THE CONCLUDING RITES – GREETINGS, BLESSING AND DISMISSAL
Priest: Go forth, the Mass is ended
People: Thanks be to God
The people stand for the closing rites of the Mass, which mirror how the Eucharistic celebration began – with the words “The Lord be with you” and the sign of the cross. This time, the sign of the cross is made while the priest blesses the people in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. What is most significant about the dismissal is that the Eucharist should be seen as sending forth of the faithful so that they may fulfill God’s will in their daily lives.
Jesus told the apostles, “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you” (Jn 20:21). The Father sent the son into the world to die for our sins and give us a share in his divine life. As we have seen, the entire paschal mystery of Jesus passion, death and resurrection is made present to us in the Eucharistic Liturgy so that we can be more deeply incorporated into Jesus life and mission. The more deeply the Eucharist unites us to Jesus, the more we will radiate his life and his love in the world around us. The closing line of the liturgy therefore is not an aimless dismissal but is a dismissal with a mission. It is sending forth of God’s people to bring the mysteries of Christ into the world.