Seasonal Variations to Solemn Mass

Processions:
Add to Preparation: chasuble [and maniples] laid over altar rail on Epistle side. MC should remind CR to collect copes of choir clergy after Procession and to collect CEL’s cope at Offertory.

Enter in silence [organist may be either finishing prelude or doodling], short way from North door. TT[TT] carry lighted torches.

Line up at altar steps as usual; genuflect after D returns from placing Gospel Book on altar.

Th has incense laid on and goes to choir floor behind ACrA; D turns to bid procession, then turns back to face altar. MC cues ALL to genuflect as hymn play-through begins.

D turns to bid procession, then turns back to face altar. MC cues genuflection; as CEL turns to face people, SD and D cross on steps behind him. SMs walk three abreast, D and SD holding Cel’s cope, down center aisle and across front and back of nave, single file elsewhere.

The direction of the procession is as follows: down centre aisle, turn right, up north aisle, across front aisle, down south (Lady Chapel) aisle, through Baptistry, back up centre aisle to chancel.

ALL return to places as in opening lineup. MC leads genuflection and ALL retire to accustomed places (SMs to Altar, MC and AA to sedilia/credence). TT[TT] depart to smoke sacristy to dispose of candles and re-enter to places by Bishop’s Throne.

Altar censed during Gloria in Excelsis.

At Offertory, after CEL has blessed incense, MC assists SD to change CEL from cope to chasuble. CR should be ready to receive cope and remove it to the sacristy. If CR forgets, MC should put cope in Lady Chapel or behind High Altar reredos.

Advent Sunday (Feast of Dedication and Title):
The service on this day begins with a Procession (see notes above). All three SMs, plus choir clergy, are vested in white copes [and stoles] for the Procession; the altar and chalice are veiled in purple as usual for the season.

At the conclusion of the Procession, the SMs come back to their places in lineup at foot of altar steps. MC cues genuflection; ALL genuflect.

AA, MC, and TH retire to credence. CR collects choir clergy copes as usual.

SMs exit to priests’ sacristy where they change into purple vestments. CEL dons purple chasuble – no more copes in this service. SMs then return to chancel, go up to altar and kiss it, then receive thurible from TH to begin altar censing.

During Advent:
No Gloria; altar censed during Introit as usual.

During Lent:
Additional Preparations as above for Processions.

The “A-word” in all Altar Books should be covered over with a trimmed “sticky note” to discourage a celebrant on autopilot from saying it.

Litany in Procession: start of Mass as for a Procession.

The SMs walk single file throughout the Litany. They do not walk three abreast at any time.

The Procession turns left (toward Baptistry) at the back of the church and proceeds around the nave at approximately half the normal speed in a mirror image of the customary Procession route.

Cense altar during Kyrie.

The Gloria in Excelsis is omitted. A Tract, which may be lengthy, replaces the Alleluia Verse before the Gospel. When the Tract is lengthy, the Gospel Procession is modified as follows: after the Epistle, SD moves book and returns to sedilia. MC cues Th to enter. Incense is laid on and A1 leads off, followed by Th, SD, MC and A2. D goes to retrieve Gospel book from altar, is blessed by Cel as usual, and goes to lineup. MC cues ALL to genuflect and Gospel procession continues per custom.

No Intercessions or Confession – the Peace immediately follows the Creed.

CEL changes from cope to chasuble after laying on incense at the Offertory.

During Eastertide: Vidi Aquam
Add to Preparation: set out holy water bucket on step near Epistle-side pavement candle, and chasuble [and maniples] over Epistle-side altar rail.

The Paschal Candle resides in the centre of the choir through Whitsunday. Servers walking alone should pass the candle with the left shoulder. Servers in pairs split around it.

Entrance Procession is as usual.

The Mass begins with the Vidi Aquam as the Introit, immediately following the entrance hymn.

Immediately after ALL genuflect, MC gives holy water bucket to CEL and CEL asperges himself, SMs, and servers. When CEL turns to asperge choir and congregation, SD and D cross behind him and hold his cope; at back of aisle turn with him again (NB: CELs often run up and down aisle!). NOTE: With the Paschal Candle in centre of choir floor, SD will have to release cope to get around it.

MC, AA, Th, and TT remain in entrance lineup until SMs return from asperging congregation.

Returning from nave, SMs genuflect and CEL gives bucket to MC; SMs go up to reverence altar while MC and others retire to places.

The Easter Acclamation, Collect for Purity, and Summary of the Law follow as usual. Altar is censed during Gloria. The Customary is normal thereafter.

CEL changes vestments at Offertory, as with a Procession.

The Easter Dismissal is used throughout Paschaltide.

On Rogation Sunday:

The cope will be needed at the end of the Mass, so instead of giving it to CR at Offertory MC should retire it to Lady Chapel or behind the High Altar reredos for easy retrieval.

At least twice the usual amount of holy water should be provided for the Vidi Aquam at the entrance and the Rogation Procession at the end of Mass.

At the end of the Mass, after the Blessing and Dismissal, the Sacred Ministers reverence the altar and then turn and descend to the sedilia. The final hymn begins as usual and will cover much of the following:

  • The Deacon and Subdeacon assist the Celebrant in removing chasuble and changing back to cope. All SMs remove maniples. MC lays chasuble and maniples over altar rail.
  • MC signals TH to enter from smoke sacristy. CEL lays on incense in the normal manner.
  • CR brings processional cross to middle of choir floor as for normal depature. TH and AA genuflect at gate and TH leads AA into choir. TH takes position to west of CR while AA flank CR, all of them facing the altar.
  • TT, SMs and MC line up at altar steps. MC has holy water bucket and passes it to CEL.
  • MC cues genuflection and ALL genuflect and turn westward.
  • TH and A-CR-A lead procession, in normal order.

When the hymn is over, the Choir or a Cantor appointed begin the Litany of the Saints. All, including the congregation, sing the responses as the procession continues.

Weather permitting, the procession goes out the West door, turns left, and proceeds around the block onto Mount Vernon Street, the congregation following the SMs. CEL asperges every green growing thing in sight along the way.

  • If the weather is foul, the procession goes down centre aisle, out side door to Hale House, down stairs into Moseley Hall and gathers in bay window end for prayer, blessing, and madrigal.

The procession goes down Mount Vernon Street to the firehouse, turns left, and turns left again into alley leading to Parish Garden. In the Garden, CEL reads a suitable prayer and asperges the flora. The Choir sings a madrigal. At the earliest possible moment following, the MC marshals servers to take vestments from clergy and retire upstairs via the kitchen staircase to proceed with cleanup.

Solemn Mass with Baptism

NOTE: For ease of comprehension, these instructions are written with the assumption that the Celebrant is also the Officiant at the baptism(s).

Preparation:
Before the service, the sexton raises the lid of the font and partially fills it with water. The Paschal Candle (which resides in the baptistry outside Eastertide) is lit.

The following hardware (set out by Altar Guild) goes to the Baptistry before Mass: ewer containing slightly warm water, silver scallop shell, oil of chrism, a few extra lavabo towels, aspersorium and aspergillum, a lavabo or other dish with a few pinches of exorcised salt, and sufficient unlit baptismal candles for the number of baptizands. If the officiant wishes to use the Easter Vigil Baptismal Rite notebook (containing the chant for the Blessing of the Water), that should also be placed on the Baptistry altar; otherwise, the Altar Book from the Lady Chapel (the regular Altar Book, not the Anglican Missal) is placed in the Baptistry.

The Celebrant wears a cope for the first part of the Mass and the Baptism. Chasuble [and all three maniples] draped over the Epistle-side altar rail. MC should remind CR to collect the cope at the Offertory.

The Service:
The opening versicles and responses appointed for Baptism (pg. 299, BCP) may replace the Collect for Purity, the Summary of the Law, and the Gloria in Excelsis, in which case the Collect of the Day immediately follows the versicles and responses.

After the Sermon, in place of the Nicene Creed, MC and SMs go to center, genuflect, and turn. If the D or CEL is preaching, the others will meet him at the top choir step.

MC goes to “stage left”.

SD goes to stage left.

D goes to stage right.

CEL goes to center.

CEL invites the baptismal party to come forward to choir steps.

The Presentation and Examination take place at the choir steps: baptismal party on transept floor, SMs on top step.

The Apostles’ Creed is used, as part of the Baptismal Covenant, in place of the Nicene Creed. The Prayers for the Candidate(s) take the place of the Prayers of the People.

The Confession of Sin is omitted.

After the Presentation and Examination of the Candidates, the CEL may invite the congregation to cluster toward the baptistry to witness the baptism.

The party then proceeds to the font, via the main aisle, in the following order:

\/
Baptismal Party
CEL
D
SD
[choir clergy]
MC
[ Verger]
\/

SD holds book open for CEL as he blesses the water and performs the baptism(s).

MC stands ready with extra towels, etc., as needed to dry officiant’s fingers. After each baptism, MC or an assisting cleric lights a small presentation candle from the Paschal candle (if necessary, with the help of someone tall) and gives it to CEL to present to baptizand or baptizand’s parents.

The Peace is NOT, repeat NOT, bidden after the Welcoming of the Newly Baptized. Following this communal prayer the Celebrant scoops baptismal water into the aspersorium. The baptismal party returns to their pews and the Verger leads the procession back to the chancel via the main aisle in the following order:

\/
D-CEL-SD
MC
[choir clergy]
[Verger]
\/

The D and SD hold edges of CEL’s cope while he sprinkles the congregation with the baptismal water during the procession back to the chancel.

[Verger and choir clergy return to their stalls.] MC and SMs line up at foot of altar steps where MC cues genuflection. CEL hands off aspersorium and aspergillum to MC, who retires to sedilia. CEL then turns and bids the Peace, comme d’habitude.

The Mass continues with the Offertory, beginning with laying on of incense. CEL changes to chasuble after laying on incense.

9AM Mass: Summer Customary

GENERAL NOTES:

Staffing for the 9:00 AM Mass will normally be as follows:

Celebrant (CEL).

Deacon or Priest in choir, known as choir clergy (CC)

Master of Ceremonies (MC)

Chalice Minister (a layman) (CM)

The MC should routinely review personnel assignments with the Cel before the Mass.

At this time any changes or additions to the liturgy should be discussed. (eg. Baptism)

Set Up

Candles lit by 8:30 AM

On the Credence: veiled chalice and one or two extra chalices, depending on #of clergy/servers; the Lavabo; Cruets; Breadbox

After it has been check by Cel, Missal should be on its stand on the Epistle horn of the altar.

Gospel book placed on the cushion on the lower shelf of the table below the Credence.

Intercessions book on the little stand next to the MC.

Bulletin on the chairs of the CEL, MC, CM, and in stalls of Verger & any Choir Clergy.

Water in place on the altar and in the pulpit.

Lectionary transferred to Lectern after 8 AM mass

Entrance & Liturgy of the Word:

CC, Verger, and any guest clergy enter from All Saints’ door during Prelude and sit in Choir.

CM, MC and CEL enter from Smoke Sacristy during the opening hymn and stand in the gate in the following order, left to right: CM‚ CEL‚ MC. The MC signals the genuflection.

After the Collect for the Day all sit for the Lessons and Psalm.

–The First Lesson is read by a member of the congregation.

–The Psalm is announced by CEL and read responsively.

During the Psalm the CM goes down to the lectern and is in place so that s/he may read the second lesson. After reading, the CM goes up to the altar and moves the Missal to the Gospel side of center, then returns to chair next to the Bishop’s Throne.

During the Gospel Hymn, MC gets the Gospel Book, proceeds to the base of the altar, genuflects, and processes to the chancel steps where s/he is met by the Gospeller, (CC).

MC holds the Gospel and stands on whichever step allows the CC to be seen and heard by the congregation while he reads. MC has back to the congregation.

After the Gospel, the MC takes the Gospel Book to the CEL for the kiss, then takes the Book to the lower shelf of the table in front of the credence, without genuflecting at the gate.

All sit during sermon.

Creed, Prayers of the People, Confession and Absolution

MC & CM stand, move to green lines at the base of the steps, flank the Cel, and face the altar for the Creed and Prayers of the People.

They kneel in place for Confession and absolution.

At the Peace they stand and turn 90 degrees so that they face one another, with the Cel in between them.

The Cel exchanges Peace with the MC first, then the CM.

After the Peace, CM and MC return to their respective sides of the altar.

Offertory : (CC prepares vessels during the collection of the alms.)

During the Offertory Procession, CM and CC flank the CEL to receive the gifts.

CM, CEL and CC go up to the altar where CEL receives and returns the alms basin to the CM who takes it to the MC and exchanges it for the water cruet. CM leaves the cruet for the CC, passes behind SM and returns to stand in front of Bishop’s throne. MC removes water cruet when Cel is through with it.

MC gets water, Lavabo and towel for ablutions.

Consecration:

CM kneels on the steps in front of the Bishop’s Throne during the Consecration; MC kneels in usual place. The CC may kneel on either side for the Consecration.

At the Agnus Dei, CM goes to side of the altar, 2nd step down, leaving room for CC to remove Reserved Sacrament and place it on the altar.

MC goes and stands next to CM.

CC and CM will administer at the All Saints Altar and the CM will count the Communicants.

MC serves the chalice at the High Altar. (The Verger will count the High Altar.)

When finished at All Saints, CC and CM return and serve half the High Altar.

Ablutions : (Note that CM will help during ablutions only if CC leaves altar.)

If there is wine left over, CEL will direct its disposition.

CC and MC assist CEL wiping out vessels, etc.

MC clears the altar. CM assists in removing items from the altar in order to keep things going at the best clip.

CC moves the Missal back to the Epistle horn while MC takes veiled chalice and returns it to Credence.

CM and MC kneel in place during final prayers, and stand after Blessing & Dismissal.

Closing Hymn:

CM, CEL, CC, MC go to the gate, genuflect, turn and leave in procession as follows:

CEL
CC ( if he has returned to choir he will follow Verger )
MC
CM
Verger

The Verger leads the procession to the Baptistery for final prayers.

Cleanup is as usual with MC removing the veiled chalice.

Solemn Mass in Summer (without Choir)


ETIQUETTE NOTES:
Servers who are not carrying anything else in procession may elect to carry hymnals or to walk empty-handed. Either way, servers in pairs always mirror each other.

When empty-handed, the hands should be folded at waist height in front of you.

The Bishop’s Throne is not a bookstand; hymnals, programs, and other printed matter are to be placed on TTs’ chairs or on the floor when not in use.

Servers face across chancel at all times except when facing the Gospel Book during the reading of the Gospel. When sitting, do not cross your legs.

When counting during Communion, servers should not look at the people. Instead, follow the clergy’s hands as they distribute the Sacrament.

How to genuflect: Put the right knee down and keep your back vertical! We are not football players.

How to carry a candle: The outside arm is always down and out.

How to walk and carry a candle at the same time: ALL step off on left foot first. Pairs should hold their candles at a level. If there is a height disparity between partners, the taller partner should accommodate the shorter by carrying his/her candle lower. Hold the candle far enough in front of you so that your knees do not knock into it as you walk.


PREPARATION:

All servers should be present and vested 15 minutes before Mass. Any server not accounted for by this time will be replaced.

To credence: twin chalices, Aqua & Vino cruets, lavabo bowl & towel; veiled chalice with priest’s host and 3 purificators. Make sure Aqua contains water and Vino contains wine!

All Saints, High Altar, and footpace candles should already be lit from 9am Mass.

Fresh water glasses in pulpit and on retable (in front of innermost Epistle-side candle).

Lectionary open to Old Testament lesson on lectern.

Gospel Book and Altar Book in priests’ sacristy to be reviewed by clergy.

BCP and Intercessions book in bookstand. Once CEL has set Altar Book, it goes on Missal Stand and Book and Stand are placed on Credence Table.

Copy of Mass Leaflet distributed to ALL to follow Psalm.

If necessary, MC will assign Communion stations.

MC assigns TT to count High Altar and CR to count All Saints.

Silence should be maintained both in sacristy and in hallway prior to Mass.

PROCESSION:
ALL enter in procession in the following order:

/\
CEL
D
SD
MC
TT
CM(s)
Verger
A CR A
TH
/\

The procession enters via the North door during the hymn playthrough and proceeds to the chancel the “short way,” across the transept and up the choir steps.

TH proceeds to altar steps (see schematic below).

CR enters crucifer’s stall, places cross in holder, and faces East (the High Altar).

AA proceed to altar steps (see schematic below).

CM(s) go into choir stalls and face East.

TT proceed to places below altar rail, between the innermost pairs of medallions.

MC goes to left of Epistle-side A.

SD goes to TH’s right.

D proceeds to Altar, places Gospel Book in centre, and returns to foot of steps at MC’s left.

CEL takes place between SD and D.

Opening lineup at altar steps:

|ALTAR|
__________________________
__________________________
__________________________
A TH SD CEL D MC A
======(T at rail)==== ====(T at rail)======

When all are lined up and D has returned from placing Gospel Book, MC cues ALL to genuflect. Following genuflection, CMs, Verger, and CR face across chancel.

MC may take hymnals from SMs. SMs ascend altar steps to footpace, and AA, TH, and MC file to sedilia/credence. TT proceed through far-left opening in altar rail to chairs flanking Bishop’s Throne.

Altar is censed during the opening hymn. TH brings thurible up to CEL as soon as TH arrives at credence. TH then retires to credence and waits until D returns thurible after censing CEL. TH exits to smoke sacristy. MC puts Altar Book on Epistle horn of altar.

OPENING ACCLAMATION, COLLECT FOR PURITY, SUMMARY OF THE LAW:
SMs line up in slanted “I” formation at Epistle horn for Opening Acclamation (ALL make the Sign of the Cross), Collect for Purity, and Summary of the Law.

MC and AA stand in place near credence. TT stand in front of their chairs.

KYRIE ELEISON and GLORIA IN EXCELSIS:
After the Summary of the Law, SMs proceed across respective steps to closed “I” formation in centre. Congregation sings Kyrie.

MC signals SD and D to go up to footpace on the words, “Glory be to God on High” (intoned by CEL). SD and D return to places in closed “I” at the words “For thou only art Holy…” ALL make the Sign of the Cross during the words “in the glory of God the Father.”

SALUTATION and COLLECT OF THE DAY:
Following conclusion of Gloria in Excelsis, CEL turns to face the people. D and SD split to left and right (“open I”) for the salutation and response, then proceed to closed “I” at Epistle horn for chanting of Collect. MC ascends to top side step to point Collect while CEL chants it.

LESSONS and PSALM:
SMs come off steps to sedilia. ALL sit. MC sits next to D. AA sit on either side of credence table. TT sit on either side of Bishop’s Throne.

A member of the congregation reads the First Lesson.

A priest leads the reading of the gradual Psalm. Approximately 3 verses before the end of the psalm, SD leaves sedilia, genuflects at gate, turns and goes to lectern for Epistle Lesson. ALL bow for the Gloria Patri.

GOSPEL PROCESSION:
After Epistle Lesson, several things happen at once:

–ALL stand. MC directs AA to pick up candles and TH to enter from smoke sacristy.

–As TH enters from smoke sacristy, AA meet TH at centre for genuflection. AA then split to places in front of both horns of the Altar.

–TH goes to CEL and has incense laid on, then proceeds to lineup between Gospel-side A and SD (see schematic below).

–SD proceeds to High Altar, goes to Epistle Horn, picks up Missal Stand and moves it to left of centre (under the innermost Gospel-side angel). SD then walks down steps and takes place near Gospel-side A, leaving room for TH who most likely isn’t there yet.

Once CEL has laid on incense, D goes up side steps to Altar, collects Gospel Book, returns via same path to CEL and genuflects for a blessing.

D and MC join lineup and MC cues genuflection.

Lineup for Gospel Procession

|ALTAR|
__________________________
__________________________
__________________________
A TH SD D MC A

The order of the Gospel Procession is as follows:

/\
D
SD
TH
AA
MC
/\

MC leads procession approximately halfway down centre aisle, turns and faces East. AA take places facing each other across aisle on either side of MC. MC steps out of the way alongside the right-hand A. Th stands beside left-hand A. SD stands between AA facing East.

D places Gospel Book in SD’s hands, introduces the Gospel and censes the Book.

Following the chanting, D returns Gospel Book to SD’s hands. SD leads returning procession, taking Gospel Book back to CEL (usually at sedilia). Because SD is carrying the Evangel, SD does not genuflect upon returning to chancel but goes directly to CEL.

MC follows SD, leading procession back to altar steps in the following order:

/\
D
TH
AA
MC
/\

Since the procession is one person smaller, servers should line up more tightly at steps so as not to be spread out like a necklace with beads missing. MC cues ALL to genuflect. MC, D, and AA retire to sedilia/credence. TH goes out to smoke sacristy.

SERMON:
ALL sit.

NICENE CREED:
MC gives BCP and Intercessions book to D and cues ALL to stand. SMs go to foot of steps (do NOT genuflect). AA, MC and TT stand at bottom steps on either side. Creed is intoned by CEL and sung by ALL. Following the words “came down from heaven,” ALL genuflect through the words “and was made Man.” ALL rise. ALL make the Sign of the Cross at the words “the life everlasting.”

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE and EXHORTATION:
ALL remain standing.

GENERAL CONFESSION and ABSOLUTION:
ALL kneel. Do not fuss with cushions unless knees are papier-mâché; the Confession is short.

PEACE:
ALL stand and exchange Peace. SMs genuflect and return to sedilia. MC receives BCP and Intercessions book from D. TT exit via side door to smoke sacristy to collect their torches.

OFFERTORY:
MC may have to prompt TH to enter with TT. TH leads out, followed by TT walking single file. TH goes to gate and waits for TT to reach places between innermost medallions at altar rail, then cues genuflection.

TT remain in places as TH goes to CEL to have incense laid on. TH returns to gate and cues genuflection, turns and departs. TH, followed by TT, goes down South (Lady Chapel/Baptistry) aisle to rear of nave to wait for Offertory Procession to assemble.

D goes up to prepare vessels on Altar. SD, CEL and AA sit. D returns to sedilia and he and MC sit.
When Offertory Procession is ready, MC cues ALL to stand. SMs, led by SD, go to gate and genuflect, then turn and wait for the gifts.

TH leads Offertory Procession up centre aisle, followed by TT, Verger, and Processors:

/\
Processors
Verger
TT
TH
/\

MC cues TH, TT, and Processors to genuflect after the gifts have been received and SMs have turned back to face Altar. TT remain in places at altar rail, while TH enters through far-right opening and proceeds to credence.

SMs take offerings to Altar. MC goes up to Epistle horn [with water cruet] and receives bason from SD. [MC may assign an A to carry the water cruet and retrieve it after chalice has been mixed.]

When SMs are ready to cense, MC and TH go up to Altar together, MC on TH’s left. MC removes Altar Book and goes down to stand on pavement near Sacrament House during censing.

MC returns Altar Book to Altar as D begins to cense CEL. MC remains on Gospel side on pavement until sanctuary censing has been completed and TH goes down to choir.

MC returns to Epistle side, genuflecting at centre, arranges cushions on bottom step for AA and TH, and bids AA to their places. Order (from left to right): A A TH MC.

SALUTATION and SURSUM CORDA:
ALL remain standing.

PREFACE:
At the words “Therefore with Angels … ” MC signals SD and D to go up to footpace.

SANCTUS and BENEDICTUS:
ALL remain standing. MC, TH and AA bow with SMs for the first few phrases of the Sanctus (watch SMs for cues). TT do not bow. ALL make the Sign of the Cross at the words “Blessed is He who comes … “.

PRAYER OF CONSECRATION:
MC signals ALL to kneel. After the words, “until His coming again,” SD and D kneel on either side of CEL for the Dominical Words. Following the elevation of the Chalice and CEL’s second genuflection, SD and D rise.

LORD’S PRAYER, FRACTION, and PRAYER OF HUMBLE ACCESS:
ALL remain kneeling.

AGNUS DEI:
As Agnus Dei begins, MC signals ALL to stand. AA retire to places at credence. TH goes to centre and cues TT to genuflect before exiting. TH and TT exit to smoke sacristy. TT put up candles and return to places by Bishop’s Throne.

Downstage A places chalices on the Altar, then takes place at credence.

INVITATION TO COMMUNION and COMMUNION:
ALL remain standing in places for Invitation and Communion.

TH comes out to altar rail to receive Communion, then may retire to an empty choir stall for the rest of the Mass.

During Communion, TT and CR count as directed. MC and AA are watchful and prepared to give any kind of assistance needed. MC may mark final hymn in hymnals for Recessional.

ABLUTIONS:
MC brings water cruet up to Altar and signals AA to stand at Epistle horn and receive cleansed vessels (ciborium, flagon, and extra chalices).

Upstage A receives veiled Mass chalice from SD at bottom of steps. SD takes place in closed “I” at Epistle horn.

POSTCOMMUNION PRAYER:
AA and TT kneel on bottom step at either side. Do not fuss with cushions unless knees are papier-mâché.

MC ascends to top side step while CEL leads Post-Communion Prayer. At conclusion of prayer, MC takes missal stand down to credence table and kneels for Blessing and Dismissal.

BLESSING and DISMISSAL:
ALL remain kneeling. SMs go to centre and as CEL turns, spread into open “I” and kneel on steps. CEL blesses people and bids dismissal. D rises and sings Dismissal. ALL respond, then rise.

MC cues AA to pick up candles and join CR at bottom of steps. AA exit gate without genuflecting and face East on either side of CR. CMs and Verger face East in their stalls.

All others line up on pavement:

|ALTAR|
__________________________
__________________________
__________________________
T SD D MC T

MC may distribute hymnals; MC cues ALL to genuflect on first word of hymn. A CR A do not genuflect. Altar party then turns and faces West.
RECESSIONAL:
The order of the departing Procession is as follows:

\/
CEL
D
SD
MC
TT
TH
CM(s)
Verger
A CR A
\/

Exeunt omnes down centre aisle. Servers and clergy retire to Baptistry and gather around font.

IN BAPTISTRY:
CEL leads a final prayer. SD departs (via Parish House hallway and smoke sacristy entrance) to retrieve veiled chalice from High Altar.

Servers with nothing else to carry receive vestments from clergy.

AFTER MASS CLEANUP:
MC supervises cleanup including lectern, pulpit, All Saints, Lady Chapel, and High Altar. Sermon text goes to priests’ sacristy desk; all vessels and water glasses go to work sacristy; all candles extinguished; credence table cleared; blue cover cloths placed on all altars; sanctuary left in perfect order. TT and CR give their counts to MC to record in register along with attendance figure (on slip from offering bason). MC is responsible for counting Communions of servers.

Ite, missa est!

Processors

PROCESSORS are scheduled three at a time. One carries the offering bason, one the flagon, and one the ciborium.

The Offertory Procession consists of: the Thurifer (TH), two or four Torches (TT), the Verger, and the three Processors.

At the time of the Offertory, Processors leave their pews and go to the back of the church to wait for the Procession.

The Procession starts up the center aisle, led by the Thurifer, as the Choir begins to chant the Offertory Sentence.*

The order of the Procession is as follows:

TH
TT
[TT]
Verger
Bason
Ciborium Flagon

Processors should keep approximately two pews’ distance between themselves and the person in front of them. This prevents the procession from slowing down excessively.

As the Procession reaches the Altar Steps where the Sacred Ministers are waiting, the Thurifer steps off to the far right. The Torches take their appointed places at the altar rail. The MC will be inside the rail to the right to cue the genuflection, as described below. Processors should keep an eye out for this signal.

The Processor with the bason arrives at the steps first, hands the bason to the Celebrant, then steps to the left to make room for the other two Processors.

The Processors bearing the Ciborium and Flagon come up together, the Flagon-bearer on the right so that the Ciborium-bearer is in the middle (with the Bason-bearer, now empty-handed, on the left). The Celebrant receives the Flagon first, then the Ciborium.

When all the Gifts have been received, the Sacred Ministers bow to the Processors and turn toward the Altar. At this point, MC cues Torches, Thurifer, and Processors to genuflect. The cue is an outstretched forearm lowered straight down. All genuflect on this cue, and Processors turn and proceed single file out the Smoke Sacristy door and down the hall of the Parish House to return to their places in the pews.

* When the Choir is not singing (during the summer season), an Organ Voluntary takes the place of the Anthem and Offertory Sentence, and the Offertory Procession will simply start when it is ready, directed by the Verger.

Reader


All new readers will be auditioned by a committee consisting of [the Rector,] the Acolyte Warden, one or more additional MC’s and/or Subdeacons, and one or more current readers. Periodic Readers Workshops will provide additional training.

Since the Advent does not presently have a sound amplification system beyond the building’s (magnificent) natural acoustics, readers must have clear, carrying voices. Good diction and the ability to read aloud with expression are essential. Think about what you are reading, the Word of God. Readers should study, pray, and meditate upon the assigned lesson before the service.

A note about appearance: there is no ‘unwritten rule’ requiring male readers to wear a jacket and tie rather than a sweater, or women to wear a dress rather than slacks. Everyday standards of sartorial neatness apply.

Preparing the Reading
Confirm what the Lesson will be in advance. Consult the Lectionary or call the Parish Office for this information.

Take home a copy of the reading to practice. If you don’t have a copy of the Lectionary at home, make a copy of the Lesson on Sunday morning. There is a copying machine on the second floor of the Parish House down the hallway behind the Choir Room. Practicing with a copy of the Lectionary text is easier than practicing from your Bible – not that you should stop reading your Bible! – because the text is laid out in the way you will see it on Sunday, without distracting footnotes, verse numbers, or other annotations. Omit optional portions. Many of the Lessons have portions, indicated with a vertical line next to the text, that may be omitted. Unless the preacher specifically asks you to read the indented portion, omit it.

The Reading
On the assigned day, sit in the front pew under the Lectern at the beginning of the service. (The Reader may move to his/her accustomed pew after reading the Lesson.) Remember that the clergy and servers at the sedilia can’t see the lectern and don’t know if the reader is actually present until he or she speaks. A lengthy gap between the Collect of the Day and the reader’s arrival at the lectern not only breaks up the flow of the liturgy, but is also a terrible strain on sacerdotal nerves.

Following the Collect of the Day the Reader should proceed to the Lectern (while the congregation is chanting “Amen”). Remember to genuflect upon leaving the pew to go to the Lectern.

If the Sacrament is not present at the High Altar, e.g., for certain Evensongs, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil, bow instead of genuflecting.

Announcing the Reading
At Mass and Evensong, the reading is announced according to the usual form: “A reading from the …” (e.g., Book of the Prophet…; First Book of the Kings; Acts of the Apostles). At the conclusion of the reading the salutation is, “The Word of the Lord”, not “This is the Word …”

At Special Services
For Lessons and Carols (Advent and New Year’s Eve) the introduction to the reading is a set sentence printed on the page above the Lesson. The conclusion of the reading is “Thanks be to God,” with no congregational response.

For the Easter Vigil, there is neither introduction nor conclusion to the reading. The lesson is simply read in its entirety.

Guidelines for Technique and Style
Readers should project their voices toward the back wall rather than reading down “into the page.” Avoid making direct eye contact with people in the congregation.

The acoustics in the nave are superb; it is not necessary to yell – a slightly louder than normal conversational voice will suffice. Speak naturally but clearly, and enunciate carefully but without exaggeration.

The reading should be expressive, but not dramatic. Do not overemphasize words or phrases. The language of the Scriptures flows naturally and does not require artistic interpretation.

For tricky Old (and New) Testament names, there is a pronunciation guide in the Sacristy. Ask the MC to find it for you so that you can confirm and practice the pronunciation in advance.

Even if you are uncomfortable with or self-conscious about your speech, do not attempt to disguise your accent or adopt one which is not native to you. Whether you have a Dorchester twang or a Dixie drawl, speak in the voice God and your relatives gave you.

In general, do not draw attention to yourself with excessive movement or unnecessary enthusiasm. The Reader is a minister of the service as much as the vested choir, clergy, and servers in the chancel, and as such should maintain the standard of anonymity which is expected of all participants in the liturgy.

Torchbearer

ETIQUETTE NOTES:
TT may elect to carry in hymnals or to walk empty-handed. Either way, TT must be uniform; servers in pairs always mirror each other.

When empty-handed, the hands should be folded at waist height in front of you.

TT chairs are on either side of Bishop’s Throne. The Throne is not a bookstand; hymnals, programs and other printed matter are to be placed on TT chairs or on the floor when not in use.

TT face across chancel at all times except when facing the Gospel Book during the reading of the Gospel.

When counting during Communion, TT should not look at the people. Instead, follow the clergy’s hands as they distribute the Sacrament.

How to genuflect: Put the right knee down and keep your back vertical! We are not football players.

How to carry a candle: The outside arm is always down and out.

How to walk and carry a candle at the same time: ALL step off on left foot first. Pairs should hold their candles at a level. If there is a height disparity between partners, the taller partner should accommodate the shorter by carrying his/her candle lower. Hold the candle far enough in front of you so that your knees do not knock into it as you walk.


Entrance:
TT enter without candles and follow choir clergy/choir ministers in procession, preceding the MC.

ALL enter in procession, and without reverencing (no bows), take their places at altar steps in the following formation. TT should stand between the two innermost medallions:

| ALTAR |
____________________________________
____________________________________
____________________________________
A TH SD CEL D MC A
========(rail)====== ======(rail)=======
T              T

After D ascends altar steps, places Gospel Book and returns to his place, MC cues ALL to genuflect. While SMs ascend altar steps to footpace, TT without any further reverencing proceed below rail to Bishop’s throne. T who has been standing on left side of altar rail goes to far chair. T who has been standing on right side of altar rail goes to nearer chair.

The Liturgy of the Word
TT follow MC and AA opposite in standing for opening salutation, Collect for Purity, Summary of the Law, Kyrie and Gloria, in sitting for OT and NT lessons, and standing for the Gospel Procession. TT turn to face Gospel Book as it is carried out to the congregation.

When MC, AA, and D return from Gospel procession and sit, TT do likewise.

For the Nicene Creed, Intercessions, and Confession TT stand and move forward to bottom step, mirroring MC and AA opposite.

Offertory
After the Peace, TT exit directly to smoke sacristy without genuflecting. Light (if TH has not done so) and pick up torches. At MC’s cue, TH leads TT from sacristy to centre of rail. TH moves above rail; TT remain below rail. MC cues genuflection and TH goes to CEL. TT remain in their places.

TH has incense laid on and blessed and returns to centre, leads genuflection, then turns and leads procession through chancel, left on nave floor and up epistle-side (south) aisle. TH and TT proceed to west door of the church where the Offertory Procession forms.

TT follow TH in procession. Note guidelines above for matching candle heights.

When TT reach rail, they go to same places as at opening line-up. After the SMs have received the gifts from the Processors and turn to go up to the Altar, MC cues TT and Processors to genuflect.

Canon of the Mass
TT remain standing in their places, resting candles in front of them, until cued to kneel by MC. Usually this will be after the Sanctus and Benedictus; however, if the musical setting is very long, the MC may direct TT to kneel when the music begins. This should be arranged and communicated to TT before the Mass begins.

After Sanctus and Benedictus, MC cues ALL to kneel. TT remain kneeling until after the Prayer of Humble Access. As the Agnus Dei begins, MC cues ALL to rise. TT wait in their places below rail for TH, who proceeds to centre. MC cues genuflection and TH leads TT out to smoke sacristy. TT extinguish candles and place them in racks, then come out without reverencing and return to places at Bishop’s Throne.

Communion
ALL stand for the Invitation to Communion and to receive the Sacrament. During Communion, TT count people receiving at the High Altar. *Do not count those who receive a blessing only, such as small children.*

Postcommunion Prayer
TT kneel together on bottom step in front of Bishop’s Throne (same position as for Confession of Sin) for Postcommunion Prayer, Blessing, and Dismissal.

After the Dismissal, MC cues ALL to rise. TT take their places at Altar steps, to left of SD and right of MC:

T SD CEL D MC T

Recessional Hymn
As hymn playthrough concludes, MC cues ALL to geuflect, then ALL turn inward to face the people.

As the CMs are leaving their stalls in choir, MC cues TT to meet at centre(chancel gate) and proceed in a pair, following Choir Clergy/Choir Ministers inprocession. ALL proceed to Baptistry for final prayer.

As directed by MC, TT assist with the return of vestments to the sacristy, removal of vessels and books from the sanctuary, and the extinguishing of candles after the Mass.

TT give their Communion counts to MC following the Mass.

Crucifer


ETIQUETTE NOTES:
CR faces across chancel at all times except when facing the Gospel Book during the reading of the Gospel.

Hold the cross under the first and second knurl. (“Lift High the Cross/the love of Christ proclaim…”) However, note that there is no consistency in knurl placement among the processional crosses. In general, the base of the processional cross staff should never be higher than the knees. And, needless to say, the base of the cross should never be grasped and anchored at the waist in the fashion of military flag-bearers. In general, the lower hand should be at the waist and the upper hand aligned with the chin – and never aligned with the eyes, for obvious reasons.

How to walk and carry the cross at the same time: Step off on left foot first. Hold the cross far enough in front of you so that your knees do not knock into it as you walk. The cross should ideally be carried so that the tops of the candles are level with the horizontal bar of the cross. If there is a height disparity between CR and AA, the taller server(s) should accommodate the shorter.

How to genuflect: Put the right knee down and keep your back vertical! We are not football players.

**While carrying the Cross, the CR never genuflects.**


Preparation:
The key to the cross closet (Key #27) is kept in master key box in work sacristy. However, the closet should already be unlocked.

The choice of cross to use should be noted on the monthly schedule. If it is not, check with the MC.

The Service:
(See Appendix for changes to Entrance when there is a Procession.)

TH leads Procession and sets pace. A CR A follow at a safe distance (at least 3 pews back).

When CR reaches top of steps from crossing, AA move forward and CR walks to stall on left and puts cross in holder. Always secure cross in holder with latch.

CR faces east to genuflect with rest of chancel party on MC’s cue, then faces across chancel.

CR remains in stall, sitting/standing/kneeling as cued by MC (do not take cues from choir’s posture), until Communion.

See Appendix for procedure when CEL is wearing a cope.

When choir clergy take Hosts and chalice to All Saints Chapel, CR goes to All Saints Chapel to receive and counts Communions at the Chapel station. *Do not count those who receive blessings only, such as small children.*

When last communicant has left chapel rail, CR returns to stall.

CR kneels for Postcommunion Prayer, Blessing, and Dismissal. During the introduction to the closing hymn, pick up the processional cross, step into the stall aisle, face liturgical south, adjust the height of the cross, proceed straight ahead to the center, make a 90-degree left turn, and process in a measured, dignified manner to the base of the steps leading up the area below the altar rail.

MC, TT, and SMs line up at altar and MC cues genuflection at end of hymn play-through. A CR A do not genuflect.

As altar party turns to face the people, A CR A turn and proceed down the centre aisle to the baptistry. CR always turns to the right.

CR sets the pace for the Recessional. Do not be a roadrunner! Pace should be stately, but not glacial.

After returning cross to its hook in closet, CR assists with cleanup and gives Communion count to MC.


APPENDIX: Processions
Procession enters in silence, short way from North door.

As A CR A come into choir, they wheel off to right and stand abreast facing choir stalls until CEL arrives at altar steps, at which time they wheel out and stand in centre of choir floor facing the Altar. Cued by MC, SMs, MC and TT[TT] genuflect (A CR A do not).

Th has incense laid on and goes to choir floor behind ACrA; D turns to bid procession, then turns back to face altar. MC cues ALL to genuflect as hymn play-through begins. As CEL turns to face people, SD and D cross on steps behind him.

As SMs face people, TH leads procession. A CR A follow as usual, keeping a safe distance in case TH decides to do “360’s.”

In side aisles, which are too narrow to walk 3 abreast, AA go ahead of CR.

As Procession returns to Altar, CR goes off to stall and AA proceed to altar steps to normal entrance lineup. When MC and SMs arrive, MC cues genuflection and all file off to credence as usual.

At end of Procession, CR takes copes from choir clergy and returns them to sacristy, exiting via All Saints door (opposite sacristy door). To return to stall, go behind All Saints reredos.

CEL will wear cope until Offertory. CR should be alert for MC’s signal to come and collect the cope.

After laying on incense for Offertory Procession, CEL removes cope. CR walks up to right (Epistle-side) altar rail and receives cope from MC. Take cope out through smoke sacristy to priests’ sacristy, laying it over large chair at desk. (If sacristy door is locked, the key hangs in niche to right of cross closet in smoke sacristy.)

CR returns to stall via All Saints Chapel door, going behind reredos.

Acolyte


ETIQUETTE NOTES:
When empty-handed, the hands should be folded at waist height in front of you.

AA face across chancel at all times except when facing the Gospel Book during the reading of the Gospel.

How to genuflect: Put the right knee down and keep your back vertical! We are not football players in the huddle.

How to carry a candle: The outside arm is always down and out. AA carry the turned wooden torches.

How to walk and carry a candle at the same time: ALL step off on left foot first. Pairs should hold their candles at a level. If there is a height disparity between partners, the taller partner should accommodate the shorter by carrying his/her candle lower. Hold the candle far enough in front of you so that your knees do not knock into it as you walk.


Entrance:
(See Appendix for changes to Entrance when there is a Procession.)
AA, bearing lighted torches, escort CR at entrance, following TH. When proceeding up side aisles, AA move in front of CR. When they reach the Choir, CR steps off into his/her stall. AA come together and proceed to chancel steps. Inside gate they split off and take positions in front of the horns of the altar, Gospel-side A to left (outside) of TH who is already in place.

ALL enter in procession, and without reverencing (no bows), take their places at altar steps in this order:

A TH SD CEL D MC A

MC cues ALL to genuflect at conclusion of Hymn. While SMs ascend altar steps to footpace, MC, TH and AA proceed single file to credence. AA put up their candles in holders and stand in front of them.

The Liturgy of the Word:
Remain standing for opening salutation, Collect for Purity, Summary of the Law, Kyrie and Gloria. Sit for OT and NT lessons.

The Gospel Procession:
At conclusion of NT lesson, ALL rise. AA take up candles and meet TH at gate as he/she enters from smoke sacristy. MC cues genuflection. AA split to stand in front of the horns of the Altar while TH goes to CEL to have incense laid on.

SD moves book and takes place to Gospel-side A’s right, leaving space for TH.

TH, D, and MC take their places in lineup. MC cues ALL to genuflect and turn.

MC leads off, followed by AA, TH, SD and D in that order.

AA take places in centre aisle as directed by MC. Face across holding candles aloft throughout chanting of Gospel.

At conclusion of Gospel, SD takes book and proceeds up aisle. MC follows. AA follow MC. TH follows AA. D follows TH.

MC, AA, TH, and D return to lineup at altar steps, but closer to each other since SD is not part of this lineup. MC cues genuflection. TH retires to Smoke Sacristy and all others proceed single file back to their places at sedilia/credence.

Sermon:
ALL sit.

Creed, Prayers, Confession, Peace:
For the Nicene Creed, Intercessions, and Confession MC and AA stand and move forward to bottom step. ALL kneel for Confession and Absolution, and stand for Peace.

Offertory:
After the Peace, AA stand in front of their candles. When the Offering has been received and SMs ascend to Altar, “downstage” (closer to back wall) A picks up water cruet and both AA ascend to side steps. Empty-handed A receives bason from SD, who takes water cruet from other A to mix with wine. SD returns cruet and bows. AA return bow, turn and descend to credence and stand in front of their candles.

After CEL has been censed, downstage A takes water cruet and upstage A places lavabo towel over left arm and takes bowl in both hands. AA ascend to step and wash CEL’s fingers. CEL bows, AA bow in return, turn and descend to credence. Replace cruet, bowl, and towel (do not place wet towel in bowl of water!), and stand in front of candles. AA bow to TH when he/she censes them.

MC returns from other side of Altar, spreads cushions and bids AA to their places (just inside pavement candle). AA stand in front of cushions.

Canon of the Mass:
After Sanctus and Benedictus, MC cues ALL to kneel. AA remain kneeling until after the Prayer of Humble Access. As the Agnus Dei begins, MC cues ALL to rise. AA return to their places at credence. The “downstage” A (nearest the reredos) takes the two extra chalices up to the altar and places them to the right of the corporal, then descends sideways (so as not to turn his/her back on the Sacrament).

Communion:
ALL stand for the Invitation to Communion and to receive the Sacrament.

During Communion, AA remain standing at credence.

Ablutions:
As Communion concludes, MC ascends to Altar. AA come up side steps and stand beside Epistle horn to receive cleansed vessels. “Downstage” A receives chalices; “upstage” A receives ciborium and flagon. When all vessels have been handed off, AA turn and descend steps to credence. Chalices are placed on credence. Ciborium and flagon are placed on table below credence.

“Upstage” A proceeds around step to wait (in front of Epistle-side pavement candle) to receive veiled Chalice from SD. A takes veiled Chalice to credence, then takes place at bottom step with other A and MC.

Postcommunion Prayer, Recessional, and Cleanup:
MC and AA kneel together on bottom step (same position as for Confession of Sin) for Postcommunion Prayer, Blessing, and Dismissal.

After the Dismissal, MC cues ALL to rise. AA take up their candles and, exiting gate without genuflecting or acknowledging Altar, go down to Choir floor to meet CR facing Altar. AA must remember to meet at the space between the altar rail before proceeding in tandem down the steps.

MC, SMs, and TT take their places at altar steps. After hymn playthrough, MC cues genuflection. AA and CR do not genuflect. As altar party turns to face west, AA and CR turn. During closing hymn AA and CR lead procession up center aisle and into baptistry.

As directed by MC, AA assist with the return of vestments to the sacristy, removal of vessels and books from the sanctuary, and the extinguishing of candles after the Mass.


APPENDIX: Processions
When there is a procession, the opening entrance is the short way via the North Door. A CR A proceed across transept, turn and ascend steps, and remaining three abreast “wheel off” to right, then turn to face across choir. When CEL has ascended to altar steps, A CR A wheel out to center of choir floor, facing the Altar.

Th has incense laid on and goes to choir floor behind A CR A; D turns to bid procession, then turns back to face altar. MC cues ALL to genuflect as hymn play-through begins. As CEL turns to face people, SD and D cross on steps behind him.

Upon return, AA go to their normal lineup places at altar rail. ALL genuflect at MC’s cue and go to their places.

Thurifer

PROCEDURAL NOTES:

SAFETY: Safety is of paramount importance in dealing with hot, live coals. Matches and used coals must be disposed of in the water-filled bucket only. The fire extinguisher and water bottle must be available before the coals are lighted. Never leave lighted coals unattended. The thurible may only be lighted in the smoke sacristy and used in the church. Wait in the smoke sacristy before Mass to avoid setting off the fire alarm in the back hall. When the MC gives the signal, walk briskly from the smoke sacristy to the processional door.

The thurible is hot! Use tongs to handle the coals and never touch the thurible or cover with your hands. If it jams, it is usually possible to open it by gently tapping it against the pavement. The celebrant will wait for you to open the cover.

How to light coals: Have ready a firepot of appropriate size for the thurible being used. If the firepot does not fit the thurible properly, it could flip inside the thurible. Turn on the Propane torch. Using the tongs, hold the coals, one at a time, in the flame. Be prepared: the coals are laced with gunpowder and will flash like Fourth of July sparklers. Some sparks may land on your hands; do not jump or drop the coals. It is not necessary to hold the coal in the flame until it turns gray. Once the coal stops sparking, it may be placed in the firepot. Once all the coals are lighted and placed in the firepot, pick up the firepot with the tongs and place it in the bottom of the thurible, making sure it fits snugly and does not prevent the lid from closing properly.

Keeping clean: Thurifer is a messy job. Expect to get charcoal dust on your hands. It is a good idea to remove your cotta while lighting coals or cleaning the pot. Keep wet paper towels available to clean hands; check face in mirror before entering – angels with dirty faces are not edifying.

To clean the pot: Dump the used coals in the water bucket first. Scrape any incense still adhering to the pot into the bucket. For stubborn clinging remnants, do not invert the firepot over the flame. Instead place firepot directly over the flame. The incense will burn up, so when the flames stop, the thurifer can simply brush out the ashes into the bucket.

Which thurible to use? Choose a thurible based upon your ability to comfortably handle its weight, but remember that the deacon and celebrant will also be using it and may not be able to handle the heavier thuribles. It is permissible to use one thurible for the entrance or Solemn Procession and another for the Mass. The heavier thuribles work great for doubles, but are really tough for “360’s” during a solemn procession! During a Te Deum, Maundy Thursday and Corpus Christi, the two thurifers should choose thuribles with chains of equal length. If there are two thurifers used during a solemn procession, they are not together so symmetry is not necessary.

How to hold a thurible: The thurible is held by the chains, just under the disk. The hand holding the thurible should be carried at shoulder height. The thurible is swung by moving the wrist with a twisting motion.

Left and right hands: Before incense is laid on and blessed, the thurible is held in the left hand, with the right hand, holding the boat, resting on the breast. Once incense is laid on and blessed, the thurible is held in the right hand with the left on the breast. When TH is not in possession of the thurible, e.g., when the altar or Gospel book is being censed, TH holds the boat with both hands at the base of the breastbone, or if there is a boat bearer or at the Offertory when the boat has been placed at the credence, TH joins hands at the breast in the manner of others at the altar. At no point should the hands be allowed to dangle at the sides.

How many coals? SEE CHART IN INCENSE CLOSET IN THE SMOKE SACRISTY.

How to genuflect while carrying a thurible: Drape the thurible chains over the arm not holding it. Put the right knee down and keep the spine vertical! We are not football players in the huddle and leaning forward while genuflecting – especially while holding a hot thurible – is downright dangerous.

How to swing a thurible: While walking in procession, swing the thurible at the full length of the chains. While standing still (e.g., during the Gospel), let the thurible swing gently. While kneeling during the Canon of the Mass, hold the thurible by the chains under the disk with your left hand, place your right hand about halfway down the chains and gently swing the thurible. Do not rest the thurible on the altar steps at any time. The constant gentle swinging keeps air moving over the coals and prevents them from smothering.

How much swing? “360’s”, the full circle swings, are appropriate ONLY for Solemn Processions on Feast Days. They are not used at any other time during the Mass. (See Appendix for more on 360’s.) During the entrance procession, the Gospel procession, and the Offertory procession, the swing should be no more than a gentle back-and-forth motion of the wrist. Centrifugal force will do the rest. However, when leading the Torches to the back of the Church for the Offertory procession you should not swing the thurible AT ALL. (The idea is that you’re “invisible”.)

How to lay on incense: Approach the Celebrant with the thurible in your left hand and give the boat to the Deacon with the right. With the right hand, raise the ring over the cover and raise the cover. Take the chains above the lid in your right hand and hold the thurible at a convenient height for the Celebrant. After the Celebrant lays on incense and blesses it, close the lid of the thurible and shift it to the right hand.

If more incense needs to be laid on at a time when the Celebrant is not at hand, e.g., during the Canon of the Mass, the MC or another server may lay on additional incense. No further blessing is needed.

How to cense someone: Always begin with a slight bow, which the person(s) being censed return. After the censing, bow again to acknowledge conclusion of the action. (See chart below.) All incensations except the censing of the people at the Offertory are done with the chain at half-length, the top of the chains held in the left hand and the right hand holding the chains slightly above the lid at the level of the breast. Groups (e.g., 3 or more servers in a group, the choir, the congregation, etc.) are censed center-left-right, one swing in each direction.

INCENSATIONS BY ORDER:
Celebrant: Three doubles (censed by Deacon)
Deacon: Two doubles (by Thurifer)
Subdeacon: One double (by Thurifer)
MC: One double (by Thurifer)
AAs: One double each, but bows as a group
Choir clergy: Two doubles each, in order of seniority
Choir singers, lay CMs, Verger: Three singles, center-left-right, each group
The People: Three singles, center-left-right, thurible at full length

Attire: The thurifer wears black cassock and cotta. If preferred, the thurifer may wear a “winged” cotta – actually an organist’s cotta with partially detached sleeves for ease of movement.

ENTRANCE:
(See Appendix for changes to Entrance when there is a Procession.)

TH leads the procession and sets the pace, which should be stately but not glacial.

ALL enter in procession, and without reverencing (no bows), take their places at altar steps in the following order.

A TH SD CEL D MC A

MC cues ALL to genuflect at conclusion of Hymn. While SMs ascend altar steps to footpace, MC, TH and AA proceed single file to credence. TH stands at bottom step and waits for CEL to turn toward the Epistle Horn to signal his readiness for the thurible, which should be almost immediately. TH ascends steps and hands off to CEL, turns and goes down steps to sedilia. On certain occasions the Introit censing may be displaced to the Kyrie or Gloria. In this situation, TH waits at sedilia until CEL is ready to cense.

After censing the altar, CEL hands off to D, who descends steps with SD and censes CEL. After censing the CEL, D turns and hands off thurible to TH, who takes it in the right hand, goes to center, genuflects, and departs.

THE LITURGY OF THE WORD:
TH should pay attention to the length of the Kyrie, Gloria, Lessons, and Gradual and time lighting of the coals accordingly.

THE GOSPEL PROCESSION:
At conclusion of NT lesson, MC cues ALL to rise and signals TH to enter. AA take up candles and meet TH, carrying thurible in left hand and boat in right hand at breast, at gate as he/she enters from smoke sacristy. MC cues genuflection. AA split to stand in front of the horns of the Altar while TH goes to CEL to have incense laid on. SD moves book and takes place to Gospel-side A’s right, leaving space for TH.

CEL lays on incense and blesses it. TH moves thurible to right hand and goes to place in lineup between Gospel-side A and SD.

MC cues ALL to genuflect and turn. MC leads off, followed by AA, TH, SD and D in that order.

TH takes place in center aisle near Gospel-side A, facing A. Deacon chants introduction to Gospel and takes thurible from TH, censes Gospel Book and returns thurible to TH, who steps back a pace or two and stands holding thurible, letting it swing naturally (almost not at all), facing the Book during the chanting of the Gospel.

At conclusion of Gospel, SD takes book and proceeds up aisle. MC follows. AA follow MC. TH follows AA. D follows TH.

MC, AA, TH, and D return to lineup at altar steps, but closer to each other since SD is not part of this lineup. MC cues genuflection. TH retires to Smoke Sacristy by exiting above the rail through the gap nearest the smoke sacristy wall, and all others proceed single file back to their places at sedilia/credence.

SERMON, CREED, PRAYERS, CONFESSION, PEACE:
In most situations TH will not have to fire up coals until conclusion of sermon. (See Appendix for seasonal variations.) It is permissible to sit at the back of the church and listen to the sermon. TH should remember to light TT’s candles while lighting coals for Offertory.

OFFERTORY:
During the Peace, TT enter smoke sacristy and take up their torches. At the conclusion of the Peace greeting, MC cues TH to enter. TH, carrying thurible in left hand and boat in right, leads TT out from smoke sacristy, single file. TH steps into gate while TT take their places at altar rail. At MC’s cue, TH and TT genuflect.

TT remain in place while TH comes to CEL to have incense laid on and blessed as at the Gospel. TH moves thurible with blessed incense to right hand, goes back to gate. Again MC cues TH and TT to genuflect. TH leads TT through Choir and down south aisle to baptistery, where all wait until Offertory procession is ready. TH begins Offertory procession at the conclusion of the Anthem. The MC will have ensured that the procession is ready to begin and cue the SMs to go to center to receive the gifts.

TH leads Offertory procession, followed by TT. Upon arriving at altar rail, TH goes all the way to the opening at the right-side end of the rail. After receipt of the gifts, MC cues TH, TT, and Processors to genuflect. Processors depart via smoke sacristy while TH steps through opening and moves to bottom of altar steps near the sedilia. MC stands at TH’s left while CEL blesses gifts.

After gifts are blessed and vessels prepared, CEL turns toward Epistle Horn. Accompanied by MC, TH ascends steps and hands off thurible to CEL, then turns and descends to sedilia. MC passes behind SMs and takes book down Gospel-side steps for censing.

CEL censes altar and hands off to D, who descends steps with SD and censes CEL with three doubles, then hands off thurible to TH. TH waits until D and SD return to their places at center of steps. When D faces TH, TH bows and censes D with two doubles, then bows and moves up-stage. SD faces TH and they bow. TH censes SD with one double. They bow and TH moves to center, faces MC on left. They bow and TH censes MC with one double, then bows and faces AA at credence. They bow and TH censes each A with one double, then bows.

TH then genuflects, rises, turns and descends to Choir floor.

Any clergy in choir are censed individually in order of seniority, two doubles for each cleric regardless of order. If the Rector is in choir he is always censed first. If clergy are sitting on both sides of the choir, cense the most senior cleric first, then any other clergy on the same side, then turn, turning toward the altar and pausing to bow slightly in acknowledgment, and cense clergy on the other side.

After all clergy in choir are censed, everyone else in the choir – singers, lay choir ministers, Crucifer, Verger – is censed as a group, center-left-right. If choir and others are sitting on both sides, turn toward the altar, pausing to acknowledge it with a bow, and cense persons on the other side, center-left-right.

After censing everyone in choir, TH proceeds to top of choir steps, bows to congregation, and censes them center-left-right with the chains at full length, then bows again, turns and proceeds to altar rail, genuflects at gate, comes into altar rail and takes place at cushion between MC and innermost A.

CANON OF THE MASS:
After Sanctus and Benedictus, MC cues ALL to kneel.

During the genuflections and elevation of the Elements, TH censes each Element with three doubles, more or less in concert with the genuflection-elevation-genuflection. (The solemn theological reason for this is visual harmony.) The censing should begin when CEL begins to rise after the first genuflection.

The final incensation occurs as the Elements are elevated during the concluding Doxology in the Eucharistic prayer.

At the Agnus Dei, MC cues ALL to rise. TH retrieves boat and goes to center. MC cues TH and TT to genuflect. They genuflect and TH turns and departs to smoke sacristy, followed by TT single-file.

AT COMMUNION:
TH dumps coals, wipes off hands if necessary, then comes out to altar rail to receive Communion. After receiving Communion, TH may take an unoccupied seat in the rear of the Choir.

POSTCOMMUNION PRAYER, RECESSIONAL, AND CLEANUP:

After the Postcommunion Prayer, Blessing, and Dismissal, MC cues ALL to rise.

After hymn play-through, MC cues genuflection. In departing procession, TH follows Verger and precedes lay and/or clergy CMs. BEWARE OF GALLOPING PRIESTS!

After concluding prayer in baptistry, TH may collect vestments from clergy. TH then returns to smoke sacristy to finish cleaning the thurible.


APPENDIX: Processions, etc.

PROCESSIONS
Solemn Processions are acts of worship on days of special celebration and thus, they call for acts of special – but safe – exuberance.

When there is a procession, the opening entrance is the short way via the North Door. Incense is not laid on before Mass.

TH leads procession across transept, turns and ascends steps, and goes to the right of center, approximately in front of the Epistle-side horn of the altar. After the MC and SMs are in place, MC cues genuflection. ALL genuflect. D steps back to allow TH to approach CEL to have incense laid on.

TH has incense laid on and goes to choir floor behind A CR A. D turns to bid procession, then turns back to face altar. During the hymn play-though, swing the thurible side-to-side to aerate coals. MC cues ALL to genuflect as hymn play-through concludes. As CEL turns to face people, TH and A CR A turn to face people and TH may begin the procession with a 360 if there is sufficient space between TH and A CR A. If A CR A are too close, do not do a 360.

TH does 360’s three times at evenly spaced intervals while proceeding west down the center aisle. More than three 360’s are ostentatious (and run counter to our Trinitarian passion for threes), and will tire the TH for the rest of the procession. 360’s are never done at the rear of the church or in the side aisles for safety reasons. Three 360’s may be done while crossing the front of the church. When TH begins east up the main aisle, TH may do 360’s continuously, changing directions with each swing. Keep tension on the chains and keep the thurible high enough to avoid striking the floor. Do not do 360’s on the steps or in the choir. Be alert for small children or unwary adults who may step out of their pews during the procession. Safety is more important than show.

Upon return, ALL go to normal opening lineup at altar steps. ALL genuflect at MC’s cue and go to their places.

In many cases, since the Procession takes the place of an Introit, the opening censing will take place during the Gloria. However, if the Processional hymn is lengthy, the CEL may decide to cense immediately upon returning to the altar after the Procession. The Thurifer should be prepared for either situation.

THE LITANY IN PROCESSION
While this is a Procession, it is not a festal occasion but rather a penitential exercise. The entrance is the same as above with the following exception: after having incense laid on, TH proceeds to his/her place west of A CR A and kneels for the start of the Litany. TH rises and turns when SMs rise.

The procession itself is slower than a festal procession. 360’s are not done at any time. Swing should be minimal. See additional notes under “The Litany in Procession.”

BOAT BEARERS:
If there is a boat bearer – usually a child – the boat bearer always stands in front and slightly to the left of TH, who may place the left hand on the boat bearer’s right shoulder. The boat bearer may wait in the smoke sacristy with TH, or may be seated on a stool next to the TTs when not needed.

CHANGES IN THE LITURGY
During Advent, Lent, Holy Week, and on other occasions such as a Baptism or Solemn Procession, the particular rite of the day may involve the omission of one or more of the following after the Gospel: Sermon, Creed, Prayers, Confession, Peace. On these occasions, the Thurifer will have to time lighting of the coals for the Offertory according to the length of those portions of the service which are not omitted. For example, when the Mass begins with the Litany in Procession, the Sermon and Creed are immediately followed by the Peace. Therefore, the thurifer will have to light coals during the Sermon.

SPECIAL PROCEDURES IN THE PRESENCE OF A BISHOP
If a bishop is celebrant, procedures follow custom. If the bishop is presiding at the throne, TH goes to the bishop to lay on. Hand the boat to the chaplain as you would to the Deacon. If the bishop is seated, TH genuflects on the left knee and raises thurible to an appropriate height; remain genuflecting until incense is laid on and blessed.

When the altar is censed, the Deacon will cense CEL, then go to center to cense the bishop with three doubles. D will then hand the thurible to TH who censes everyone else in the customary order. If the chaplain is in Holy Orders, cense the chaplain before censing the MC; if the chaplain is a lay person, cense the chaplain after censing the MC.

If there is a second bishop in choir, cense that prelate after censing everyone above the altar rail and before the rest of the choir clergy.

Other occasional peculiarities in the Thurifer position are detailed in the Liturgical Notes for the services involved.