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The Deacon and Subdeacon having preceded the celebrant as far as the sanctuary, ascend with him, the Deacon on his right, the Subdeacon on his left. They pause and stand in humble adoration before the steps of the altar. When the celebrant advances to the centre of the altar, the Deacon ascends to his right hand, the Subdeacon to his left. When the Introit is sung the Priest goes to the Book on the north-side (ad latus Evangelii) while the Deacon stands on his right on the second step, and the Subdeacon on the right of the Deacon on the third step. At the recitation of the Ten Command­ments the Deacon passes to his step on the south-side (ad latus Epistolae) and the Subdeacon to his step behind the Deacon, to his right, both standing facing the east, with hands joined before the breast—the usual position of the hands of Assistant Ministers. They remain in this position till the Collects, when they stand in rotation behind the celebrant. At the reading of the Epistle the Deacon moves the celebrant’s Book to the epistle corner, and stands on his right to serve the Book whilst the celebrant reads the Epistle secreto, the Subdeacon passes to his own step on the Epistle side, an acolyte hands him a Service-book, and he reads the Epistle to the faithful. The Epistle ended, the Subdeacon moves the celebrant’s Book to the gospel side nearest to the midst of the altar, whilst the Deacon advances to the place for reading the Gospels on the second step at the north-side; the Subdeacon then receives a Service-book from an acolyte near the credence, and takes it to the Deacon, who reads the Gospel, and holds the Book before him, the upper part


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resting on his forehead.* The Gospel is most correctly read towards the north, but most usually towards the weft. The Gospel ended, the Subdeacon delivers the Book to an acolyte, and as the celebrant begins the Creed the Deacon stands behind him and the Subdeacon behind the Deacon; after the Intonations they stand on each side the celebrant, all facing the east. They genuflect, together with the celebrant, at the “was incarnate .... made man.”

N.B.—See Parr. 23, 24, 25, 26, 27.

During the Offertory the Deacon and Subdeacon stand on their respective steps, facing eastwards. When the alms are brought to the sanctuary, an acolyte will receive them in the alms-dish, (which the Subdeacon, having re­ceived from the Deacon, will have delivered to him at the commencement of the Offertory,) and will hand them to the Subdeacon, who hands them to the Deacon, to give them to the Priest to offer. After they are offered the Deacon will remove the alms-dish from the altar and hand it to the Sub­deacon, who will give it to an acolyte to place upon the credence.

N.B.—When, before the Offertory, the persons appointed to collect the alms come to the sanctuary for the alms-bags, it is the Subdeacon’s place to deliver them to the acolytes to distribute.

At the Exhortation and Invitatory (if read by the celebrant) they remain standing facing the east (see Par. 28.) When the Deacon makes the confession they kneel. They both kneel during the Absolution. They then stand in their Normal Position on their respective steps till the preface, when they stand in rotation behind the celebrant. At the singing of the Sanctus the Deacon passes to the right, the Subdeacon to the left of the celebrant. At the Prayer of Humble Access they kneel with him before the Altar. At the Prayer of Consecration the Deacon goes to the left of celebrant to serve him with the Book, the Subdeacon stands behind the celebrant. If, however, another cleric (habited in alb and girdle) serves the book at this part of the function, the Deacon will stand a little to the right of the celebrant. In either case during the Consecration proper, the Deacon (after the Service-book is arranged) will kneel at the right of the Priest, rising to raise the chasuble at the lifting up of the Blessed Sacrament, and to cover and uncover the chalice. The Subdeacon during this time, i.e., after the first Consecration, kneels on the lowest step behind the celebrant. After Consecration and adoration, the Deacon and Sub­deacon stand, the latter ascends to the left of the celebrant, and the former to his right, and uncovers the chalice. They both stand inclining before the Altar, whilst the Priest is communicating. They then kneel on the edge of the upper step to be communicated.†

* If the book is placed on a lectern the Sub­deacon stands in front of it facing the Deacon.

† In communicating the people it is an ancient custom for the Subdeacon to follow the Deacon (who bears the chalice) with a vessel of wine and water in his right hand and a purificator in his left. The wine and water is for the faithful to drink after communicating, that no particle of the Blessed Sacrament may adhere to the teeth or gums, the purificator is carried in the left hand,[1]1 as a badge of office.

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During the communion of the faithful the Subdeacon* had better stand upon his step in his place, with his hands joined before his breast fronting the people. At the “Veiling of the Blessed Sacrament,” (see Par. 41,) an acolyte hands the linen veil to the Subdeacon, who gives it to the Deacon. They then take their places, the Deacon on the right, the Subdeacon on the left of the celebrant, in the midst of the Altar facing the east. The Priest sometimes deputes the Deacon to veil the Blessed Sacrament. The Deacon and Sub­deacon then retire to their own places and remain standing. At the Blessing they ascend to the edge of the platform where they kneel. Immediately after the Blessing they stand, and the Deacon passes to the left, the Subdeacon to the right hand of the celebrant for the consumption and purification, (see Par. 48.)

Wherever the celebrant sits, the Deacon and Subdeacon raise the chasuble over the back of the feat, or so arrange it that it be not crumpled in the sedilia.

The seat for the Sacred Ministers should be a bench covered with green baize —with purple in Lent and Advent—and with black on public fasts et de missis de requiem.

N.B.—The Sacred Ministers having occasion to pass from one side of the Altar to the other, before Consecration bow reverently in the centre, but after the Consecration they genuflect at the celebrant’s side. They must observe never to place their hands on the Altar.

N.B.—After Solemn Service, when the chalice is left on the credence, the Sacristan will be careful to come for it and replace it in its place in the sacristy. At Plain Service the Priest carries the chalice back to the sacristy himself. See Parr. 48, 78.


In many churches there are only two clerics; in this case at Solemn Service, it is proper for the Deacon to do the Subdeacon’s part as well as his own, the celebrant confining himself to his own part. A layman, however, in a cassock and surplice (without, of course, the tunic and maniple), may ad as Subdeacon, so as to put one person on each side of the Priest. The Deacon could in this case read both Epistle and Gospel; (see note † Par. 20,) the

* The Subdeacon may carry a second chalice if necessary, but this will hardly, at least ought not to, be the case at the midday Solemn Cele­bration, as the faithful should as a rule com­municate at the early Low Celebration that they may do so fasting, in accordance with the inva­riable practice of the Universal Church.

† The reason of this is—that no genuflection is to take place till god is present. The only ex­ception being at the “was incarnate .... made man,” in the Creed.

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layman holding the book of the Gospels and Epistles whilst he is doing so. See II. pp. 169, 170.

To this Service only one acolyte is permitted, according to the Paris cere­monial. When, however, a layman acts as Subdeacon, it is perhaps allowable to have two acolytes. They will wear the cotta, and the layman acting as Sub­deacon, a long surplice with richly-embroidered collar, the surplice may have a border of red or blue, and may be fringed with lace.


A quarter of an hour before Service the two acolytes, who should be if possible, of equal height, having vested themselves in cassock and cotta, go to the Altar and prepare what is needed; they then assist the Deacon and Sub­deacon to vest. They light the candles on the Altar, (unless this function is performed by the Sacristan, or by some other fit person appointed to do it,) the one on the one side, the other on the other. If only one acolyte light them he begins on the Epistle-side; in extinguishing them he begins on the Gospel-side.

N.B.—A reed with a wax taper and an extinguisher attached to the top should always be kept for this especial purpose.

In the procession to the Altar the acolytes precede the Deacon and Sub­deacon. They walk abreast with heads uncovered, (see infra V. note §,) both hands joined before the breast. The first acolyte on the right, the second on the left.

On reaching the steps of the Altar, they divide for the celebrant and the Sacred Ministers to pass between them, and whilst the Priest and Deacon and Subdeacon ascend to the platform and take their places before the midst of the Altar, the acolytes kneel facing the east, the one on the Gospel the other on the Epistle-side (see frontispiece). At the singing of the Introit they stand, of course facing the Altar. After the Introit they take their places by the credence, and stand laterally, i.e., facing the north, if the credence be on the south-side. They stand throughout the function, except at the Confession, at the Prayer of Humble Access and at the Consecration proper. They stand during the Communion.

At the reading of the Epistle, if the Sacred Ministers wear the planeta (folded chasuble), (see supra I. p. 165,) whilst the celebrant is singing the last Collect, the second acolyte will divest the Subdeacon of his; and will help him to resume it after the Epistle is read. He will perform the fame function for the Deacon, before the reading of the Gospel. The Gospel ended, the first acolyte assists to put on the large stole which is worn over the ordinary one. After Communion of the Clergy the first acolyte divests him of the large stole, and the


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second will vest him with the planeta. When the Deacon is reading the Gospel, the acolytes stand on each side the Subdeacon, the first on his right, the second on his left, so as to form a straight line in front of the Deacon (see supra II. pp. 169, 170). During the reading of the Gospel they do not even bow the head,* if the name of jesus occurs, but remain immovable. The Gospel ended, they return to the centre of the sanctuary or the choir, three or four paces distant from the front step, bow# and return to the credence, where they stand junctis manibus. They turn to the east at the Creed, and genuflect when the celebrant and Sacred Ministers do.

When the Sacred Ministers sit down the acolytes raise the dalmatic and tunic, and arrange them so that they be not injured; during this function if they have occasion to pass before the celebrant, they make an inclination.

During the Sermon they sit on stools upon the Altar steps on the Epistle-side.

They are communicated on the floor of the sanctuary, after the Clergy in surplices. But this is not desirable at midday Solemn Service. And indeed they will most probably have communicated previously.

At the Blessing they kneel in their places by the credence laterally.

They rise immediately after the Blessing to fulfil their office at the consumption and purifications. (See Par. 48.)

N.B.—Acolytes hold their hands before their breasts whenever the celebrant sings or reads; on all other occasions they have their arms crossed and laid on the breast. When one hand is occupied, the other should be laid on the breast.

In choir, when a reverence is to be made, it is usual to make it first on the Gospel-side, then on the Epistle-side, always commencing with the highest dignitary.


At Plain Service (i.e., when the Service is said) the celebrant is assisted by one server.

The server‡ should be vested in cassock and cotta§ at least a quarter of an hour before Service.

He will assist at the lavatory, ||when the Priest washes his hands before vesting. He will then stand on the left of the Priest and assist him to vest more solito. He should be careful to see that the alb hangs equally on all sides, about an inch from the ground; and that the stole is crossed in the middle

* This is the only exception to the otherwise invariable rule of doing reverence to that Holy Name.

# There is no genuflection before consecration. See note f, p. 171.

‡ In old times the Server was usually a cleric.

§ Servers never use the birretta or cap of any kind.

|| Every sacristy ought to be provided with a lavatory.

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near the lower part of the neck, and folded so as to remain covered by the chasuble, but so that the ends may be visible below.

The chasuble should be so arranged that the Priest may put it on himself; yet, if he desire it, the Server may vest him with it.

N.B.—Before Service he will have placed the elements and cruets, &c., on the credence, and have lighted the Altar-lights, if this be not done by the Sacristan.

In leaving the sacristy he will precede the Priest and carry the Service Book, taking care not to displace the markers, which the Priest has placed therein. He will carry the book with both hands, straight before the breast, the opening towards his left. He will bow and stand before the lowest step on the Gospel-side when the Priest ascends to the midst of the Altar, and will receive his birretta from him as he passes. He will first place the Priest’s birretta on the credence, and then place the Service Book closed on the stand, on the north-side, (it should be placed cornerwise with its back to the north-east,) with the opening of the book towards the chalice, and in doing so should avoid, if possible, standing on the platform of the Altar.

The Server during the Introit kneels (or stands*) upon the platform on the right of the Priest, for after the celebrant has ascended the platform it is permitted the Server to kneel on it.

N.B.—When the Book is on the Gospel-side the Server kneels† on the platform, or stands below it, of course fronting the east, on the Epistle-side of the celebrant; when the Book is on the Epistle-side the Server kneels on the Gospel-side. When the Priest is in the midst of the Altar the fame rule holds, and the Server is on the Epistle-side. During the Sermon, if there be one, the Server sits on a stool upon the Altar-steps near the credence.

Throughout the Service the Server should be in uniformity with the Priest in making the sign of the cross, bowing, &c., and he should observe never to leave the Priest alone at the Altar without some urgent reason.

At the Offertory, the Server will bring the elements from the credence as directed in Par. 56, and place the alms-dish on the credence after it has been offered.

The Server may stand till the Prayer of Humble Access, unless the Priest has deputed him to fay the Confession, which he does kneeling before the lowest step in front of the midst of the Altar.

At the Prayer of Humble Access the Server kneels immediately behind the Priest. At the Prayer of Consecration he kneels throughout on the platform, not behind the Priest, but a little on the Epistle-side. At the elevation he will take the chasuble in his left hand, just lifting it when the Priest elevates the paten and the chalice; when the Priest genuflects the chasuble is not held.

* Whenever he stands it is on the lower step

† The Server should not use a cushion to kneel on.

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At the Elevation he will bow down in profound adoration. The Server does not rise till after the Communion of the Priest.

During the Communion of the faithful the Server will stand at the credence laterally.

When the Priest is about to veil the Blessed Sacrament, the Server brings the linen veil from the credence, and kneels in his place on the platform on the right of the celebrant as before. He will stand on the lower step facing the east at the Gloria in excellis, (see note #, Par. 43,) and kneel on the edge of the platform on the Gospel side, when the Priest gives the Blessing. Imme­diately after the Blessing he rises and goes to the credence to have the cruets in readiness, and proceeds as in Par. 78, to discharge his office at the consumption and purifications.

When the celebrant has finished and descended to the pavement with the cha­lice, the server will take his birretta from the credence and hand it to him with his right hand, in such a manner that it may be conveniently taken. He will then take the Service-book from the desk and precede the Priest to the sacristy.

On reaching the sacristy the server will stand on the right, and will step a little aside, and as the Priest passes him will make a reverence. Having laid aside the Service-book, he will stand on the left of the Priest and assist him to unvest. In receiving the alb, he will be careful not to trail it on the ground. If the Priest should wash his hands, as is most likely, the server will assist at the lavatory. When all is done, he will make a final reverence to the Priest. He will then, with the proper extinguisher, return to the altar and put out the candles, first the light on the gospel side, then the one on that of the epistle. They should always be put out with the extinguisher, and never left smoking, as is often the case when they are put out by the breath. The lights are sometimes extinguished before the server leaves the altar with the Priest.

N.B.—(a.) Whenever the server passes the altar, he will bow to the cross, crucifix, or picture of our lord jesus christ on the Cross.

(b.) After the consecration, in passing before the Blessed Sacrament, the server will be especially careful always to genuflect with great reverence.

(g.) The server will see when the Service Book is on the stand at the gospel side that it be placed corner-wife, so that the Priest faces north-east. When it is on the epistle side, it should be placed square with the altar, so that the Priest faces eastwards. When the Priest takes his position finally at the midst of the altar at the creed, the Book is placed a little on the Gospel side of the centre of the altar, only just so much slanted as to enable the Priest to read easily as he stands with his face due east.

After the celebration is over, if the sacristan be not at hand, the server will carefully put by the sacred vessels, washing them at the piscina; he will then


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carefully dry them with a linen cloth, cleaning them afterwards with a piece of chamois leather, then with a clean linen cloth; he will carefully fold and put by the vestments, and place the ordinary cover of green silk on the mensa of the altar. (See p. 6, note *.) This is rather the duty of the sacristan than the server. But in country churches, the server will not unusually have to fulfil this office. He should remember that the vessels have touched christ, that the sacred vestments have been very near to him, that he himself “has been with jesus”—and so he will perform these pious duties with a reverent cheerfulness and an earned care, doing them with all his might as unto the lord and not unto man, and he will find his service acceptable to our lord, and will be commended by His Priest, when he sees the vessels of the sanctuary so lustrous and pure, the vestments unsullied and their embroidery uninjured.

N.B.—When there are great numbers to communicate, a Priest (or Priests) could put a surplice and stole (pendent) over his cassock and leave his place in the choir for the ministering of the chalice. This is quite necessary when there are many communicants. The Priest (or Priests) may if he please wear the surplice from the beginning of the service, so long as he keeps his place in choir and does not advance to the sanctuary, till it is the time of com­munion, if he is going to communicate, or if not, he will receive the chalice, (or chalices,) from the Priest to communicate the faithful.


When the service is sung without deacon or subdeacon, two servers are required.

The first server takes the right, the second the left of the Priest. (See supra, Directions for Servers.)

N.B.—At the offertory the first server will bring the plate with the bread to the Priest, the second will bring the stand with the cruets, (see Par. 56.) On no account must they either place the bread on the paten or corporal, or pre­pare the chalice. The Priest has no authority to order them to perform the peculiar functions of the Deacon and Subdeacon, which would be sacrilege.

In many country churches this is the only fort of Solemn Service attainable; and it is well suited for a small village church. It is right in such a case at the early celebration (the Low Service) to have one of the choir-boys to act as Server in cassock and cotta. At the midday Solemn Celebration—should the choir wear the alb and scarlet girdle—the two Servers had better wear the fame dress as the choir. Perhaps in any case at Solemn Service in a village church the alb and girdle is a better dress for the Servers than the cotta.

The choir will of course be present to sing the whole Service.


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More than one chalice not to be placed upon the Altar. The mode of using a second chalice if necessity requires.

When there are a very large number of communicants the celebrant had better consecrate several chalices, viz., a small one for the Priest’s own chalice, and two or more large ones for the communion of the faithful. In some churches it is the custom to consecrate, in addition to the mixed chalice, the cruet* (or flagon) of wine, which is placed upon the Altar at the Offertory.† He communicates himself, the Sacred Ministers, and the assistant Priest (if there be one) from the Priest’s chalice. For the subsequent communion of the Clergy in surplices, choir, and the faithful generally, an acolyte brings from the credence a second ciborium or a paten, or both, and another chalice or chalices. The celebrant supplies the former from the ciborium or the corporal, (see Par. 25,) the latter from the consecrated cruet. If the chalices fail in the course of administration, the celebrant replenishes them from the cruet, and the ciboriums or patens from the large ciborium on the Altar or from the corporal.

Sometimes the wine is consecrated in the cruet alone, and the Priest’s and other chalices are supplied from the cruet at the time of communion. The cruet will be “prepared” with water in the fame manner as a chalice at the Offertory.

The first usage is to be preferred.

Calices plures in altari non ponendi.—a.d. 731, Greg. III. ad Bonifacium, Tom. ii. Conciliorum, constituit, ne in Missarum solemniis, duo vel tres calices in altari ponerentur, quoniam id parum Christi institutioni conveniret, qui de uno et eodem calice omnes communicasset. Unde colligere licet, sanguinem non fuisse sacratum in calicibus ministerialibus, sed in alio quodam, et ex illo deinde transfusum in ministeriales, ad ufum populi.” Jo. Ste. Durantus de Ritibus Ecclesiae. Lib. i. cap. vii. sec. 5, p. 70. Paris, 1632.

This manner of communicating large numbers of the faithful in an expedi­tious manner should always be adopted at the early Plain Service on the great festivals, &c. (se supra p. 176, V.) It ought not to be necessary at the mid-day Solemn Celebration, when it is supposed there will be fewer communicants, though a larger congregation; for the faithful, having for the most part com­municated at the early celebration, will be present simply for purposes of worship and Eucharistic adoration.

* “And here he is to lay his hand upon every vessel (be it chalice or flagon) in which there is any wine to be consecrated.” Rubric, Book of Common Prayer.

† A few drops of water can be poured into it from the water cruet when it is placed on the Altar.

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[1] It was formerly used to cleanse the mouth of the communicants.