a little.

  26. VexillaRegis says:

    This reminds me of a concert with a really good orchestra a friend of mine went to some years ago. Sitting behind her was a couple of ladies, who apparently weren’t there to listen to the music, be cause they discussed cooking while a noisy symphony by Beethoven was being played. Suddenly there was a GP (General Pause) and in the silence everyone in the audience could hear a lady shouting: “…FRY THEM IN BUTTER”! Poor orchestra.

    Sorry for the derailing, but people ofter behave very badly in Church, theatres and concerts. Politely asking them to please be quiet, or taking their rowdy children out, mostly renders you angry replies or complaints to the pastor.

    Back OT!

  27. marylise says:

    Idle chatter in Catholic churches at any time, but especially after Holy Communion, is: (1) ingratitude for the Real Presence, (2) injustice against those at prayer, (3) lack of self-control, (4) rejection of divine graces, and (5) pride saying “I come first.” Pastors are the only ones who can correct this problem, but generally speaking they fail to do so. All it would take would be a gentle announcement to the effect please remember this is a house of God and a house of prayer, and we show our love for the Real Presence by keeping quiet before, during and after Mass. Thank you.

  28. wmeyer says:

    marylise, I agree with your points. All of them. In my former parish, the main offenders before Mass are the choir, who of course should know better.

  29. ocleirbj says:

    In the Anglican liturgy that I grew up with, the communion was always followed by the Lord’s Prayer, a prayer of thanksgiving, and the Gloria, and then the final blessing. This period of prayer was long enough to settle my soul after receiving communion, and taught me to be still and to wait on God as my response. And Anglican congregations always kneel as one for a moment of prayer after the final hymn is over, until the organist starts up the postlude.

    When I began going to the Catholic liturgy, I was surprised that there was no prayer of thanks offered by the congregation, nothing after communion but the short closing prayer, which is often so brief that the standard ending (“Christ … Who lives and reigns” etc) is longer than the prayer itself, and the whole thing can easily be over before all the people have even finished standing up, as priests don’t always pause after saying “Let us pray”. For me the Mass ended too abruptly, before it was finished. It felt disrespectful to the people as well as to God – (“the important part’s over, so off you go! Shoo, shoo!”). The people, for their part, responded obediently by getting out as quickly as possible, often heading straight from the altar to the exit. The unity of the praying congregation seemed to end at the moment of each person’s communion, and after that everyone just scattered.

    I have since learned that the people are supposed to make their own thanksgiving privately afterwards, but many do not, and priests never mention it. I have grown used to this abbreviated ending after 35 years, and the new translation means that the closing prayer is sometimes a little longer that it was, but I still feel it a serious omission that a public prayer of thanks, long enough for us to give it sufficient attention, is not offered to God as part of the liturgy. He deserves it, and it is good for us to say it.

    Since so much of the Anglican liturgy was taken from the Catholic Mass, I have always wondered whether there used to be a prayer of thanks in the Catholic liturgy that was dropped at some point after the Reformation. Or maybe, the reformers just thought it was appropriate to keep the congregation in prayer for a few more minutes. If this was their thinking, I agree with them!

    This was what we used to say:

    ALMIGHTY and everliving God, we most heartily thank thee that thou dost graciously feed us, in these holy mysteries, with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ; assuring us thereby of thy favour and goodness towards us; and that we are living members of his mystical body, which is the blessed company of all faithful people; and are also heirs through hope of thy everlasting kingdom.
    And here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice unto thee. And although we are unworthy, yet we beseech thee to accept this our bounden duty and service, not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offences; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.

  30. Imrahil says:

    I wonder where this idea that Holy Mass, after Communion, usually takes another 15 minutes (I have heard that before) comes from. After the end of Communion reception, 5 minutes it is.

    The only problem with this I see (it is no law to fast after Communion, there is the rule of thumb which our reverend host mentioned, and for exceptional cases such as mentioned, well: there is no law) is what is a good tradition (cf. the official blessings of bread, eggs and meat after the Easter Sunday masses): the agape of the faithful populace after Holy Mass, also called in English “coffee & donuts” and in German the “early half-pint”. I wonder about that. Yet if that is reserved for greater festivities (such as the Corpus Christi procession) or on a private scale in the pub (leaving room for private thanksgiving…), we’re on the safe-side again.

  31. Suburbanbanshee says:

    The point is not for the 15 minutes to be a source of scrupulosity and worry. (Which for some people it becomes, although today we usually err on the side of unconcern.) The point is to make mental thanksgiving (even if while moving along, should there be need) and to remain at peace with the Lord as much as possible.

    And even if there’s coffee and donuts right after Mass in the basement (which is a blessing for those of us with fasting issues), that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not getting the 15 minutes in.

    But people who are in a situation where they have to get lunch in, or starve? God understands. And heck, your body understands (and is probably really hungry), so it’s ten to one that you’re digesting faster anyway. You might want to talk to God a bit more during lunch or do some other pious remembrance thing, just to help you remember that it’s an exception. But be of good heart about it; it’s a good thing to get to go to Mass.

  32. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Of course, it’s always possible, and sometimes a good idea, to go to Mass and not receive Communion, for good reasons. So if you really really have to cram lunch in, within five seconds of leaving church, and you’re worried about disrespect, there’s always that. I’m not sure if that would be a good idea if you have a tight schedule every Sunday, and obviously frequent Communion is one of the main reasons to attend daily Mass; but it’s not the only reason, and it’s certainly okay not to receive.

  33. Giuseppe says:

    It can take 10-15 minutes to exit our cramped church parking lot, so St. Christopher, patron of travel, not only protects against accidents, but he also gives time to digest the accidents of the bread.

  34. AngelGuarded says:

    We usually remain in the Church to pray after Mass, however, the parish we attend has this very annoying habit of applauding after the priest and servers recess. It annoys my hubby and I to no end and is a challenge to our Christian charity. I hang my head when they do this. I don’t know the origin but it is clear they are applauding their performances. I say a prayer of thanksgiving and seeking forgiveness for them, and for me for being annoyed by it. In addition to chattering after Mass, many have very loud and mundane conversations before Mass, even when I am kneeling in front of them attempting to prepare my soul to receive my Lord’s Body and Blood. These people are old enough to have no excuse for this bad behavior. Again, I pray not to let it distract me and ask God to forgive them and me. It seems many do not understand they are at the foot of the Cross, that Mass is the Holy Sacrifice of our beloved Lord. We don’t say anything and try not to look at them for fear of being perceived as a dirty look. I guess you call that giving up.

  35. Supertradmum, none of the churches in my native Eastern European country have any communal space (the concept itself does not exist) but no one would engage in a conversation before or after Mass, not even whispering, and greetings would be limited to a silent nod. I don’t think it depends on architecture. A while ago I commented on this to a priest here in England and he said with a sigh, “Oh, I tried…”, and then he told me how he tried preaching about this, asking people to be quiet etc. and it did not work. And then I thought of that the reason why I do not chat in church is not because someone has told me not to but because I have so much to say to Our Lord, who is there in the Eucharist. I don’t really understand how churchgoers in England can chat in church – don’t they have anything to say to Jesus? And that with churches being closed during the day, too (in Eastern Europe Catholic churches are open all day every day).

  36. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    CatholicCoffee’s reference to Eastern Europe Catholic churches and the absence of “communal space (the concept itself does not exist)” jogged my memory of visiting a celebration of the Divine Liturgy (Moscow Patriarchate) in the Soviet time in a church not far from Red Square on the other side of the Moscva River, where there was an exercise of practical charity not unlike a ‘soup kitchen’ just inside the (western) entrance, immediately after the service (though I have no clear recollection how long that ‘immediately’ was in fact)! I thought about this at the time in terms of what I took to be Soviet ‘freedom of worship’ as distinct from ‘freedom of religion’… (cf. Fr. Dudko’s using his sermons for question-and-answer catechesis – for which, I think he got into trouble.)

    ByzCath08, belated thanks for your illuminating response (and your first comment, which it followed) !

    You say, “Since it is not the eucharist, we offer it to all believers, not just properly disposed catholics” – a reverent eating, fairly directly after the Communion, which invites all believers present to prayerful attention!

    Might the singing together of the ‘Salve Regina’ (or other, seasonally appropriate, anthem) immediately after the Mass be thought of as similarly inviting and uniting (in a Western context: assuming access to text and notation, where not already familiar!)?

    Thinking of reverence and prayerful attention, I am reminded that, at a Moscow Patriarchate celebration, after the Soviet time and outside Russia, I have heard the sermon preached ‘at the end’ (I think, after the antidoron, but I may be wrong) – is this also an Eastern Church option?

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  38. My parish moved the after Mass social gathering from the parish hall downstairs to the vestibule of the church; even installed a sink. Now you can consume your coffee and cake immediately after Mass before exiting the church. Nothing like a fresh cup of coffee soon after consuming a consecrated communion wafer.

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  40. Kathleen10 says:

    Oh my goodness…forgive me but these anecdotes are wonderful. I mean, I feel all your pain, and experience it too, and yet it is really amusing to hear your comments. FRY THEM IN BUTTER! Indeed. I think that image is going to stick with me, Sir.
    About four weeks ago my husband and I were at our usual 12:00 Mass. We have always certainly noticed the clamor that breaks out the second the Mass is over. What made this particularly noticeable was the priest had just asked something to the effect that we ought to leave silently, reflecting on the holy mystery, something similar. No sooner were those words off his lips then the chute opened and out stampeded the congregation, chatting, hello-ing and hooting, until there were no more laughs to be had and all went out the door, then peeled out of the lot. I’m exaggerating. A little.
    I contribute sins to the world but not this particular one. I have never wanted to talk before, during, or after Mass. And turning to each other to greet each other before the Mass and so on as requested by the priest gives me a pain. I probably don’t look too friendly.
    Does anyone else think it an odd pairing of terms for the priest to say:
    “The Mass is ended” and for the people to reply:
    “Thanks be to God”.
    I often chuckle a little when I consider what we are really saying.