During the Concluding Rites, announcements may be made (if necessary) after the Prayer after Communion. The celebrant then blesses the people assembled. Sometimes, the blessing is very simple. On special days, the blessing may be more extensive. In every case, the blessing is always trinitarian: “May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” It is in the triune God and in the sign of the cross that we find our blessing.

After the blessing, the deacon dismisses the people. In fact, the dismissal gives the liturgy its name. The word “Mass” comes from the Latin word, “Missa.” At one time, the people were dismissed with the words “Ite, missa est” (literally meaning “Go, she—meaning you, the Church—has been sent”). The word “Missa” is related to the word “missio,” the root of the English word “mission.” The liturgy does not simply come to an end. Those assembled are sent forth to bring the fruits of the Eucharist to the world.

 

Copyright © 2015 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, D.C. Used with permission. All rights reserved.