Q: I’m reaching out with a quick question, of which you might have already addressed on your blog. We have a member of our organization who lives in the midwest area who has experienced multiple churches in their diocese omitting a closing hymn and leaving in silence during Lent. Is this a recommendation in the Roman Missal?
A: The closing hymn is a custom, nothing more. There is absolutely no reference to one in the Order of Mass nor in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. The USCCB’s Introduction to the Order of Mass says, “A recessional song is always optional, even for solemn occasions” (147).
I actually like Mass without a closing hymn because it throws more weight on the dismissal. The formula is “Go”—like now—into the world to proclaim the gospel.
You can find more help in my book Let Us Pray, which gives answers to such questions.