SOLEMN MASS IN ORDINARY TIME
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.
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 table under High Altar credence.
Copy of Mass Leaflet on SD’s chair 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.
After a prayer by CEL in the hallway, ALL enter in procession in the following order, keeping between one and two pews’ distance between individuals or pairs (give the TH a little more room):
A CR A
The procession enters via the North door during the hymn playthrough and proceeds up the North aisle, across the rear of the church and down the centre aisle. TH sets the pace and should therefore check the length of the hymn with MC before the service.
TH proceeds to altar steps (see schematic below).
CR enters CR stall, places cross in holder, and faces East (the High Altar).
AA proceed to altar steps (see schematic below).
Choir and 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 center, and returns to foot of steps at MC’s left.
CEL takes place between SD and D.
Opening lineup at altar steps:
A TH SD CEL D MC A
When all are lined up and D has returned from placing Gospel Book, ALL remain in place until conclusion of the hymn, at which time MC cues ALL to genuflect. Following genuflection, choir, CMs, Verger, and CR face across chancel.
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.
The altar is customarily censed during the Introit. MC cues TH to bring thurible to CEL on footpace. TH then retires to sedilia and waits until D returns thurible after censing CEL. TH exits to smoke sacristy.
MC puts Altar Book on Epistle horn of altar immediately following censing of CEL.
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 centER. Choir sings Kyrie.
MC signals SD and D to go up to footpace on the words, “Gloria in Excelsis Deo/Glory be to God on High.” SMs remain standing at Altar until “Quoniam/For Thou only art holy …” at which time SD and D bow and return to places in closed “I” at center. ALL make the Sign of the Cross during the words “in gloria Dei Patris/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.
The choir chants the Psalm. Approximately 3 verses before the end of the psalm, SD leaves sedilia, genuflects at opening in railing, turns and goes to lectern for Epistle Lesson. ALL bow for the Gloria Patri.
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 (MC leading D) and MC cues genuflection.
Lineup for Gospel Procession
A TH SD D MC A
The order of the Gospel Procession is as follows:
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:
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.
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 Choir member or 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.
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.
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 MC cues genuflection.
TT remain in places as TH goes to CEL to have incense laid on. TH returns to gate. MC cues genuflection and TH and TT turn and depart. 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 both D and MC sit.
When the 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 center aisle, followed by TT, Verger, and Processors:
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. AA go up to Epistle horn. The A closest to the reredos carries water cruet, which is handed off to the SD, and the A closest to the congregation receives basin from SD.
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 center, 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.
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 “Benedictus qui venit/Blessed is He who comes … “.
PRAYER OF CONSECRATION:
MC signals ALL to kneel. As CEL elevates the Host and Chalice, D and SD genuflect and remain kneeling until CEL genuflects and rises; D and SD as the CEL rises. TH censes the Elements with three doubles centered on the elevations, not choreographed with bells or genuflections.
LORD’S PRAYER, FRACTION, and PRAYER OF HUMBLE ACCESS:
ALL remain kneeling.
As choir begins Agnus Dei, 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.
The A closest to the reredos places all chalices on the Altar.
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 brings water cruet up to Altar and signals AA to stand at Epistle horn and receive cleansed vessels (ciborium, flagon, and extra chalices).
The A closest to the congregation receives veiled Mass chalice from SD at bottom of steps. SD takes place in closed “I” at Epistle horn.
AA and TT kneel on bottom step at either side. Do not fuss with cushions unless absolutely necessary.
MC ascends to top side step while CEL reads Post-Communion Prayer. As CEL moves to center for blessing, MC takes missal stand down to credence table, then kneels for the Blessing and Dismissal.
BLESSING and DISMISSAL:
ALL remain kneeling. SMs go to center 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. Choir, CMs and Verger face East in their stalls.
All others line up on pavement:
T SD D MC T
MC cues ALL to genuflect at end of hymn play-through. A CR A do not genuflect. Altar party then turns and faces West.
The order of the departing Procession is as follows:
A CR A
Exeunt omnes down center aisle. Choir assembles at rear of nave on Gospel side. Servers and clergy retire to Baptistry and gather around font: CR in front of the John the Baptist statue flanked by AA.
CEL leads the Angelus or, on certain occasions, some other final prayer. SD departs via Lady Chapel aisle 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!
Original web publication on Nov 12, 1999 @ 01:49pm by Julianne Ture.
Updated Apr 1, 2018 @ 12:15pm by Ciarán Anthony DellaFera, BSG