A deacon, or the presider if no deacon is present, ends the eucharistic liturgy by dismissing the people. The term comes from the Latin Ite, missa est, "Go, it is the sending." The Episcopal Church allows the dismissal in Rite 1 and requires it in Rite 2. There are four alternate texts: 1) "Let us go forth in the name of Christ"; 2) "Go in peace to love and serve the Lord"; 3) "Let us go forth into the world, rejoicing in the power of the Spirit"; and 4) "Let us bless the Lord." To each the people respond: "Thanks be to God." During the fifty days of Easter, "alleluia, alleluia" is added to the dismissal and its response. The Altar Book and The Hymnal 1982 provide music for the dismissal. It is part of the deacon's angelic function of making announcements, exhorting, and aiding the active participation of the people.
Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.