Module 5: The Concluding Rites

The mass is concluded in comparable manner as it was started: with the words The Lord be with you”, the Sign of the Cross and a procession.


Priest says: 

The Lord be with you.

We reply: 

And with your spirit.

Priest says: 

May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

We reply: 


Then the Deacon, or the Priest says:

Go forth, the Mass is ended.


Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.


Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.


Go in peace.

We reply: 

Thanks be to God


Origin and Meaning



"The Lord be with you" were the words used often by Saint Paul both as a greeting and farewell statements in his Letters. This was in reflection of the daunting task that Christians face around the time, for they were likely to be arrested if caught praying together or preaching the Gospel for Christ.

The name mass came from the Latin word Missa which means dismissal or sending. The sending off was a practice initiated by Jesus when he appeared to his disciples after Resurrection and said unto them;

“Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you” (Jn 20:21).

This was followed by a gift and a mission as recorded in Jn 20:22-23;

When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”



Concluding Rite is too brief – or is it?


It initially made me wonder why the concluding rite is so short. Truly enough, we already had the highlight of the mass which is the Liturgy of the Eucharist but naturally we wanted more.


Personally I don’t see the Concluding Rite as the end of the mass but rather just a part of the cycle of our relationship with God.


I love science and perhaps I can explain my thoughts better if I compare the Mass and the Concluding Rite with the Cycle of Water.


Although not entirely related to Concluding Rite but you may ask out of interest: “Why compare humans with water?” Well, water is one of the first elements mentioned in Genesis at the beginning of time. We are also conceived through the union of water and we are nourished by our mother in water (amniotic fluid). It flows in us because blood is made up mostly of water. Water is a symbol of cleanliness and when we go to mass, Holy water is usually the first essential element that we use to pray at the Holy Trinity. There is so much more I can say about water but I don’t want to drown you out with too much details.

The Water Cycle

1) The sun’s heat evaporates water from the oceans and seas into water vapour.

2) This water vapour rises into the atmosphere.

3) The water vapour condenses into clouds.

4) Water then precipitates and falls as snow or rain earth where it remains to nourish the earth until the sun’s heat comes again.

The Catholic Cycle

1)  Think of the mass as heaven on earth where  the grace of God shines upon us who are attending and it changes us into a different perhaps holier being.

2) Our different self evaporates and drawn up closer to God in heaven through the Eucharist.

3) In the solemn period that we receive the Body of Christ, we all condense together under the grace of God in heaven.

4) We then precipitate and go back to earth when we are sent to carry out God’s work and we remain, until the Grace of God shines upon us again in the mass.

God sent us off at the Concluding Rite, together with wonderful gift of the Eucharist, that we may share with the world. When we see each other again on the next mass, we can then share with him how we honoured his sacrifice and we can give account on how we followed his commandments.


For Christ already gave up his life for us and offered us the wonderful gift of  the Eucharist. And now we may ask ourselves after the mass, “What can I give back in the honour of his name?” And when we see Christ again on the next mass, we can give him an account of what we have done in the past few days in the honour of his name.



Now, the Concluding Rite is not so short anymore. 


The Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Excerpts from the English translation of Lectionary for Mass © 1969, 1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation, (ICEL); excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 2010, ICEL; the English translation of Eucharistic Prayers for Masses with Children © 1975, ICEL. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2017 by Bernardo Verdin.