Project Canterbury

An Outline of the Ceremonial of the Holy Communion in Accordance with the American Prayer Book and Anglican Tradition.

By Louis E. Daniels.

Oberlin, Ohio: no publisher, [1940].


It is a privilege to be asked to give a brief Foreword to the accompanying booklet. An Anglican Rite naturally presupposes an Anglican Ceremonial. While other Rites and Ceremonials may be just as good, we cannot well be faulted for preferring our own. Heretofore the difficulty has been that, while there is plenty of material available for scholars with ample time for research, as well as several excellent publications for the Church of England, there has been no brief manual for American Churchmen. This book is an attempt to meet that need. It is the result not only of careful study, but of actual experience in parish worship, and should prove helpful to those clergy who desire to conduct their services in accordance with the English Use.

My own feeling is that loyalty to our Prayer Book does not require us to adopt every detail set forth herein, but that we should adhere to the underlying principles; and on that basis, after some experiment, we may develop our own American Use.

I wish this effort the success it deserves.

G. Ashton Oldham


The question of ceremonial is one that will not down. While there are doubtless many matters of greater importance before the Church and her clergy, this one can not for that reason be overlooked or put aside. We are a Church with a Prayer Book, and the numberless questions as to what we are to do with this Prayer Book and how we are to use it are coming up in the daily life of priest and bishop. Quite clearly, the Prayer Book itself does not answer these questions; it furnishes us with the rites, but it gives very insufficient directions as to how these rites are to be carried out. May we have servers in the sanctuary to assist in the service of the Holy Communion? If so, what are they to wear, when are they to enter, where are they to stand, what are they to do? Shall the minister wear a chasuble, a surplice, a street suit, or blue overalls? Where shall he stand to read the Epistle and the Gospel? The Prayer Book is absolutely silent on all these points, and on numberless others that have to be dealt with. Of course it will at once be remarked that in all these matters we are to follow tradition. But what tradition? Shall it be the tradition of a sainted predecessor of ours who had an inventive mind in ceremonial matters? Or shall it be the ways of the parish in which we grew up? Or shall we follow the pattern of the Roman Catholic church down the street? Or will it do well enough to fashion things according to our own notions? On thinking over the matter, one is moved to feel that the ancient Church that gave us the Prayer Book can not have failed to give us along with it an indication of her mind as to the outward aspect of her services and the way in which they are to be carried on. Our study of Church history has of course taught us that she did give us such a pattern, such an ideal. A rubric of the English Prayer Book, standing since the days of Queen Elizabeth on the page opposite the beginning of Morning Prayer, directs:

And here it is to be noted, That such Ornaments of the Church, and of the Ministers thereof, at all times of their Ministration, shall be retained, and be in use, as were in this Church of England, by the authority of Parliament, in the second year of the reign of King Edward VI.

A little study shows us that this enactment gives us all the beautiful furnishings and ceremonial that were in daily use in the Church before the currents of continental Protestantism set in with their determination to recast the Church of England on Puritan lines. Elizabeth’s government endeavored to retain these patterns of Catholic worship, while at the same time it sought to prevent schism by a mild enforcement of the law. Only a minimum of conformity was insisted upon. But the standard itself was never removed or lowered. Twice, in subsequent years, the rubric was attacked and a strong demand was made that it be removed from the Prayer Book. The reply of the Church was to strengthen it and even to make it a part of the civil law of the land. It is clear that, though the Church was very gentle in enforcing her ceremonial standards, though through long periods she patiently tolerated a large disregard of her ideal, she has always retained this ideal and kept it before the eyes of her children.

If the assertion be made that the American Church did not take over this rubric, it is to be said in reply that she did in plain words declare that she ‘is far from intending to depart from the Church of England in any essential point of doctrine, discipline or worship.’ This is a plain assertion that she intends to retain the whole system of English ceremonial law and custom, except in such points as are specifically changed by the framers of our own laws. It is clear enough then that we in America have a ceremonial law; the observance of it would seem to be merely a matter of loyalty and obedience. Of course those who choose may bring in the argument of desuetude to justify a non-observance of the Church’s old laws and customs, and they may be perfectly sure that no effort will be made to enforce these laws; the Church has long been tolerant of dissent within her borders in these matters, and no doubt she will continue tolerant. But those who take this position ought to remember that they are not following the mind of the Church, that they are, in effect, taking a position that hinders the Church from achieving that aspect of unity that is, beyond question, her ideal.

During the past fifty years our Church has moved forward, steadily and rapidly, toward the restoration of her old ornaments and ceremonies. Those of us who have lived in the midst of the movement sometimes have difficulty in realizing what great progress has been made. But this progress has often been hindered or nullified by the following of wrong standards. The Ornaments Rubric sets forth a definite and easily ascertainable pattern of ornaments and actions, but many of our clergy have never taken the trouble to find out what this pattern really is, while others have wilfully chosen to disregard it in favor of the standards of an alien communion that has no authority over us, a communion whose outward aspect is largely shaped by the psychology of the Latin peoples of southern Europe. These tendencies have resulted in an amazing diversity of aspect in our churches and services. All of this leads to uncertainty and misunderstanding, not only among those who are viewing us inquiringly from the outside, but among our own people as well. Questions as to where we are going and what we are trying to do are constantly asked, and we often find it difficult to return a satisfying answer. No one can doubt that our Church would gain immensely in power and effectiveness, if her real character and her real unity were made apparent by her outward aspect. Most of us are keenly aware that great numbers of people, formerly connected with modern Protestantism, are drifting about in a vague quest for beauty and authority in religion. If we could present to their eyes in every community the spectacle of our own services in all their beauty, restrained splendor, dignity and significance, we would be able to satisfy their needs and to provide them with the religious home that they are longing for. Our own people too would gain a new sense of unity and power by such an achievement.

The present booklet is put forward in the hope of furthering these ends. Its merit, if it has any, lies in the fact that it sets forth as plainly as possible what the best scholarship has found to be the mind of the Church of England with regard to ceremonial, as expressed explicitly and implicitly in her rubrics and canons.

The pattern of service here set forth is, of necessity, positively stated; possible modifications, permissible compromises, gradual approaches, are not noted, though an outline for a simple service, correctly carried out, is added. But it would be a great mistake to suppose that the compiler of this little book advocates sudden ceremonial revolutions. Sudden revolutions in parish customs are always to be deprecated—they cause misunderstanding and they breed dissension. Anyone desiring to reshape the ceremonial usage of a parish in accordance with Anglican precedents will, if he is wise, move slowly. The important steps should be taken one at a time. For instance, when new vestments and ornaments are being provided, care may be taken to see that they are of the right type; the first chasuble may well be a white one, to be worn for a year or two before colored ones are introduced. If lights are to be brought in, see that the number is two rather than six. A change to the best procedure in making and presenting the chalice is one that will commend itself to most congregations. The elimination of genuflections and the substitution of bows is one that will easily be achieved. Progress will be more easily made if the changes are carefully explained to the congregation, and if they are presented as experiments in the restoration of our own Anglican heritage. Changes will of course be governed by local circumstances, and by the ceremonial complexion of the parish. Years of experience have convinced the writer that the American people are not opposed to ceremonial, but that they resent having it forced on them. And this feeling is intensified for most of our people if the progress is obviously in the direction of Rome. To be able to proclaim that our ceremonial is not borrowed, but that it is our own, and that its use is demanded by a deep loyalty to our mother Church—these arguments quiet objections and remove fears.

One word of caution; the casual examiner of the book is urged to remember that a minute description of even the simplest action appears rather complex. The service here outlined is emphatically simple, though the directions for it, of necessity, go into minute details, and so take up some space.

We are surely all of us moved by a deep desire for unity within our own Communion; this sentiment naturally extends itself to a desire for outward signs of that unity, for an appearance of unity that we do not now present. In the words of a distinguished authority, ‘What really matters is that, whether the ceremonial be more or less, the same character and standard shall be observed, so that all over the world the public worship of the Prayer Book may be recognized and understood by all.’


1. THE ALTAR. The altar should, if possible, be vested in a frontal that reaches to the floor. The beauty of the altar itself has no bearing on this matter. It should not have a tabernacle (if there is reservation, it should be in an aumbry, or hanging pyx) and it is better without shelves at the back. The characteristic English altar is provided with curtains at the ends, known as riddels, hanging from rods fixed about three feet above the altar slab. These are best supported by posts at the corners; the rear posts may be omitted and sockets in the wall substituted. These posts, treated in color and provided with candle holders, may be made very ornamental. The altar should have a cross or crucifix in the midst, unless one is represented in the reredos, and it should be provided with two candlesticks, which are to stand upon the altar slab. (Six candles are nowhere authorized by Anglican precedent.) If there are riddel posts, they should be provided with candles, and if there is room, there may be two standard candlesticks upon the pavement. The number of candles lighted should be in accord with the importance of the day, extra candles being placed about the altar, not on it or above it.

2. THE MINISTERS AND SERVERS. The norm presupposed by the Prayer Book for the Eucharist is that the Celebrant be assisted by Gospeller (Deacon), Epistoler (Subdeacon), and Clerk, whether the service is a sung one or not. In churches where there are two assisting clergymen, they should act as Deacon and Subdeacon: ‘There can be no doubt that in Cathedrals and large churches the presence of three Ministers officiating together presents an aspect of worship much more suited to the proportions of the building than when only one priest is officiating. . . But it should be remembered that the three Ministers ought to act in concert, if an appearance of irreverence or slovenliness is to be avoided. It is hardly seemly that the Deacon and the Subdeacon should stand or kneel throughout the Service at two faldstools opposite the North and South ends of the altar respectively, merely turning round to read the Gospel and the Epistle, and then at once turning back to face their faldstools again. . . . All should study their parts, and if necessary, rehearse them in the Sanctuary when the church is closed.’ [‘An Anglican Use,’ by Horace Spence (S. P. C. K.)] Where there is but one other clergyman, he should act as Deacon, and the Clerk as Subdeacon as well as Clerk. In churches where there is no assisting clergyman, the Celebrant reads the Gospel, and the Clerk acts as Subdeacon (reading the Epistle) and performs the Clerk’s duties also.

Such services are in no sense to be considered elaborate, but should be the norm of the Sunday parish Eucharist where one or two assisting clergymen are available: ‘It should be clearly understood that the presence of three vested Ministers does not necessarily make the Service any less consistent with Evangelical opinions than it was when the Celebrant was officiating in the Sanctuary alone.’ [op. cit.]

When incense is used a thurifer must be added, and a second Clerk may carry the processional cross. Two taperers complete the number of servers; they precede the procession for the reading of the Gospel (which is not however dependent on having lights, but may be the weekly practice even where taperers are not used).

In churches where there is no second clergyman, the parish Eucharist should not be robbed of the only possible vestige remaining of the full complement of Ministers expected by the Prayer Book and Anglican tradition—the parish Clerk. Thus the personnel of the service will be the Celebrant, Clerk (to act as Epistoler as well), and two taperers. The taperers will also perform such duties as assisting at the making of the chalice, presentation of the Oblations, opening and closing of the Sanctuary gates, receiving the alms, and at the ablutions. One of them will also move the altar book; the other may, if desired, assist the Clerk in putting on and taking off the offertory veil. The service may be elaborated on the great festivals by adding a second Clerk and a thurifer.

3. BEGINNING THE SERVICE. The procedure of the Celebrant at the beginning of the service here directed is that of the first Prayer Book. Ancient precedent would permit also other arrangements-—the beginning of the service at the midst, the south corner, or the north corner. The one here chosen seems the most significant.

4. THE PARISH CLERK. The office of Clerk is one of honor; it is a very old one, and is important and useful. The Clerk is constantly mentioned in the pre-Reformation books, and his office was provided for in the first Prayer Book, as it is in our present Prayer Book: ‘And after the Collect the Minister appointed shall read the Epistle.’ This was the duty of a Clerk in the absence of a Subdeacon in orders. And aside from his actual duties, the Clerk has an important function to fulfil. He is in fact the one substitute that Church tradition provides for those many parishes where there are no assisting clergymen to make up the full complement of Ministers at the Eucharist, a complement clearly indicated by the rubrics of the Prayer Book. In such a parish then the Clerk will not only carry the processional cross and bear the Vessels to the altar, but he will also read the Epistle, and so perform the duties of Subdeacon, as the Priest, in the absence of the Deacon, combines the latter’s duties with his own.

The parish Clerk should be a serious and responsible person, of at least twenty years of age, and might well be a lay reader. Any parish may have a number of assistant Clerks to aid on great feasts, and to relieve the principal Clerk at other services. But they should all be persons of judgment and seriousness, fit persons to assist the Priest and to represent the people at the great central act of Christian worship, and to do so with understanding and devoutness. It is a well-intentioned mistake, though one out of harmony with the intention of the Church, to use young boys only as servers at the Eucharist. They clearly can not discharge the duties of Ministers at the Holy Communion as laid down by the Prayer Book. But some of the older boys may well be used as servers in the capacity of taperers, thurifer, book bearer in processions, and so on.

The Clerk should wear over his cassock an amice, albe, girdle, and tunicle, to which may be added, if desired, the maniple, since he is performing the duty of Subdeacon. But when it is necessary to simplify this, he may wear over his cassock a rochet, or surplice. There is no hard and fast rule about the Clerk’s position in the Sanctuary. But the following is a convenient scheme:

When the Clerk is serving alone—on a lower step to the Priest’s right; or at the south end of the altar.

When serving with two taperers—on a lower step (or on the pavement) at the Priest’s right, from which place he reads the Epistle; or at the south end of the altar.

When a Minister is present in the capacity of Deacon—on a lower step to the Priest’s left. When Deacon and Subdeacon are present—at the south end of the altar.

5. THE VESTMENTS. The Celebrant should be vested in cassock, amice and albe ornamented with apparels, stole, maniple and chasuble. The Deacon and Subdeacon should wear the same vestments, substituting tunicles for the chasuble. (But where circumstances do not admit of this, all three Ministers may wear instead cassock, surplice and stole, with or without hood.) The servers should wear cassocks and apparelled amices and albes. The Clerk will wear also a tunicle, of linen or colored stuff. (Where these vestments are not provided, rochets or surplices may be used). The server who carries the cross may wear albe, rochet, or surplice. Cassocks should always be long enough to cover completely the trouser legs. Albes should reach to the bottom of the cassock and they should be very full. The sleeves should come to the wrist and should not flare. Albes are confined at the waist with girdles. Surplices and rochets should be long and full. Neither albes nor surplices should be ornamented with lace. The chasuble should be long and ample; the stole and maniple long and narrow. No head covering should be used in connection with the service by others than the bishop.

6. THE VEIL. No special chalice veils are to be used; the silk veil so often seen has no Anglican authority and is unnecessary. The Vessels are to be covered with the burse for carrying in, and after the chalice and paten are made they are to be covered with a folded corporal taken from the burse. This is to be used folded until after the communion of the people, when it is to be shaken out and used veil-wise up to the end of the service, when it is to be folded and replaced in the burse.

The Offertory Veil is a long strip of linen or silk, about three yards long and twenty inches wide. It is better unlined and it may be ornamented with a large cross embroidered in the middle. When in use it is worn across the shoulders with the ends falling over the hands so that the fingers do not come into contact with the chalice. The Clerk may be assisted in putting it on and off by one of the servers.

7. POSTURES AND GESTURES. Standing is the main posture for the Ministers and servers; they are to kneel only when directed to do so. Their walking is to be moderate ,and dignified, without swaying of the body; this is best achieved when the hands are held loosely clasped in front of the breast. This does not mean that the fingers are to be pressed together and thrust straight out in front.

Genuflections are not to be used, since they do not belong to Anglican tradition. The acts of reverence are bows—a slight bow and a deep bow. A simple reverence consists of a bowing of the head only. In the words of an old canon, it is to be made ‘When in time of Divine Service the Lord Jesus shall be mentioned.’ The profound reverence includes the shoulders also, with a" very slight bending of the body. This is to be used at the Incarnatus in the Creed, during the Sanctus, and on passing in front of the altar after the Consecration. Both reverences are to be performed deliberately, and facing the altar squarely.

Crossing is definitely retained by the Church. It is ordered to be made ‘publicly’ at the Gloria tibi and at the end of the Gloria in excelsis; there is good authority for making it at the end of the Creed also. It should be made from forehead to breast and from left shoulder to right—not with exaggeration or appearance of show.

In moving about the Sanctuary all the Ministers should move on lines either parallel or at right angles to the altar. Short cuts should carefully be avoided. They should invariably face in the direction they are moving; side stepping, even for a single step, is unseemly. In general, the ceremonial should all be restrained, reverent, deliberate; never exaggerated, pompous, or mechanical.

8. INCENSE. Two methods of using incense are known to the Church, and both are permissible according to Anglican precedent. The non-liturgic use is the more ancient; it is also the simpler since it omits the censing of persons and things. It is the easier one to introduce where the people are unaccustomed to incense. The following directions for the service outline this use sufficiently. For the more elaborate liturgic use of incense, see ‘The Parson’s Handbook,’ by Canon Dearmer, or the Alcuin Club ‘Directory of Ceremonial Part I.’

9. THE CROSS, TAPERS, AND CENSER. The cross should be carried vertically (not like a flag pole), with the large knop at its base held slightly above the forehead. The hands should grasp the staff at points about a foot apart, and the elbows should be held close to the sides. The taperers should carry their candles in special processional torches, which fit into bases that are placed on the corners of the first altar step before the service begins. These torches should be carried in a perpendicular position with the candle holder at the level of the eyes. The thurifer is to carry the censer in his right hand by the ring at the end of the chains. It is to be swung back and forth moderately. Seats, stools, or benches are to be provided within the Sanctuary for the Ministers and servers.

10. LENTEN ARRAY AND COLORS. The Roman scheme of five colors generally prevails in the American Church; a little modification improves it. It can easily be both reformed and enriched. Reformed by (a) substituting the beautiful dark or medium blue for the so-called violet of our church furnishers; (b) by using the red hangings and vestments for Passiontide. Enriched by adding from Ash Wednesday up to Passion Sunday the beautiful Lenten Array, which is to be seen at Westminster Abbey. This consists of vestments, apparels, dossal, riddel curtains, and altar frontal of unbleached white color. The chasuble may have a Y cross outlined in red, and the hangings and apparels may be ornamented with applique work in the form of crosses, roses, etc. The altar cross (not the candlesticks) may be veiled with material of the same color. The albes may be worn without apparels, but the amices will need them. The altar itself should be stripped of ornaments and altar cloths for Good Friday; the riddel curtains may also be removed. A plain processional cross of wood, colored red, may be used through Lent.


[By omitting the bracketed directions where local circumstances require, and by dispensing with the thurifer, the commoner type of service with one priest will be arrived at.]

I. THE PREPARATION OF THE ELEMENTS. Ten minutes before the hour of the service the [Subdeacon or] Priest and servers enter for the preparation of the chalice and paten. Order: taperers carrying the cruets, bread box, lavabo dish, and towel; Clerk carrying the offertory veil; [Subdeacon or] Priest carrying the chalice and paten, covered with a burse containing two corporals and a purificator. They proceed to a side altar or the credence shelf and set down the objects they have carried. The Clerk assists the [Subdeacon or] Priest at the lavabo, and offers the bread box and cruets. The [Subdeacon or] Priest places upon the paten as many wafer-breads as he thinks necessary, and then makes the chalice. He places the prepared paten upon the chalice and covers it with one of the folded corporals from the burse. They return to the sacristy in the same order in which they entered, leaving the prepared chalice in the midst of the side altar or credence. If there is no side altar and the chancel is small, the Clerk and [Subdeacon or] Priest can make the preparation, seeing that the bread box, lavabo dish and towel are placed upon the credence beforehand.

II. ENTRY FOR THE SERVICE. If the Priest enters with the choir, the order will be as follows: second Clerk, or other server, with cross; choir; taperers carrying lighted tapers; [These two servers should, if possible, be provided with processional tapers. But where this is impossible they will perform all the other duties here indicated, with the exception that they will not use tapers.] [Should the Ministers and servers enter the short way, the order will be: [second Clerk with cross;] taperers; [thurifer with burning censer;] Clerk carrying altar book; [Subdeacon carrying Gospel book; Deacon] Celebrant wearing chasuble. Clerk places book upon the altar and opens it at the Collect of the day. [Subdeacon places upon the altar the Gospel book.] The choir (who have gone silently to their places before the Ministers enter) sing the introit while the procession enters.] [thurifer without censer;] Clerk; [Subdeacon, Deacon;] Celebrant without chasuble. The Clerk stands on one side at the Sanctuary gate to allow the Minister(s) to enter; they line up, Celebrant in the middle, [Deacon to right, Subdeacon to left of the Celebrant,] taperers on either side, to right and left, [thurifer behind Celebrant,] Clerk (who, if he has carried the cross, puts it up at once) behind thurifer. The Priest preceded by [thurifer and] Clerk goes to the sacristy; there he assumes the chasuble and maniple. [The thurifer prepares the censer.] They return in the same order. The Clerk goes to the credence and gets the altar book, which he puts on the south corner of the altar, opening it at the Collect for the day; he then goes to his place at the south end, facing across the chancel. The Celebrant, [Deacon, Subdeacon,] and taperers stand on the pavement in front of the altar. [The thurifer, behind the Celebrant, swings the censer gently.] At the end of the introit [the thurifer takes the censer to the sacristy and] the Celebrant, standing on the pavement before the altar, says the Lord’s Prayer and the Collect for Purity in an audible voice. Then ascending to the footpace and standing in the center he turns and recites the Decalogue, or the Summary. He turns east and says the Kyrie, then turns and goes to the south corner, and facing the people, says ‘The Lord be with you;’ facing the altar he says the Collect of the day. The [Subdeacon or] Clerk takes the book of Epistles [This may of course be a large Prayer Book.] from the altar, stands on a lower step near the south corner, and reads the Epistle. All the rest go to their places and sit. The Epistle ended, the hymn for the Sequence is begun by the choir. [The thurifer brings in the censer and stands in the midst swinging it gently.] One of the taperers moves the book to the north corner, then both go to their places and take up their tapers. Before the ‘singing, has ended, the Celebrant goes and stands in the center; the [Subdeacon or] Clerk takes the Gospel book [This may of course be a large Prayer Book.] from the altar, and the procession moves to the chancel steps. Order: [second Clerk with cross;] taperers; [thurifer swinging censer;] [Subdeacon or] Clerk with the book; [Deacon or] Celebrant. There arrived, they take up their positions as follows: [Subdeacon or] Clerk steps down and faces altar, holding the book so that it can be easily read from; the [Deacon or] Celebrant stands facing the people; the Clerk (if he is not holding the book) and taperers on either side of him; [the thurifer is behind the Gospeller and facing with him, gently swinging the censer.] The Gospeller announces the Gospel facing the people; all turn to the altar while there is said or sung ‘Glory be to thee O Lord.’ The Gospeller faces the people and reads the Gospel, while all present turn toward him. At the end of the Gospel all return to the altar in the same order, while the choir sing ‘Praise be to thee O Christ.’ [The thurifer returns to the sacristy.] The taperers go to their places and put down their tapers, the [Sub-deacon or] Clerk replaces the Gospel book upon the altar, [the Deacon and Subdeacon go up and stand beside the Celebrant on the footpace during the Creed, the Deacon to his right, the Sub-deacon to his left,] and the Clerk goes to his accustomed place. The Celebrant, standing in the center, begins the Creed (all face east), saying or singing ‘I believe in one God,’ the choir and people then joining in. All make a profound reverence at ‘And was incarnate,’ lasting through ‘And was crucified,’ and a slight reverence at ‘And the Life of the world to come.’ A hymn is sung, during which Celebrant and Clerk go to the sacristy for removing chasuble and maniple, unless the Celebrant is not to preach, in which case he goes to his seat in the Sanctuary. [But he may remove them in the Sanctuary in some convenient place; the Clerk will then lay them across one end of the altar.] The preacher proceeds to the pulpit, where he first reads the notices, and then the Banns of Matrimony (if any). He may then read the Bidding Prayer, upon which the sermon follows at once. But if there is to be no sermon, the Celebrant, or one of the Ministers, will read the notices from the Sanctuary gate, or from the chancel steps; for this the chasuble should not be taken off. During the sermon the Ministers and servers sit.

III. THE OFFERTORY. The sermon ended the Priest goes at once to the Sanctuary. The Clerk will assist him to put on chasuble and maniple in whatever place he has removed them. The priest goes to the center of the footpace, turns to the people, and says one or more of the Offertory—sentences. [The organ may play softly to cover the interval between the end of the sermon and the reading of the Offertory sentence. But if another than the Celebrant has preached, the Celebrant will read the sentence from the footpace as soon as the sermon is finished.] Thereupon the wardens begin the collection. [The thurifer brings in the burning censer and stands in the midst swinging it gently; meanwhile Deacon and Subdeacon have returned to their places.] The Clerk gets the burse from the credence and takes it up to the altar for the Priest to remove the corporal and purificator. The Celebrant spreads the corporal in the midst, the front edge even with the edge of the altar. Meanwhile [the Subdeacon or] a server has taken the alms basin from the shelf and stands in his place, facing across the chancel, until the wardens have finished the collection. He then advances to the choir step and receives their basins in a large one, which he carries at once to the altar, going up to the footpace on the Celebrant’s right. The Celebrant takes the basin from him, elevates it slightly, and sets it down toward the south end of the altar, beyond the corporal. The Clerk has meantime assumed the Offertory veil, and at this point he takes the chalice in his veiled hands, advances across the pavement to the front of the altar and ascends the steps; there he hands the chalice to the [Deacon or] Priest, who has turned to receive it. The Priest turns to the altar and humbly presents the Oblations; [Should the hymn or anthem have ended before the vessels are borne to the altar, the organ may play softly until this action is completed.] he sets down the chalice in the midst of the corporal, the Clerk meanwhile returning to his place. If the chalice has been made at a side altar, the Clerk will fetch it from there, preceded by the taperers carrying their tapers [and the thurifer with burning censer]. The Celebrant proceeds with the Prayer for the Church, [It should be noted that in this Prayer the Alms and Oblations are verbally offered by the Priest in the name of the people. Hence no earlier sentence of offering is here provided.] the [Ministers and] servers all standing in their places. At the end of this prayer—not earlier—the Clerk removes the alms from the altar to the side table. The [Deacon or] Celebrant says the Exhortation, and all kneel for the Confession, which may be led by the Deacon, or another Minister. The Priest rises for the Absolution, and at the words ‘Lift up your hearts,’ the [Ministers and] servers rise and remain standing until the Prayer of Access. The Priest faces the people for ‘Lift up your hearts,’ turning to the midst for the Preface and Sanctus. At the words ‘Holy, Holy, Holy,’ all make a profound bow. The Benedictus qui venit is not to be used in this place until the Prayer Book authorizes it.

The Eucharistic Prayer is to be said throughout in a ‘distinct and audible voice,’ though it is a reverent custom to lower the voice somewhat at the Words of Institution and the Invocation. No pause or break is to occur anywhere in the course of it. At the words ‘took bread,’ the Priest takes the wafer with thumb and forefinger of each hand, lifts it to the level of his face and there breaks it in two pieces at the words ‘brake it,’ then replacing it upon the paten. At the words ‘which we now offer unto thee,’ the Priest may follow the Non-juring tradition of elevating the chalice and paten simultaneously, the paten in the right hand, the chalice in the left, raising them to about the level of the shoulders. No other elevation is permissible in connection with the Anglican rite. [The elevation of the Sacrament (a medieval innovation) was forbidden by the first Prayer Book: ‘These words before rehearsed [the words of Institution] are to be said . . . without any elevation, or showing the Sacrament to the people.’] The head may be bowed during the Invocation; no other reverences are to be used during the Canon, but at its end a profound reverence may be made by all. At the end of the Lord’s Prayer, Celebrant, [Ministers] and servers kneel; it is well to keep a short period of silence at this point. Then the Priest says the Prayer of Humble Access, and proceeds to make his communion standing, while the Agnus Dei is sung. The [Ministers and] servers are then communicated in the following order: [Deacon, Subdeacon,] Clerk, taperers, [thurifer,] after which they rise and retire to the sides of the Sanctuary. [But the Deacon remains to assist in the administration.] The Clerk, or some other server, either by striking a bell, or in some other suitable way, signals the congregation to approach. The Priest proceeds to the south end of the altar rail with the paten and administers the Breads into the hands of the people—not into their fingers or lips—and then administers the chalice. [If there is a Deacon, he goes up to the footpace immediately before the administration begins, bows, and receives the chalice from the Celebrant, whom he then follows in administering.] The chalice is to be delivered into the hands of the people, that they may assist in raising it to their lips, though the Priest should not relinquish his hold.

IV. THE POST COMMUNION. The communions finished, the Priest returns to the altar, where he [receives the chalice from the Deacon and] sets the chalice down in the midst of the corporal and places the paten upon it. The [Deacon or] Priest then opens out the second corporal, which has until now remained folded, and spreads it as a veil over the chalice and paten. The [Ministers and] servers all return to their places and stand during the Prayer of Thanksgiving and the Gloria in excelsis. [At the words ‘Glory be to God on high,’ the Deacon goes up to the pace and stands at the Celebrant’s right, the Sub-deacon goes and stands at his left; they return to their places for all that follows.] The Prayer Book is explicit in directing that the Gloria in excelsis, if used, shall be said or sung at this point. The Priest then says a Post-Communion Collect if he so desire; [This is in accordance with Anglican tradition, and with the rubrics of our Prayer Book at the end of the Ordination Services.] after which, stepping a little north of the corporal, he pronounces the whole Blessing facing the people. Anglican tradition authorizes the making of the sign of the cross beginning at the words ‘the blessing of God,’ etc. For the Blessing all in the Sanctuary kneel. The Priest then consumes whatever Bread is left on the paten, carefully brushing with his thumb any remaining crumbs into the chalice. He then consumes the contents of the chalice. If necessary, the Priest will be assisted by other communicants in consuming what is left of the consecrated Bread and Wine. He proceeds to the south corner of the altar for the Ablutions. The [Subdeacon or] Clerk pours a little wine into the chalice, which the Priest consumes still facing east. The Priest then holds the chalice so that the thumb and forefinger of each hand extend over the bowl, and a little wine and water are poured over them. The Priest proceeds to the midst and putting down the chalice, dries his fingers upon the purificator. He takes up the paten and carries it to the south corner, where a little water is poured on it. The Priest returns to the midst and pours this into the chalice. He then consumes the contents of the chalice and lays it on its side, its edge resting upon the paten. He proceeds to the south corner and washes his hands in the lavabo dish, assisted by the [Subdeacon or] Clerk, which done he returns to the midst, dries the vessels with the purificator, placing the same in the bowl of the chalice, which he then covers with the paten. He folds both corporals, places them in the burse, and lays the same on top of the vessels. [But if there is a Deacon, he dries the vessels, folds the corporals, etc., while the Priest is washing his hands.] Meanwhile one of the taperers moves the altar book from the altar to the credence. Then the Clerk, assuming the offertory veil, ascends by the midst to the altar, receives the vessels from the [Deacon or] Priest, and takes them to the sacristy, not returning to the Sanctuary. The Priest comes down from the footpace and he, [the Ministers] and the servers make a slight bow to the altar, and then turning, depart in the order in which they came.

There is no need for the Priest to say the Last Gospel, since our liturgy does not appoint it. If the Priest desires to use it, he may follow some ancient precedents and say it silently as he proceeds to the sacristy. The Clerk will see that the candles are extinguished and that all is left in order.


The Clerk will have all in readiness for the service—the priest’s vestments laid out, the candles lighted, the altar book on the altar, the vessels and cruets ready to be carried in, taking care that the bread box, lavabo dish, towel, and alms basin have been placed on the credence before the service begins.

The Priest, carrying the vessels (on which is laid a burse containing two folded corporals and a purificator), and the Clerk, carrying the cruets, enter the Sanctuary and go to the credence, on which they set the vessels and cruets. The Clerk assists the Priest to wash his hands, and then hands him the bread box and cruets. When the Priest has placed upon the paten as many breads as he thinks sufficient, and has made the chalice, he places the paten on the chalice and covers it with a folded corporal from the burse. The vessels are left on the credence until the Offertory.

The Priest begins the service standing on the pavement in front of the altar; the Clerk stands at the south end of the altar. The Priest ascends to the pace and stands in the midst, facing the people, to say the Summary (or Decalogue), turning to the altar for the Kyries. He then goes to the south corner and says the Collect of the day, after which he, or the Clerk if he be authorized, reads the Epistle; for this all sit, including the Priest if he does not read the Epistle. The Clerk then moves the book to a position slightly north of the midst of the altar, and if the Gospel is to be read at the chancel steps, takes up the book and precedes the Priest to that place. There he faces the Priest, holding the book so that the latter may conveniently read from it. The Priest reads the Gospel facing the people. He turns to the altar for ‘Glory be to thee’ and ‘Praise be to thee.’ Priest and Clerk then return to the altar. (The Gospel may of course be read from the altar step.) The Gospel ended, the Priest at once begins the Creed.

After the Creed the Priest says one or more of the Offertory sentences; the Clerk brings the burse up to the Priest and assists him in taking out the corporal and purificators. The Priest spreads the corporal in the midst of the altar, while the Clerk takes the basin and receives the alms (if there is a collection), which he takes up to the Priest, who elevates them very slightly and puts down the basin to the right of the corporal. The Clerk now puts on the Offertory veil and takes the vessels to the altar, going up by the front, where the Priest receives them. This may be simplified by having the Priest himself, without veil, bring the vessels to the altar; they are to be set in the middle of the corporal with no other covering save a folded corporal.

The Priest proceeds with the Prayer for the Church, and with the prayer ‘Ye that do truly,’ the Clerk standing in his place, but kneeling with the Priest for the Confession, and continuing to kneel until ‘Lift up your hearts.’ At that point he rises, being careful to make the proper responses in a good voice. He makes a deep bow with the Priest during the Sanctus, and stands quietly and reverently through the Eucharistic Prayer. [See the Full Service for directions for the priest at this point.] Priest and Clerk kneel for the prayer ‘We do not presume,’ after which the Priest makes his own communion and communicates the Clerk. The people may be warned to approach by the Clerk’s striking a bell. During the communions the Clerk will stand reverently in some convenient place; when they are finished he returns to his place and stands during the Thanksgiving and the Gloria in excelsis, and any other prayers following. He kneels for the Blessing. He then assists the Priest with the Ablutions at the south end of the altar, removes the altar book to the credence, and precedes the Priest (who carries the vessels) to the sacristy. He then extinguishes the candles, and sees that everything is put away and is in order. [See the Full Service for directions concerning the Ablutions.]

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