Homily Preached by the Rev’d Andrew C. Mead at the Church of the Advent, The Great Vigil of Easter, April 20, 2019

In the Name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost.  Amen.

As witnesses to Holy Baptism we confessed in the Apostles’ Creed that Jesus Christ was crucified, dead, and buried, and descended into hell. That means joy for Adam and Eve and all their children. We have already enjoyed the Easter Shout, the lights and the cacophony.  Now let’s listen to the jubilation in a world that without our Lord’s death and resurrection would be a shadowland, a prison house for ghosts. 

That Jesus was raised from the dead presupposes that he was in the realm of the dead prior to his resurrection.  But he descended there in the spirit as the Savior, proclaiming by his presence the Good News to the departed.  And he rose victorious, because it was not possible for death to hold him.[1]  This is the preaching of St. Peter, but Jesus himself said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.”[2]       

The Catechism in our Prayer Book addresses this crucial sojourn of our Lord between his death and his Resurrection in its section “God the Son”:  “Q. What do we mean when we say that he descended to the dead?  A. We mean that he went to the departed and offered them also the benefits of redemption.”[3]

An ancient hymn of the Syrian Church celebrates this first part of Jesus’s victory using the Lord as the speaker, not unlike the beloved carol “My Dancing Day”: “Hell saw me and was vanquished.  Death could not bear my face.  I made of the dead an assembly of the living.  I spoke to them with living lips / So that my word should not be in vain.  They ran towards me, the dead.  They cried out, ‘Take pity on us, O Son of God!  Deliver us out of the darkness that fetters us.  Open the gate for us that we may go out with you.  We see that death has no hold on you.  Deliver us also, for you are our Savior!’  And I heard their voices and I traced my name on their heads.  So they are free and they belong to me.  Alleluia!”[4]

Jesus often worked wonders on the Sabbath, thereby offending his religious enemies who used these occasions to build up their case against him as a Law-Breaker.  Here he is at it again on Holy Saturday, the Lord of the Sabbath after his death, using the Sabbath to extend his reach to all times and places to all who welcome his appearing. 

Meanwhile his disciples observed the Sabbath commandment.  The women among them could not finish the work of anointing Jesus’s body on Good Friday evening because it was the Sabbath eve.  They had to wait till after the Sabbath sundown and the dawn of the Third Day, Sunday, the First Day of the Week.  So very early Mary Magdalene and other women went to the tomb.  But Jesus’s body was gone.  The angel in the earthquake rolled away the large stone.  The high priest’s guards, blinded by unbelief, became like dead men – and were later paid by the high priests to say that Jesus’s disciples had stolen away his body in order to say he was risen.[5]  The angel told the women those very three words: that Jesus, whom they sought, was not there because, indeed, he was risen.  Go tell his disciples, said the angel. 

They ran, in fear and great joy, and….There was Jesus, right there.  “Hail!” he said.  What is left to say?  Tonight, just one more thing.

Baptism unites us to Christ’s death and resurrection. That means daily life no longer needs to be one of mere survival, of bare existence, of people whose vital signs may register bodily health while they are sick unto death in the soul; of having no hope in this world, without God and without wisdom, except for “eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.”  That old business is buried with Christ in his death, and we rise to new life with him in his resurrection.  The hour has certainly come, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.     

Alleluia.  Christ is risen!  The Lord is risen indeed!  Alleluia!

In the Name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost.  Amen.   

[1] I Peter 3:18-19 and Acts 2:24.

[2] St. John 5:25

[3] The Book of Common Prayer (1979), p. 850.

[4] Celebrating the Seasons, compiled by Robert Atwell.  Canterbury Press, Norwich, 2006, p. 221.

[5] St. Matthew 28:11-15.

The Great Vigil of Easter


• Until the Consecration, reverencing will consist of a simple bow.
• Once the Paschal candle is in place in the chancel, whether walking alone or in pairs, the candle is passed on the right, giving the left shoulder to the candle; pairs do not split around the candle.


Near the west door of the church:

The sexton sets up a cart on which is placed a knife, flint lighter, tongs, one briquet for the thurible – placed off to one side so CEL can find it – two tapers, and a brazier filled with charcoal. The sacristan places on the cart the candle nails, incense grains, and service notebook. It is recommended that CEL also carry a flint lighter, just in case.

In the Baptistry:

The sexton fills the font.

MC places texts, a pitcher of water, customary baptismal setup, vial with chrism, the salt, the aspersorium (holy water bucket) and aspergillum, and additional towels on the altar. The Altar Guild prepares this setup. Containers for gathering baptismal water are placed under the bench.

The festal vestments (cope, dalmatic, tunicle, and stoles, with extra white or gold stoles for choir clergy) are laid on the bench in the baptistry.

The D will carry in the Paschal Candle.

The Chancel and High Altar:

The customary High Mass setup, using the jewelled vessels, is placed at the High Altar credence. Two purificators are placed in the burse in addition to the purificator over the Mass chalice. The normal Reservation ciborium is placed at the credence as well.

The Altar Guild places the paschal candlestand in the center of the chancel. A stepladder is placed discreetly behind it.

Office lights, sanctuary lamps, and pavement lights are unlit.

The Altar Guild places the Lady Chapel lectern in front of the paschal candlestand, sufficiently far forward to avoid the “dead spot” in the chancel. The book of Vigil readings is placed on or near the lectern. The Epistle Lesson is placed on the usual lectern at the Epistle side.

Altars are vested in festal array (the High Altar is overlaid with the Lenten frontal) and decorated with flowers.

MC places handbells for clergy and servers about the High Altar, credence, and bishop’s throne.

Servers place hymnals, texts, and programs for clergy and servers at sedilia, stools, and in stalls.

Servers place candle-lighters and tapers strategically.

MC places extra hand-held candles at credence in case of need during the Liturgy of the Word.

Servers remove altar cloths and place Gospel book on the gradine.

MC places white chasuble and all 3 maniples over altar rail on Epistle side. Maniples are not worn until the Offertory.

Until the Baptism(s), the Celebrant wears purple cope. The Deacon wears purple dalmatic and stole. The Subdeacon wears purple tunicle. Choir Clergy vest in surplices and purple stoles. Only CEL wears a cope.

Servers are vested in cottas and black cassocks.

MC ensures that the crypt door is unlocked. The Altar Guild spreads a corporal before the crypt tabernacle.

MC sets hand-held candles for servers in the smoke sacristy and distributes them before the entrance to any empty-handed servers. CHOIR may use penlights; otherwise MC places choir’s hand-held candles in the choir room.

AA carry unlit torches. (TTTT do not carry torches until Offertory.) Except for SMs and TH, all others (MC, TTTT, CMs) carry hand candles. Those in pairs carry candle in the outer hand; singles carry candle in right hand.

An unlit vigil light is placed in the smoke sacristy to hold the New Fire during the Liturgy of the Word. One T will be responsible for supervising all the candle-lighting during the Baptismal Rite.

TH prepares coals in thurible. Incense is not laid on.

Before the service, the lights in the church are kept to a minimum to maintain the air of mystery. The chancel, chapels, side aisles, crossing, and most of the nave are dark. Ideally, only the light over the Brimmer Street door is left on so that people may enter safely. At 6:30pm, an usher stands outside the Brimmer Street door to ask people to enter through the parish house so that they are not injured when the New Fire is brought out.

MC ensures that candidates for Baptism (if any) and their sponsors and families are present. The verger will lead them to the baptistry following the altar party. The library should be available if they need to entertain young children during the Liturgy of the Word.

One of the five Old Testament Readers is appointed to make sure all Readers are present before the service begins, and to report the same to the MC.


At a prearranged time the sexton turns out all the lights in the church.

The CHOIR will be in place at the back of the church prior to the entrance of the SMs, clergy, and servers.

ALL enter in darkness from rear door that leads to Moseley Hall. The order for this procession is as follows:


Avoiding overcrowding and an accidental auto da fe, ALL place themselves around the new fire setup across the back of the church in the following arrangement. AA should pause to let CR precede them.

[ cart ]

In the darkness, CEL kindles the fire and addresses the people with the words, Dear friends in Christ …

With MC holding the book and SD and D lifting the cope, CEL blesses the new fire, saying, O God, through thy Son thou hast bestowed …

TH raises the lid on the thurible. Using tongs, D ignites the briquet from the new fire and places it in the thurible. CEL puts on incense and blesses it. TH gives thurible to CEL, who censes the fire three times. CEL hands thurible to TH.


D presents the Paschal Candle to CEL, who prepares it. SD holds card with text for CEL.

After the Candle is blessed, CEL lights a taper from the new fire, and using it to light the Paschal Candle, says: May the light of Christ, gloriously rising…

CEL extinguishes taper and gives it to MC.

The sexton and sacristan remove the cart.


With MC and SD holding edges of CEL’s cope, the procession is formed:


Led by D, the procession to the Chancel pauses three times. The first two pauses are in line with the pillars in the nave; the final pause will occur at the crossing (the same three places where the veneration cross paused during the Good Friday liturgy). At each pause, D turns to face the congregation (and to see when all are in place), raises the Candle and sings, The Light of Christ. ALL, except D and CR, genuflect and respond, Thanks be to God.

At the first pause, D turns to face TH. MC comes forward, gets light from the paschal candle, and then gives to the CEL. ONLY the CEL gets light at this point.

At the second pause, after versicle and response, D turns to face TH again. MC comes forward, gets light from the paschal candle, and lights AA’s torches, SD’s candle, and passes light to the rest of the procession. Note that the congregation’s candles are NOT lighted at this point!! Servers and choir should discourage any congregants who attempt to grab light from their candles.

At the third pause in the crossing, D turns, pauses, and lowers candle slightly so the ushers can light tapers from it to pass the new fire, finally, on to the people.

ALL proceed into Chancel and take their places:

  • D places Candle in stand and joins SMs and MC
  • MC, SD, and CEL by south choir stalls, facing north
  • TH to D’s right
  • AA to places on either side of lectern, facing each other
  • CR to stall (putting cross in holder)
  • TTTT to their places by the bishop’s throne: they should pass the Paschal Candle single file on the left (an exception to the rule about passing the candle) and enter the altar area by the opening at the Gospel end of the rail.
  • CHOIR CLERGY and CHOIR to their stalls.

[High Altar]







When all are in their places, D censes candle, then returns and hands off thurible to TH, who moves to stand in front of North choir stall. [If D is also chanting the Exsultet, this censing takes place after D has bidden CEL’s blessing.]

Either the D or a chorister may chant the Exsultet. The cantor, carrying the book of the Exsultet, genuflects before CEL. The cantor says Bid, sir, a blessing. CEL blesses him/her as before the Gospel, but says, “…proclaim his paschal praises…”

Cantor proceeds to the lectern and sings the Exsultet.

At the conclusion of the Exsultet, ALL extinguish their hand-held candles except TTTT, CEL, and MC.

TH and AA turn and, led by TH, proceed to their customary places at the foot of the altar steps, lining up with the horns of the altar.

SMs and MC proceed single file to altar steps. ALL line up at altar steps. CEL introduces the Scripture readings and asks people to extinguish their candles. ALL reverence; TH exits to smoke sacristy; all others go to sedilia, led by MC, and sit. All TTTT but one extinguish their handheld candles; the remaining T exits to smoke sacristy to light a reserved vigil light to keep the New Fire burning during the Liturgy of the Word, leaving the extinguished handheld candle in the smoke sacristy. MC lights a large hand-held candle from AA torch and uses it to follow the service leaflet. MC holds candle for CEL to read the Collects during the Liturgy of the Word.


Each lesson is read, without announcement or conclusion, from the lectern in the midst of the choir. If a penlight is provided, the light should be switched off after each reading. After each lesson, the CHOIR chants a psalm.

After the psalm, ALL stand. CEL chants the Collect (Tone II). SD may hold the text for CEL. This pattern is repeated through the fifth lesson.

At the conclusion of the final lesson, the reader extinguishes the lectern candles.

After the final Collect, CHOIR may change sides for motet.


ALL stand. SD, CEL, D, AA carrying their candles, and MC line up at altar steps in the usual order (A SD CEL D MC A). As the Choir is getting into position for the motet, CEL faces the people. D and SD face CEL but AA and MC remain facing the altar. When the Choir is in place, CEL reads the invitation (“Now that our Lenten observance is ended…”). SMs face altar. ALL reverence and turn. D goes down to candle stand and removes Candle, then goes to bottom of choir steps.

CR takes cross from holder and moves out to choir floor.

MC signals AA to join CR on choir floor.

D, carrying candle, leads procession to the font.

While the CHOIR sings the motet, the people relight their hand-held candles. D pauses at crossing so ushers can get light from the Paschal Candle. The following proceed to the font via the main aisle:

D w/candle

A CR A stand against pillar at baptistry entrance so as not to block the people’s view.

[baptistry altar]
MC, Choir clergy
[baptismal party]
(in front of confessional)

Meanwhile – as the procession reaches the Baptistry, CMs, TTTT and TH light office lights on all altars, candles in the rood screen, all sanctuary lamps*, and pavement lights: if it has a wick, light it! Do not rush; there is plenty of time to light everything. Once all candles are lit, the Lenten frontal is removed and carried out to the sacristy. If time is short, this frontal may be laid over the stair rail in the hallway. The Gospel book is moved from the gradine to the center of the altar. (*The silver sanctuary lamp will not be lighted for this service.)

In the baptistry, the SMs and choir clergy change into the festal vestments. The Lenten vestments are laid on the bench in the baptistry, to be removed later.

The Blessing of the Font [and Baptism(s)] are carried out according to the customary form. A choir cleric assists MC with hardware throughout the rite. SD holds book for CEL who blesses the water [and performs the baptism(s)]. The Peace is not bidden here!

The CEL scoops baptismal water into the aspersorium, then takes aspersorium and aspergillum as procession re-forms.

At the conclusion of the baptismal rite, the people return to their pews as the CHOIR begins the Litany of the Saints. A CR A should allow the people to clear the aisle before leading altar party back to the altar in procession. The procession re-forms and proceeds to the Chancel via the main aisle in the order in which it came, except that MC (on CEL’s right) and SD (on CEL’s left) hold the edges of the cope. During the procession, CEL sprinkles the people with the baptismal water.

While procession returns to chancel, sacristan assists sexton to fill holy water stoups, remove water from font into containers, and removes all vessels from Baptistry to Sacristy after the procession has left the Baptistry.

D puts Paschal Candle in stand. CR returns to CR stall. AA, MC, and SMs line up at altar steps in the usual order and reverence. CHOIR CLERGY retire to stalls. ALL remain standing.

MC signals TH to enter. TH goes to center and reverences, as D steps back to allow room for TH to present thurible to CEL. CEL puts on incense and blesses it. TH takes place between A and D at foot of altar steps.


When the Litany of the Saints is ended, SMs go up to the footpace. AA, TH, and MC proceed to the credence. SMs reverence the altar. D and SD turn inward to face CEL. CEL turns to face the people and shouts the Easter Acclamation. ALL respond; be prepared for multiple shouts, molto con brio – the more so the better, especially if the Celebrant does not find the congregation’s enthusiasm in responding adequate to the occasion.

SMs turn to face altar. ALL pick up their handbells as the Gloria in Excelsis Deo is intoned. The CHOIR ring their bells and are soon joined by ALL as the lights are turned on. The cacophony is tastefully exacerbated by an organ fanfare.

At the conclusion of the fanfare, ALL cease bellringing. SMs remain at footpace. TH brings thurible up to CEL. The altar and CEL are censed in the usual manner. TH exits. SMs take up usual positions for the rest of the canticle.

After Gloria in Excelsis, CEL chants the Collect.

At the end of the Collect, SD immediately goes to center, reverences, and goes to Epistle lectern to read the Epistle (no more Old Testament tonight!).

After the lesson, these things happen simultaneously:

  • MC signals TH to enter and AA’s to meet him/her at center.
  • SD proceeds to footpace, moves Altar Book, and goes the usual position in Gospel Procession lineup. ALL stand.
  • CHOIR intones the Great Alleluia and ALL respond. This is repeated two more times, each at a pitch higher than that preceding. After the Great Alleluia, the Gospel Procession forms during the singing of Psalm 114 with interpolated Alleluias.

The Gospel Procession is according to custom, except: REMEMBER TO BOW, NOT GENUFLECT! The Holy Gospel is followed by a homily. The Creed, Prayers, Confession, and Absolution are omitted. The Peace is bidden following the homily.

The Mass continues as usual, with much jubilation and Alleluias at every opportunity. CEL changes to white chasuble at Offertory, all SMs don maniples, and CR takes out the cope. TTTT, PROCESSORS, AND TH DO NOT GENUFLECT AT THE RECEPTION OF THE ELEMENTS!!!

At Agnus Dei, MC signals TH and TTTT to genuflect at departure. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME A GENUFLECTION IS SIGNALED DURING THIS MASS! During the Agnus Dei, a choir cleric retrieves the reserved Sacrament from the crypt and places It on the High Altar to be combined with the Sacrament from this Mass. NOW we can genuflect!

The Mass concludes in the usual manner, with double Alleluias added to the Dismissal and Response (the Easter Dismissal, to be used at all Masses throughout Paschaltide).

Original web publication on Nov 12, 1999 @ 01:48pm by Julianne Ture 
Updated March 8, 2020 @ 7:18pm 

Good Friday



From the Maundy Thursday service:

  • The High Altar is stripped bare.
  • The aumbry door is wide open.
  • The Blessed Sacrament remains on the Lady Chapel Altar.

The Altar Guild arranges, but the MC should confirm:

  • The hanging lamps are empty, but raised to normal position (they were lowered Maundy Thursday night at the conclusion of that service).
  • Red cushions at the rail for the High Altar are restored for use by communicants at the Mass of the Presanctified.
  • The higher altar cross and the All Saints cross are veiled in black.
  • The crucifix above the Lady Chapel tabernacle will already have been removed from the Altar of Repose.
  • The statue of Our Lady remains veiled in purple.
  • The cross stand is placed in the center of the High Altar retable.
  • The High Altar retable is marked with the location for the placement of candles after transfer of the sacrament during the service.
    • AA should check these out before the service.
  • In the Baptistry is placed a cross veiled in black for veneration.
  • The crypt is unlocked.
  • The lights in the choir and the church are turned on.

The MC then places:

  • Service texts and hymnals in stalls and at sedilia.
  • Crotalus (wooden rattle) on the deacon’s step near the epistle side of the reredos.
  • Lectionary (marked with the appropriate lesson) on the epistle lectern.
  • Black chasuble is laid over Gospel-side altar rail, and black dalmatic and tunicle over Epistle-side altar rail. Maniples are omitted.

At the credence is placed:

  • Black burse containing corporal
  • Ciborium for the crypt
  • Small cruet of water for the post-communion ablutions
  • Lavabo bowl and a towel for the post-communion ablutions

On the table below the credence is placed:

  • Folded fair linen for the High Altar.

In the Lady Chapel:

  • All candles are lit.
  • On stands near altar should be two candles for use during the Transfer of the Sacrament (they will be placed in the marked places as noted above).
  • Any candles placed on the steps outside the Lady Chapel should be lit.
  • A humeral veil (as undecorated and as simple as possible — generally the cream-colored Vimpa is used) is placed on the Lady Chapel steps aligned with the epistle horn.

At the crossing:

  • A prie-dieu is placed at the bottom of the chancel steps, to the left of the gate.
    • This will be moved to the center of the step for the Veneration of the Cross.

There is no crucifer for this service. MC should instruct TH and AA to count Communions. The MC should appoint one of the CHOIR CLERGY to take any unconsumed sacrament to the Crypt chapel at the end of the Mass of The Presanctified.

SMs initially vest in albs and cinctures and nothing else. The Eucharistic vestments will be donned during the service. CHOIR CLERGY wear surplices, with black stoles in their stalls. SERVERS and CHOIR wear cottas and black cassocks.

CHOIR sings from the south gallery and are not part of the entrance procession. However, they will move to the chancel from the balcony at Communion and will be part of the exit procession.

TH does not carry thurible at entrance.

Important notes about reverencing:

  • At the beginning of the service all reverences will be profound bows until the Cross is unveiled.
  • After the Cross is unveiled, all reverences to the Cross are single genuflections.
  • Once the Blessed Sacrament is present, all reverences change to double genuflections.


ALL enter in silence via the north crossing door and proceed to the chancel the short way:

MC (carrying Service Book or BCP)
TH (without thurible)

AA go into the Sanctuary, reverence (bow) to the altar, and then stand at the bottom altar step near their chairs at the credence. TH goes to CR’s stall. CHOIR CLERGY to choir stalls. MC goes into a choir stall on the Gospel side of the choir. SMs stop on choir floor, where they prostrate themselves. ALL OTHERS kneel.

A painfully long silence is observed, after which the SMs kneel upright in place on the choir floor.

MC leaves choir stall and passes Service Book (or BCP) to CEL, who alone stands and sings the Collect.v After the Collect, CEL passes the Service Book (or BCP) to MC. D and SD stand and, led by MC, SMs proceed single file to the altar step, reverence (bow) and then retire to their places at the sedilia. MC puts book on credence table. ALL sit.






ALL remain seated. Towards the end of the tract, three cantors enter, reverence (bow), and kneel at the altar steps. While seated at the sedilia, CEL blesses them in the usual form. Cantors stand and take their places for the Passion Gospel.

ALL stand at the words “Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified.” ALL remain standing through the words “and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” ALL GENUFLECT. A pause is observed. ALL rise, led by CEL.

At the conclusion of the Passion Gospel, the three cantors proceed to the altar rail, where they reverence (bow) and exit via the smoke sacristy.


The Verger does not escort the preacher. ALL sit.


At the start of the motet, ALL stand. SMs don vestments. The CEL is assisted by the MC at the gospel-side rail, and the D and SD assist each other at the epistle-side rail.

During the vesting, the AA pick up fair linen and the Service Book(s) with the Solemn Collects for the D and the CEL, go to center, reverence (bow), ascend steps and spread fair linen and place the Service Books(s) in the center of the Altar, then descend steps at center, reverence (bow), and return to sedilia.


ALL remain standing. SD, CEL, and D line up at altar steps and ascend to the footpace. MC and AA line up at altar steps at sedilia. SMs kiss the altar.

Facing the altar, CEL chants the bidding. After D sings Let us bow the knee, ALL kneel. A pause is observed. When D sings Arise, ALL stand. CEL chants the Collect. This form is repeated throughout the Collects.


After the Collects, SMs descend steps. MC joins them on D’s right. AA remain at credence. During the singing of the Pange Lingua, the SMs and MC reverence (bow), turn, and proceed single file to the Baptistry via the main nave aisle, led by the MC.

Once they are moving up the aisle, the TH, assisted by Verger or choir clergy, move the prie-dieu to the center of the floor at the bottom of the chancel steps.

In the Baptistry, MC hands SD and D the veiled cross, and then hands the intonation card for the Ecce lignum crucis to the CEL.

When all are ready, lead by the CEL, the SD and D carry the cross and to narthex end of the main nave aisle; the MC brings up the rear.

SMs and MC pause at the back of the nave aisle, in line with the first set of pillars. The CEL then turns to face the cross and uncovers the LEFT arm of the cross and sings in a low pitch, Behold the wood of the Cross, whereon was hung the world’s Salvation. ALL respond, O come, let us worship. At MC’s cue, ALL, except SD and D, kneel for a moment in adoration (allowing the congregation sufficient time to kneel in and pause).

MC and SMs turn and proceed to the second set of pillars, where CEL then turns to face the cross and unveils the RIGHT arm of the Corpus, singing the verse at a higher pitch. The previous form is repeated.

SMs and MC proceed to the crossing, where CEL then turns to face the cross and removes the veil completely and hands it to MC. CEL may then either repeat the form above, singing the verse at a higher pitch, or may take the cross from SD and D, elevate it, and sing the verse at a higher pitch during the elevation. The rest of the form is repeated.

Once the three intonations are complete, the SMs proceed to the prie-dieu. The CEL stands facing the prie-dieu, the MC goes to the Epistle side of the prie-dieu, while the SD and D go behind the prie-dieu, and standing on the bottom step facing the congregation they rest the cross on top of the prie-dieu.

CHOIR begins singing The Reproaches.

CEL venerates the cross, then changes places with the D, and holds the cross with the SD while D venerates. The D then changes places with the SD. CEL and D hold cross for the remainder of the Veneration. SD and MC venerate, then stand to either side of the prie-dieu, SD on the Gospel side and the D on the Epistle side, to assist the people.

CHOIR CLERGY, AA, and TH all venerate by quietly exiting the chancel via the All Saints altar and coming across the transept. They return to the chancel by going through the All Saints altar. MC gives the black veil to TH who removes it when exiting to the smoke sacristy after venerating.

As the spirit moves them, the people come forward to venerate.  Ushers do not control traffic in any way.

During the venerations, one A takes the burse to the altar, moves the Service Book to the center of the gospel side, as in the Canon of the Mass, and spreads the corporal in the center of the altar. The A returns to credence. AA sit until venerations are completed.

When all have venerated, the MC leads SD, CEL and D, carrying the cross, up to the altar steps. MC retires to sedilia. SMs ascend to footpace. SD and D assist CEL to place cross on the gradine. SMs descend single file to the sedilia and sit.

*** Once the SMs have returned to the sedilia a choir cleric and the Verger move the prie-dieu aside.
This is frequently forgotten leading to a traffic jam during the following procession.
*** PLEASE make certain that this the appointed persons are committed to doing this.


After The Reproaches and the antiphon Crucem tuam conclude, ALL rise. MC cues TH, who enters, reverences, and proceeds to sedilia. CEL puts on incense, but does not bless it.

With one acolyte leading, the altar party files out and lines up at altar steps in the usual order (A, TH, SD, CEL, D, MC, A):


[ altar ]
       A   TH   SD   CEL   D   MC   A


ALL genuflect. They proceed the short way to the Altar of Repose in silence:

AA (without candles)

AA pick up the two candles set aside for them on stands, and take their places near the desks. ALL kneel:

A                                      A

From this point until the Sacrament is removed to the Crypt, all genuflections are double genuflections.

TH hands thurible to CEL. ALL bow profoundly. CEL censes the Sacrament. CEL hands thurible back to TH. ALL repeat profound bow. The general order for censing the Sacrament is always: pass the thurible, bow, cense, bow, hand off thurible.

The MC hands the humeral veil to the D, who then places humeral veil on CEL. SMs rise, go to the footpace, pause, and double-genuflect. The CEL takes up the ciborium, flanked by the D on the CEL’s right and the SD on the CEL’s left. ALL except the SMs now rise, double-genuflect and turn west. During the singing of Vexilla Regis, the S and SD change places behind the CEL, and ALL proceed to the chancel through the Lady Chapel, past the epistle lectern, and through the choir to the High Altar:

AA (with candles)

Once all have left the Lady Chapel, ushers may then extinguish any candles in and around the chapel.

Arriving at the High Altar, AA continue to the footpace and place their candles on in the places marked for them as noted in PREPARATION above. They then turn, descend, and take usual their places at the altar steps and are joined by ALL others:


[ altar ]
       A   TH   SD   CEL   D   MC   A


SMs then go to the footpace, place the Blessed Sacrament on the corporal, remove the veil from the ciborium, double-genuflect, and return to their places at the altar steps as above. ALL kneel.

D removes humeral veil from CEL and passes it to MC who folds it and places it on the deacon’s step. They return to their positions and kneel.

TH gives thurible to CEL. ALL bow profoundly. CEL censes the Sacrament, as at Benediction. ALL repeat profound bow. CEL returns thurible to TH.


ALL remain kneeling. D leads Confession. CEL stands (sideways) and gives absolution.


D and SD rise and accompany CEL to the footpace, where CEL leads the Lord’s Prayer.

At the same time, MC and AA stand, double-genuflect, and go to credence. With them, TH stands, double genuflects, and exits. Ciboria are brought up to the altar. The Sacrament is divided up among the vessels. CHOIR MINISTERS, as needed, approach the altar to receive ciboria.

The TH should return to count communion at the All Saints altar. The TH should then take their usual seat in choir and exit in the usual manner with the altar party.

After CEL announces the invitation, MC rattles crotalus.


CHOIR communicates and then sings Psalm 22 and antiphons from the choir stalls. As much of the Psalm will be sung as is necessary to cover the duration of the Communion.

At the conclusion of Communion, one of the CHOIR CLERGY removes any unconsumed Sacrament to the crypt tabernacle.

Vessels are abluted according to form, except that CEL folds corporal and puts it in burse. The burse and ciboria are removed at the same time to the credence.


Changing position, as at 11:15A.M. Mass, SD takes a place at CEL’s left, and D on right. D and SD empty-handed, and the CEL carrying a the Service Book (or BCP). The SMs descend to bottom of steps, while AA and MC line up a the altar steps and exit as usual:


[ altar ]
       A   SD   CEL   D   MC   A


ALL kneel. CEL sings O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God … The CEL hands the Service Book to the D who passes it to the MC. ALL stand, reverence (single-genuflect) and retire “the short way” as usual for the 11:15 mass, but led by AA alone in the absence of a crucifer:



Original web publication on Nov 12, 1999 @ 01:49pm by Julianne Ture.
Updated Apr 19, 2019 @ 04:30pm by Ciarán Anthony DellaFera, BSG with edits provided by Jason Grant.


This Week at the Advent, April 21-27, 2019

Welcome to the Church of the Advent! If you are new to the area, visiting, or seeking a church home, we are glad you’re here and hope to have a chance to greet you in person.

Child care is offered during the 9 am and 11:15 am services; an usher can guide you to the nursery.

Welcome cards are located in each pew; please fill one out so we can keep in touch.

There is no Church School today. Church School will resume on April 28.

Easter Egg Hunt – New and Improved! The Easter Egg Hunt will begin approximately 5-10 minutes after the 9:00 Mass dismisses. Please meet Meg Nelson at the doors to the courtyard in Moseley Hall. Children 5 and under will hunt for eggs in the courtyard with their parents. Children ages 6–11 will hunt in the garden on Brimmer/Mt. Vernon Streets—also with parent supervision. 

NEW THIS YEAR: Rather than place candy/toys in the eggs we are providing each child with a gift bag. Once your child finds 8-12 eggs, please bring their basket back to Moseley Hall and return the eggs for a gift bag. Please let Meg know if you have any questions or concerns.

Note that the Petting Zoo will take place in the fall.

Preaching today is The Rev’d Andrew C. Mead, retired Rector of St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, New York City, and the XIV Rector of the Church of the Advent.

There is a gala Coffee Hour this morning. New coffee hour hosts are always needed; please contact Barbara Boles by phone, 617-501-7572, or email bbolesster@gmail.com if you’re interested or have questions about what is entailed.

11:15 Coffee Hour. There is a potluck Coffee Hour this morning. We are always in need of more volunteers to do the coffee hour. To view the schedule of available dates and select a date to co-host, please go to http://theadventboston.org/1115-coffee-hour-signup/.  If you have any questions, please contact Roxy Hanson (roxenewu@yahoo.com), Frederick Ou (frederick.ou@gmail.com), or Kyle Pilares (kpilares.uk@gmail.com).


The Parish Office will be closed Monday, April 22, for Easter Monday.

Parish Flower Guild post-Easter cleanup will be Saturday April 27, starting at 10:30 am. Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

This Saturday, April 27, the Middle School and High School students will attend the Presiding Bishop’s Jamboree from 1:30 to 3:00 at the Cathedral. We will meet at 12:30 pm that Saturday and walk to the Cathedral together.

The Entr’acte series of adult courses resumes next Sunday, April 28. Rick Stone will lead the series on “The Parables of Mark.” This will be a look at Mark’s parables and their meaning in Jesus’ time as well as our own. The series will begin in the library immediately after the 9:00 Mass.


The Walk for Hunger is on Sunday May 5! Please consider joining us on this epic 20-mile walk. But if you cannot, please show your support with a donation! Our goal is to raise $10K that will go to support Project Bread. Their financial support to The Church of the Advent’s Community Dinners is critical to the success of those Tuesday dinners. Go to the Advent website (www.theadventboston.org) for a Walk for Hunger web link to join our team and/or donate. And please reach out to us in person over the next weeks, too. We are excited to be team captains again – and know it will be a fun and rewarding day!

— The Briggs Kiernan Family, (Bruce + Suzi; Ellie + Emma)

SPECIAL EVENTS FOR TODDLERS TO TEENAGERS: We ask that parents please take note and mark in their calendars the following events, which will strengthen and enhance our ministry to our young people:

  • Also at the Cathedral, the parishioners who are prepared for Confirmation (see below) will be confirmed by Bishop Gates on Saturday, June 15 at 10:30 am.
  • In honor of Saint Francis, on Sunday, October 6, the children will be able to enjoy a petting zoo that morning and bring their animal friends to the church that afternoon for our Blessing of Pets.

THEOLOGY ON TAP returns on Tuesday, April 30 at 7 pm in the Lower Bar at MAST Restaurant and Drinkery, 45 Province Street, Boston. Tyler VanderWeele will speak on “Religious Communities and Human Flourishing.” Dr VanderWeele is director of the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard, which among other things studies how religious communities affect health, happiness, meaning and purpose, and close social relationships. Theology on Tap is preceded by Evening Prayer at 5:30 pm at the Advent. For more information, contact Fr Hanson.

Adult Confirmation Class. It is expected that all adult members of this Church, after appropriate instruction, will have made a mature public affirmation of their faith and commitment to the responsibilities of their Baptism and will have been confirmed or received by the laying on of hands by a Bishop of this Church or by a Bishop of a Church in full communion with this Church. In keeping with the National Canons of The Episcopal Church, we are offering Confirmation Classes beginning after Easter. Classes have been scheduled for any adults (16 years and older) who are desirous of Confirmation or Reception into The Episcopal Church. The classes are scheduled for Wednesday evenings May 1-June 12, following the Healing Mass at 6:00 pm.

SAINT MICHAEL’S CONFERENCE: A Conference in the Anglican Tradition for Young Adults of All Christian Communions.

By the end of the week, I was sad to be leaving all the new friends I had made at the Conference. I couldn’t believe that the week had gone by so fast. I had learned so many new things at the Conference that I knew would be valuable life lessons, but most of all I had learned to never judge something without knowing what it is like. This is what Harriet Lewis-Bowen told us about her time spent last summer at Saint Michael’s Conference. This educational conference for high school and college students is a week-long conference held in West Hartford, Connecticut from July 28 to August 3 this summer. We encourage every high school and college-aged student between the ages of fourteen and twenty-one to register and attend. Registration forms are available in the church or on the Conference’s website at www.saintmichaelsconference.com. Please see Father James, Betsy James, Rob Braman, Mark Dwyer, Gabriel Ellsworth, Sam James, or Harriet Lewis-Bowen if you are interested in attending.


This is the final report for Stewardship 2019. 

So far we have received 207 pledges, totaling $569,152. 38 have increased their pledges by 20% or more, and there are 32 new pledges. The Stewardship Committee thank all who have pledged.

If you have not yet pledged, it is never too late. There are Stewardship brochures and pledge cards on the tables at the rear of the Church. And you can pledge on line by going to the parish website www.theadventboston.org and clicking the “Pledge Online” button.

From the Advent Archives —

An occasional offering of little known facts, amusing anecdotes, and miscellaneous wisdom, in honor of the 175th anniversary of this parish.

At right is an undated Eastertide photo of the Sacrament House or aumbry by Arthur Haskell (1890-1968), one of the major architectural photographers in New England. The Sacrament House was given by Mrs. and Mrs. Walter Gaskill in 1933, in memory of “their little daughter Ruth.” The rector, The Rev’d Julian D. Hamlin, noted, “You will all be happy, I know, to realize that the Centenary [of the Oxford Movement] is being marked in this Parish by the addition of this beautiful Memorial to the Church.

April 22-28, 2019

Monday, April 22
Monday in Easter Week – Parish Office Closed

Tuesday, April 23
Tuesday in Easter Week
5:30 pm: Community Supper

Wednesday, April 24
Wednesday in Easter Week
10:00 am: Bible Study
1:00 pm: Service of Committal for Blenda Jeffry
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bell Ringing

Thursday, April 25
Thursday in Easter Week

Friday, April 26
Friday in Easter Week
11:30 am: Rosary

Saturday, April 27
Saturday in Easter Week
10:30 am: Flower Guild Clean-up
12:30 noon: Youth Gathering for Presiding Bishop’s Visit

Sunday, April 28
The Second Sunday of Easter
7:30 am: Morning Prayer
8:00 am: Low Mass
9:00 am: Sung Mass
10:15 am: Church School / Entr’acte
11:15 am: Solemn Mass

Collect for Easter Day

Almighty God, who through thine only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by thy life-giving Spirit; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.