Project Canterbury


Alcuin Club Tracts




THE Alcuin Club Tracts are issued under the supervision of the Committee, but those whose names appear at the end of the preface are alone responsible for the contents of this Directory.
In the present instance the compilers have not attempted to put forward their own preferences, either as a group or as individuals. They have simply endeavoured to embody in a practical form suggestions received from a number of members of the Committee.



LONDON: 28 Margaret Street, Oxford Circus, W. I
OXFORD: 9 High Street
MILWAUKEE, U.S.A.: The Morehouse Publishing Co.  


THE Committee of the Alcuin Club has constantly received requests for a simple guide to public worship, which shall be suited to the varying needs of different parishes, and shall provide those clergy who have neither the time nor the opportunity for more extended study with something on which they can rely, as combining what is practical with faithfulness to the Catholic tradition as it has been received by the Church of England. This little book is an attempt to meet these requests.

The principles underlying the work are as follows:—The Book of Common Prayer is the English rite. As such it has an absolute claim on our obedience. No doubt in many directions it is capable of improvement. Proposals for its revision or for an alternative use are before the Church. But until such time as these are adopted by proper authority, as far as the text of the services goes, it must be accepted as sufficient. Yet the Prayer Book is not only a ritual, it also contains ceremonial directions. Wherever the rubrics are clear and practicable to-day, we have treated them with a similar respect. But it is plain that the book can never have been intended to be a complete directory of the way in which the services were to be conducted. As in all the older liturgical books many matters were left to custom and tradition. If therefore full directions are required, the rubrics must be supplemented. The sources from which this additional matter is drawn are twofold, I. Customs which have accompanied its use since its compilation in so far as they are not due to slackness or ignorance. 2. Practices of an older date which were familiar to those who compiled the Book of Common Prayer from a number of the ancient Uses established at different centres in this country. Where these latter have been incorporated, care has always been taken to follow English custom. Nothing has been inserted from a mere love of antiquarianism. Utility and edification have alone been sought.

As the object of the book is purely practical, it has not been thought desirable to overload it with appeals to authorities. Those who wish to go more deeply into the matter will find the justification of what is here suggested in the other publications of the Alcuin Club, the volumes of the Henry Bradshaw Society, and that valuable work The Parson’s Handbook, which fashioned into one sustained and impressive argument the devoted labours of so many of the first scholars of the English Church.

The compilers recognize how various are the circumstances of different churches. In many, e.g., the complete ceremonial of a solemn celebration of the Eucharist is impossible, and even undesirable. But wherever it is celebrated the full amount of dignity and decency that can be achieved should be aimed at. They have therefore provided a simpler form, which many parish priests will, it is hoped, find convenient. And even where more elaborate use prevails, there are points where differences of custom may well be allowed. And so they have in some instances suggested alternatives. Absolute uniformity is neither Catholic nor reasonable. The great point is that what is done should follow sound principles and conform to common sense.

The compilers of the Directory have been greatly assisted in their work by the advice of a number of parish priests in different parts of the country, and especially of a group of clergy in the diocese of Southwark. They also desire to express their gratitude to Mr. Vivian H. King for the great assistance he has rendered in seeing the book through the Press.

For the illustrations the compilers are indebted to the kindness of Mr. Clement Skilbeck.





According to ancient custom in these islands, the church is generally built east and west with the altar at the east end.


The font stands near the principal door or in the midst of the west end of the nave. The basin should be lined with lead and provided with a drain and plug. The font should be covered when not in use.


The pulpit stands at or near the east end of the nave. It may be on the north side or on the south.


The lectern usually stands on the opposite side to the pulpit. But it is not a necessity, as the lessons may very well be read from the pulpit.


The chancel may be separated from the nave by a screen or beam on which may stand the Rood (i.e. a representation of our Lord on the Cross) with S. Mary on the north and S. John on the south.

The chancel contains the seats for the Clergy, which should, if possible, face east, and those for the Choir (if there be one vested in surplices) facing north and south. The Choir may also be in a west gallery or in the body of the church. The seat to the right of the entrance is for the Incumbent or principal Priest. It is convenient to have a lectern in the middle of the Choir for the chanters.

The sanctuary may be separated from the choir by altar-rails or communion-benches, which should not be placed on a lower level than the floor of the sanctuary. East of the rails there must be sufficient unbroken floor-space for the Priest and Deacon to pass each other in administering Communion, i.e. not less than 6 ft. Before the altar there may be one, two, or three steps, but there should never be more than three. The steps should not have a rise of more than 5 ins., and their tread should not be narrower than 24 ins., the top one or footpace being not less than 30 ins.

The seats for the Ministers are on the south side. The Celebrant sits in the easternmost, the Deacon next on his left, and the Subdeacon on the left of the Deacon. The Clerk may sit below the Subdeacon, and the Thurifer and Taperers on the north side.


The altar may be of wood or stone, 3 ft. 4 ins. high and about 2 ft. 6 ins. deep; it may be in the form of a table, or it may be like a chest, or built up from the ground. [It is unnecessary to regard nineteenth-century Privy Council rulings, the validity of which is questionable. Many stone altars are in constant use.] If of stone, the slab should be in one piece. Both Canon 82 and the Prayer Book (Ornaments Rubric) require that it should be covered with a frontal, the “decent carpet,” in time of Divine Service, and also with a fair linen cloth when actually in use. The top should be also covered with two under-cloths, from the lower of which should hang the frontlet, [Often wrongly called the super-frontal.] which hides the fixtures from which the frontal hangs. The fair linen cloth should reach nearly to the ground at the ends of the altar.

Behind the table of the altar there rises immediately the reredos or the textile hanging called the dorsal. The reredos may be covered during Lent and should usually be of the same length as the altar, and approximately of the same height.

Above it rises the east window in most ancient churches, or imagery or other wall decorations if the window be set high or if there be no window. On either side of the reredos or dorsal there may be “riddels” or curtains hanging on rods at right angles to the east wall and close to the ends of the altar. Sometimes the rods from which they hang are supported upon two or four pillars near the corners of the altar. Neither reredos nor dorsal should ordinarily rise above the sill of the east window. In some cases there may also be a tester or canopy over the altar.

The altar has no shelf for the ornaments, the cross and two candlesticks standing directly upon the altar itself. [No court has ever said that the candlesticks may not stand on the altar itself. The “Lincoln” judgement ruled the contrary.] Additional candles may be placed in large candlesticks on the pavement before the altar, or upon the curtain rods or pillars, or hanging from the roof.

The candles should be burnt short when necessary, and not be supported upon painted wooden dummies. Strictly the linen cloths should be removed after service, but if the altar is in constant use a dust-cover may be spread over them; other wise it is a cleaner practice to remove them.

There is no ancient authority for placing flowers on the altar, the custom being that nothing should find a place there which is not essential to the rite. If the church possesses much valuable plate not required for actual use, it may be displayed on the altar as a form of decoration on festivals.

A cushion should be provided for the book, or, if the altar be a long one, two cushions, one at each end. If there is only a desk for the book, it should be covered with a cloth. What are known as “altar cards” are unnecessary. Other altars should be treated in the same way as the high altar; the chapels in which they stand should be enclosed by screens and arranged more or less like miniature chancels.

If the Eucharist is reserved for the sick, it may be kept either

1. In a pyx hanging above the altar, or

2. In a pyx standing in a “Sacrament House” in the wall on the north of the altar.

What is known as an altar tabernacle is excluded by the terms of the Ornaments Rubric, and is no part of the tradition of the Church of England. The hanging pyx, which often takes the form of a dove, may be veiled or may have a small canopy over it, if there be no canopy over the altar. It may hang from the roof or the tester, or from a bracket projecting from behind or above the reredos. The Sacrament House may take the form of a small safe or cupboard, and may be let into the eastern part of the north wall of the chancel, or the northern part of the east wall. A veil may be hung before it when in use, and the door and framework may be ornamented with great elaboration.


The credence table is on the south side of the altar; on this the sacred vessels with the elements are placed until the offertory. Candlesticks need not be placed upon it. In the eastern part of the south wall, or the southern part of the east wall, there may be a niche containing the basin and drain called the piscina, into which the water used at the altar is poured. Sometimes the credence is combined with this in the form of a shelf, or sometimes the credence itself takes the form of a niche. An altar in a side chapel is sometimes used as the credence.


The altar is covered with three linen cloths, as explained on p. 3.

The corporals are two square cloths of linen folded in nine squares. One is spread on the altar. On this are placed the chalice and paten. The other is folded and is placed on the chalice. After the Communion of the people it is unfolded and placed over the sacred vessels. When not in use the corporals are kept in a burse. The purificator is a smaller linen cloth similarly folded, used for cleansing the vessels.



Vesting is normally done in the vestry. If there is no vestry, it is in accordance with ancient custom to do it in the sanctuary, the vestments being laid out on the north side of the altar for the purpose.

The cassock is not an ornament, but part of the ordinary dress of the Clergy. The traditional English form is double-breasted with a flat band round the waist. For this and the rest of the walking habit, consisting of square cap, scarf, and gown, see illustration on p. 61. It is not the English use to wear the square cap on the head in church.

(a) Holy Communion.

The Priest wears over his cassock—

(1) The Amice, a piece of linen folded and placed on the head. It is secured by strings first round the neck, then round the waist. It is thrown back after the chasuble has been put on.

(2) The Albe, a white linen garment reaching to the feet. It is always worn with a girdle. The albe and amice may be enriched by coloured apparels. These are rectangular pieces of coloured or embroidered stuff, tacked on to the skirt of the albe before and behind, and on to the wrists of the sleeves. On the amice the apparel is tacked on to the side between the strings.

(3) The Girdle, a linen rope or band two to three yards long, which may be white or coloured.

(4) The Maniple, a band of silk or other material worn on the left arm both for the procession and for the Eucharist that follows.

(5) The Stole, a band of silk or other material worn round the neck, crossed in front and secured by the girdle.

(6) The Chasuble, an ample vestment extending over the arms, with a hole in the centre for the head. For the procession he wears a cope in place of the chasuble.

(7) The Cope is a semi-circular cloak, fastened at the breast by a clasp, called a morse, and with an appendage called a hood, hanging behind the back of the neck.

These coloured vestments, maniple, stole, chasuble, and cope, may be made of silk, velvet, or any other suitable material.

Stoles and maniples should be long and narrow throughout; albes, chasubles, and copes large and full.

The Deacon wears the amice, albe, girdle, maniple, and stole. The last-named is worn over the left shoulder and secured by the girdle on the right side. Over these he wears the dalmatic, a tunic-like garment with sleeves.

The Subdeacon wears the amice, albe, girdle, maniple, and tunicle, which is similar to the dalmatic, but often simpler. The dalmatic and tunicle are not worn in Advent and Lent or on Vigils.

The vestments of Deacon and Subdeacon follow the colour of those of the Priest.

For illustrations of these see p. 63, et seq.

The other ministers, i.e. the Clerk, Thurifer, and Taperers, are vested in girded albes with amices. The Clerk may also wear a tunicle, or if he is the only assistant a rochet. When bringing in the elements at the Offertory the Clerk wears a long veil over his shoulders, called an offertory or humeral veil. This is a long rectangular piece of soft material, without any stiff embroidery. It may follow the colour of the other vestments.

(b) Mattins and Evensong.

The Clergy wear a surplice and scarf over their cassock with the hood of their degree. [Neither surplice nor albe should be trimmed with lace.] The surplice (which is common to all clerks) is a long and full garment, with long sleeves more or less pointed, and it may be smocked or embroidered round the collar. When the service is festal, the Celebrant wears over these a cope of silk or other rich stuff, the Thurifer and Taperers being vested as at other times.



1. A profound reverence. The head and body are inclined in such a way that the fingers would touch the knees if they hung down.

This is used at the reference to the Incarnation in the Creed, at Sanctus, and when needed during and after the Prayer of Consecration.

2. A simple reverence consists of an inclination of the head and shoulders only.

This is used at all other times when a reverence is necessary, such as at the mention of the sacred Name, as ordered by the Canon.

3. At the present time there is also a custom of dropping on the right knee as an alternative to No. 1.

The Celebrant normally stands with hands extended when praying on behalf of the people. Whenever the sacred Name is mentioned and at the conclusion of all prayers the hands are joined in front of the breast; also whenever the faithful join audibly in prayer with the Priest. All other ministers at all times keep the hands joined save when some instrument of worship is carried.


The Priest always stands when he is praying on behalf of the people or bidding them to prayer, and kneels only when he is praying with them, as in the Confession. The only exception to this rule is provided by the rubric which bids him kneel at the Prayer of Humble Access. When the Priest is saying anything with the people, he says the clauses marked by capitals in the Prayer Book separately, not running two or more together.

The Minister always turns to the people when he is reading Lessons from Scripture or Exhortations, or giving the Blessing. At the Eucharist he should be careful not to turn his back on the Holy Sacrament.

The people may sit during the reading of all Lessons except the liturgical Gospel, and during the singing of anthems.

When the opening exhortation at Mattins and Evensong is omitted, the Minister should kneel while saying the sentence from Scripture.



It is convenient to mark the greater festivals and their octaves by festal processions before Holy Communion and after Evensong. Penitential processions out of doors seem suitable on Good Friday and at Rogationtide.

A procession always has in view some definite point to be reached. Before the Holy Communion this will be the principal altar, at other times it may be some side-altar, or the font, or the rood, or the churchyard cross. The Litany is the normal English Sunday morning procession, and should be used as the model for any procession. The Invocations are said in the midst of the choir facing the altar. Then the perambulation begins at the words “Remember not, Lord, our offences,” the people also standing. At the words “Son of God, we beseech Thee to hear us,” a station is made at the rood, till the end of the Collect “O God, merciful Father,” to which Amen should be responded (see the rubric after the Absolution at Morning Prayer). At the words “O Lord, arise, help us,” the procession is resumed into the choir and up to the altar, the suffrages being said mean while. Then a station is made standing before the altar at the words “O Lord, let Thy mercy be shewed upon us,” till the end.


Before Holy Communion it will be as follows: Verger, Clerk with cross, Taperers, Thurifer, Subdeacon carrying Gospel Book, Deacon, Priest, Chanters, Choirboys, Choirmen, Clergy (Bishop, with attendants, if present). Banners may be carried.

At other times the order is the same, with the omission of Deacon and Subdeacon.

It is important to take short steps and to avoid crowding.


Start from altar, west gate of choir, down south aisle, up nave, down north aisle, again up nave to rood-screen, where station is made; back to altar, where concluding prayers are sung. This may have to be modified owing to the structure of the church.


The custom of former days in England was to have a Festival suit, a Sunday suit, and a weekday suit, regardless of colour. Where only two were to be had, the best was used on festival days, the other on ferial (cf. Hope and Atchley, English Liturgical Colours).

A colour sequence based on old English precedent will be found in some of the Calendars published by S.P.C.K.


Season or Day Colours
Advent Red or Blue.
Christmas The Best Vestments, frontals, and hangings, regardless of their colour, but otherwise White.
S. Stephen Red.
S. John Evangelist White.
Holy Innocents Red.
During the Octave of Christmas White.
Circumcision White.
Epiphany The Best Vestments, frontals, and hangings, regardless of their colour, but otherwise Red or White.
During the Octave Red or White.
Sundays and Weekdays after Epiphany Red or any old or worn vestments of whatever colour.
Septuagesima to Lent Red or Blue.
Ash Wednesday and throughout Lent till Passion Sunday White linen. The vestments, frontals, and hangings may be adorned with small red, blue, or black crosses, and other symbols of the Passion. Or Red or Blue, if there be no Lenten White.
Maundy Thursday Red.
Good Friday Red.
Easter Even Red vestments at the Ante-Communion service. At Evensong the Lenten veils still remain up; but the altar hangings and cope should be the best, otherwise White.
Easter Day As on Christmas Day.
Eastertide White.
Rogation Days White.
Ascension Day As on Christmas Day.
Till Whitsunday White.
Whitsunday The Best Vestments, frontals, and hangings, regardless of colour, otherwise White or Red.
Whitsun-week White or Red.
Trinity As on Whitsunday.
Trinity-week White or Red.
[Corpus Christi] The Best Vestments, frontals, and hangings, otherwise Red, or Red and White together.
Sundays and Weekdays after Trinity Red or Green. But the older and least handsome vestments should be used, whatever their colour.
Dedication Festival The Best Vestments, frontals, and hangings, otherwise White.
Patronal Festival Colour of the Saint (or Mystery) in whose name the church is dedicated.
Feasts of the B.V. Mary White.
Saints' Days in Eastertide White.
Apostles, Martyrs, and Evangelists out of Eastertide Red.
Virgin Martyrs White, or White and Red together.
Virgins, not Martyrs White.
Confessors Yellow, Green, or Blue.
Holy Women, not Virgins Yellow or Green.
Holy Cross Days Red.
Nativity of S. John Baptist White.
S. Mary Magdalen White or Yellow.
The Holy Name Red.
Michaelmas White, or White and Blue.
All Saints' Day The Best Frontal, vestments, and hangings, otherwise Red and White together, or all in different colours.
All Souls' Day Black or Blue.
Funerals and Requiems Black or Blue.
Baptisms Red.
Confirmations Red.
Weddings Red or White.


The Collect of the day is probably meant always to have the full close, such as, “Who, with the Father and the Holy Ghost,” etc. If more than one is used, as, e.g., in Advent and Lent, and when a black-letter saint’s day falls on a Sunday or other greater holy day the full close should always be used with the final Collect.

In former days it was the custom always to have an uneven number of Collects, one, or three, or five.


From ancient times at least one light has been required on the altar at Holy Communion. The more general custom was to have two. Other lights, before or around the altar, may be used according to the dignity of the feast and the circumstances of the church; this also applies to the use of lights at Mattins and Evensong. The two candles upon the altar are lighted also at marriages and funerals. On Sundays and Festivals the two standard candles should be lighted at sung services. A row of lights upon or immediately behind the altar is not in accordance with the English or any ancient use except a special custom of the Papal Court.


Censing, though difficult to explain in words, is easily done, and is learnt most readily by watching the actions of one who has acquired the art. As a general rule the cover of the censer should be kept down, and all the actions should be as unostentatious as possible, the weight of the censer being sufficient to give a natural free swing.


This should be chosen on a definite principle, and according to ancient precedent falls into two classes: that belonging to the choir alone, and that belonging to the congregation (in which latter case the office of the choir is merely to lead the people). Anthems, whether at Mattins, Holy Communion, Evensong, or Burial Service, are the part of the choir alone. The Canticles, Psalms, Responses of the Litany, Kyrie, Creed, Sanctus, and Gloria in Excelsis belong to the people, and therefore should usually be sung to music in which they can join. For this purpose plainsong is most suitable.



MATTINS and Evensong together comprise “the Common Prayers in the Church commonly called Divine Service.” The saying of these services, whether privately or openly, is binding upon all Priests and Deacons. And the Prayer Book requires the parish Priest “to say the same in the parish church or chapel where he ministereth,” unless absent or reasonably hindered, having a bell tolled beforehand.

The Clergy, in cassock, surplice, and scarf (and hood if entitled to wear it), and Choir, in cassock and surplice, enter in silence to their seats, bowing to the altar as they pass it. (No processional cross is carried, nor does the Officiant or other Priest wear a stole.) All remain standing, and the Priest proceeds at once to the opening sentence and exhortation, facing the people the while. Then all kneel, and he leads the Confession by saying the opening words, “Almighty and most merciful Father;” and standing, says the Absolution (if the Officiating Minister is a Deacon the Absolution is omitted); and kneeling again leads the Lord’s Prayer, saying “Our Father,” the Choir and people joining in at “Which art in Heaven.” No singing note should be used before the words “O Lord, open Thou our lips.” All stand up and face east for Gloria Patri.

The best place for the Office Hymn, both at Mattins and Evensong, is immediately before the Psalms. The Psalms are said or sung alternately verse by verse, not by half verses, and a sufficient pause being made in the middle of each verse at the colon. The two verses of Gloria should be said or sung, as if two verses of the Psalm, in order, just as they come. Various methods of alternation may be employed, viz.:—

1. Chanters and Choir (including people).
2. Chanters and people.
3. Alternate sides of Choir.
4. Choir and people.

At Gloria Patri (or last verse of a hymn when that expresses the same idea) all turn east. If desired, the Clergy and people may sit for the Psalms, but not for Venite or other Canticle.

Each Lesson should be read by a different person, if possible, the first by one of less, the second by one of greater dignity, the beginning and end of each Lesson being announced as directed by the rubric.

Te Deum should always be used, except in Lent, and (if desired) in Advent and Septuagesima, when Benedicite should be substituted. Benedictus should always be used except when it is read in the second Lesson, or on S. John Baptist’s day.

Magnificat and Nunc dimittis should always be used at Evensong.

All turn to the east for the Creed, which the Priest leads by saying or singing the opening words, “I believe in God,” the Choir and people joining in at “the Father Almighty.”

The Priest stands for the Versicles and Responses, and remains standing till after the Collects have been said; not more than one Collect and the two fixed Collects should be said at Mattins and Evensong, unless specially ordered in the Prayer Book, or by the Ordinary.

When the Psalms are not chanted the Versicles and Responses should not be sung, but be said in the natural voice. The Priest turns to the people when he says “The Lord be with you.”

The five concluding prayers may be said at Evensong on Sunday, and optionally at Mattins and Evensong on weekdays. At Mattins on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday they are displaced by the Litany.

Of the occasional prayers, the Prayer for “All Conditions of Men” should be used after Mattins on days when the Litany is not appointed to be said, but it need not be said at Evensong; and the Prayers for the High Court of Parliament and one of the Ember Week Prayers should be used after Mattins and Evensong in their appointed seasons. [The term Session in the rubric prescribing this prayer includes all times except when Parliament has actually been dissolved.]

The sermon now commonly added to Evensong may be preached in a black gown. In the absence of authoritative directions as to the alms, either they may be taken straight to the vestry, or the Priest may place them upon the altar without the addition of unnecessary ceremony.



THE standards are lighted in addition tothe candles on the altar.

The Choir, in cassock in surplice, and the Clergy, in cassock, surplice, hood, and scarf, enter in silence from the choir vestry to seats in the choir, no processional cross being carried.

The Thurifer and Taperers enter without ceremony and sit at the east end of the choir stalls, or in some other convenient place.

The Priest in choir stands for the opening sentence, saying it in a natural voice, and turning to the people for the Exhortation. He leads the Confession and says the Absolution and "Lord's Prayer," kneeling for the last.

The Choir kneel from the Confession onwards.

The Priest sings "O Lord, open," etc., and the rest of his part, the Choir singing the responses.

The Office Hymn follows. All face east for Gloria, and whenever it occurs.

The Psalms are sung in alternate verses by Chanters and Choir, the Chanters (who may stand at a desk in the midst of the choir vested in copes) beginning the first verse of each Psalm. The Clergy may sit.

He who reads the Lessons goes to the lectern and gives out the first Lesson as directed, and when finished announces its conclusion and returns to his seat.

The Priest puts on the cope; this may be done either in his stall, in the vestry, or at the altar. The Taperers fetch their candles, and the Thurifer the censer.

During the singing of Magnificat the Priest and Taperers go to the middle of the lower step of the altar and bow, the Priest then turns and meets the Thurifer, who now enters. The Taperers stand facing east, opposite the ends of the altar, holding their candles. The Priest puts incense into the censer and blesses it. The Thurifer closes the censer and hands it to the Priest, who goes up to the altar and makes a reverence. Standing there he censes the altar first in the midst, then to the right, and then to the left. He turns, comes down, hands back the censer to the Thurifer and is censed by him. He then turns east and stands till Magnificat is ended. If the Choir is to be censed the Thurifer will proceed to do so, censing—

I. Clergy in order of dignity.
2. Taperers.
3. Chanters.
4. Rest of Choir, south side.
5. Rest of Choir, north side.

He bows to each person or set of persons before and after he censes them.

The Thurifer then stands in the midst of the sanctuary swinging the censer until the Choir finish, when he takes the censer out. The Priest and Taperers bow and return to the sedilia.

The second Lesson follows.

The Choir sing Nunc dimittis.

The Priest in the sanctuary sings the opening words of the Creed, the Choir and people joining in at "the Father Almighty." This finished, he sings "The Lord," etc., the Choir singing the responses kneeling. He leads the "Lord's Prayer," and then, rising, stands between the Taperers at the midst of the lower step of the altar, facing east (the Taperers, holding their candles, facing north and south), and sings the versicles, the Choir and people singing the responses. Remaining in the same place, he sings the Collects, the Choir singing "Amen" after each. He then bows with the Taperers and goes out the short way, preceded by them to the sacristy.

If Mattins be festal it may be treated similarly, but the altar should be censed during Te Deum and Benedictus.




[If there is no Subdeacon, the Clerk takes his place. The normal type of service is that with three ministers, which should be approximated as closely as possible.]

SOME time before the hour of service the coverlets are removed, the canister, cruets, lavabo bowl, towel, humeral veil, Epistle book, and alms dish placed on the credence, and the candles lighted.

If the elements are prepared before the service, the Subdeacon (carrying the chalice, paten, burse, etc.) goes to the credence (or a side altar), preceded by the Taperers and Clerk. [The elements may be prepared during the singing of the Gradual or at the Offertory.] The Clerk presents the bowl and towel for the Subdeacon to wash his hands, and then, receiving the canister and cruets from the Taperers, hands them to the Subdeacon, who takes as much bread, wine and water as he deems necessary. The chalice, paten, etc., remain on the credence until needed.


At the Introit the Ministers enter in the following order (preceded to the choir gate by the Verger carrying his staff): Taperers side by side, carrying their candles; Thurifer with the censer, with incense burning in it, and the boat; Clerk with the Service book; Subdeacon with the Gospel book; Deacon; Priest.

[On the greater festivals a cross is carried by a second Clerk, who precedes the Taperers.]

Having entered the sanctuary, a line is formed thus:—

T. 2. S.D. P. D. T.1.
[C. 2.]

Or alternatively, in a narrow chancel:—

S.D. P. D.
T.2. Th. T.1.

At the foot of the altar-steps all bow, and the Taperers put down their candles on the Subdeacon's step. [The second Clerk puts the cross in a convenient place, and stands facing the first Clerk.]

From this point the actions of the Ministers are shown in tabular form.







1. He goes to the midst of the altar, rests his hands on it, and either bows or kisses the mensa. He then turns to bless the incense.

He takes his place on the step immediately below the footpace. Turns, takes the boat from the Thurifer, and puts incense into the censer.

He takes the Gospel book to the north corner and places it on the cushion. Removes cushion and book, and replaces them after the censing.

He goes to the south corner, places the book on the cushion, and removes cushion and book, and replaces them after the censing, and stands in some convenient spot, usually at the south end of the footpace, facing north.

He goes up to the Deacon, hands him the boat. Then opens the censer and holds it conveniently for the incense to be placed therein. Closes the censer and hands it to the Deacon.

They stand on the west side of their tapers. This is the normal position of the Taperers.

2. He takes the censer from the Deacon and censes the altar three times in the midst, three times on the right, and three times on the left, and returns the censer to the Deacon at the south corner.

He hands the censer to the Priest. Goes to the south corner and there awaits the Priest. He receives the censer, censes the Priest, and then hands it to the Thurifer.

He stands on his step, facing east, opposite the north corner.

He stands at the south corner facing north.

He goes to a convenient place near the south corner and receives the censer from the Deacon. Stands in the midst of the sanctuary swinging the censer until the Choir have finished the Introit, and then takes out the censer.

As before.

The Lord’s Prayer

3. He stands “at the north side,” facing east, and says the Lord’s Prayer with its Amen alone, without note. He says the Collect for Purity in the same way, but to the latter the Choir and people say Amen.

He stands in his normal place, immediately behind the Priest, on his own step, if there be one.

He stands in his normal place, immediately behind the Deacon, on his own step, if there be one.

He stands at the south corner facing north.

He stands at some convenient place.

As before.

The Commandments

Then, turning to the people, he shall rehearse distinctly the Ten Commandments, the Choir and people singing the responses.

He turns with the Priest and faces north (or the Deacon faces people).

He kneels on his step, facing east.

As before.

As before.

As before.

The Collects

4. At the conclusion of the last Kyrie (or if he has begun at the middle or south corner, remaining where he is for the Collect) he crosses to the south side of the altar, and, standing as before, sings “Let us pray,” and one of the Collects for Church and King, followed by the Collect or Collects of the Day.

The Deacon and Subdeacon cross over with the Priest, each on his own step, and stand behind him as before.

As before.

As before.

As before.

The Epistle

5. The Priest goes to the sedilia and sits in the easternmost place.

He sits in the sedilia, in the seat to the west of the Priest.

The Subdeacon takes the Epistle book from the Clerk, and sings or reads the Epistle facing the people, from the lectern or from the chancel-step (or from his step in the sanctuary). When he has finished he hands the book to the first Taperer, and goes to the sedilia and sits.

He hands the Epistle book to the Subdeacon and sits in some convenient place.

He sits.

They sit while the Epistle is being sung, and then the first Taperer rises and receives the book from the Subdeacon. He goes up to the altar and places the Epistle book on the south cushion, and removes the Service book from there to the other cushion, rather north of the midst of the altar. He brings the Gospel book from the north corner, and leaves it open on the middle of the altar. The second Taperer arranges the Gospel lectern.

The Gradual

6. While the gradual or other anthem or sequence or hymn is being sung the Ministers sit.

He brings the burse to the altar and then sits.

He sits.

They sit.

7. Before the singing is ended, but after the censing, the Priest goes to the altar and stands there in the midst, facing west. (At a ferial High Mass, e.g. on Ash Wednesday, there is no procession, the Gospel being read from the Deacon’s step.)

During the singing the Deacon censes the midst of the altar, takes the Gospel book, and, resting it on his left hand, follows the Subdeacon to the place of reading the Gospel, near the entrance to the chancel.

The Subdeacon precedes the Deacon to the lectern and takes the Gospel book and holds it open in his hands (or on the lectern), standing opposite the Deacon and facing him.

He stands near the Priest, facing west. On greater feasts, he, or a second Clerk, leads the procession with a cross, and stands behind the Subdeacon, facing the Deacon.

He fetches the censer and hands it to the Deacon. After the censing he receives it back from the Deacon and precedes the Subdeacon to the place where the Gospel is read, and stands behind the Deacon, gently swinging the censer.

They go to the centre and bow. They then return to their candles. After the censing they take up these and precede the Thurifer to the place where the Gospel is read, standing there on each side of the Subdeacon, facing inwards.

The Gospel

8. He turns east and answers “Glory be to Thee, O Lord.” He then faces the Deacon, who reads the Gospel.

The Deacon stands facing west and announces the Gospel, signing the book and himself as he does so.

As before.

He turns east with the Priest, then faces the Deacon.

As before.

As before.

9. The Gospel ended, the Priest turns to the altar and at once begins the Creed.

The Deacon kisses the book, closes it, and carries it and hands it to the Subdeacon, who places it on the north corner of the altar.

The Subdeacon precedes the Deacon to the altar.

He returns to his usual place, and faces east.

He precedes the Subdeacon, bows, and takes out the censer. He returns and stands in some convenient place, facing east.

They lead back to the sanctuary, go to their usual place, deposit tapers, and stand facing east.

The Creed

10. The Priest stands at the midst of the altar, and sings “I believe in one God,” the Choir and people joining in.

The Deacon stands at the altar on the right of the Priest, and the Subdeacon on the left.

All stand facing east.

All make a reverence at “And was incarnate . . . . and was made man, and was crucified,” and at “the life of the world to come.” N.B.—It is convenient that one reverence be continued through the first three clauses.

All bow in like manner.

Notices and Sermon

All sit in some convenient place where they can hear the sermon.

11. One of the Clergy gives out the notices, and the sermon is then preached. The other Clergy sit in the sedilia, the Priest nearest the altar, then the Deacon, then the Subdeacon.

N.B.—If the Celebrant is to preach he is assisted by the Deacon and Subdeacon to remove the chasuble and maniple, which are then laid on the altar.

The Deacon and Subdeacon may preach in their vestments, or may remove dalmatic (or tunicle) and maniple.

The Offertory

12. At the end of the sermon the Priest goes to the midst of the altar facing west, reads the Offertory sentence. This done he returns to the sedilia until the alms have been collected, when he goes again to the midst of the altar

After the reading of the Offertory sentence he rises and spreads the corporal, and when the Clerk approaches, stands on his own step, facing west. He takes the chalice and paten from the Clerk and hands them to the Priest. He then receives the censer from the Thurifer and hands it to the Priest. After the censing of the oblation he receives the censer back at the south corner and censes the Priest. He hands the censer to the Clerk and goes to the middle of his own step and turns south, and is then himself censed by the Clerk.

He rises and fetches the alms-dish from the credence, and receives the alms in it at the choir gate. He carries the alms up to the altar and hands them to the Priest. He goes down to his step and turns with the Priest to await the Clerk. He assists, if necessary, with the chalice, then stands on his step facing east until he turns south to be censed by the Clerk. He ministers to the Priest when he washes his hands.

He goes at once to the place where the elements were prepared. He places the veil on his shoulders. As soon as the alms are presented he lifts the chalice and paten (his hands muffled in the veil), and carries them to the high altar. Arrived there the Deacon receives the chalice, etc., and the Taperers having removed the veil, the Clerk bows and goes round to his usual place.

He takes the censer from the Deacon and censes first the Deacon, then the Subdeacon, with three swings each, and handing the censer to the Thurifer, takes his usual place.

He fetches the censer, and if the elements have been prepared at a side altar, stands behind the Clerk in chapel. Bows with him and precedes him to the altar. When the elements have been placed on the altar he hands the censer to the Deacon and goes round to south corner. After the Ministers have been censed he receives the censer from the Clerk and takes it out and returns to his usual place.

They rise when the Clerk takes the burse up to the altar. They may meet the Clerk at the choir gate with their tapers and precede him as far as their own places, where they set down their tapers. When the Clerk has given the chalice, etc., to the Deacon they remove the veil from his shoulders and go to the credence, folding veil and placing it in some convenient place. They may take up bowl and towel and go to south corner to assist the Subdeacon when the Priest washes his hands. This done they replace bowl, etc., on the credence and go to the centre of altar, bow, and return to their places.

Prayer for the Church

13. He turns to the people and says “Let us pray for the whole state of Christ’s Church militant here in earth.” He then turns back, stands facing the altar in the midst and sings the Prayer for the Church with the usual cadence. At the word “alms” he lays his hand on the alms; at “oblations” he lifts the chalice and paten.

He turns with the Priest to the people, and then turns and stands behind the Priest.

He moves slightly north when the Priest says “Let us pray,” and then turns and stands behind the Deacon, facing east.

He stands in his usual place, facing north.

He stands in a convenient place.

They stand in their usual places.

Exhortation & Confession

14. He turns to the people and says the Short Exhortation; which done, he turns back to the altar. At the Confession he kneels and joins in with the people.

He turns with the Priest for the Exhortation, and kneels for the Confession, which he leads, kneeling on the right of the Priest on his own step.

He moves slightly north for the Exhortation. He kneels for the Confession on the left of the Priest on his own step.

At the conclusion of the prayer he removes the alms from the altar and hands them to the first Taperer, who comes to the south corner to receive them.

As before.

The first Taperer goes to the south corner to receive the alms from the Clerk, and then places them on the credence and returns to his place.


15. He stands (in the absence of the Bishop) to give the Absolution, facing the people, raising his hand at “Have mercy.” He then says the Comfortable Words, still facing west and using the natural voice.

He remains kneeling.

He remains kneeling.

All kneel for the Confession, Absolution, and Comfortable Words.

The Preface

16. He sings “Lift up your hearts,” raising his hands and joining them again at the words “Let us give thanks.” He turns to the altar to sing the Preface, with hands apart.

They stand and turn with the Priest, the Deacon moving a little south, the Subdeacon moving a little north. They turn back to the altar for the Preface, and stand behind the Priest.

All stand.

At Sanctus he joins them, and he, the Deacon, and the Subdeacon bow for “Holy, Holy, Holy.”

At Sanctus the Deacon goes up to the right of the Priest, and the Subdeacon to the left.


He or some other convenient person goes to be ready to ring the Church bell before and after the Prayer of Consecration.

At “Therefore with angels” the two Taperers meet in the centre, bow to the altar, and turn inwards, and leave the sanctuary, going to the centre of the choir, where they stand facing east.

Prayer of Humble Access

17. He then kneels and says the Prayer of Humble Access in the natural voice with hands joined.

He kneels on his own step, to the right of the Priest.

He kneels on his own step, to the left of the Priest.

He kneels.


As before.

The Consecration & Communion

18. He stands and says the Consecration Prayer solemnly and rather slowly. He takes the paten, breaks the bread, and lays his right hand upon it, as directed.

The Deacon stands behind the Priest, and the Subdeacon behind him. They both bow when the Priest bows (or if preferred, Deacon and Subdeacon may kneel during Consecration Prayer).

He stands facing north.

He rings the bell three times before and three times after the Prayer of Consecration, and then returns to some convenient place.

As before.

He takes the chalice, and lays his hand upon it, as directed.


He bows profoundly, makes his Communion, and giving the chalice to the Deacon, takes the paten, and communicates the people.

After the Priest has made his Communion the Deacon goes up to the footpace, bows, and receives the chalice from the Priest, and communicates the people, following him.

The Subdeacon goes to the north of the altar and stands facing south during the Communion of the people (or he may stand in any convenient place, so that he does not turn his back on the Blessed Sacrament).

He bows profoundly as the Blessed Sacrament is carried past him.

As the Clerk.

When the Choir begun Agnus they return to the centre of the sanctuary, bow profoundly, and go to the south side of the sanctuary, standing east of the choir, facing north.

That done, he replaces the vessels on the altar, laying the paten on the chalice, and covers them with the second corporal [pall], first cleaning the edge of the chalice with the tips of his fingers.

That done, the Deacon gives the chalice to the Priest, bows, unfolds the pall and hands it to the Priest; he then bows profoundly, and goes to his usual place, standing behind the Priest, the Subdeacon standing behind him.


As soon as the Priest has finished communicating the people both go to the centre, bow profoundly, and then return to their usual places.

The Lord’s Prayer

19. Raising his hands he sings “Our Father,” and then joins them. He extends them for the Prayer of Oblation, joining them as usual at the end.

He stands behind the Priest.

He stands behind the Deacon.

He stands in his usual place.

He stands in a convenient place.

They stand in their usual places.


All bow profoundly at the holy Name in the Prayer of Oblation.

The Gloria

20. He extends his hands and sings “Glory be to God on high,” and then joins them.

At “Glory be to God on high” the Deacon goes up to the right of the Priest, and the Subdeacon to his left. They return to their places behind him for the post-Communion Collect if there be one.

He turns, facing east.

All bow profoundly at “we worship Thee,” “Jesu Christ,” “receive our prayer,” and at the end.

The Blessing

21. He turns to the people and faces them to pronounce the Blessing (unless the Bishop is present), riaising his right hand and making the sign of the Cross at “the blessing of God,” etc.

He kneels on his step slightly to the south.

He kneels on his step slightly to the north.

All kneel for the Blessing.


22. He turns back to the altar and reverently and carefully consumes all that remains of the Blessed Sacrament. He then holds the chalice for the Subdeacon to pour in wine as the first ablution and drinks this. Then holding the chalice in both hands with thumb and first finger over the bowl, the Subdeacon pours first wine, then water, over them. The Priest, then drying his fingers with the purificator, takes up the paten, on which the Subdeacon pours water only, which the Priest empties into the chalice, and consumes all the contents of the chalice. He leaves it in the midst of the altar, lying on its side on the paten, and goes to the south corner to wash his fingers; which done, he returns to the middle of the altar, turns and goes down steps, turns east again, bows, and then turns and follows the Deacon to the vestry.

The Deacon rises at once, and goes up to the right of the Priest, removing the pall and folding it. When the Priest has consumed the Blessed Sacrament, he takes up the burse, and carrying it and the pall, goes round to north side of the Priest. When the Priest has taken the ablutions, he leaves the vessels for the Deacon to dry and arrange. The Deacon does this, placing the purificator in the chalice and the paten on the chalice, folding the corporal, and placing it and the pall in the burse and the latter on the paten. He takes all these and hands to the Clerk. When the Priest returns to the midst of the altar, he goes up to his right, bows, etc., with him and follows Subdeacon to the vestry.

The Subdeacon rises, and goes to left of Priest, removing book and cushion to north corner. When the Deacon goes to the north of the Priest, he bows and goes to the south corner, takes the cruets from the Clerk, ministers the ablutions to the Priest, and returns the cruets to the Clerk, takes the Gospel book from the altar, and goes to his usual place until the Deacon has given the chalice to the Clerk. Then he goes to the left of the Priest, bows, etc., and follows the Thurifer to the vestry.

The Clerk rises with Subdeacon, fetches the cruets from the credence and hands them to him. After the ablutions he receives the cruets from the Subdeacon and replaces them on the credence. The veil is placed on his shoulders by the Taperers. He goes to the centre and receives the vessels from the Deacon, and carries them to the vestry.

When the Clergy come from the altar, he bows, and then, turning, follows the Taperers to the vestry.

They rise with the Clerk. The first Taperer goes to the credence and puts the veil on the Clerk’s shoulders. The second Taperer goes up to the north corner of the altar. He then brings the Service book to the credence. The first Taperer takes the bowl and the second Taperer the towel and ministers the lavabo to the Priest. Having replaced the bowl and towel on the credence, the first Taperer removes the Epistle book from the altar to the credence. They go to the centre, bow, and return to their places. When the Clergy come down from the altar, the Taperers take up their candles, bow, and turn, leading the way to the vestry.

They are met by the Verger at the choir gate.






THE Choir (if there be one) being in their places, and having begun the Introit, the Priest vested (carrying the chalice and paten), and the Clerk, wearing a surplice or rochet over a cassock and carrying the book, enter the chancel, the Clerk going first. The Clerk places the book on the north cushion, or wherever it is the custom for the Priest to begin the service; he then assists the Priest to wash his hands before preparing the elements at the credence. (If the preparation of the chalice and paten take place at the Offertory, the Priest washes his hands at that point.) The Priest, after any private devotions he may desire to use, goes to the altar and says the Lord’s Prayer, the Collect, and the Commandments, the Clerk kneeling at the altar step, facing east at the side opposite to the Priest. If there be no Choir, the Clerk will say the Responses in a voice loud enough to lead the congregation.

The Priest goes to the south side of the altar after the Commandments (if not there already), moving the book himself, and remains there for the Collects. The Clerk reads the Epistle (if he be authorized to do so) facing the people, the Priest sitting meanwhile; otherwise the Priest reads the Epistle himself, while the Clerk sits. The Epistle is announced as follows: “The Epistle is written in the . . . chapter of the . . . Epistle of S. . . . [or whatever the title is in the New Testament] beginning at the . . . verse.”

After the Epistle the Gradual or an anthem or hymn may be sung. Meanwhile the Clerk moves the Priest’s book to the north cushion, and returns to his normal place facing east opposite the south corner. The Priest takes the book, signs it and himself, and, facing the people, announces the Gospel thus: “The holy Gospel is written in the . . . chapter of the Gospel according to S. . . . , beginning at the . . . verse.”

To this the people, led by the Clerk, answer, “Glory be to Thee, O Lord!” (except in Passiontide and at Requiems, when these words are omitted according to ancient custom). All turn towards the Priest for the Gospel.

After the Gospel the Priest, having kissed the book, turns to the midst of the altar and leads the Creed with the words “I believe in one God.” [There is no ancient authority for the ascription of praise after the Gospel.] The Clerk turns east, standing in his usual place. All bow the head at the holy Name, and bow profoundly at “and was incarnate,” “and was made man,” “and was crucified,” and at “the life of the world to come.”

The Clerk assists the Priest to take off his chasuble and maniple (which are laid on the altar) if he is going to preach; or, if he prefer, he may preach in his chasuble from the altar or chancel step. Before preaching he gives out the necessary notices, including Holy-days,Fasting-days, banns of marriage, and any special subjects of intercession. He gives out the notices at the same point if there is no sermon. If the Bidding Prayer is used, as Canon 55 directs, it is said at this point. Otherwise the sermon may be prefaced by “The Lord be with you” or the Invocation of the Trinity.

After the sermon, returning to the altar, he puts on his chasuble and maniple, and says one or more Offertory Sentences, care being taken to avoid the constant use of the same sentence. Then the Clerk takes the burse to the Priest, who spreads the corporal of the altar.

The Clerk then receives the alms in the alms-dish at the entrance of the choir, and brings it to the Priest, who places it on the altar, to the right of the corporal, till the end of the Prayer for the Church.

The Priest places both chalice and patent on the corporal, the paten in the centre and the chalice further back. The chalice he covers with the pall (or second folded corporal), the paten by the front third of the corporal.

The Clerk then kneels.

The Priest says the Prayer for the Church. At the word “alms” he lays his hand on the alms; at “oblations” he makes the sign of the Cross over, or lifts, the paten and chalice. He turns to the people for the Exhortation, during which the Clerk removes the alms. The Priest turns to the altar and kneels for the Confession, which is led by the Clerk, the Priest joining also. The Clerk says the Confession in a voice loud enough to lead the people, marking the clauses carefully. The Choir and people join in a low voice.

The Priest rises, turns to the people, and says the Absolution and Comfortable Words in the natural voice. If there is a Choir he sings Sursum Corda, opening and slightly raising his hands. The Clerk stands.

The Priest turns again to the altar to sing the Preface. He kneels and says the Prayer of Humble Access with hands joined, the Clerk kneeling with him.

The Priest, having unveiled the chalice and paten, says the Prayer of Consecration in an audible but reverent voice. When he says “Hear us, O merciful Father,” he lifts his eyes to heaven, and rests his hands on the holy table on either side of the corporal. At the words “creatures of bread and wine” he lays his right hand on the elements in turn. At the words “His most blessed Body and Blood” he makes the sign of the Cross over the elements and takes the paten into his hands. At the words “took bread” he bows, and takes the bread between the thumb and first finger. At the words “brake it” he breaks the bread, and at the words “this is My Body” he lays his hand upon all the bread. At the words “Do this” he slightly elevates the paten, then replaces it on the altar.

At the words “took the cup” he takes the chalice between his hands, not disjoining the thumb from the forefinger. Inclining over the altar he continues the prayer. At the words “Do this” he slightly elevates the chalice and replaces it on the altar. At the close he bows profoundly.

When the Priest receives the Communion the Clerk makes some convenient sign for the com municants to approach, such as the use of a bell or gong. If he is receiving the Communion, he rises, makes a profound reverence, and kneels in some convenient place to receive the Blessed Sacrament; otherwise he rises, bows, and stands out of the way, bowing profoundly as the Blessed Sacrament is carried past him.

When all have communicated, the Priest returns to the altar and reverently places upon it what remains of the consecrated elements, covering them with “a fair linen cloth,” i.e. the pall, which up till now has remained folded. The Clerk returns to his normal place and kneels. The Priest sings (or says) “Our Father,” with hands slightly extended, and closes them as the Clerk and people join in at “Which art in heaven.”

The Prayer of Oblation, or the alternative prayer, follows, the Priest extending his hands the while. He then sings (or says) “Glory be to God on high,” and, as Choir and people join in at “and on earth peace,” he joins his hands. All bow profoundly at “we worship Thee,” “Jesu Christ,” “receive our prayer,” and at the end.

Meanwhile the Clerk rises and stands in his normal place. At the end he kneels.

The Priest then begins the Blessing, standing to the north of the corporal, facing south. At the words “Jesus Christ” he bows; and at the words “the blessing” turns towards the people, his right hand raised, his left remaining on the altar.

Then, turning back to the altar, the Priest bows, and immediately consumes what remains of the Blessed Sacrament.

Immediately after the Blessing the Clerk rises, bows profoundly, moves book and cushion to north corner, then fetches the cruets from the credence. These he takes ‘to the south side, and there awaits the Priest. When the Priest, slightly turning, holds the chalice towards him, he advances and pours therein a little wine. The Priest consumes this, and then turns, holding the chalice with his thumbs and first fingers over the bowl. The Clerk again pours some wine into the chalice, over his fingers, and then some water. The Priest takes up the paten, and the Clerk pours some water only over it, which the Priest empties into the chalice and consumes. The Clerk replaces the cruets on the credence. While the Priest dries and arranges the chalice, paten, corporals, and burse, the Clerk removes the book to the credence. He then assists the Priest to wash his hands at the south side. Then the Priest, carrying chalice, etc., and preceded by the Clerk, carrying the book, returns to the vestry.

NOTE I.—There is no reason why incense should not be used even if there be no Deacon or Subdeacon.

NOTE 2.—If a Priest or Deacon be available, he should take the part assigned above to the Clerk.

NOTE 3.—The Priest should take care that the amount of wine in the chalice is ample for the number of communicants. The amount of water to be added should not exceed one third of the whole, and should be poured into the chalice in the form of a cross. There is no occasion to make the sign of the Cross over the water cruet.


THE rubric requires Baptism to be administered after the second Lesson at Mattins or Evensong on Sundays or holy days. The Priest, putting on a stole (and cope if desired), leaves the chancel, preceded by one or more Servers carrying a lighted candle and the service book. If more solemnity is required the Priest may be preceded by Crucifer, two Taperers, and Thurifer, and followed by Choir. He stands at the font facing east, on his right the Server carrying the book, etc., and on his left the Server with the candle. The Crucifer, Taperers, and Thurifer stand east of the font facing west. The congregation all turn towards font. The font is then filled with water. After the question and answer and the exhortation the people kneel while he says the two prayers following.

The people stand for the Gospel and, after the announcement, answer “Glory be to Thee, O Lord.”

The thanksgiving following the exhortation of the Gospel ought to be said by the Priest alone. After the address and the questioning of the Godparents the prayers in connection with the benediction of the font follow. At the words “Sanctify this water” he makes the sign of the Cross in the water.

In baptizing the child the Priest pours the water over the head of the child three times. He makes the sign of the Cross upon the child’s forehead with his thumb. He returns the child at the end of the form of words which accompanies the signing.

After the final prayers and addresses the Priest returns to the chancel, preceded by the Servers and followed by the Choir.

At a less solemn administration there should be at least one Server with a lighted candle.


The candidates are placed in seats at the east end of the nave, the males on the south side and the females on the north. Vergers or Sidesmen with wands show the candidates to their places and inform them when it is time for them in turn to go up to the Bishop. The Clergy wear surplice, hood, and scarf. Chaplains may wear copes.

The altar candles may be lit. The Bishop’s seat is placed at the chancel step facing west. When the Clergy and Choir are in their places, the Bishop enters preceded by Crucifer, Taperers, and Thurifer, and followed by his Chaplains. No hymn or address should be interpolated into the service itself. The Bishop stands facing the people from the opening versicle to the end of the Prayer for the Spirit.

The Bishop confirms the candidates one at a time, placing his right hand on the head of the candidate. The Bishop alone says “Amen” at the end of the prayer “Defend, O Lord.”

After the laying on of hands the Bishop stands, saying the remaining prayers facing the candidates.


The banns should be published whenever possible after the Creed at the Communion Service. The form should be read from the rubric, and not said from memory.

Marriages should not be solemnized by Deacons.

If the service is to be followed by the Holy Communion the Priest wears all the eucharistic vestments except the chasuble; otherwise the surplice or albe and stole should be worn. A cope may be worn as well.

The Priest, attended by the Clerk in cassock and surplice, begins the service at the chancel step, facing the bridegroom and bride. During the espousals the directions of the rubrics should be carefully followed.

At the Psalm the Clergy, followed by the bridal pair only, go to the sanctuary. The latter kneel for the prayers and stand for the address. The congregation remain standing till the end of the Psalm. The bridal pair then kneel for the prayers, and sit or stand during the address. If a celebra tion follows, they go to places prepared on the south of the sanctuary, or remain kneeling at fald-stools in the chancel. At the conclusion of the service the bridegroom and bride follow the Priest immediately to the vestry.


If the Eucharist is to be celebrated at the sick man’s house the Priest will require to take with him chalice, paten, cruets containing wine and water, canister with bread, corporal and purificator (or two purificators), surplice, stole (of the colour of the day) and book. At the house a table should be prepared with white linen cloth, bowl of water, napkin, and at least one or preferably a pair of lighted candles.

When the Sacrament is reserved the following suggestions may be found useful:—

Place of Reservation, see p. 5. If an aumbry be used, it should be securely locked, and the key kept in some place readily accessible to the clergy.

Method of Reservation. The pyx consists of a metal box of sufficiently large size easily to contain two wafers, and so constituted that the consecrated species can be easily removed. If the species of wine is reserved separately this can best be done in a glass vessel, with a stopper of the same material which should fit very closely. It should be pointed out, however, that in practice it is difficult to meet this requirement with complete success.

The Eastern method whereby the species of bread is dipped into the species of wine and then allowed to dry before use has much to recommend it. Even if both species are carried to the house, it is often best to communicate at least the sick person by the method of intinction. This is especially necessary where the disease is infectious. The sick person should be always communicated last.

If the Priest has broken his fast, what remains of the Sacrament should be conveyed back to the Church and left in the place of reservation till the next Eucharist and then consumed. In any case the Reserved Sacrament should always be renewed after two days.

When the Priest carries the Sacrament from the Church he should be vested in cassock, surplice, and stole, wearing over them a black cloak, with his square cap on his head. The pyx should be carried in a small bag (attached to a strong cord passing round his neck), and securely held in his hands. If possible, the Priest should be preceded by a Server in cassock and surplice.

The preparation at the house should be similar to those made for a clinical Celebration.

In administering the Reserved Sacrament to the sick the following order is convenient: Collect, Epistle, and Gospel (if the patient is not in extremis any other suitable Collect, Epistle, and Gospel may be substituted for that given in the Communion of the Sick), Invitation, Confession, Absolution, Comfortable Words, Prayer of Humble Access, Communion, Lord’s Prayer, Prayer of Thanksgiving and Blessing.


A pall should always be used for the covering of the coffin from the time that it leaves the house to be brought to the church till it is taken to the grave.

The altar candles should be lit.

If the first part of the service is to be followed by a celebration of Holy Communion, the Priest (and Deacon and Subdeacon) should wear amice and albe; otherwise he should wear surplice or albe, stole and cope.

The mourners and Choir may all carry candles.

Lights should be lit around the coffin. The number varies, from two to seven, four or five being the most usual number. Incense should be used, and the coffin censed by the Deacon after the usual censings at the Introit, before the Gospel, and at the Offertory. During the procession to the grave a Psalm, such as Psalm cxiv, or a suitable hymn, such as Dies Irae should be sung.

The Priest should stand at the head of the grave looking east. During that portion of the service which takes place out of doors the Priest may wear a black choir cope; and, except during the prayers, his square cap.

Psalm cxxx might be sung in returning at the end of the service.


CANON 55 of the year 1604 orders that—

“Before all sermons—the Preacher shall—move the people to join with him in Prayer in this form or to this effect, as briefly as conveniently they may:—always concluding with the Lord’s Prayer.”

The following is a shortened form of that given in the Canon. It will be quite easy to alter any phrases in it of which the wording seems inappro priate to the circumstances of to-day.

“Ye shall pray for Christ’s Holy Catholic Church and especially for the Church of England; for our Sovereign Lord King George; for the ministers of God’s Holy Word and Sacraments, as well Archbishops and Bishops, as other Pastors and Curates; for the King’s most honourable council, and for all the nobility and magistrates; that all and every of these in their several callings may serve truly and painfully to the glory of God and the edifying and governing of His people; also ye shall pray for the whole Commons of this realm, that they may live in the true faith and fear of God and in brotherly charity one to another. Finally let us praise God for all those which are departed out of this life in the faith of Christ, and pray unto God that we may have grace to direct our lives after their good examples; that, this life ended, we may be made partakers with them of the glorious resurrection in the life everlasting.”

The people then join in the Lord’s Prayer.



This should be worn on festivals, on any special occasion, on any Sunday, at the choir offices, the Holy Communion, the administration of any of the occasional Sacraments, and in procession.

The general rule is that it should be worn except when the Bishop or another Minister is praying, or when the liturgical Gospel is being read. It should be worn at least in procession and during the performance of specifically episcopal acts.


This should be used by all Bishops whether diocesan or not, being part of a Bishop’s insignia, even though he may not be holding any regional jurisdiction.

The Bishop should carry this himself, except when in choir habit, in which case it is borne before him by a Chaplain in a cope.

It is also convenient that it should be held by a Chaplain near him when he is laying his hand on Confirmation candidates.

He carries it in his left hand, and when he carries it himself the crook should be turned forward; when it is borne before him the crook should be turned backward.


For choir offices on ordinary occasions the Bishop wears the rochet, black chimere, and tippet or almuce (a tippet lined or edged with grey fur). He should not wear a hood unless wearing the scarlet chimere; he may wear cope and mitre.

On occasions when he wears a mitre, as mentioned before, except when celebrating the Holy Communion, he wears a cope over an albe with girdle and amice (or over a rochet). The cope may be laid aside when preaching.

When celebrating the Holy Communion he should normally be vested as a Priest, except that the stole is not crossed.

If desired, on great festivals the tunicle and dalmatic may also be worn under the chasuble.

For the administration of occasional Sacraments he may wear a stole over an albe or rochet.


In accordance with the principle for seating the persona the Bishop’s seat should be on the south side in the choir, but on the north side in the sanctuary.


When assisting, the Bishop gives the Absolution and Blessing from his place in the sanctuary.

When celebrating, the Bishop occupies the same positions as the Priest, only laying aside his mitre when praying and during the Gospel.

It is convenient that two Chaplains be in attendance to assist with the mitre and staff. They may occupy any convenient position where they do not impede the other Ministers.


The Bishop stands to say the Confirmation prayer, and then immediately (standing or sitting) lays on hands. Nothing should be interpolated here. He lays his right hand only on the head of each severally, i.e. one by one, in accordance with the rubric.

Priest in Cassock, Gown, Scarf and Square Cap.

Priest in Cassock, Amice, Alb, Girdle, Maniple, and Stole

Priest in Cassock, Amice, Alb, Girdle, Maniple, Stole, and Chasuble.

Subdeacon in Cassock, Amice, Alb, Girdle, Maniple, and Tunicle.

Clerk in Cassock, Amice, Alb, and Girdle.

Priest in Cassock, Surplice, Scarf, and Cope.


Project Canterbury