What Time Does Church End and Why?

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Most churches don’t list service lengths or end times on their websites. Which means you can either look at averages (below) or you can do a bit of research (also below).

What time does church end?

It really depends on the individual church, but these averages will give you a ballpark idea.

Flipped Church: Flipped Church services always come with a clearly defined start and end time. Usually between one and two hours. Unless there is an event after you are welcome to stay and chat with others for as long as you like.

Roman Catholic Church: traditional structure, multiple services, and short homilies contribute to shorter services, typically ranging from 55 to 75 minutes.

Southern Baptist Convention (SBC): A focus on sermons and hymns, with a single service on Sunday, leads to services commonly lasting between 60 to 75 minutes.

Eastern Orthodox Church: Elaborate liturgies and rich traditions result in longer services, usually from 90 minutes to 2 hours, especially for the Divine Liturgy on Sundays.

United Methodist Church: A blend of hymns, scripture readings, and sermons, within a moderately structured format. Services last about 60 minutes.

Anglican Communion (Episcopal Church in the USA): Liturgical worship with a balance of scripture, prayer, and sermon. Services typically go 60 to 75 minutes.

Lutheran Church: Concise worship services with liturgical elements, Last about 60 minutes.

Presbyterian Church: Scripture-focused services with congregational singing and preaching, generally lasting around 60 to 75 minutes.

Pentecostal Churches: Vibrant worship and spontaneous elements, including speaking in tongues and prophetic messages, extend services to around 90 minutes to two hours.

Seventh-day Adventist Church: Sabbath services feature hymn singing, prayers, and a sermon, typically lasting from 60 to 90 minutes on Saturday mornings.

How to find out for yourself.

Most churches give enough information on their website to determine service length. Here are two simple methods for figuring out what time your church ends.

Live Streams

Look at past livestreams to get a feel for the usual length. You will likely need to add 20-30 minutes for parking/leaving. You can watch the beginning/end to see if they cut the video early.

Example: This church has services ranging from 64-95 minutes + 20min for parking.

Following Services

You can look at the upcoming service times to get a "max" service length. Just subtract about 30 minutes to account for the time to takes for people to leave and for new people to park/sit down.

Example: This church has several services. 8am is likely 1 hour long. 9:30am and 11:30am are likely 1.5 hours.

Why can’t I tell what time church is over?

You’re not alone! About 1,300 people a month search “What time does church end.” The main culprit? Most churches don’t list service length or end times on their websites. Which makes churches an outlier. Most other gatherings come with an end time. Gym classes come with a pre-determined length, the school day has a schedule end time, soccer practice is over at a predicable time, etc.

There are lots of reasons church services don’t come with an end time, but here’s my guess at the top reasons:

Tradition: New churches copy old churches, and old churches don’t list end times. I would guess old churches don’t list end times because it was more common for work and play to be prohibited on the sabbath. I don’t have a citation for this… just a guess.

Importance/purpose: Maybe it has something to do with the perceived purpose of church? It almost feels sacrilegious to ask what time church is over. In part, I think, because it implies that I have important things to do which church could interfere with. Communicating this to a pastor, priest, or church elder could earn some looks.

Inspiration: Not setting an end time can create space for unexpected inspiration. If the leader is speaking without a script there’s no telling how long they might go for.

Whatever the reason, it doesn’t have to be a mystery for most denominations. Assuming the program is well prepared the expected length could be communicated to the congregation at many points. Be it on the website, in the newsletter, or during the sermon “I will be speaking for 15 minutes on the topic of…”.

Should there be an end time?

End times are helpful for scheduling, pace setting, and it gives the organizer some constraints. And most importantly it’s respectful of the participants time.

Scheduling: If congregants know the service length they can plan their day. Say they want to meet up with a long time friend who's in town for the day. If they know the agenda they can tell that friend exactly when they'll be free.

Pacing: Participants are able to pace themselves and their energy. For example, I’m going to focus more intensely in an hour long concert vs a three hour concert. I'm going to push harder in a 30min yoga class vs a 90min yoga class. etc.

Constraints: If a church leader knows they only have 10 or 20 minutes to make their point then they have to be focused, practiced, and on schedule. Oh, how I long for a world without hearing anyone else say “hold on now, I’m getting into my point” 45 minutes into an unpracticed sermon. There have been life altering sermons that only got good in the last 10 minutes. My challenge to church leaders is to figure out why those sermons worked and prepare for the next one in such a way that we can skip any unnecessary ramblings.

What time can I leave church?

You are free to leave at anytime. Plain and simple.

Not everyone will agree with me, but you can and should leave when you are ready to. Try to leave as quietly as possible if you want to respect the congregation and speaker.

Most of the churches I have attended are aware that their congregants have busy lives and lots to do. That said, if you're a pastor who gets upset when congregants leave early please go and talk with those congregants one on one. Please, no more sarcastic "jokes" about people leaving early! I have yet to hear one that was either funny or kind. I am confident there's an opportunity for increased understanding and feedback if a private conversation is handled with care.


In summary, it's weird that most Churches don't list end times on their website. And it's not too big a deal since it's relatively easy to figure out a likely service length for yourself. I hope this guide was helpful!

Personal Autonomy

You have the power to pause, rewind, or step away from that week's message. Pick the learning style that works best for you. If you want to share with the group, you can share before, during, or after the Sunday gathering.