Prayer over the people

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: During Lent, there is an optional prayer over the people at daily Mass. Does that involve a greeting and a bow?


A: Yes. It follows the same format as other prayers over the people and solemn blessings that you find at the end of the Order of Mass in the missal.

Here’s how it goes:

  • Priest: The Lord be with you.
  • The people: And with your spirit.
  • Deacon [or priest]: Bow down for the blessing.
  • Priest: [solemn blessing or prayer over the people.]
  • The people: Amen. [three times or once]
  • Priest: May almighty God bless you….
  • The people: Amen.
  • Deacon [or priest]: Go forth the Mass is ended [or another formula]
  • The people: Thanks be to God.


Q: The post says that after the Prayer over the People, the Priest says: “Priest: May almighty God bless you…”

I noticed that the Roman Missal has a specific Prayer over the People listed for each day of Lent, and those prayers are not the same as the Prayers over the People that are listed in the “Blessings at the End of Mass and the Prayers over the People” section of the Roman Missal. 

For the other Prayers over the People, which may be used “at the discretion of the Priest,” it says that after the prayer, the Priest should add, “And may the blessing of almighty God…” (i.e. different phrasing than “May almighty God bless you.”)

Is there a distinction during Lent, so the phrasing “May almighty God bless you” is used during Lent and the phrasing “And may the blessing of almighty God” is used outside of Lent?

Thank you for clarifying and for all that you do to help everyone better understand the Liturgy and its historical contexts!


A: I made a mistake. Apologies. The complete text for concluding the Prayer over the People as it appears in the missal is “And may almighty God, the Father, and the Son, ✠ and the Holy Spirit, come down on you and remain with you for ever. R. Amen.”