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.
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