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 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 are empty-handed.) 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 (at the same three places where the veneration cross paused during the Good Friday liturgy). The first two pauses are in line with the pillars in the nave; the final pause will occur at the crossing. 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 each psalm, at the CEL’s cue (by means of a loud knock on the chair), 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, 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. 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 salutation and Offertory immediately follow 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. 

Per the Solemn Mass Customary as of April 2022, there is no Offertory Procession. TTTT will kneel on side opposite MC, TH, and AA during the Canon of the Mass.

At Agnus Dei, MC signals TH 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 April 2, 2022 @ 12:50pm 

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. 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. 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 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 11:00 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 11:00 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.


Solemn Mass in Ordinary Time



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).

Holy water pot and Asperges card at bottom altar step.

Lectionary open to appointed lesson on lectern.

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

Intercessions book in bookstand [not needed for Sundays when the Great Litany begins the Mass]. Once CEL has set Altar Book, it goes on Missal Stand and Book and Stand are placed on table under High Altar credence.

Mass leaflets on servers’ chairs, including Crucifer’s stall; preacher’s stall; verger’s stall; any other stalls not occupied by choristers.

If necessary, MC will assign Communion stations.

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

After a prayer by CEL in the hallway, CEL rings the bell to signal entrance. 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):

Choir cleric(s)

The procession enters via the North door during the hymn play-through and proceeds across the transept and turns left into the chancel.

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.

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. MC hands aspersorium to D, who passes it to Celebrant.

The Choir begins the Asperges chant. Celebrant sprinkles altar party, then, accompanied by D and SD, walks up center aisle and sprinkles congregation. The Sacred Ministers stop and face the altar during the Gloria Patri. This will usually be at the West Door of the church. When the Sacred Ministers return from sprinkling the congregation, the cope is removed, and the chasuble put on; MC assists. D receives aspersorium and aspergillum and hands text card to Celebrant for the versicles and responses. At conclusion of versicles and responses, Celebrant returns card to D who gives up card and hardware to MC, who removes them to credence.

SMs ascend altar steps to footpace, and AA, TH, and MC file to sedilia/credence.

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.

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.


At the entrance, MC carries book with text of the Litany. Deacon carries Gospel Book. Th carries thurible with lighted coals in left hand. Cr carries the Lenten cross. All enter the short way in usual processional order. ACrA wheel to the side to allow the sacred ministers to pass, and then wheel out into the center of the choir. Th stands to the deacon’s right. When D places Gospel Book on the altar and returns to the foot of the altar steps, MC cues ALL to genuflect (except ACrA). Cel lays on incense, Th goes to stand west of ACrA on choir floor. MC cues all to kneel and hands Litany book to CEL. CEL allows time for the people to get to their knees and begins chanting the Litany.

At conclusion of Litany, the Choir begins the Kyrie and the altar is censed. The Asperges are omitted.

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.]

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.

SD begins walking to lectern during the concluding clause of the Collect. [Note that there are two Collects in Lent; SD should not move until last phrase of second Collect.] D and CEL come off steps to sedilia. ALL sit. MC sits next to D. AA sit on either side of credence table.

SD reads the First Lesson.

After First Lesson, several things happen at once:

  • The Choir begins the Gradual.
  • 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 center 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 center (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


The order of the Gospel Procession is as follows:


MC leads procession approximately halfway down center 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.

ALL sit.

MC gives Intercessions book to D and cues ALL to stand. SMs go to foot of steps (do NOT genuflect). AA, MC stand at bottom steps near credence. 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.”

The following are omitted when the Mass begins with the Great Litany.
ALL remain standing.

ALL kneel. Do not fuss with cushions unless knees are papier-mâché; the Confession is short.]

ALL stand. D and SD face CEL as he intones “The Lord be with you.” MC receives Intercessions book from D.

Choir begins Offertory anthem.

C retires to Gospel horn. D retrieves stack from MC, and prepares the altar.

SD remains on bottom step, aligned with Gospel horn.

Preparation of the Gifts: AA go up to Epistle horn, bringing cruets and ciborium. Once they receive cruets back from D, they retire to credence.

When SMs are ready to cense, CEL goes to center of footpace and SD and D ascend to join him. TH ascends to CEL while MC goes behind reredos to remove Altar Book. MC goes down to stand on pavement near Sacrament House during censing.

MC returns Altar Book to Altar as D begins to cense CEL. After the CEL has been censed, AA approach CEL with water (upstage A) and bowl & towel (downstage A) for the lavabo. MC remains on Gospel side on pavement until sanctuary censing has been completed and TH goes down to choir.

MC returns to Epistle side, going behind reredos as before, arranges cushions on bottom step for AA and TH, and bids AA to their places. Order (from left to right): A A TH MC.

CEL turns and begins Sursum Corda as soon as the anthem/hymn is over, no matter where the Thurifer is.

ALL remain standing.

ALL remain standing. MC, TH and AA bow with SMs for the first few phrases of the Sanctus (watch SMs for cues). ALL make the Sign of the Cross at the words “Benedictus qui venit/Blessed is He who comes …”.

After the Benedictus, MC signals ALL to kneel. D ascends to footpace and kneels beside CEL. SD remains on bottom step and kneels when D does. As CEL elevates the Host and Chalice, D lifts the edge of the chasuble. TH censes the Elements with three doubles centered on the elevations, not choreographed with bells or genuflections.

Following the Dominical Words, D returns to his step and SD rises. Both remain standing in closed I formation at center.

ALL remain kneeling, except SMs who are standing. The Fraction anthem will continue to be “The Peace of the Lord…”.

As choir begins Agnus Dei, MC signals ALL to stand. AA retire to places at credence. TH goes to centre, genuflects, and exits to smoke sacristy. D and SD join CEL at the footpace. SD retrieves reservation ciborium from aumbry and places it on the corporal.

The A closest to the reredos places all chalices on the Altar.

The MC and those who will be distributing Communion at the All Saints chapel go to the side steps at the Gospel horn to receive Communion. Either the Celebrant or the Deacon may communicate them. The Celebrant communicates the Deacon, Subdeacon, MC, and All Saints ministers during the singing of the Agnus Dei.

ALL remain standing in places for Invitation and Communion.

Distribution of Communion: Normally, CEL will distribute Hosts at Epistle side of High Altar, assisted by SD with chalice. D will distribute Hosts at Gospel side, assisted by MC with chalice. A choir cleric will distribute Hosts at the All Saints chapel, assisted by CR or an Acolyte with chalice. If there are only two priests available, CEL administers the length of the rail and D goes to All Saints, taking over on Gospel side after returning therefrom.

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, 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).

SD assists at ablutions as directed by CEL and passes vessels to MC to be removed.

At end of ablutions, SD takes up veil while D takes Missal. SD goes down to pavement, bows, and goes up to CEL’s left.

SD veils chalice: place pall over chalice (if not already there). Place veil over pall and set aside. Fold corporal, beginning with bottom edge.

Fold in from bottom, then from top, then from left, then from right. Place folded corporal inside burse.

Place burse on top of veiled chalice.

Take veiled chalice down to A, who is waiting at foot of steps on Epistle side.

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.

MC and AA kneel on bottom step by credence. 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.

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.

SMs go to Gospel Horn for Last Gospel, on their respective steps.

At conclusion of Last Gospel, MC cues AA to pick up candles and join CR at bottom of steps. SMs and MC line up 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.

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 retiring Procession is as follows:


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, during Eastertide, the Regina Coeli. SD departs via Lady Chapel aisle to retrieve veiled chalice from High Altar.

Servers with nothing else to carry receive vestments from clergy.

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.

Ite, missa est!


Original web publication on Nov 12, 1999 @ 01:49pm by Julianne Ture.
Updated Apr 1, 2022 @ 4:41pm by Julianne Ture.


Palm Sunday



The Palm Sunday liturgy is actually two liturgies joined into one. The first, the Liturgy of The Palms, sets the stage for the pivot to Passiontide and then flows seamlessly into the opening procession of the main Eucharist of Palm Sunday, which begins with a procession.


On the High Altar, the Altar Guild overlays the Lenten Array frontal (oxblood color) and fair linen with the red frontal. The sacristan will change the frontal during the Palm Procession.

MC arranges the following:

  • A small table covered with a linen cloth against the north choir stalls.
    • On it are placed palms for SMs and MC.
  • Palms for CHOIR and CHOIR CLERGY in their respective stalls.
  • The notebook with the Palm Gospel and Palm Blessing in the Verger’s stall.
  • Aspersorium and aspergillum on floor in front of north choir stalls.
  • On the credence table: the veiled Mass chalice + 2 extra, and 1 ciborium.
  • The wooden processional cross is veiled and adorned with palms.
  • The missal is placed on the missal stand at the credence.
  • Hymnals for the final hymn are set for  the SMs (at the sedilia) and TT (at their chairs).
  • Weather permitting, the procession will go outdoors; however, if the weather is inclement the procession will remain indoors.
    • If going outdoors, the AA will carry outdoor torches and the regular AA torches (turned wood) will be lit and placed in their stands at the credence before the Mass.
    • If not going outdoors, the AA will the regular AA torches (turned wood) during the procession.

D will not carry gospel book in procession — cantors from the Choir will chant the Passion Gospel.

CEL is vested in red cope and stole; D in red stole and dalmatic; SD in tunicle. Maniples are not worn.

CHOIR CLERGY are vested in red copes and stoles. Purple or oxblood stoles are placed in their stalls to be donned after the Procession. Servers and Choir are vested in cottas and black cassocks.

AA and TT light outdoor torches in Smoke Sacristy.

TH prepares thurible prior to Preparatory Prayers. Incense is not charged and blessed in Smoke Sacristy. 


CHOIR enter via Smoke Sacristy and proceed in silence to choir stalls before Mass begins. They face altar, genuflect, and begin entrance anthem.

For entrance, MC cues servers and SMs to enter solemnly from north crossing door (the short entrance) in the following order, while Choir sings entrance anthem:


Upon arriving in the chancel:

  • TH turns to the left and takes position abutting the north choir stalls on the altar side of the table holding palms.
  • CR goes into the CR stall and puts up cross.
  • AA split and stand at the base of the choir chancel in front of crucifer and verger stalls, facing the altar.
  • CHOIR CLERGY take their places in stalls.
  • TT line up below altar rail, facing altar. One of the TT is designated to monitor for the cue to genuflect from MC.
  • MC, SD, D, and CEL proceed to the middle of choir chancel (closer to the choir gate than the altar rail) and face the altar.

When all are in place, not waiting for entrance anthem to conclude:

  • MC cues genuflection, which is echoed by the designated T.
    • Note: the CHOIR does not genuflect here.
  • TT, turning inward, turn to face the congregation.
  • SMs and AA remain facing altar, as MC cues TH to approach SMs for laying on and blessing of incense.
  • The TH returns to the position abutting the north choir stall.
  • MC, SMs, and TH turn to face congregation.
  • D and SD swap places behind the CEL (as for a procession).
  • AA turn inward to face each other and frame SMs.

The final organization should be:



After conclusion of entrance anthem:

  • Verger gives ritual notebook to SD.
  • SD holds book while CEL chants the Salutation and Collect.
  • SD hands ritual book to MC1, who gives it to D for the CEL’s blessing.
  • After CEL blesses D, SD moves to middle chancel step to hold book for D.
  • TH gives thurible to D, who censes book and chants the Gospel.

After Gospel:

  • SD ascends steps and presents book to CEL, who kisses it.
  • SD holds onto book for the Palm ritual.


When all are in position, MC places table with palms on it in front of CEL. NOTE: MC should rearrange palms on table so that tips face congregation, to allow easy movement around the table.

While SD holds book, CEL intones the palm blessing.

CHOIR begins anthem.

SD hands notebook to Verger.

MC takes the aspersorium and aspergillum from the Verger’s stall and hands them to CEL who asperses palms on the table.

In single file, SD leading with D and CEL following, they move around the table and down the steps. Once they have passed the table and descended the steps, the D and SD again flank the CEL, D on the CEL’s right and SD on the left. They then take up the edges of the CEL’s cope and proceed down main nave aisle to west door and back, aspersing people’s palms. At the back of the church, D and SD switch positions, keeping the D on CEL’s right and SD on the left. Upon reaching the crossing, they again form a single file SD, D, and CEL, in that order, ascend the steps and return to their original places behind the palm table.

CEL gives bucket and aspergillum to MC, who puts them on the floor of the Verger’s stall.

TH gives thurible to CEL, who censes palms on the table. CEL alone (D & SD stay in place) moves to top of chancel steps and thrice censes the people’s palms. CEL gives thurible to TH.

MC distributes palms to SMs and cues the SMs to turn and face the altar. When the SMs turn, the TT likewise turn to face the altar.

MC then removes the table and cues the TH to lead MC and SMs single file to their places at altar steps, with the TH between D and MC. As soon as TH, SMs, and MC have reached the altar steps, the AA and CR take their procession positions in the center of the choir chancel in preparation for the procession. TH has incense laid on and takes up position below (just west of) A CR A, also facing altar. 



When all are in place, MC cues the D to turn to congregation to bid the procession. After the response, the D again turns to face altar.

The organist plays the introduction to the processional hymn. After the introduction:

  • MC cues ALL to genuflect.
  • After the genuflection, simultaneously, TT turn inward, SD and D switch places (going behind the celebrant).
  • CEL, MC, A CR A, and TH, then turn to face the congregation.
  • TH leads the procession.
  • At MC’s cue, TT meet at center, turn to congregation and process.
  • SD and D hold edges of CEL’s cope.

Weather permitting, TH leads procession very slowly out South (Mt. Vernon Street) door, around corner, and in the West (Brimmer Street) doors, maintaining a slow pace at all times. Note: “360’s” are NOT done outdoors

If the singing of the hymn falters, silence should be kept. No talking is permitted.

When most of the congregation has exited the building, the Sacristan changes the frontal from red to oxblood (by lifting the red frontal off, folding it from the ends to the middle, and taking it out to the sacristy).

The procession re-enters the church at the West door. The head of the procession may need to wait at the back of the nave for the remaining parishioners to leave the church. Note, if torches have gone out during the procession, it is unseemly to stop the entire procession to relight them.

Upon returning to the chancel, all take their usual places: SMs, MC, and AA at the foot of the altar steps inside the rail. TT at the altar rail. CR goes to the CR stall and puts up cross.

When all are in place:

  • MC cues all to genuflect.
  • MC and SMs exit to the Priests’ Sacristy to change into oxblood vestments.
  • If the AA and TT are carrying outdoor torches, then those above the altar rail file out in order: A, TH, SD, CEL, D, MC, A, followed by the TH and then TT.
  • If the AA and TT are carrying indoor torches, they stay in place, with the TH exiting after the SMs.

If the TT have exited, they reenter together as soon as they have put up their torches, and take up their positions flanking the bishop’s throne.

When the SMs are ready, all re-enter chancel, lead by MC, with TH carrying uncharged thurible (incense is laid on at the altar) and assume their places in the line-up at the altar steps.

If AA and TT have exited, all above the altar rail return in single file as they would line up at the altar: A, TH, SD, CEL, D, MC, A.

MC cues ALL to genuflect. While the hymn is still being sung, SMs ascend the altar steps. MC, AA, and TH take their places at the credence.


When the CEL is ready, the TH presents the thurible, incense is laid on, and the altar is censed in the usual manner during the remainder of the hymn(s). MC places Altar Book on altar at Epistle horn. During the censing, CR and Verger collect copes and red stoles from Choir Clergy and take them out to sacristy while Choir Clergy change to oxblood/purple stoles.

After the censing, the SMs take up the center I formation, split for the salutation, and then immediately move to the Epistle horn of the altar. CEL reads the Collect of the Day, after which CEL, D, and MC take their places at sedilia. Immediately after Collect, SD genuflects, turns, and proceeds to the lectern to read the Lesson. 

SD returns to altar, genuflects, ascends altar steps and moves Altar Book to Gospel side. SD takes short route to sedilia and sits.

ALL will remain seated for gradual, tract, and first portion of the Passion Gospel. Three Choir Cantors enter, genuflect, and kneel at the altar steps. Remaining seated, the CEL blesses them according to the usual form. Cantors stand and take their places for the Passion Gospel.

ALL remain seated during the passion until the arrival at Golgotha. The exact words of the Gospel may vary, but the directions are printed in the bulletin. ALL stand, and remain standing through the words,”Jesus, when he cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.” ALL genuflect and observe a pause. At CEL’s cue, ALL rise. The Passion Gospel resumes.

At the conclusion of the Passion Gospel, the three cantors proceed to the altar rail, where they genuflect and return to their places in choir.

Since the Passion Gospel is rather long, TH should avoid firing up the coals for the Offertory prematurely.

The Celebrant or other cleric may give a very brief homily. The Verger does not escort the homilist to the pulpit.

There is no Creed.

Out of repugnance for the kiss of Judas, the Peace is not exchanged.

As usual, MC cues TH to enter, genuflect, and TH proceeds to sedilia, where incense is laid on.

The Mass follows according to custom. TT kneel opposite MC, TH, and AA during the Canon of the Mass, and receive Communion standing at their seats flanking the Bishop’s Throne.


At the conclusion of the Mass, MC hands out hymnals to SMs, and ALL line up for the last hymn (Ah, Holy Jesus) in the standard formation. ALL remain standing in place, facing the altar, to sing the entire hymn, during which the organ accompaniment gradually fades out.

At the conclusion of the hymn, MC cues ALL (except A CR A) to genuflect. ALL turn to face the congregation and solemnly and silently exit via the north crossing door (the “short” exit).

Original web publication on Nov 12, 1999 @ 01:48pm by Julianne Ture 
Updated Apr 1, 2018 @ 10:30am by Ciarán Anthony DellaFera, BSG

Maundy Thursday



The color of the Mass is white. However, the crucifix on the second gradine of the High Altar and the processional cross are all veiled in purple. All the images and crosses in side chapels are veiled in purple. Side chairs are removed from the choir. Flowers may be placed on the High Altar. Votive stands are removed from before the shrines; the prie-dieux remain. The holy water stoups at the Mt. Vernon and Brimmer Street doors are emptied and covered over.

The Lady Chapel Altar is the designated Altar of Repose and will be decorated by the Flower Guild. MC should review the flowers in the Chapel to be sure there will be room for all servers during the Transfer of the Blessed Sacrament. The frontal is white.

  • The crucifix is removed from the top of the Lady Chapel tabernacle.
  • Four kneelers are placed for acolytes (in front of the two prie-dieux) and thurifers (adjacent to lowest altar step).
  • The credence cloth is removed from the Lady Chapel credence.
  • The Sanctus bell and mallet, missal stand, and lectern are removed from the Lady Chapel.
  • A corporal is spread on the Lady Chapel Altar.

Servers light all candles on all altars before the Mass. There are usually a great many candles in the Lady Chapel for the Watch; sufficient time for their lighting should be set aside. Servers remove the dust covers from all altars.

MC sets the following in the sanctuary:

  • The Sacramentary with the required Maundy Thursday interpolations in the Canon: “and on this night did institute, and in his holy Gospel command us to continue…” and “For in the night in which he was betrayed, even this night, he took bread …”
  • Book containing Footwashing rite, at sedilia
  • Hand-bells for SMs and servers, where they can be easily retrieved but not knocked over
  • A wooden rattle (crotalus), near where the sacring bell usually sits, by the credence
  • Maniples, either at the sedilia or over the Gospel-side altar rail, to be donned at after the footwashing for the Offertory
  • A humeral veil, either at on the High Altar steps behind the Epistle-side pavement light, or at the High Altar sedilia
  • A white cope over, either over the altar rail in the Lady Chapel, or behind the reredos.
  • A veil, and ribbon for the ciborium, either placed on the gradine to the far Epistle-side or at the credence, to be used for the Vigil at the Altar of Repose

MC sets the following in the choir for the foot washing:

  • Twelve chairs, six on either side of the choir, for those who will have their feet washed.
  • A small table covered by a linen cloth is placed in front of the north choir stalls nearest the altar, just after the 6th chair on that side of the choir.
  • A basin, towels, pitcher(s) of warm water, and a plate of coins placed on the small table.

MC sets the following in the sacristy for the stripping of the altars:

  • Towels, a bowl of water, a bottle of vinegar, and dried palms on the sofe in the Priests’ Sacristy.
  • Oxblood stoles easily accessible in the Priests’ Sacristy (the Stripping of the Altars is done with SMs in albs and oxblood stoles).

MC designates one of the acolytes to rattle the crotalus at the invitation to communion, as the MC will be on the opposite side of the altar at that time.

MC confirms that the sexton or verger has designated someone to extinguish the church lights during the stripping of the altars.

Sacristan will have negotiated with clergy the number of people’s wafers for distribution at this Mass and for reservation. It is very important to note that all peoples’ wafers provided should be consecrated in this Mass, including two Priests’ Hosts. All peoples’ wafers must fit in one ciborium. Provision should also be made for a necessary amount of low-gluten hosts. The usual amount of wine for a Solemn Mass should be provided; the wine will not be reserved for Good Friday (Communion will be administered in only one kind on that day).

The readings are those for Maundy Thursday. The Gospel is John 13:1-15. The preface is that of Holy Week.

Twelve people are designated beforehand to have their feet washed. The verger will receive a master list from the office. They are instructed to check in with the verger before the service.

Servers and choir vest in cottas and black cassocks.

In the smoke sacristy before the service, the CEL charges and blesses incense in TH1’s thurible as usual. TH2 does not carry a thurible at the Entrance.


All enter from the north crossing door and proceed to the chancel the “long way” (normal Sunday entrance) during the opening hymn. The procession is in the usual order except that TH2, without thurible, follows Verger and precedes Choir Clergy. As usual, the TT do not carry torches at entrance.

All proceed to their customary places for the line-up, except for TH1, who stands at MC’s right, and TH2, who stands to SD’s left.

[ altar ]
      A   TH2   SD   CEL   D   MC   TH1   A
====================               ====================
T                               T

All genuflect and take their customary places except TH2 who goes to a chair provided near the aumbry.

The altar is censed during the Introit.

After the Kyrie, the cantor intones the Gloria, and servers then pick up their handbells and ring them furiously. The organist will begin a fanfare. When the fanfare is over servers stop ringing. The choir will then continue the Gloria.

With the exception of the bell-ringing during the Gloria (after which the organ will be silent until the Easter Vigil Gloria), the rites follow custom until the conclusion of the sermon.

The Verger does not escort the preacher to the pulpit on this night.


After sermon, the MC cues ALL to stand. MC and SMs form at center and genuflect. Led by MC carrying book for footwashing, SMs proceed single file to the chancel steps (at the rood screen), where they face the congregation.


CEL reads the Invitation. After the Invitation, all SMs turn and proceed single file back to the step at the altar rail. The CEL kneels, and the D and SD remove CEL’s chasuble. MC places it over the altar rail.

The persons designated to have their feet washed start to come forward as soon as the CEL concludes the invitation to the foot washing. The verger prompts them as necessary. They sit on the chairs in the choir and remove shoes and stockings from their right feet only.

The SMs start with the Gospel side parishioner nearest the congregation, and then washes one foot of each parishioner in turn. It is important that the SMs should do this in a manner such that they do not block the congregation’s view of the washing as it happens. MC gives the pitcher to D, a towel to the SD, the basin to CEL, and the plate with coins to an Assisting Priest or other assisting minister. After each foot is washed and dried by the CEL, the CEL takes a coin from the plate and gives it to the parishioner. The other SMs assist by passing towels, fresh empty basins, and additional water as necessary. Parishioners may individually replace their socks and shoes as soon as CEL has dried their feet and given them the token. However, they remain seated as a group in the choir until the concluding prayer of the rite.

After the footwashing, SMs return to the step at the altar rail, where CEL kneels. MC retrieves chasuble. D and SD re-vest CEL in chasuble, while TH2 removes basin, towels, pitcher, and plate to smoke sacristy. Led by MC, SMs line up at altar steps, the SMs turn and the CEL reads the concluding prayers. Then the SMs alone genuflect (CHOIR and SERVERS do NOT genuflect), and return to the sedilia. At the sedilia the SMs put on maniples, and sit.

The peace is NOT exchanged.

The Offertory anthem is sung and the Mass continues as is customary until the conclusion of Communion. The Canon of the Mass is celebrated with the interpolations noted above. The MC clacks the crotalus at the three times during the Canon when the Sanctus bell would otherwise be rung and designates an acolyte to clack at the invitation to communion:

  1. MC: All glory be to thee, […] until his coming again. [clack]
  2. MC: For in the night in which he was betrayed […] “Do this in remembrance of me.” [clack at genuflection, elevation, and genuflection]
  3. MC: Likewise, after supper […] “Do this, as oft as ye shall drink it, in remembrance of me.” [clack at genuflection, elevation, and genuflection]
  4. AA: Behold the Lamb of God … or The gifts of God for the people of God […] feed on him in your hearts by faith, with thanksgiving. [clack]

After receiving Communion, TH1/TH2 exit to prepare coals for the Transfer of the Blessed Sacrament.

During Communion, if these items are not already in their proper places, an acolyte places the humeral veil on altar step near Epistle pavement light and brings the veil with ribbons for ciborium to the altar.


After Communion all sacred vessels are abluted per custom and removed to the credence, with the following changes:

  • The ciborium, without its lid, is topped by a pall and the white veil, and then tied with a white ribbon. This is arranged by the CEL and D at the end of the ablutions, before the CEL goes to the usual post-communion position at the epistle horn at the High Altar.
  • The Mass chalice, with its paten, purificator, burse, and veil, are placed to the left of the corporal and the veiled sacrament.

After the ablutions, the D and SD swap places as usual and the SD veils the chalice, but – leaving the corporal and the veiled sacrament on the altar – crab-walks down and give the veiled chalice to an Acolyte.

When all this is accomplished, the MC signals TT to exit to retrieve their torches. They re-enter only on MC’s cue (see below).

SMs take their usual positions for Post-Communion Prayer. After the prayer, they crab-walk to the sedilia and remove maniples. MC removes missal stand to credence. D and SD remove CEL’s chasuble and drape it on the altar rail. MC retrieves cope from the altar rail in the Lady Chapel and gives it to D and SD, who then vest CEL.

On MC’s cue, TH1/TH2 carrying uncharged thuribles in their left hand, enter the sanctuary with the TT following. Simultaneously, AA pick up their torches and go to center at the altar steps. The TT stay below the altar rail and take up positions between the outer (second and third) medallions at the altar rail, leaving the positions between the inner (first and second) medallions for the AA. AA proceed inside the altar rail and meet TH1/TH2 (as if for the Gospel procession).

[ altar ]
 A   TH2   TH1   A
====================               ====================
T                                                          T

At the MC’s cue, all genuflect. Upon genuflection, the AA move below the altar rail and take innermost places at the altar rail. 

MC signals TH1/TH2, who are holding thuribles in left hands, to proceed to sedilia. TH1 gives boat to CEL, who puts incense on thuribles, but does not bless it. Thuribles are now carried in the right hand. TH1, SMs, MC, and TH2 then file out to the altar steps and face altar:

[ altar ]
       TH2   SD   CEL   D   MC   TH1
====================               ====================
T              A                            A              T

ALL kneel. CEL receives thurible from TH2. ALL at altar steps make a profound bow. CEL censes the Blessed Sacrament. ALL at altar steps make a second profound bow. CEL hands thurible back to TH2. MC stands and places the humeral veil on CEL. After this point, reverences in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament will consist of a double genuflection. SMs will not turn their backs to the Sacrament.

SMs rise, proceed up to the footpace, and genuflect before the Blessed Sacrament. With D assisting, CEL takes the ciborium. SMs turn to face congregation with the D and SD supporting the CEL’s arms while carrying the Blessed Sacrament.

Immediately when the SMs turn, ALL stand.

MC and servers then turn to face congregation, except for TT, who turn in to center. CR goes to center, turns to congregation and is joined by AA. The SMs, carrying the Blessed Sacrament, then proceed down to the altar step to join the other SMs.

As soon as everyone has taken their positions, the CR flanked by the the AA begin to lead the procession very solemnly – but not turgidly – down main nave aisle, through the Baptistry, and into the Lady Chapel. As the procession leaves the High Altar, Pange Lingua is sung. The verses of the hymn will be repeated as needed to cover the procession. In the side aisles, D and SD should move behind CEL. The order for the procession is:


Once arriving in the Lady Chapel, AA go to kneelers or prie-dieux set just inside the Lady Chapel altar rail; the CR stays outside the rail to the left; the verger stays outside the rail to the right; the TT take up positions just at the opening of the altar rail. The MC, TH1 and TH2, file inside the altar rail and line up at altar steps, followed by the SMs who wait at the altar steps.

[ altar ]
A (on kneeler)                          (on kneeler) A
====================               ====================
        CR  [ Clergy ]    T                      T    [ Clergy ]  Verger

As soon as CEL arrives, the MC signals ALL OTHERS (except CR) to kneel.

The CEL places the Blessed Sacrament on the Corporal on the altar, double-genuflects on footpace, crabs down to the pavement, and then kneels at altar steps between the SD and D. MC then stands and removes humeral veil from CEL.

TH2 passes thurible to CEL. ALL at altar steps bow profoundly. CEL censes the Blessed Sacrament during the singing of the doxology (verse 6) of Tantum ergo Sacramentum. ALL at altar steps bow profoundly. CEL hands off thurible back to TH2.

The Sacrament will remain on the corporal on the Lady Chapel altar from this point until the Good Friday Liturgy.

ALL make a profound bow (except CR) and then stand. All torches are extinguished. Led by CR, servers below the rail file out behind the organ console, move across the Chancel without reverencing, go behind the All Saints Altar, and leave via that exit. Generally TH1/TH2, MC, SD, D, and CEL follow them, but there is no order for this exit; simply leave in the most expedient order and follow the described path.

In the sacristy, SMs remove white vestments. CEL and D put on oxblood stoles over albs. Other servers put away torches and processional cross, and remove cottas.

MC brings dried palms to smoke sacristy and places them with the pitcher of water and towels.


The Choir chants Psalm 22 as the sexton, or other designated person, turns off lights in the sanctuary in prearranged sequence, beginning at the back and sides, and then moving forward.

While SMs prepare for the purification of the altar, the servers remove everything from the sanctuary except the cross veiled in purple, chairs, and stools. Typically there is a list in the smoke sacristy of tasks that need to be performed, and the MC helps to coordinate this.

  • Extinguish all candles.
  • The hanging lamps are lowered and their flames blown out.
    • It is advisable to let their glass cups cool before removing them.
    • However, it is important that weights be swapped for the glass cups as they are removed so that they do not shoot upward in an uncontrolled manner!
    • The lamps are to be left in lowered position.
  • SMs remove items from the High Altar and hand them to servers.
  • The fair linen and frontal should be removed before the candles so that the wax may have time to congeal before they are removed.
  • All rug and cushions are removed
  • All flowers (with an assist from the Flower Guild) – must be removed from the High Altar
  • The credence, the All Saints Altar, and the Baptistry are stripped as well.
  • MC should make sure that the humeral veil is retrieved from the Lady Chapel.

After the stripping is complete, SMs enter. CEL carries palm brush, D carries bowl of water, and SD carries towels. They proceed to the High Altar without reverencing, and purge the altar table with water and dried palms. They dry it with towels. When they have finished, they exit.

The watch before the Altar of Repose begins.

The watch concludes at midnight. A sexton, server, or cleric is appointed to close the church at that time. The person designated enters the chapel vested in black cassock with the candle-lighter, double-genuflects at the foot of the steps, may kneel for a moment in silent prayer, and then rises and extinguishes all the candles except the hanging Presence lamp. The person appointed then double-genuflects and leaves the chapel. People will generally understand that this is the sign that the watch is over and leave voluntarily.

Original web publication on Nov 12, 1999 @ 01:49pm by Julianne Ture.
Updated Mar 30, 2018 @ 11:00am by Ciarán Anthony DellaFera, BSG

An Instructed Eucharist

(20 February 2011)

I. Introduction

Every service of Christian worship is a drama – a drama in which we enact, proclaim, and, as well, participate in the mighty acts of God. That’s what we are doing this morning; that’s what we do each time the Holy Communion – the Eucharist – is celebrated. Our drama today will be a little different, for we shall stop the action at certain points to explain its significance. We are doing this so that all of us may come to a deeper understanding of our worship and its meaning and, thereby, may participate with more enthusiasm, understanding, and joy – and ultimately with greater spiritual benefit.

Right now the stage is empty. The principal actors have not yet entered – though you and I are here and we are also actors in the drama. (Remember that. Never forget it. We too, are actors in the drama. We stand. We sit. We kneel. We speak and sing. We make various gestures which allow us to participate, enter into, and be involved in the drama of the Mass.) Soon, however, the principal players will arrive. They will make their entrance in procession as we sing a hymn.

There’s more to this entrance than just getting them in where they ought to be. It’s rather like the rising of a curtain as a play begins. The curtain begins to rise and we know that suddenly we shall be carried into another world, the world created by the play. The Entrance Hymn with its procession is just like that. It’s a sign. It signals to us that here in Church we are about to be swept into another reality – another world – not the ordinary world we live in day to day – but the extraordinary world of God, our world as He created and intended it to be.

II. After Entrance Hymn. Prayer Book: Rite I, pp. 323 – 325; Rite II, pp. 355-357

Ever since the Resurrection of our Lord, Christians have gathered together week by week, sometimes day by day, to perform one particular action – remembering His death and receiving His life with bread and wine and prayer. Many things in the Church have changed, but this one act has remained basically the same. It has been thought so essential that Christians have often risked their lives and sometimes lost their lives just to do this thing. It has been performed in innumerable different ways from the simplest gathering with bread and wine to the most complex and ornate ceremonial. It has been known by many names: the Holy Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper, the Holy Communion, the Divine Liturgy, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Essentially, however, the action is the same, and it’s not at all forcing a point to say that the observance of this act is one thing that has formed a bond of continuity over the many centuries of the Church’s existence and across the painful divisions that separate Christians. The various Churches may think differently about the Eucharist and many perform it in different ways, but most agree that it is necessary and fundamental and commanded by our Lord.

A priest cannot celebrate the Eucharist alone. The Church forbids this, for the Liturgy is not a private thing. The Eucharist is the Church’s Act, and it can only take place in a community, performed communally by a part of the whole Church. Again, it is a drama: many people participating together in one action. From earliest times it has been called the Liturgy, from leitourgia, a Greek word which roughly translated means “work,” specifically, public work, a work of the people. The Eucharist is the Church’s work par excellence. In it the Church does all those things which make the Church what it is: it hears the word of God in the Scriptures, praises God for His majesty and love, offers prayer for the necessities of life, and partakes of the Sacrament of bread and wine which the Lord has ordained. The Liturgy is the Church’s work, and in this work the Church becomes in a very real and obvious sense what it is: God’s people, the Body of Christ gathered to acknowledge His real and living presence in Word and Sacrament and to feed upon the grace and power which Christ gives us through Word and Sacrament.

If a priest occupies a prominent place in the celebration of the Liturgy, this is because the Church has singled out particular persons to be her instruments and preside in the carrying out of this particular action. This morning Father Wood is our presider, the celebrant, of the Liturgy. He performs this function in the name of our Bishop who is the normal presider at every act within his jurisdiction. We have symbolized this already by the Processional Cross which brings the principal ministers into the Church. The Cross here is said to be a sign of the Bishop. The Bishop leads his people into the Church and to the Altar where they will meet Christ.

The celebrant, then, is the Bishop’s deputy in the Liturgy and, as such, has a specific function, a particular role, in the liturgical drama. The ancient vestment which he wears, called a chasuble, indicates this role. Supporting parts in the drama are played by the Deacon and Sub-deacon, who also wear vestments which indicate their function as assisting ministers. They and others at the Altar may be conspicuous by their dress, but they are no more important than you and me in the congregation. Because . . . again . . . the Eucharist is the action of the whole Church. It is always together that the Eucharist is celebrated – by a body, by a community. The congregation’s participation in hymn, in response, in prayer is absolutely essential.

The procession has entered now. The stage, so to speak, is set and full. And we begin our work by blessing God. The ordinary world around us does not bless God. The every-day world largely ignores God. But in this other world, this extra-ordinary and essential world of the Liturgy, God is indeed blessed. This sets the tone. “Blessed be God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” we say, “And blessed be His Kingdom, now and forever.” We then pray to God to prepare us for what is to come. We ask Him to send His Holy Spirit into our hearts – to make our intentions pure and to enable us to praise and love Him with all our being. Afterwards we acclaim and praise Him – merciful and glorious, glorious in His mercy and love for man. Depending on the season, one or the other or sometimes both of two very ancient hymns – dating from the fourth century – follow immediately. The Kyrie eleison (from the Greek for “Lord have mercy”) or the Gloria in excelsis (from the Latin for “Glory to God in the Highest”). Both of these come from the East and have been a part of the Church’s worship from earliest times. The Kyrie has a double emphasis. It was originally a shout of praise directed towards God or even an earthly ruler. It is like the Biblical words “Alleluia” or “Hosanna”. It can be understood as the joyful cry “The Lord is merciful!” In another context it can be understood as a plea for mercy from God. The Gloria which often comes next is a wonderful and ecstatic hymn of praise to God acclaiming His splendor and His majesty in Christ. Its tone is one of jubilant celebration, so much so that during the more somber seasons of Advent and Lent we leave it out of the Liturgy – to return on the great feasts of Christmas and Easter.

The Kyrie and Gloria ended, the celebrant calls us to prayer and prays on our behalf the collect for the day. This is a short prayer which refers to the feastday we may be observing or to the lessons which will next be read. It collects together or summarizes the themes which will be the focus of the liturgy.

III. After The Epistle. Prayer Book: Rite I, pp. 325 – 326; Rite II, pp. 357-358

The action of the Eucharist consists of Word and Sacrament. Both are fundamental parts of the life and faith of every Christian. At this point we are engaged in the Service of the Word. We have just heard a reading from the Old Testament – those books which record the history and yearning of the Hebrew people and which look forward to Christ – and from the Epistles – letters of instruction written to members of the early Church. This first part of the Service, together with the sermon, has its origin in the worship of the ancient Jewish Synagogue. Like that it is primarily a service of teaching and instruction.

Here at The Church of the Advent and in most Churches lay people who are members of the congregation read the first two lessons. One particular reading, however, has by an early tradition always been reserved to the clergy: the solemn reading of the Gospel. Doubtless you’ve noticed that we read the Gospel lesson at Mass in a manner very different from the lessons. For instance, the singing of a hymn or a chant and a procession precede this reading. Much more solemnity, more ceremony is involved in the proclamation of the Gospel. Why is this? Again, because the structure of our Christian faith is two-fold, Word and Sacrament. This doesn’t simply describe what Christianity is from the outside, but from the inside: how it works as a religion. It means something important and profound: that we seek and find Christ’s presence in the Word and in the Sacrament. At the reading of the Gospel Christ makes Himself present to us in his Word just as surely as he was present with his disciples two thousand years ago. For this reason before and after the proclamation of the Gospel we hail and acknowledge not the reading, but Christ himself, the Word of God, who is mystically present in these words of Scripture. We stand at the reading of the Gospel and face the Book in order to be addressed and encountered by the One who comes to us in His Word. “Glory to You, Lord Christ,” we say. Because the reading or singing of the Gospel is such a special act, it is reserved for members of the ordained ministry – a priest, a bishop, or a deacon. The Gospel Book, itself a symbol of Christ, is brought in the procession to the midst of the Church to symbolize the coming of the good news of Christ to His people.

At a Solemn Eucharist, the book is censed. The use of incense is deeply rooted in the Scriptures and in the traditional practice of the Church. At this point in the service it is derived from the practice of the ancient Roman Empire in which incense was carried before important personages as a mark of their rank. And so, before the reading of the Gospel we greet our Lord, our King, with incense – a mark of the respect and homage which He deserves.

IV. After the Gospel. Prayer Book: Rite I, pp. 358-359; Rite II, pp. 358 – 359

The lessons have been read; the Gospel proclaimed. At this point in a normal service the sermon would be preached. Afterwards we respond to God’s Word to us in Scripture and sermon by declaring our common faith in the words of the Nicene Creed. This is an outline of belief which the Church adopted some 1600 years ago in a council at Nicaea, a town in present-day Turkey. It was chosen then to be and probably still is the best statement of what Christians believe – a summary of the meaning and hope of the Faith. In the Creed we affirm our belief in the mighty acts of God for our salvation – acts of power and love – the reason we are here today.

V. After the Creed. Prayer Book: Rite I, pp. 359-360,; Rite II, pp. 383-395

The Liturgy continues with prayer. Prayer, for the Church and for every Christian, is like the bloodstream and the blood. It joins everything together and it brings life. Without blood the body dies. Without prayer our faith becomes boring, sterile, and dead.

In the intercessions we present to God in prayer our own needs and necessities, and the particular needs of those close to us, family or friends, who may be sick or troubled, and the needs of the Church and the world. Then in prayer we confess our sins – those acts in our lives which have denied and stifled Christ’s working in us and have taken us away from Him.

Christ promised to the Church the power to bind and to lose, that is, the power to forgive sins in his name. The celebrant, then, on behalf of the Church pronounces over us the Absolution, a formal declaration of the forgiveness of our sins which Christ promises and gives to every Christian. And then, assured of Christ’s forgiveness, we greet one another in His name. It is sin that separates us one from another. It is sin that destroys the peace between us. In Christ our peace is restored.

VI. Before the Offertory.

In the early years of the Church’s life, if you had not yet been baptized, at this point in the Mass you would be made to leave the building. The Liturgy of the Sacrament, the second part of the Eucharist, was considered too sacred for the eyes of those who had not been initiated into the mystery of Christ’s Redemption. The unbaptized were expelled and in some places the doors to the Church were locked. It was with great seriousness and even awe that the early Christians regarded the miracle of the Mass.

The action of the Liturgy now moves from the pulpit and the lectern – the place of the Word – to the Altar – the locus of Christ’s sacramental presence, as bread and wine are brought forward in the Offertory and prepared.

We are accustomed to think of the Offertory as the Collection – the collection of our offerings of money which we return to God as stewards, in thanksgiving, for the support of His Church. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this and the practice is to be encouraged! In the beginning, this was not the case. In the ancient Church money played no part in the Offertory. Rather the Offertory consisted of the gathering together and bringing to the Altar of bread and wine – bread and wine which often each person brought individually to the Church.

Bread and wine and the Offertory itself are powerful symbols. In the first place, bread and wine represent in microcosm the whole life of humanity – the life and work of men and women in the Creation, which God has entrusted to man’s care. The bread is not merely grain; the wine is not merely the juice of the grape. They are more than that. They go beyond simple nature. Rather, they are grain and grapes which have been transformed by human life and work. In the second place, we may see the Offertory as a symbol of the Christian life itself – these elements of bread and wine, like the life of the Christians, are given to up God to be received back infused and alive with the presence, and life, and grace of Christ. Members of the congregation – representatives of us all – bring forward the gifts which we shall receive back changed and transformed and which by the grace and power of Christ will transform us.

At a Solemn Eucharist incense is used at this point. Here the symbolism is very Biblical and Jewish, with its origin in the practice of the ancient temple in Jerusalem. The incense represents prayer ascending to heaven. The gifts of bread and wine, those serving at the altar, and the congregation are censed to signify that all of us together are being swept up into that movement of prayer and offering which is the Eucharist.

After the Offertory. Prayer Book: Rite I, pp. 333 – 338: Rite II, pp. 361-376

This last part of the Liturgy – its climax and conclusion – stems from the last supper of Jesus with his disciples. Strangely enough, we don’t know a great deal about the particulars of this meal, which has so often been repeated. The Gospels don’t tell us much. What we can say for certain is that Jesus commanded the Church to “Do this in remembrance of Me” and that Christians have remembered his command and repeated this meal over and over throughout the centuries. Their experience has always been this: that He was present with them when they obeyed His command.

This part of the Eucharist – the Liturgy of the Sacrament – begins with the celebrant’s exhortation to “Lift up your hearts.” “Be joyful,” the priest tells us, “Sursum corda!” “Lift up your hearts.” The key to the meaning of the Prayers to follow lies in what the celebrant says next: “Let us give thanks to the Lord our God,” for the Eucharistic Prayer is primarily a giving thanks to God for His acts of power in creation and redemption. This is, after all, just what Jesus did at that Last Supper: “He took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it . . . he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them.” This same action – the giving of thanks – is the celebrant’s and also our action in the consecration of the gifts of bread and wine. For this reason we call the consecratory prayer “The Great Thanksgiving.” In fact, this strange Greek word “Eucharist” which we’ve been using means exactly that – to give thanks.

We give thanks to God first by repeating in the Sanctus the hymn which Isaiah the prophet heard sung around the throne of God – “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might.” Next, we praise the one who will soon come to us in the Sacrament of his body and blood, repeating the words of the crowd which greeted Jesus as he entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday – “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!” And in the prayer of consecration we give thanks to God for His mighty work in Jesus, the Christ. We pray that He will bless the gifts of bread and wine – that they may become the Body and Blood of Christ; that we, being made holy by the Spirit, may find our real food and real drink in His Body and Blood. This is the Christian sacrifice, the holy sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving in which we recall thankfully the sacrifice of God in Christ. Here at The Church of the Advent the tower bell is rung at certain points during this prayer, namely at the Words of Institution: “This is my body. This is my blood.” The bells have their origin in the medieval Church. Their function was then and is now to alert us and focus our attention on the central mystery and miracle of the Liturgy – the coming of Christ to His people. The bells are rung and the celebrant lifts high the host and chalice for all to see.

In the Episcopal Church we believe that something really occurs to the bread and wine when they are consecrated by the priest and the Church. In this we are joined by the great and historic tradition of Christianity – by the Orthodox Churches, the Roman Catholic Church, the Lutheran Churches, and several of the Reformed Churches. Some say that the Liturgy is only a kind of memorial: we eat bread and drink wine and remember Jesus when we do it. Certainly that’s true, but in the Anglican Communion we claim that there is more to it than that. We believe that when we gather together and give thanks over the bread and wine, Jesus Christ – as he promised – will make himself present to us, sacramentally, in the bread and wine. This is the faith of the Church. Moreover, and most important this has been the experience of the Church from the very beginning. The bread and wine become sacraments – instruments, signs effective in themselves – by which Christ Himself gives us his presence, and his power, and his life. God in Christ is always working to be near to us – to be close to us, and with us. He is, of course, continually present to us at every time and in every place, but in the Holy Communion He is as near to us as the food we eat and the wine we drink.

VIII. After the Communion. Prayer Book; Rite I, pp. 339: Rite II, pp. 365-366

We have received Christ’s Body and Blood. What else is there now to do, but again give thanks? We do so in a concluding prayer and the Liturgy ends as the celebrant blesses us and we are dismissed. We have celebrated the drama of God’s mighty acts; we have partaken of the Body and Blood of his Son; we have been swept into the extraordinary world of the Liturgy. We are dismissed to go out into the everyday world and take with us what we have received here, to spread abroad the love and power and presence of Christ. And what is our response to this? Once again – and how appropriate that these are the very last words spoken in the Mass! – “Thanks be to God.”

A Note about the term Transubstantiation

Many people equate the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist with the theory of Transubstantiation.  They are, in fact, not exactly the same thing.  The doctrine of the Real Presence asserts what the Church has believed, taught, and experienced since earliest times, i.e. that Christ is really and truly present to his people in the Sacrament of the Altar.  Transubstantiation is one theory among the many which seek to explain how Christ is present; to articulate the mechanics, so to speak, of His presence.  It was developed in the thirteenth century by St. Thomas Aquinas in order to combat rather crude theories of the Eucharist that gave rise to superstition.  St. Thomas’ explanation depended, as did his theology, on the philosophy and metaphysics of Aristotle.

By the time of the Reformation an intellectual reaction had taken place against St. Thomas’ thought, which had become the official teaching of the Roman Church, and also against the Aristotelianism upon which it is based.  Luther and the English Reformers protested that Aquinas’ doctrine of transubstantiation per se can nowhere be found in Scripture or the early teaching of the Church.  They were right;  it can’t.  It was, in their view, an illegitimate development which was a departure.  They never, however, denied the doctrine of the Real Presence;  indeed, they defended it.  It was not until the second generation of the Reformation came along that this fundamental and scripturally-based doctrine was questioned and by some denied.

Even if we regard the doctrine of Transubstantiation as simply one way of explaining the gift of Christ’s Real Presence in the Mass, there is still some value in continuing to use the word.  All accounts of how Christ is present – even those which the Continental and English Reformers came up with – attempt to make it clear and undoubted that a miracle is taking place in the bread and the wine.  For some in the Anglo-Catholic tradition, Transubstantiation – in a metaphorical rather than metaphysical sense – remains the best term to point to this miracle – the mystery of Jesus’ Real Presence with his people, veiled in bread and wine.

Be that as it may, a good way to end this discussion is to quote verses on the matter attributed to a very clever and crafty lady, Elizabeth I.

His was the word that spake it,
He took the bread and brake it;
And what that word doth make it,
That I believe and take it.

A Glossary of Churchly Terms

The list which follows is not arranged alphabetically. Neither is it arranged arbitrarily. We have attempted to gather together terms which are related one to another.

Scripture and Theology

The Faith and Practice of the Christian Life

The Church’s Worship

Liturgical Time: Liturgical Colors and the Church Year

Liturgical Furnishings, Hardware, Etc.

Dramatis Personae of the Mass


Terms Relating to Scripture and Theology

Canon of Scripture – The Bible did not always exist as we know it today. In fact it took the Church nearly 200 years to decide which books to include in the Bible. When it did make a decision which was generally accepted this was set and known as the canon, a term derived from a Greek word which means a standard.

The Old Testament – The Hebrew Scriptures. The story of creation and of the fall of humanity through disobedience. The record of God’s plan to undo the fall, specifically through his dealings with His chosen people – the Jews.

The New Testament – The Scriptures of the Christian Church. The record of God’s acts for man in His Son – Jesus, the Christ – and the record of the early Church’s response to these acts. The canon of the New Testament is composed of:

The four Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, John.

The Acts of the Apostles – a history of the young Church and its missionary efforts.

The Epistles – letters of instruction and doctrine by Peter, Paul, John and others to the young churches.

The Revelation of John, or the Apocalypse – a visionary and symbolic writing.

The Apocrypha – Writings composed mainly in the period between the Old and New Testaments. Not included in Protestant Bibles but accepted in the Bibles of the Episcopal, Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches. Accepted by Episcopalians not as a source of doctrine, but as instruction.

Revelation – From “reveal” – the revealing or disclosing of God and His acts to man.
general revelation – revelation accessible to all people, as the discerning of God’s presence in the beauty of nature.
special revelation – revelation accessible to humankind only through a special means, as the revelation through the Jews in the Old Testament, or the revelation in Jesus Christ in the New Testament.

Historie and Geschichte – Two German terms which relate to the study of history and which provide a helpful distinction in considering the stories and events recorded in Holy Scripture.
Historie means the bare literal fact or, in the case of accounts in Scripture, that which is reported to be the bare literal fact.
Geschichte means the interpretation or the meaning of the fact, i.e., what it means to people, what it means to me. How are these peculiar terms useful? In the scriptures many of the accounts and records are mythological or are facts clearly overlaid with myth and legend. Are we to abandon these because they don’t make sense or we can’t believe them? Not necessarily. We may accept the Historie as myth and not in itself literal fact, but we may confess the Geschichte to be true and an inspired revelation of meaning about the world and mankind: for instance, the account of the Garden of Eden. There may well have never been an historical Adam and Eve; however, various meanings of the story are indisputable and revealed: innocence, temptation, disobedience, fall. This distinction in the interpretation and understanding of Scripture is not a new one; it goes back at least as far as St. Augustine.

Theology – Literally the “science of God” – the understanding of a system of religious faith – in Christianity theology is derived from the scriptures, the tradition of the Church, the worship and experience of the Church, the reason of man.

Doctrine – A belief or teaching of the Church. A body of instruction which expresses the Church’s faith.

Dogma – A particular interpretation of a doctrine. For example, the Church has always believed that our Lord is truly and really present in the Sacrament of the Altar. This is a doctrine. Transubstantiation, which is a explanation of how He is present, is a dogma.

Tradition – We confess that the Holy Spirit is always with the Church guiding it and guarding it. For that reason the Church may learn from its own history, its tradition and thought and prayer and experience, from its successes and from its failures. In the Episcopal Church, as in the other Catholic churches, we look back to the tradition to instruct us. For instance, we confess the Creeds, which are not in the scriptures but are the product of the Church’s reflection upon the scriptures. We believe in God’s nature as Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – a doctrine which is indeed a Biblical one, but was elaborated and articulated more explicitly by the Church in years after the time of the Scriptures.

Creed – A statement or formula of Christian belief. There are three main creeds: the Apostles Creed (BCP, p. 52), the Nicene Creed (BCP, p. 326), and the Athanasian Creed (BCP, p. 864).

Ecumenical Council – The first five centuries of the Church were a period of intellectual controversy and stormy debate. At times general convocations of the Church were called to settle pressing questions of doctrine. Those councils which were universal and whose decisions were later accepted by the whole Church are called the Ecumenical Councils. Their decisions have in a sense become final and are now standards of right belief in the Church. Example – the Nicene Creed is a formula of the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D.

Heresy – Wrong belief or error in the understanding of the Faith.

Incarnation – the belief and doctrine of the Church that God assumed manhood in the person of Jesus of Nazareth the Christ; that Jesus is both God and man, completely and fully God, completely and fully man. (See the Chalcedonian definition, BCP, p. 864)

Fall of Man – The teaching of the scriptures and the belief of the Church that in some way man is not as he should be, not as he was intended to be by God in creation; that he has fallen from fellowship with God and is consequently sinful, hateful, and unhappy. This is not to be thought of as the condition of one person or of some people, but rather of all humanity, and for that reason it is sometimes called Original Sin. (Here, again, is a good example of the Historie/Geschichte distinction. We may not accept the Historie of the story of Adam and Eve, but we can accept the Geschichte , i.e., that man is fallen and in need of redemption.) It has been said that the Fall of Man and Original Sin are the only theological ideas which are empirically verifiable.Sin – The condition of Man apart from God. Any action of a human person in which he or she makes this condition of separation from the Person and Will of God real or actual.

Atonement – Literally, at – one – ment – the doctrine that through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, man has been restored to fellowship with God. That man has been made at – one with God. The stranglehold of sin is broken and man is re-created as he should be – with God. The alienation of the Fall is overcome and man is raised to a new life with Christ in God.

Grace – The power of God. To understand what the church means by grace we must note that it is:

unearned – man is a creature and he cannot earn the grace of the infinite God.

undeserved – man has fallen away from God and he does not deserve the grace or power of God.

cooperative – God’s power – grace – acts with us as we allow it to become the principle of our lives. As we grow in grace, it grows in us making us holy, pure, and happy.

Grace – this word says to us that we don’t have to do anything to earn God’s love or receive his power. It is there – all has been done for us – not by us – in the atonement of the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus. In Baptism we receive the grace which brings us within the scope and power of the atonement In the Eucharist we receive the sacramental nourishment of grace to live the life of grace.

Sacrifice – From the Latin sacrum facere – to make holy. We usually think of sacrifice as meaning to give something up. Perhaps it does carry this meaning, but we must remember that the fuller meaning is to give something up in order to receive it back again. Jesus’ life was sacrificial: He gave up his life which was a human life – in order to receive human life back again, made holy, at-oned, with God. The Christian life is sacrificial: we give up our own lives to God in order to receive them back again made pure, holy, and happy. Christian worship is sacrificial – we give up our lives in worship, we give up the bread and wine in worship, and we find our life changed by worship, and the bread and wine made holy in worship to be food for our changed life.The Trinity – The Christian doctrine about the nature and inner life of God. That God is one God in Three Persons – One God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (The Athanasian Creed will tell you more about this. B.C.P., p. 864)

Terms Relating to the Faith and Practice of the Christian Life

Word and Sacrament – The Christian Faith as the Episcopal Church understands it has a twofold structure – word and sacrament. In God’s Word – the Bible – we learn about God, what He has done for us, and how He wishes us to be. The Word, then, is intellectual and moral. In the sacraments we are brought into the life of the Church and are nourished by communion with God Himself. The sacraments, then are mystical and experiential.

Sacrament – According to the BCP a sacrament is “an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace given unto us; and a pledge to assure us thereof.” – a visible way in which God gives Himself and His power to us, as in the water of Baptism or the Bread and the Wine of the Holy Eucharist. In the Orthodox Church these are called Mysteries – the spiritual and supernatural way in which God uses the everyday things of the earth, and the occasions of human life. There are seven traditional sacraments: Holy Baptism, Confirmation, the Holy Eucharist (Mass), Penance, Holy Unction, Holy Orders, Holy Matrimony.

Holy Baptism – The sacrament by which a person becomes a member of the Christian Church.

Holy Eucharist – The sacrament by which one’s spiritual life is nourished by God in Christ. Other names for the Eucharist are The Lord’s Supper, the Holy Communion, the Divine Liturgy, the Mass. Eucharist means “giving thanks”.

Holy Orders – The Church, like all human institutions, needs order and structure to enable it to operate efficiently and effectively. For that reason certain persons in the Church are singled out to be the leaders and organizers of its life and activity. Holy Orders is the sacrament whereby the Church is provided with individuals who give it order and organization.

Threefold ministry of the Church – Traditionally the Church has had three different types of orders. The Episcopal Church believes that these three traditional orders are the way the Church was intended to be structured by God. They are:

Bishop – The visible head of the Church in a specific location and the chief sacramental minister. The Bishop confirms and ordains; he is a symbol of the unity of the Church and he gives orders to the Church. He is bishop over a diocese.

Priest – The priest is an ordained leader of the Church in a specific parish. It is the priest’s office to preside in the name of the Bishop over the celebration of the Sacraments and the worship of the Church, to teach, to govern and lead, to be a pastor to his flock.

Deacon – The word deacon comes from a Greek word which means “minister” or “servant”. In the early Church it was the deacon’s duty to carry out the official charitable works of the Church, i.e., distributing food to the poor, visiting the sick, etc. Thus, the deacon embodied the Church’s role as a servant to the world. In the middle ages the role of the diaconate became little more than that of an apprentice to the priesthood, which is unfortunately where it stands today. The deacon assists the priest at the celebration of the Sacraments, but is not a full sacramental minister.

Minister – Every Christian is a minister! As Christians we minister Christ and His love to our fellow Christians and others around us. Some persons have special ministries – as bishops, priests, and deacons – but we are all ministers in one way or another.

Preacher – The person who preaches a sermon during the Church’s worship. Any person can be a preacher.

Apostolic Succession – The continuity of teaching, worship and order in the Church over the centuries. This is a doctrine and discipline of the Episcopal Church, as well as the other catholic churches. The apostolic succession is preserved by the bishops who stand in a continuous succession back to the Apostles themselves.

The Church – The Body of Christian believers. Those who profess Jesus, the Christ, to be their Lord and their Savior, who live by His grace, pray in His name, and follow His example. There are four marks of the Church: she is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. That is to say:
One – unity is her reality and her goal.
– holiness is the presence of Christ within her.
– universality in space and in time and universality as a communion of the living with the dead is her nature.
Apostolic – the teaching of the Apostles handed down through the centuries is her standard and tradition.

Anglican Communion – The worldwide body of Christians in communion with the See of Canterbury (the Archbishop of Canterbury); the Church of England, the Church of Canada, and the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America are some of the members of the Anglican Communion. It is just as correct to say that you are an Anglican as to say that you are an Episcopalian.

Archbishop of Canterbury – The presiding bishop of the Church of England, and the titular head of the Anglican Communion.

Thomas Cranmer – The Archbishop of Canterbury under Henry VIII who presided over the Church of England’s split away from the Church of Rome. Thomas Cranmer compiled and wrote most of the original Book of Common Prayer.

Book of Common Prayer – The book of worship of the Episcopal Church, the Prayer Book.

Terms Relating to the Church’s Worship

The Liturgy of the Word – The order for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist is twofold and is a reflection of the basic pattern of Christian faith and practice: 1) the Word and 2) the Sacrament. In the first part of the service – The Liturgy of the Word – we hear the Word of God proclaimed from the Bible – in the Old Testament Lesson, the Epistle, and the Gospel. We listen to an interpretation of the Word in the Sermon. We respond to this Word by declaring the substance of our faith in the affirmations of the Creed. This first part of the Mass is also known as the pro-anaphora and the synaxis.

The Liturgy of the Sacrament – After we have heard the Word of God proclaimed and expounded in the first part of the celebration of the Eucharist, we move to the second part of the service which is the The Liturgy of the Sacrament. Here we obey the commandment of our Lord to “Do This in remembrance of Me” and partake of the mystery of His presence in the Sacrament of Bread and Wine. This part of the Mass is also known as the anaphora, and with regard specifically to the Eucharistic Prayer or Consecration as the Canon of the Mass.

Proper of the Mass – Those parts of the Mass, such as the Collect, the Lessons and Gospel, the Introit and Gradual, etc., which vary according to the season and the day.

Ordinary of the Mass – Those parts of the Mass which do not vary, such as the Canon and other prayers.

Low Mass – A Mass celebrated without music or singing and with simple ceremony. The Celebrant is assisted only by a server. Also known as Said Mass.

High Mass or Solemn High Mass – A Mass that is sung and accompanied by music. Incense is used and the ceremonial is elaborate and colorful. The Celebrant is assisted by a Deacon and a Sub-Deacon, who have specific roles and responsibilities in the liturgy.

Liturgical Furnishings, Hardware, Etc.

Chalice – The cup used for the wine at the Holy Eucharist.

Paten – The small plate used for the bread at the Holy Eucharist.

Host – The unleavened wafer-like bread used in the Holy Eucharist.

Sanctus Bell or Sacring Bell – A bell sometimes found in churches which is rung at various times during the celebration of the Eucharist.

Crotalus – A wood rattle-like object which makes a terrifying sound. It replaces the Sanctus Bell during certain Holy Week Masses when the ringing of bells is surpressed.

Baptismal Font – A large receptacle which holds the water for the sacrament of Holy Baptism.

Paschal Candle – The large tall candlestick which is kept lighted during the fifty days of Easter and then placed next to the Baptismal font during the rest of the year. It is a symbol of the Resurrection of Christ – the Light of the World.

Thurible – Incense pot or censer.

Aspergillium – A wand-like object used for sprinkling Holy Water. Also known as an aspersorium or a hyssop. These names are derived from Psalm 51:7, Asperge me hyssopoet mundabor; lava me, et super nivem dealbabor. (Thou shalt purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean; Thou shalt wash me and I shall me whiter than snow.), which is sometimes sung as the congregation is sprinkled at the beginning of Mass.

Monstrance – A remarkable object, often resembling a sunburst or a glory. A consecrated host is in placed in it to be the focus of meditation or adoration or to be carried in procession. Also called an ostentorium or ostensory.

Reserved Sacrament – Sometimes the sacramental bread from the Holy Eucharist is kept in the church to be available for any who may be sick or in grave danger of death and also to be a focus for prayer and adoration. When it is reserved, the sacrament is kept in a tabernacle – a box-like object which sits upon the altar as in the Lady Chapel at the Advent. Or it may be reserved in an aumbry or sacrament house, which is a more or less elaborate cupboard on the wall of the sanctuary near the altar. A light is always kept burning in front of the reserved sacrament signifying the presence of our Lord in the sacrament of His Body.

Dramatis Personae of the Mass

Sacred Ministers – The Celebrant and two assistants, Deacon and Sub-Deacon, at the celebration of Solemn High Mass.

Acolyte – Person who assists the priest at service.

Crucifer – Person who carries the cross in a procession.

Thurifer – Person who carries an incense pot.


Cassock – The long black (or red or purple or white!) robe worn by the clergy, the choir and the acolytes.

Surplice – The long white robe worn over the cassock.

Stole – The narrow colored scarf-like vestment worn by the ordained clergy. It is usually worn only at sacramental services and blessings. Its color varies with the season and the nature of the service being celebrated, as do the other vestments worn at the celebration of the Eucharist.

Maniple – A strip of cloth worn over the left arm by the Sacred Ministers during the Mass. It was originally a handkerchief or towel, with an obvious and practical purpose, which was part of normal dress in the Roman Empire. Later, it became associated with rank. In the Church it has always been understood as a sign of the nature of the ordained ministry – to be a servant of the servants of God.

Alb – A long white vestment with sleeves worn by the priest and deacon at the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

Amice – The fluffy white cloth worn around the neck of the priest at the Mass.

Chasuble – The colored poncho-type vestment worn by the priest at the Eucharist.

Dalmatic and Tunicle – Vestments worn by the Deacon and Sub-Deacon at Solemn High Mass.

Cope – The cape-like vestment worn by the clergy in processions and certain other services.

Biretta – A square black cap with a decorative pompom worn by the clergy as street dress and in some places also during Mass (during which it is removed at the mention of the Name of Jesus).

Humeral veil – a large oblong fabric, usually quite ornate, used at Benediction and for processions of the Blessed Sacrament, worn draped over the officiant’s arms and shoulders and covering the hands so that skin does not directly touch the monstrance bearing the Host.

Liturgical Colors and The Church Year

“Liturgical Time” is divided into seasons, each with a distinctive theme and appointed liturgical color. The liturgical colors are:

White (or gold): symbolizing purity, victory and joy, used at Christmas, Easter, and other Feasts of our Lord, the feasts of saints other than martyrs, and other festal occasions such as baptism or marriage.

Purple: symbolizing penitence and sorrow, worn during Lent and Advent, also worn by priests when hearing confessions.

Red: symbolizing the Holy Spirit and blood, worn at Pentecost, at ordinations, and on feasts of Apostles or martyred saints.

Green: symbolizing growth, worn during the “Ordinary” seasons – between Trinity Sunday and the First Sunday in Advent and between Epiphany and Ash Wednesday.

Black: the color of mourning; worn for Requiem Masses and on Good Friday.

Oxblood: a deep dark red, combining the symbolism of blood with the darkness of sin, worn during Holy Week.

Blue: the color associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary; in some places blue is worn during Advent.

Rose: worn on the Third Sunday of Advent and the Fourth Sunday of Lent, days of “refreshment” in the midst of seasons of preparation and penitence.

The Church Year begins with the First Sunday of Advent and ends with the Feast of Christ the King on the last Sunday after Pentecost. The first part of the year follows the life of Christ from His foretelling and Incarnation through His ministry, His death, resurrection, and ascension, and the coming of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost. After Pentecost the Church Year enters an extended time of teaching. The seasons of the Church Year are as follows:

Advent – the four Sundays before Christmas, foretelling and anticipating the Incarnation; this season is more preparatory than penitential.

Christmas(tide) – the days from Christmas through Epiphany (January 6) inclusive, celebrating Christ’s birth and His manifestation to the Gentiles.

Ordinary Time after Epiphany – the weeks between the Sunday after Epiphany and the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, one of the two periods in the church calendar (the other being Ordinary Time after Pentecost) in which the lessons focus on growth in Christian life rather than a particular period or event in the life of Christ.

Lent – from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday, a period of penitence and self-discipline to prepare for the great feast of Easter; liturgical features include the omission of “Alleluia” and readings that emphasize man’s fallen nature.

Holy Week – from Palm Sunday through Holy Saturday, commemorating Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, His Passion and Crucifixion.

The Triduum – the “Great Three Days” of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday:

Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper and Christ’s washing of His disciples’ feet (the “Maundy”, from Latin mandatum, a commandment: “a new commandment I give to you, that ye love one another”).

Good Friday observes Christ’s Crucifixion, death and burial with solemn prayers, the Passion according to St. John, and the Veneration of the Cross.

Holy Saturday leads into the Easter Vigil, the great service in which the church scattered after the Crucifixion is gathered together and reconstituted, with the blessing of the New Fire, administration of Holy Baptism, and the first Mass of Easter.

Eastertide – the seven weeks between Easter and Pentecost, a sustained celebration of the Resurrection.

Ascension – the feast commemorating Christ’s Ascension into Heaven, 40 days after Easter and 10 days before Pentecost.

Pentecost – the feast celebrating the promised descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles. Although red vestments are worn, a traditional name for this feast day is Whitsunday – “White Sunday” – a name derived from the white robes given to persons baptized on this day.

Trinity Sunday – the Sunday after Pentecost, given over to a celebration of the mystery that is the Holy Trinity.

Corpus Christi – usually observed on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday; a celebration of the mystery of the Eucharist, traditionally including a procession with the Blessed Sacrament.

Ordinary Time after Pentecost – the period between Trinity Sunday and the first Sunday in Advent, an extended time of teaching and growth.

Verger’s Customary


Arrival by 6:30 a.m. Turn on all lights in church, including 2 switches in Lady Chapel on side wall across from organ console.

Vest in cassock:
Blue for Sundays in Advent, Easter Season after Easter Sunday, Ordinary Time, Feasts of Our Lady, and Evensong & Benediction. Weddings as well.
May wear crucifix for Ordinary Time; gold cross for all Sundays in Eastertide thru Corpus Christi.
Black for all of Lent from Ash Wednesday through Good Friday; All Souls Day; all funerals.
Red for all major feast days, Christmas and all Sundays of Christmastide; Feast of Epiphany; Easter Vigil; Easter Day; Ascension Day; Pentecost; Trinity Sunday; Corpus Christi. Gold cross.

8 a.m. Low Mass:
When vested: set up for Mass in Lady Chapel. Sacristan will have everything out:
Lavabo bowl & towel and cruets of wine & water. On first Sunday of month, oil and cotton bowl in another lavabo bowl.
Red lectionary notebooks are in labeled cabinet in the sofe. Note the current lectionary year (A, B, or C – the 1979 BCP lectionary, not the RCL). The lectionary is placed on the Lady Chapel lectern open to the propers of the day.
Light 2 Communion candles, Epistle (right) side first, then Gospel (left) side.
Remove blue dust cover – take each end to the center white knot, then same with next ends until it is neatly folded, then remove to side table.
The cruets and lavabo bowl with towel go to credence to right of altar. Bowl with oil for healing on gradine just to right of tabernacle.
Set Anglican Missal on missal stand and place on right (Epistle-side) horn of altar. The orange ribbon in the missal should be set to the appropriate Sunday propers. (Important note: during the season after Pentecost, the Missal observes the Sundays “after Trinity” so it will always be one number less than what is printed in the leaflet. So, if it’s the 10th Sunday after Pentecost, the Anglican Missal should be set to the 9th Sunday after Trinity.) Leave the Missal open to the proper Sunday (orange ribbon). Open the red prayer book (1979 BCP) to the traditional (Rite I) Collect of the Day and place it just to the left of the missal, marking the collect with a clip. Be sure to go over both first and second readings in advance as you will need to ask the celebrant or preacher which lesson they want.

High Altar:
Using one of the stick lighters, light all seven sanctuary lamps and the hanging lamp in the All Saints Chapel. In sacristy, take the single key for the Sacrament House from the priests’ closet, and from the sofe drawer labeled “veils” take the gold veil on rod. Put veil on rod in front of Sacrament House door, leaving veil “ajar.” There is a gilded wooden door, then a metal door; the key goes in the metal door. Using fingers, partially close both doors, so that it is easier for the clergy to open them easily when moving the Sacrament from the Lady Chapel to the High Altar.
Light the 6 office candles, starting from the inside out – right (Epistle) side first, then left (Gospel) side.

I I I † I I I
6 5 4 · 1 2 3

Then light the two carved standards on the steps.
Note: On a feast day, light the upper tier of candles first. The same order as the lower tier, using the very long candle lighter in the smoke sacristy. The box of wax tapers is in the cabinet in the smoke sacristy next to the door.
Hint: When lighting the high altar, bend wick down to get inside follower, especially for the upper tier and the standards.
After all candles are lit, remove blue dust cover from high altar, folding it in the same manner as the Lady Chapel dust cover. Put high altar dust cover in smoke sacristy. Leave the pull stick for the silver presence lamp on the altar step under the lamp.

The sacristan will leave the slip for attendance and wafer count with the ciborium and large glass-and-silver flagon on the sofe for the 9 a.m. Mass. Take those to the baptistry. The ciborium goes on the left, the wine on the right. Light the two candles in the baptistry. Put the slip on the reading-desk shelf in the vergers stall. The verger will count the congregation and all choir and chancel party and write that total on the slip for the Offertory. The slip will go on the Offertory plate so the clergy know how many wafers to consecrate.

In the cabinet next to the Moseley Hall door at the rear of the church are the bags for the Offertory processions for all three Masses. Take out all three (marked 8am, 9am, and 11:15am). On top of the cabinet is a white pouch containing coverlets for all the liturgical seasons; take out the appropriate one for the Sunday. Put the 9am and 11:15am bags in the ushers’ pew (rearmost on the right-hand side of the nave), and take one offering plate, the 8am bag, and the coverlet to the pew facing the Queen of Heaven shrine. There are three regulars at the 8am Mass who know what to do at the Offertory.

The verger will assist as acolyte during the 8am Mass, wearing the gray chimere over the cassock.
After the mass, return to the Lady Chapel and remove the Missal and stand from the altar, placing them on the Epistle-side chair. Return dust cover to altar (leaving the mass card on the fair linen) and extinguish the candles – Gospel-side (left) first, then Epistle-side (right). Use the small snuffer hanging on a hook to the right over the Lady Chapel credence.
Take the lectionary notebook to the lectern in the nave and set it to the first reading. Turn on the lectern light and the spotlight, for which the switch is on the pillar behind the lectern.
Return to Lady Chapel and if the Sacrament has already been moved to the High Altar Sacrament House, extinguish the presence lamp, then take the cruets and lavabo bowl and return them to the work sacristy, placing them by the sink. The 8am usher will put the bag in the safe and return the plate and coverlet to the back of the church for the 9am ushers.

9am Sung Mass:
Make sure there is a leaflet in the Rector’s stall if the Rector is not one of the Sacred Ministers. Same for preacher’s stall.
The order of procession on a normal Sunday is:
Cross & 2 Torches
Choir Clergy/Guest Preacher right behind verger if first time at the Advent. Need to rehearse and familiarize preacher how we do things, keep eye on him/her for anything needed.
In the procession, the Verger comes up the chancel steps, then turns right and stands on the crown-of-thorns tiles on the floor facing the High Altar. Optional bow as celebrant (or bishop) passes by. Genuflect when the MC signals the altar party, then go into vergers stall directly behind crown-of-thorns tiles and place the verge (the staff with cross) in its latched holder on the rood screen.
At the Gospel Procession, as the altar party is assembling, come out to center with preacher. Genuflect as the Gospel procession participants do, then lead preacher down steps toward pulpit and wait on right side, facing the Gospel party as the Gospel is read. After the reading, as soon as the Gospel book passes in procession, escort the preacher to the pulpit, removing cope if he/she is wearing one, laying it nicely open on the All Saints Chapel prie-dieux so that it will be easily put back on after the sermon. Sit in front pew to right of pulpit.
After the sermon, escort the preacher back to center of choir, genuflect, and peel off to return to seats for creed.
At the Offertory, take verge from holder and move to bottom of altar steps at the right. Thurifer comes out with 2 Torches. MC cues genuflection; thurifer goes to celebrant to have incense laid on, then returns to center and MC cues all to genuflect again. Order of procession to rear of church is: Thurifer, Torches, Verger. Verger brings along attendance slip with count of all in congregation, choir, and chancel. If ushers have not moved bread and wine from baptistry credence, verger will bring them to the table at the back of the church. When collection is ready, ushers place it in 9am bag and put on Offertory plate, draped with appropriate coverlet, then give it to reader of first lesson. The bread and wine are carried by ushers or a family selected from congregation, including children.
After anthem, the order of procession is: Thurifer, torches, verger, money, then bread and wine side-by-side, keeping two pews’ distance between each person or pair. In the chancel, verger peels off onto crown-of-thorns tiles facing altar while the rest of the procession goes up the chancel steps to the altar rail where the subdeacon receives the money, the deacon the wine and the celebrant the bread. Verger genuflects with all at MC’s signal then returns to verger’s stall, returning verge to holder.
At the Communion, the verger will assist any infirm people going up to or coming down from the steps to the altar rail. Also, if one side of rail is empty and no one is waiting, offer some from the other side to cross over – the object is to keep the line moving. Many won’t kneel in the middle; if young people are waiting, offer them the middle.
Once all have received, give celebrant a nod and remove kneeler from center if ushers have not already done so, and return to stall. After the final blessing and dismissal, get verge and go to crown-of-thorns tiles facing altar. Genuflect at MC’s signal, then turn left and bow when cross passes by. Once choir leaves, verger follows. The procession goes to the baptistry.

Summer Customary: There is no entering procession. The verger comes in through All Saints’ Chapel door and goes to stall, bowing to All Saints’ altar and genuflecting before High Altar. At the Offertory, verger alone goes to center, genuflects, and goes to back of church, getting bread and wine from baptistry and giving attendance slip (having counted the congregation during the psalm) to person carrying collection. Order of procession: Verger, money, bread & wine side by side. Turn off at the crown-of-thorns tile, genuflect with gift bearers, then return to stall. The rest of the Mass is the same. After the final blessing and dismissal, get staff, go to center of choir, genuflect with celebrant, then turn and lead altar party and choir ministers to baptistry for final prayer after hymn.

11:15 Solemn Mass:
The sacristan will set up the High Mass ciborium and large flagon with attendance slip. Bring them to baptistry credence, same as at 9am Mass – ciborium on left, flagon on right, slip between them (ushers will count congregation during the Psalm; verger will count choir and chancel party and add that to the count on the slip while preparing for Offertory procession). Verger follows thurifer and torches to back of church for Offertory procession. Once choir has finished anthem, tell thurifer to start down aisle. Order of procession: Thurifer, torches (either 2 or 4 depending on the day), verger, offertory plate, bread & wine together. Verger peels off to the right in front of verger’s stall, facing altar. Genuflect with rest of gift bearers and return to stall.
At Communion, go to center of choir at bottom of step to assist and direct communicants to keep altar rail full. Return to seat after all have received. After final blessing and dismissal, get verge and step out of stall, facing altar, and genuflect with rest of choir and chancel party, then turn to left. Follow behind choir and go to baptistry for Angelus with altar party.

Other duties include:
11:15 Solemn Mass Usher Rota. Verger is in charge of setting rota (John Boyd handles 9am Mass usher rota). Email 11:15 ushers with calendar dates (provided by Webmaster), usually three months at a time. Ask ushers to provide dates they cannot serve and schedule accordingly. Give ushers 10 days to respond, then set schedule, asking ushers to work out conflicts among themselves.
Tours: When I became verger, I offered to give tours of the church after the 9 and 11:15 Masses on the third Sunday of the month (usually, unless preempted by other events). This was a tradition of the Advent some 30 years ago, when a long-time parishioner offered it every Sunday after the Solemn Mass. It will be up to the next verger to decide whether to continue this.
The main purpose of the Verger is to be of service to the Rector and clergy in any task asked, and to be a welcoming presence to visiting clergy who may be guest preachers, walking them through the way we worship, escorting them to and from the pulpit, bringing them up for Communion, and assuring them that you will be of service to them for anything they should need. Finally, the verger is to be of service and welcoming to any visitors as well as the parish at all three masses.

Raymond B. Porter
Christ the King 2016

9am Acolytes

Acolytes travel in pairs and with the candles held at the same height, that is with the brass wax-catcher at forehead level or higher. If the two people are dramatically different in height, the two should work out the height in advance.


  • The Acolytes flank the Crucifer during a Procession. However, when moving down the narrow side-aisles the Acolytes precede the Crucifer. (Before electricity was used the candles lit the way.)
  • The Acolytes match the Crucifer’s pace, neither leading nor lingering, so that the three of them remain in a straight line. The Crucifer keeps at least two, preferably three pews behind the Thurifer. If the Thurifer is doing 360s, increase the distance even more!
  • At the top of the Chancel steps – the first three steps leading up to the choir – the Crucifer makes a slight pause which allows the Acolytes to move next to one another as they continue forward toward the altar.
  • After passing through the altar gate to the base of the altar steps, Acolytes turn away from one another and stand midway between the end of the altar and the large wooden pavement candles.



On the MC’s cue, all genuflect. At the end of the hymn as the SM ascend to the altar, Acolytes turn to the right, proceed to the credence and place candles in their stands. Acolytes remain standing in front of candle stands for opening prayers, Gloria or Kyrie, censing of the altar and Celebrant, and Collect for the Day.


Acolytes sit during Old Testament (OT) Lesson, Psalm, and New Testament (NT) lesson.

Gospel Procession:

At the end of the New Testament Lesson, immediately after “Thanks be to God,” Acolytes pick up candles and proceed to the foot of the altar steps, facing the altar and lining up in the center “sandwiching” the Thurifer between them. If the timing does not work out so that the Acolytes and Th do not meet in the center, Acolytes should line up with the “outside” altar candles.

Note the tighter formation; don’t spread out too far.

  • At the MC’s signal, all Genuflect and turn facing the Congregation. The MC starts down toward the center of the Church, with the Acolytes following the MC. Approximately halfway down the center aisle, near the heat register in the floor, the MC stops, turns, and signals the position for the Acolytes. The Acolytes turn and face one another with their backs almost touching the pew behind. Candles should be held up so that the metal wax catcher is forehead height or higher, matching partner’s level.
  • When returning to the altar after the Gospel, the Acolytes again follow the MC, who is now following the Sub Deacon. All take positions at the foot of the altar steps in a tighter lineup than for the procession out because the Sub Deacon is now standing by the sedilia, and the Deacon may be preaching .

MC gives the signal to genuflect. Acolytes return candles to holders and sit during the Sermon.


Acolytes stand at foot of altar steps facing across the steps. At the mention of the Incarnation, all genuflect with only the right knee touching the floor.

CONFESSION and ABSOLUTION: All kneel. Cushions are not used at this time unless knees are injured.

PEACE: Acolytes exchange peace with one another and MC, then with SMs when they return to the side.



  • When the Sacred Ministers stand and move to the foot of the altar steps and face the congregation, Acolytes stand in position in front of their candles facing the altar.
  • Note: If Acolytes are asked to double as TT, the only change is to act as TT during the Offertory through to the Agnus Dei. This means taking candles and moving quickly after the Peace to meet the Th at the gate as s/he comes in to have incense laid on. They genuflect with Th. Th has incense laid on. They genuflect again with the Thurifer and follow him/her down the south aisle to the back of the church for the procession. Upon returning to the Sanctuary they stay outside the altar rail, kneeling and raising their torches at the elevations. At the Agnus Dei they stand and genuflect with the Thurifer as s/he exits. After the Thurifer has exited, Acolytes turn toward one another, pass through the gate and return to their positions next to the Credence. For the remainder of the Mass they revert to being Acolytes.
  • While the altar and celebrant are censed Acolytes prepare the water and lavabo for the Cel’s hand washing. Generally the Acolyte on the East or “upper” side removes the water from the Credence (“A” on spout) and the other Acolyte drapes the purificator over his/her left arm and takes the lavabo in right hand. Note: MC does this if Acolytes are acting as TT.
  • At a signal from the MC, Acolytes ascend steps to two below the Cel. Lavabo is held under Cel’s outstretched hands and water is poured over fingers.
  • After Cel is finished, Acolytes turn and return items to original position on Credence.


  • Stand in position at foot of altar steps indicated by MC.
  • Right after the Benedictus, the MC gives the signal to kneel in position.

PRAYER OF CONSECRATION: Remain kneeling until Agnus Dei

AGNUS DEI: At the beginning of the Agnus Dei, the MC gives the signal to stand. Acolytes return to stand in front of their candles.

COMMUNION: (remain standing)

Acolytes stand in front of their candles as they receive communion, and then count Communicants. Acolytes divide up the counting using the green middle line as a divider. and do not count themselves or any servers.


At a signal from the MC, Acolytes ascend the steps at the end of the altar and receive vessels to be placed on the credence and table. Note: The large glass Flagon and the Ciborium (lidded chalice for wafers),which were brought to the altar during the Offertory, go on the table in front of the Credence. The remaining Chalices go back to where they were placed at the beginning of the Mass.



Immediately after the dismissal and response “Thanks be to God”, Acolytes remove candles from stands and go directly to meet the Crucifer down in the Choir area. Acolytes remember to meet at the space between the altar rail before proceeding in tandem down the steps.


  • The Acolytes & Cr stand facing the altar.
  • At a signal from the MC, the ministers and servers in the lineup genuflect and turn to face the congregation. Acolytes do not genuflect because they are accompanying the Cross.
  • As the lineup turns, the Cr and Acolytes also turn and lead the Recessional down the center aisle, turn left into the Baptistry and stand in front of the Font. The Crucifer sets a moderate and dignified pace which the Acolytes match.


  • When exiting from the Baptistry, Acolytes pause together for Genuflection at the Center Aisle, a Reverence (slight bow) at the side aisle (altar) then continue out the North Door to the Smoke Sacristy.
  • Candles are returned to rack; Cottas removed and placed on hooks.
  • All servers remove items from Sanctuary. (Communion vessels go to the Working Sacristy; Gospel Book, Altar Book, and Intercessions Notebook to Vesting Sacristy; Hymnals and Alms Bason to Smoke Sacristy. Alms are locked in safe.) Wafer Box is left on Credence for the next Mass. If wine is not used from V cruet, it remains also.
  • The Missal Stand is placed on the table in the Smoke Sacristy.
  • The MC is notified of the count of Communicants, if not done previously.
  • Cottas are taken upstairs to hang on the appropriate rack. Cassocks are removed and placed on the rack with others of the same length. Cinctures are replaced over the pegs provided for that purpose.

Master of Ceremonies

MC should be vested no later than 10:30am (half an hour before Mass for weekday evening Solemn Masses): black cassock and cincture; white squarenecked surplice with lace insets (laughably labeled S, M, and L, but realistically sized Large, Extra Large, and Absurdly Large).

[All Saints, High Altar, and footpace candles should already be lit from 9am Mass.] Check that candles are burning OK.

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

Lectionary open to Old Testament lesson on lectern (should already be there from 9am Mass but page may need to be reset).

Gospel Book & Altar Book in priests’ sacristy.

BCP and Intercessions book on stool by MC’s chair. Altar book (set to Collect and Proper Preface by MC) on table under credence.

Copy of Mass Leaflet on SD’s chair to follow Psalm.

To credence: 2 chalices, Aqua & Vino, lavabo bowl/towel; veiled chalice w/ 3 purificators.

If Cel and D are not vesting in sacristy by 10 minutes before Mass, MC must locate them. Acolytes must also be present & accounted for no later than 15 minutes before Mass. Any acolytes not present on time must be replaced.

If necessary, MC assigns Communion stations.

MC assigns TT to count High Altar and CR to count All Saints, and assigns cleanup duties as appropriate.

MC checks pulpit to be sure sermon is in place.

In Sacristy:
MC is responsible for maintaining silence both in sacristy and in hallway prior to Mass.

MC distributes cards for the Preparation.

MC must be cognizant of any changes in the Customary and instruct servers accordingly.

MC is last to leave sacristy and makes a final check.

MC precedes SMs. ALL enter in procession and take their places at altar steps.


MC cues ALL to genuflect after the Deacon places the Gospel Book and returns to his place, and the CEL is in his place.

As SMs ascend altar steps to footpace, AA, Th, and MC proceed single file to sedilia/credence.

Usually, altar is censed during Introit. MC cues Th to bring thurible to CEL on footpace.

MC puts Altar Book on Epistle horn of altar immediately following censing of CEL.

Acclamation, Collect For Purity, Kyrie Eleison:
MC stands in place near credence.

Gloria in Excelsis:
MC signals SD and D to go up to footpace on the words, “Gloria in Excelsis Deo/Glory be to God on High”.

See Appendix for seasonal variations to Opening Rite.

Salutation and Collect of the Day:
MC ascends to side step, and may point to the correct Collect with the right hand, while CEL intones Collect, and turns and descends with SMs after Collect is concluded.

First Lesson and Psalm:
ALL sit. MC sits next to D.

Second Lesson:
ALL sit.

As Th enters from smoke sacristy, MC signals AA to meet Th at centre. MC cues AA and TH to genuflect. After incense has been laid on and D has received blessing from CEL, MC follows D out to pavement before altar. ALL stand facing altar:


MC cues ALL to genuflect.

Gospel Procession:
MC leads Gospel Procession to the middle of the nave.

Order: MC AA Th SD D.

MC indicates place for SD to stand, then moves beside right-hand A.

After Gospel, SD takes Gospel Book back to CEL (usually at sedilia). MC follows, leading procession back. When Gospel Procession returns to pavement before altar, MC cues all to genuflect. MC, D, and AA retire to sedilia/credence.

MC receives Gospel Book from SD and puts it in bookstand, and gets intercessions book.

ALL sit.

Nicene Creed:
MC gives BCP and Intercessions book to D and cues ALL to stand. SMs go to pavement before altar. AA, MC and TT stand at bottom steps on either side.

Prayers of the People and Exhortation:
ALL remain standing.

General Confession and Absolution:
ALL kneel.

MC receives BCP and Intercessions book from D.

Offertory Anthem:
MC may have to prompt TH to enter with TT. TH has incense laid on and departs; D goes to prepare vessels on altar; CEL and AA sit. D returns and sits. MC should remain standing, and move toward altar rail to watch Offertory Procession.

When the Procession is ready, MC signals Choir to begin Offertory Sentence, and signals SMs to go to gate.

After the offerings have been received, MC cues TH, TT and Processors to genuflect.

SMs take offerings to altar. AAs receive bason and hand off water cruet to SD. (See AA notes.)

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 Aumbry 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, and arranges cushions on bottom step for AA and TH. Order (from left to right): A A TH MC. If it is necessary to lay on more incense after TH returns from censing the congregation, this should be done discreetly during the Sursum Corda.

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. Bow with SMs for the first couple of phrases of the Sanctus (watch SMs for cues).

MC signals all servers to kneel.

Lord’s Prayer, Fraction and Prayer of Humble Access:
ALL remain kneeling.

Agnus Dei:
As choir begins Agnus Dei, MC signals ALL to stand and TH and TT to genuflect before exiting. MC and AA retire to credence; “downstage” A brings chalices up to Altar.

Invitation to Communion and Communion:
ALL stand in their places.

During Communion, MC is watchful and prepared to give any kind of assistance needed.

Ablutions (Motet being sung):
MC brings water cruet up to altar and signals AA to stand at Epistle horn and receive cleansed vessels (ciborium and flagon and extra chalices). “Upstage” A receives veiled chalice from SD and places on credence.

Postcommunion Prayer:
MC ascends to side step while CEL reads Post-Communion Prayer. After CEL finishes the prayer, MC picks up missal stand and takes it down to credence table, then kneels for the Blessing and Dismissal.

Blessing and Dismissal:
ALL remain kneeling. After Dismissal, MC cues all to rise and AA to join CR. Others line up on pavement:


MC cues ALL to genuflect on first word of last hymn. Then ALL turn and face the people for Recessional.

Order: ACrA Choir Verger Choir Clergy Th TT MC SD D CEL.

Exeunt omnes, singing lustily, usually to baptistry.

After Mass Cleanup:
MC is responsible for supervising all sanctuary cleanup including lectionary, pulpit, All Saints, Lady Chapel, and High Altar. MC must be certain that sermon has been replaced on desk in sacristy, all water glasses removed, all candles extinguished, credence table is empty, and sanctuary is left in perfect order. MC gets counts of Communions from TT and CR and records in register along with attendance figure (on slip from offering bason). MC is responsible for counting Communions of servers.

Ite, missa est!

APPENDIX: Seasonal Variations

No Gloria; altar censed during Introit as usual.

Add to Preparation: chasuble [and maniples] laid over altar rail on Epistle side.

Remind CR to collect copes of choir clergy after Procession and to collect CEL’s cope at Offertory.

Enter in silence, short way from North door.

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 A CR A; D turns to bid procession, then turns back to face altar. MC cues ALL to genuflect as hymn play-through begins.

Altar censed during Gloria.

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.

Additional Preparations as above for all Processions.

No Gloria.

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

Cense altar during Kyrie.

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

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

Entrance Procession is as usual.

Introit is Vidi Aquam: immediately after SMs genuflect, MC gives holy water bucket to CEL and CEL begins to asperge himself and servers.

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

CEL returns bucket to MC; SMs go up to kiss altar while MC and others retire to places.

Cense altar during Gloria. CEL changes vestments at Offertory, as with a Procession.