Solemn Evensong and Benediction


Blue cloth removed from High Altar.

The six office lights on the gradine and the two Pavement candles are lit.

White burse with corporal placed on High Altar.

Isaacs monstrance, covered with veil, placed at credence.

MC should make sure that the luna with Benediction Host is in Aumbry and that the key is in the Aumbry door.

MC sets the RSV Bible to the appropriate Lessons and places it on Lectern.

MC should confer with the choirmaster to determine the length of the anthems/motets.

Twin candelabra placed on the horns of the altar, turned at a slight angle. Two candle lighters placed near the credence.

Humeral veil, carillon, and Benediction cards placed on the second altar step to the right of center.

Officiant is vested in a cope in the colour of the season, Deacon and Subdeacon in corresponding Dalmatic and Tunicle.


AA lead procession in the short way via the North door, followed by Choir, MC, SD, D, and Officiant.

AA split at altar steps, as at Mass. MC, Officiant, D, & SD take positions between them.


ALL genuflect and go to their places at sedilia and credence.

ALL remain standing for the opening hymn and the Preces.

ALL sit for the Psalmody (bowing at the Gloria Patri) and the First Lesson, read by a member of the congregation.


ALL stand and cross themselves at the opening words.

TH enters holding thurible in left hand, incense boat in right. TH genuflects and proceeds to Officiant at sedilia.

TH gives boat to OFF. Officiant charges and blesses incense.

OFF, D, and SD go to center, genuflect, ascend steps to footpace, and reverence the altar. MC signals TH to ascend altar steps. TH gives thurible to OFF and returns to sedilia.

OFF censes the altar while the Magnificat is being sung; D and SD hold edges of cope.

OFF hands thurible to D. D descends steps near credence and censes OFF with 3 doubles then gives thurible to TH. SM’s return to their positions at the sedilia.

TH goes to center at altar steps and censes D (2 doubles), SD (1 double), MC (1 double), and AA (1 double each, but bowing to AA as a group, not individually).

TH genuflects, moves to head of choir, and censes Choir Clergy, if any (2 doubles each), choir (center-left-right), and people (center-left-right).

TH turns, ascends steps, genuflects in center below altar rail and exits to the Smoke Sacristy.

ALL bow at the Gloria Patri.

SD goes to Lectern to read the Second Lesson. ALL sit for the Second Lesson.

ALL stand for the Nunc Dimittis, the Apostles’ Creed, the Lesser Litany, the Lord’s Prayer, the Suffrages, the Collects, the Grace, and hymn (if there is one).

[If there is a Sermon, ALL sit.]


While the choir sings a motet, AA retrieve candle-lighters, proceed to center at altar steps, and genuflect together. AA ascend steps, ignite lights from innermost of the six office lights, and light the Benediction lights, inner to outer.

AA descend steps to center, turn, genuflect, then return to their places at the credence and discreetly replace candle-lighters.

TH re-enters with thurible in left hand, genuflects, and proceeds to sedilia.

Meanwhile, D places veiled monstrance on the altar, facing north, while TH gives incense boat to OFF. OFF charges the incense WITHOUT blessing it.

At the conclusion of the motet, ALL, including AA with lighted torches, line up at the foot of the altar, proceeding single-file in this order: A-TH-SD-OFF-D-MC-A.

ALL genuflect and rise.

D proceeds to aumbry, genuflects, and retrieves the luna. MC rings carillon once. ALL kneel, except D, who unveils the monstrance and places the luna in it. D “crab-walks” down to the foot of the altar, resumes his/her place and kneels.

TH passes thurible to OFF via SD.

Choir begins O Saving Victim. ALL bow. Remaining kneeling, OFF censes the Sacrament with 3 doubles at the hymn’s doxology. After censing, ALL bow.

ALL observe a moment of silent adoration.

The first verse of the Tantum Ergo is sung, during which time ALL make a profound bow. During the second verse, OFF censes the Sacrament a second time.

While all others remain kneeling, OFF stands to intone the versicle. ALL respond. OFF chants the collect.

OFF kneels again. MC rises, retrieves humeral veil, places it on OFF’s shoulders and helps D secure it. MC kneels.

SM’s ascend the altar steps, double genuflecting; SD remains kneeling while OFF, assisted by D (who then kneels) lifts monstrance from the altar and then, holding the monstrance, turns to the people. MC rings the carillon once.

OFF blesses the congregation with the monstrance. MC rings the carillon a second time and TH censes the monstrance with 3 doubles.

OFF turns and replaces the monstrance on the altar, assisted by D. MC rings the carillon a third time.

SM’s double genuflect and “crab-walk” to the foot of the altar. MC rises and removes the humeral veil, then returns to his/her place and kneels.

OFF stands to lead the Divine Praises, while ALL others remain kneeling.


As the Choir begins chanting Psalm 117, D ascends the steps to the footpace, double genuflects, removes the luna, re-veils the monstrance, and turns it northward.

D returns the luna to the aumbry and genuflects. MC rings the carillon once.

D resumes his/her place in the line-up. At the conclusion of the Psalm, ALL stand, genuflect, turn,

and led by the TH, exit slowly and solemnly via the north door (short exit) in the following order:


Guidelines for the Bishop’s Chaplain

Whenever the bishop is present, for practical assistance and as a sign of honor, a chaplain attends the bishop. The bishop’s chaplain assists the bishop at all solemn functions at which the miter is worn and the crosier carried.

The principal responsibility of the chaplain is to make it easy for the bishop to focus on the liturgy and the congregation without having to worry about variations in local liturgical custom or juggle books, miter, crosier, etc. Your confidence in assisting the bishop will make the visitation much more relaxed and beneficial for everyone.

The master of ceremonies will outline your duties and review the order of service with you in advance so that you will be able to guide the bishop.

The chaplain greets the bishop on arrival in the sacristy and assists him or her to remove vestments from their carrying case and to vest. The chaplain should have a prayer book and hymnal ready at the throne and a service leaflet and whatever books are needed for the entrance procession ready in the sacristy.

The miter is worn when the bishop is moving, seated (including during the act of confirmation or ordination), or pronouncing absolution or giving a blessing.

The miter is removed during the Collect, Gospel, prayers of the people, confession, the eucharistic prayer, and the post communion prayer.

The bishop may remove his or her own miter, or may turn to you to remove it. Grasp it at the sides with your fingertips and remove it sideways so that you do not hit the bishop in the face with the lappets (especially if your ordination is at stake). Hold the miter on your upturned palms, with the front facing you and the lappets hanging freely. When the bishop is ready to put it on again, turn it so that the front faces down and fold the lappets up over the back so that they are out of the way. The bishop will take it from you and whip it over his or her head so that the lappets fall down the back. If the bishop will be without the miter for some time, such as at the eucharistic prayer, you may place the miter on the bishop’s throne, with the front facing the back of the chair and the lappets spread out neatly over the cushion.

The bishop will hold the crosier in procession, when pronouncing absolution or giving a blessing, and during the reading of the Gospel (although he or she will not wear the miter at that point.)

If the bishop is the ordinary of the diocese, he or she will hold the crosier with the opening of the crook facing out toward the people. If it is the suffragan bishop (or sometimes a visiting bishop, although they customarily will not carry a crosier outside of their own diocese), the opening of the crook faces back toward the bishop.

As chaplain, you will need to take the crosier from the bishop whenever it is not in use and put it in the wall hook provided. In some parishes it is customary for the bishop to rest it across the mensa of the altar after the entrance procession. When you hand the crosier to the bishop, assist with the miter first, and then hand the crosier to the bishop, who will take it in the left hand.
During the acts of confirmation and ordination when the bishop has his or her hands occupied, you will need to take the crosier from the bishop and, holding it with the opening of the crook facing inward, stand next to the bishop. Remember that you are not the bishop, even when you are holding the crosier. Keep your eyes focused on your bishop, not the congregation.

You will customarily hold the prayer book or hymnal for the bishop to sing or to lead the congregation in prayer. Stand to the bishop’s left turned slightly inward and hold the book from behind. Be careful not to let your fingers cover any part of the text. Follow along with your eyes so that you can prompt the bishop if he or she loses his or her place. Always have a service leaflet with you, and know what the action following this one will be so that you can guide the bishop appropriately.

The bishop is always last in the procession. The bishop will wear the miter and carry the crosier in all processions, whether they are solemn processions, Great Litany in procession, or a procession to the font or a shrine. Your role as chaplain is to accompany the bishop and carry whatever he or she may need at the endpoint of the procession, although the MC will also help with this. Walk slightly ahead and to the left of the bishop. The bishop may carry his or her own hymnal for the procession if there is singing, but open the book to the correct hymn before you hand it off.

If the bishop is the preacher, conduct him or her to the pulpit for the sermon. Make sure that the sermon text and a glass of water are in the pulpit prior to the service. Turn and face the pulpit as the bishop ascends and be aware of any last second needs the bishop may have. You may be seated for the sermon, but be on your feet right after its conclusion. The bishop may choose not to carry the crosier to the pulpit.

The bishop will ordinarily be the celebrant and preacher on all visitations, but on other occasions, or in the case of a visiting prelate; the bishop will preside from the throne while another priest celebrates. In this case, protocol is the same. The sacred ministers will turn and make a slight bow to the bishop whenever they go to perform an action.

The bishop may lead the prayers in the sacristy before and after the service.

The bishop customarily will bless the incense, so the thurifer goes to the bishop for laying on and the chaplain assists as the deacon would. If the bishop prefers to remain seated, the thurifer should genuflect on the left knee and hold the thurible so that the bishop may easily spoon in the incense. The bishop is censed after the celebrant but before anyone else.

The bishop blesses the deacon who will read the Gospel. The bishop is given communion after the celebrant and before the sacred ministers. The bishop will give the absolution and benediction, usually from the footpace.

The bishop, attended by his or her chaplain, follows the sacred ministers in procession. The bishop will turn and face the liturgical action. Except for celebrating at an eastward-facing altar, the bishop does not face east. The bishop is the east.

Each bishop should have his or her own chaplain and the presiding bishop may have two, in addition to the server who carries the primatial staff ahead of the PB in procession. The MC should determine order of rank and arrange seating and order of censing, etc., in advance. Normally, the ordinary will perform all the official functions, but at the ordination of a bishop, functions may be divided among bishops present.

When the service has ended, if the bishop is in the sacristy, help him or her to unvest and place all the vestments in their traveling case. Be sure that the rector or warden is present to conduct the bishop to the coffee hour or reception.

If the bishop is in a receiving line at the rear of the church, assist the bishop to remove miter, cope or chasuble, stole, take the crosier and return to the sacristy and begin to pack them up. Your job includes preventing would-be bishops from trying on the miter.

Stay calm, pay attention to the bishop, and be proud that you have served the church by allowing the bishop to carry out his or her ministry more effectively.

Solemn Mass Celebrated by the Ordinary

An extra chair is placed at the sedilia, to the left of the Subdeacon, for the Chaplain. There will be a hook in the wall nearby to hold the Bishop’s crosier.

There is a seventh candle on the gradine, signifying the presence of the Ordinary.

[If Confirmation, Reception, and/or the Reaffirmation of Vows is to be administered, the portable throne is placed in the choir, off to one side so that it is not in the way of traffic.]

An extra cushion is provided for the Chaplain to kneel during the Canon of the Mass.

The Bishop may or may not wear a cope.


The Choir will be in place before the service begins.

The MC carries the aspersorium and aspergillium.

The Thurifer carries the thurible with coals charged but no incense.

At the appointed hour, the servers and clergy enter through the North Door and proceed in silence [or to a subdued organ accompaniment] up the North aisle to the back of the church. The Bishop and Chaplain go out the West door.

TH stops at door. CR and AA go into the aisle and turn to face the door. D and SD remain outside the inner doors. The Bishop will rap on the door with his crosier. The Rector goes to the door and opens it to receive the Bishop. He then brings the Bishop into the Church.

The Bishop kneels and the Rector presents him with a small crucifix to venerate. The Bishop then rises and the MC hands him the aspersorium and aspergillum. He asperses the congregation from the back of the church (while others stand aside) and returns the implements to the MC.

The thurifer approaches to have incense laid on and blessed (kneeling on the left knee to the Bishop), then hands off the thurible to the Bishop who censes the congregation (center-left-right) from the back of the church and hands the thurible back to the thurifer.

The entrance procession now forms in the usual order except that the Bishop’s Chaplain follows the Deacon of the Mass, preceding the Bishop. The procession should go at a slightly slower pace than usual.

As the procession starts up the aisle the Choir intones the chant Ecce sacerdos magnus… (“behold a great high priest”).

All go to their accustomed places in the lineup. The Chaplain goes to the Subdeacon’s left, between the SD and the Thurifer (who should leave room). When the D has placed the Gospel Book and returned to the lineup, MC cues ALL to genuflect. The Choir begins the Introit and the Sacred Ministers ascend to the altar for the censing. All retire to their usual places.

When the Bishop is not wearing the miter, it rests on the horn of the altar opposite the Missal. The Chaplain is responsible for placing it appropriately and retrieving it when necessary. When the Chaplain must handle the Bishop’s crosier, responsibility for the miter shifts to the Deacon of the Mass, who may don a vimpa (a form of humeral veil) to handle the miter.


The Liturgy of the Word is as usual except that the Thurifer, coming to the Bishop/celebrant for incense to be laid on, kneels.

After the Gospel, the Verger escorts the Bishop to the pulpit.

[If Confirmation/Reception/Reaffirmation are to be administered, at the conclusion of the Sermon, the Crucifer moves the portable throne to the middle of the Choir, at the top of the steps (leave room for confirmands to kneel). The Deacon [clad in vimpa] bearing the miter and Chaplain bearing the crosier go to center, genuflect, and descend into the Choir, the chaplain first, to meet the Bishop at the throne. The Bishop dons the miter and sits. The Chaplain remains standing, holding the crosier, throughout.

[The Rector (or other cleric appointed) presents the confirmands et al.

[The Confirmation service proceeds as set forth in the Prayer Book.

[The Bishop bids the Peace from the throne.]

If Confirmation/Reception/Reaffirmation are not administered, after the Sermon the service proceeds per custom with the Creed, Intercessions, Confession, and Peace.


[After the Bishop exchanges the Peace with the confirmands, clergy, Chaplain, and Deacon, and anyone else who catches his fancy, the Deacon and Chaplain escort him back to the sedilia. They genuflect at the altar steps and come over to the sedilia. The Chaplain replaces the crosier in its hook. The Bishop exchanges the Peace with the rest of the altar party.]

The Offertory proceeds as usual. The Bishop may sit to lay on incense. If he is wearing a cope, he changes to chasuble – assisted by the Deacon and Subdeacon – after incense is laid on and blessed.

The Canon of the Mass, Communion, and Ablutions proceed as usual.

After the Post-Communion Prayer the Sacred Ministers move to the center on their respective steps. The D and SD split and kneel for the Pontifical Blessing. If the Bishop is not prepared to say or chant the versicles from memory, the Chaplain may come up to the predella and kneel, facing the Bishop, holding the text.

After the Blessing, the Bishop says or chants “The Lord be with you.” The congregation responds. The Deacon stands, turns, and bids the Dismissal appropriate to the season. The congregation responds again.

All rise and take their places for the departing lineup. If the Chaplain is at the predella, he descends to the sedilia to fetch the crosier.

The departing procession is as usual except for the Chaplain, who follows the Deacon and precedes the Bishop.

The Bishop leads the Angelus in the Baptistry.

Solemn Mass with a Bishop Presiding

** NOTE: Whenever the SMs are going to do something, they follow their genuflection with a very slight turn toward the Bishop and a very slight bow, as a sign of respect and courtesy to acknowledge the Bishop. **



A prie-dieu is set before the Bishop’s Throne for his use.

Sacristan should determine beforehand whether the Bishop is bringing his own vestments and if so which ones (Sacristan may have to provide either cope or mitre, or both, depending).

If the Bishop is the Ordinary of the Diocese, a seventh candle is placed at the center of the gradine and lit.


– The Bishop is the last person to enter, preceded by the Verger and the Bishop’s Chaplain, who line up behind and slightly to the left of the Gospel side half of the lineup.

– MC cues genuflection. ALL genuflect; Bishop retires to the throne, the Chaplain to chair at his right.


– TH proceeds to centre, meets As; A/TH/A genuflect together; TH goes to Bishop to have incense charged and blessed. TH gives boat to the Bishop’s Chaplain. TH kneels on the left knee while incense is charged and blessed by the Bishop, then goes to his/her place in Gospel lineup.

– Deacon goes to Bishop for blessing of Gospel Book.

– At conclusion of Gospel, SD proceeds to Bishop, who kisses book where SD indicates. SD, holding closed book on chest, crosses to sedilia after rest of Gospel procession has returned to their places and Bishop has started down to pulpit.


– The Bishop pronounces the Absolution.


– TH leads TT from sacristy to centre. TH and TT genuflect together; TH goes to Bishop for charging and blessing of incense, as above. TH leads TT to rear of church as usual.


– Deacon censes Celebrant as usual and then goes to Bishop and censes him with 3 doubles. Deacon then censes Bishop’s Chaplain**, then returns to opposite side to return thurible to TH. Censing pattern resumes as usual (TH censes D and SD from side, then MC from centre). (**NOTE: if chaplain is a lay person, he/she is not censed separately; chaplain and MC are censed as a group.)


– After Post-Communion Prayer, SMs remain at Epistle horn, turn to face the Bishop, and kneel on their steps. Bishop goes to High Altar and faces people to give the blessing. After blessing, Bishop retires to throne; ALL stand, SMs go to centre and D and SD go up to top step to flank CEL. D turns and sings dismissal, then turns back to face Altar. SMs to kiss Altar as usual, turn, and descend to pavement for lineup.


– Same order as at Entrance, with Bishop at end preceded by Chaplain.

Appendix: The Litany in Procession in the Presence of a Bishop

If the Bishop is the Ordinary of the Diocese, a seventh candle is placed in the center of the gradine and lit.

1. When a Bishop is Presiding

At the Entrance, the Bishop is the last person to enter, preceded by the Verger and the Chaplain.

The Bishop goes directly to his throne.

Without reverencing, ALL take their places as usual except for TH who stands to the left of the SD in order to be nearest the Bishop.

At MC’s cue, ALL except A CR A genuflect.

TH goes directly to the Bishop. TH gives boat to Bishop’s chaplain and genuflects on the left knee while the Bishop charges and blesses the incense. TH then closes thurible, rises, goes to the center, genuflects and goes down to choir floor to take his/her place to the west of A CR A, facing altar.

During the Litany, the Bishop is the last person in the procession, preceded by the Chaplain.

At the Kyrie, the altar is censed as usual. CEL hands off thurible to D who censes him as usual, then, retaining the thurible, goes to center and censes the Bishop with three doubles. D then hands off thurible to TH who genuflects and exits as usual.

At the Gospel Procession, TH proceeds to center, meets AA as usual and genuflects on MC’s cue. AA split and TH goes to Bishop, as described above, to have incense charged and blessed.

Deacon goes to Bishop for blessing of Gospel Book.

At conclusion of Gospel, SD brings Gospel Book to Bishop, who kisses it. SD, holding closed book on chest, crosses to sedilia after rest of Gospel procession has returned to their places and Bishop has started down to pulpit.

At the Offertory, TH leads TT from sacristy. TT take places below altar rail, TH in gate. MC cues genuflection. TH goes to Bishop for charging and blessing of incense, as above. Rest of Offertory procession is as usual.

For the Offertory censing, D censes CEL as usual, then retains thurible and goes to center, faces Bishop and censes him with three doubles. D then hands off thurible to TH who censes D and SD as usual. TH then censes Bishop’s Chaplain and MC, in that order, if Chaplain is in Holy Orders. If the Chaplain is a lay person, he/she is censed after the MC. The rest of the Offertory censing pattern is as usual.

After the Post-Communion Prayer, SMs remain at Epistle Horn, turn to face the Bishop, and genuflect. Bishop ascends to High Altar and faces the people to give the blessing. After the blessing, the Bishop retires to the throne. SMs go to center, split, and CEL faces the people and sings the salutation. D faces the people and sings the Dismissal. SD and D ascend to top step to reverence Altar as usual.

The retiring procession is in the same order as the entrance, with Bishop at the end preceded by Verger and Chaplain.

2. When a Bishop is Celebrating

When the Bishop is Celebrant at Mass, there is no Chaplain. The MC and Deacon of the Mass will execute those functions. (See Guidelines for Bishop’s Chaplain for instructions regarding the disposition and handling of miter and crosier.) The Bishop will sit in the Celebrant’s chair at the sedilia rather than in the Throne.

Without reverencing, ALL take their places as usual.

At MC’s cue, ALL except A CR A genuflect.

TH goes to the Bishop. TH gives boat to D and genuflects on the left knee while the Bishop charges and blesses the incense. TH then closes thurible, rises, goes to the center, genuflects and goes down to choir floor to take his/her place to the west of A CR A, facing altar.

All other ceremonials are as usual; when the Bishop is celebrating the only particular mark of honor given is the thurifer’s genuflection when incense is laid on and blessed.

At the conclusion of the Mass the Bishop sings the pontifical blessing from the top step while D and SD split and kneel on their steps as usual.

When Solemn Mass is “Short Staffed”

These notes are provided in case we find ourselves with less than a full complement of servers. In this situation, the Acolytes will double as Torches at the Offertory, so that the complete roster consists of [CEL, D,] SD, MC, TH, AA, and CR.

ALL enter through the north door in the usual order. In the absence of TT, MC immediately follows CM(s). The entrance procession is as usual, up the north aisle and down the center aisle. The lineup at the altar steps is the same except for the absence of TT below the rail. ALL genuflect at the conclusion of the hymn and not before! The Choir begins the Introit, the SMs ascend to the altar, and the MC, TH, and AA proceed single file to the credence. AA put up their candles and TH brings thurible up to CEL for the Introit censing.

The Mass proceeds according to custom until the Offertory, at which time the AAs pick up their candles and go to meet TH when he/she enters to have incense laid on – the same procedure as at the beginning of the Gospel procession lineup. AAs and TH genuflect, but AAs remain in place while TH goes to have incense laid on – they do not split, as at the Gospel.

TH has incense laid on and returns to place between AAs. They genuflect on MC’s cue, turn and depart the usual way, through the Choir, up the south aisle through the Baptistry, led by TH.

When the Offertory is brought up, following the reception of the gifts by SMs, AA, TH, and Processors genuflect at MC’s cue as usual. Processors exit via Smoke Sacristy. TH enters via side as usual. AAs come together at center opening in altar rail and, without genuflecting again, proceed single file to credence and put up their candles, and immediately pick up water cruet and ascend to side step to receive offering bason from SD and hand off water for commingling.

The Mass continues according to custom. AAs will count Communions at the High Altar – not including themselves or other servers, who are counted by the MC – and CR will count at All Saints, as usual.

Solemn Mass with Orchestra


• Usual Solemn Mass setup [plus 9:00 AM chalice and ciborium on credence to be used at communion station in the Lady Chapel]
• Chasuble and three maniples on epistle side altar rail.
• Christ the King vestments and frontal.


Sedilia: D, CEL. SD, Cr2, [Tympanist]
Credence: A, (credence), A, MC
Bishop’s Throne & Aumbry: Th2, T, (throne), T, (aumbry), Cr1
Epistle side clergy stalls: Verger to usual stall, choir cleric to Rector’s Stall, other assisting priest to middle stall


• A/Cr1/A stay on floor and pivot – then wheel in after all have entered
• Line-up:
– Th2, SD, CEL, D, Th1, MC
– T/Cr2/T enter following choir clergy and wheel back against front Gospel side pew to allow SMs to pass, then wheel forward to stand perpendicular to choir screen on floor at Gospel side of stairs into the choir, so as to be ready to wheel forward into the procession after the choir clergy.
– Choir clergy and Verger to Epistle side clergy stalls.
• After incense is laid on, Th1 go to floor, below A/Cr1/A, Th2 to floor next to T/Cr2/T.


• After bidding, all wait to genuflect until after hymn introduction, then turn, and process according to custom.
• SMs proceed single file through Choir, join at top of Choir steps – on returning, resume single file at top steps
• Line-up at conclusion of procession
– Altar steps: A, Th2, SD, CEL, D, Th1, MC, A
• – Back line-up: Cr2, T,T, Cr1.(Crucifers place crosses in holders in choir screen)
• At conclusion of hymn, all genuflect – TT go to sacristy, deposit torches, and re-enter through altar rail opening at Bishop’s Throne
• Note: As is our custom with all festal Masses, there is no Introit, Opening Acclamation or Collect for Purity


• SMs ascend steps, kiss altar, cense – then go to center-I to stand for remainder of Kyrie


• SMs remain in center-I for opening choral measures – at MC’s cue, SMs turn right (in parallel), descend steps, turn and sit at sedilia for remainder of Gloria – all others sit


• At conclusion of Gloria, all stand on MC’s cue
• SMs go to center of pavement, form center I – split for bidding, turn right to form straight I at epistle horn for Collect of the Day – MC puts Missal on altar
• After CEL chants Collect, SMs go to sedilia, as usual
• Everything proceeds as usual until conclusion of epistle


• At conclusion of epistle, SD moves book, but then goes to sedilia and remains standing
• MC cues all to stand for gradual and tract
• At MC’s cue – at beginning of verse 3 of the Golden Sequence – Th enters and all proceeds as usual for Gospel, homily, etc.


• At conclusion of sermon, all stand – SMs remain standing at sedilia
• After opening measures of Creed – at MC’s cue – all sit
• At MC’s cue, all stand, and genuflect for the Incarnatus
• At MC’s cue, all stand and resume seats
• Prayers, Confession, Absolution, and Peace proceed as usual


• After the Peace, Th leads in TT via Bishop’s Throne altar rail opening At MC’s cue, Th and TT genuflect, and Th proceeds to sedilia, where incense is laid on
• Procession is executed as usual, except that at its conclusion, Th, TT and processors form above altar rail – SMs stand on bottom altar step (not pavement) to receive the gifts
• After the customary genuflection, processors exit, TT, move forward and rest torches on bottom step for the conclusion of hymn, Sursum Corda, Proper Preface, Sanctus, and Benedictus
• Censing sequence: Th censes SMs as usual, goes to center behind SD, censes MC, servers on Gospel side, servers on epistle side – then proceeds directly to top of Choir steps (between Verger and Crucifer’s stalls), turns, censes clergy in hierarchical order, then Gospel side of Choir, then epistle side of Choir – then turns, descends steps to floor and censes people with full swings as usual – the rest proceeds as usual


• All stand in their customary places


• The Mass proceeds as usual


• All stand, TT exit, deposit their torches and return as usual
• All servers receive communion during Agnus Dei:Priest and CM go to Gospel steps, TT receive in place at Bishop’s throne – Clergy, Verger go to epistle steps, while MC and AAs receive in place
• Distribution of elements:
– All Saints: Priest (ciborium), Crucifer1 (chalice), Torchbearer (counting)
– Lady Chapel: Priest (ciborium), Verger (chalice), Acolyte (counting)


• As usual

• After the Blessing, SMs turn and go to the sedilia, where celebrant is assisted to change into cope.
• TT go to smoke sacristy to retrieve torches (leave them lighted after communion.) On MC’s cue, TT lead Th1+2 in and go to usual positions above rail. MC cues TT and Th’s to genuflect, Th’s go to sedilia to have thuribles charged, and then go back to center, genuflect, and go below rail.
• Cr’s go to stand (without crosses) in front of choir stalls. Face east.
• Led by A1, SM’s , MC and A2 line up at foot of altar steps. Te Deum begins Th’s swinging thuribles lavishly.


• Upon conclusion of Te Deum, MC cues ALL to genuflect.
• As organ accompaniment begins, ALL turn to face the congregation. Cr’s retrieve crosses. AAs go to join Cr1 – then A/Cr1/A lead procession out the long way.
• Verger and choir clergy follow A/Cr1/A.
• TT go to join Cr2.
• MC and SMs follow.
• Thurifers exit to smoke sacristy.

Solemn Processions

The following notes refer to most occasions for which a Solemn Procession is fitting, e.g., Feast Days. Special days which include Processions, such as the Litany in Procession, Palm Sunday, or Corpus Christi, are not covered here.

Incense is not laid on before Mass.

CEL and choir clergy wear copes.

ALL enter the short way via the north door in silence, or while the organ prelude is concluding, led by TH:


TH proceeds to altar steps on the right. A CR A, once they reach the choir floor, wheel to the right and remain standing against the south choir stall until CEL passes, at which time they wheel out to stand abreast facing the altar. TTTT take places outside the rail standing in front of the spaces between the medallions, facing the altar. MC, SD, D and CEL take their customary places at the altar steps. At MC’s cue, ALL except A CR A genuflect.

TH gives incense boat to D and opens thurible so that CEL may charge and bless incense. TH closes thurible, goes to center below rail, genuflects, and proceeds down to choir west of A CR A, facing altar.

D turns to congregation to bid the procession. After the response, D faces altar again.

Organist plays introduction to the processional hymn. This will often include a fanfare as well as the hymn play-through. As the play-through concludes, MC cues ALL to genuflect. As ALL except SD, D, and TTTT turn to face congregation, SD and D change places by going behind CEL, SD ascending a step higher than D. SD and D take edges of CEL’s cope. TTTT face across.

TH leads procession. A CR A should anticipate 360’s in center aisle and leave enough room for TH to swing freely.

At MC’s cue to innermost Gospel-side T, inner TT meet in center, turn to congregation and process out, followed similarly by outer TT.

ALL process in order up center (nave) aisle, right at the west door of the church, down north aisle, right across nave, up south aisle through Baptistery, and down center (nave) aisle to chancel. TH may do 360’s in center aisle and across the front of the church, but nowhere else during the procession.

In chancel, ALL take their pre-procession positions. At MC’s cue, ALL genuflect. As SMs ascend altar steps, all others go to their customary places, except TTTT who exit to sacristy to put up their torches and return to stools by Bishop’s throne.

SMs will most likely cense altar at this point, unless there is not enough hymn remaining in which case they will cense at the Gloria.

Mass proceeds as usual. When Procession concludes, CR collects copes from Choir clergy and discreetly removes them to sacristy. CR will also retrieve CEL’s cope when he changes into chasuble at Offertory.

Seasonal Variations to Solemn Mass

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Altar censed during Gloria in Excelsis.

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

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

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

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

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

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

During Lent:
Additional Preparations as above for Processions.

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

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

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

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

Cense altar during Kyrie.

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

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

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

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

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

Entrance Procession is as usual.

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

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

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

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

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

CEL changes vestments at Offertory, as with a Procession.

The Easter Dismissal is used throughout Paschaltide.

On Rogation Sunday:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Solemn Mass with Baptism

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

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

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

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

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

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

MC goes to “stage left”.

SD goes to stage left.

D goes to stage right.

CEL goes to center.

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

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

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

The Confession of Sin is omitted.

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

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

Baptismal Party
[choir clergy]
[ Verger]

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

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

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

[choir clergy]

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

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

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

9AM Mass: Summer Customary


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

Celebrant (CEL).

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

Master of Ceremonies (MC)

Chalice Minister (a layman) (CM)

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

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

Set Up

Candles lit by 8:30 AM

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

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

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

Intercessions book on the little stand next to the MC.

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

Water in place on the altar and in the pulpit.

Lectionary transferred to Lectern after 8 AM mass

Entrance & Liturgy of the Word:

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

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

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

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

–The Psalm is announced by CEL and read responsively.

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

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

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

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

All sit during sermon.

Creed, Prayers of the People, Confession and Absolution

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

They kneel in place for Confession and absolution.

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

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

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

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

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

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

MC gets water, Lavabo and towel for ablutions.


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

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

MC goes and stands next to CM.

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

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

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

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

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

CC and MC assist CEL wiping out vessels, etc.

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

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

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

Closing Hymn:

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

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

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

Cleanup is as usual with MC removing the veiled chalice.