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THIS book has been prepared by a group of members of the Alcuin Club as a companion to the Directory of Ceremonial. Not every direction of that book can be illustrated. We have chosen certain of the most important, as used on solemn occasions. Where less ceremony is for any reason desired, the principles which these pictures illustrate can still be followed. Explanatory notes have been added. Those who require further explanation are referred to the Directory itself.

All photographs in this book were taken by Mr. Will Taylor of 30 Red Lion Square, except No. XVII which we reproduce by kind permission of The Sphere.


THE Frontispiece shows the high altar of Westminster Abbey vested for Lent in a frontal, frontlet, and dossal of white linen,1 embroidered with designs in red. Inventories of church goods show that this custom was well-nigh universal at the period of the Ornaments Rubric, though the colour sequences do not prescribe it. There is much to be said for this ancient and beautiful custom, which gives the right note of austerity without being gloomy. It also marks off Lent from the time following Septuagesima on the one hand, and from Passiontide on the other.

There are details in the arrangement of the sanctuary which are peculiar to the Use of the Abbey.

1 See Dearmer's Parson's Handbook, 10th edn., p. 512 ff.


THIS is being done at a side altar. In a church where there is no second altar this may well be done at the credence. The Subdeacon prepares the elements assisted by the Clerk (in tunicle) and the two Taperers (in apparelled albes and amices). See Directory of Ceremonial, p. 26. When prepared the chalice and paten are left on the side altar or credence.

It will be noticed that there are no flowers on the altar, but a convenient place is found for them elsewhere.


THE Verger has conducted the procession from the vestry to the altar and is standing aside to let the Ministers pass. A second Clerk (in tunicle) is carrying the cross--which may be done on festivals. Behind the Thurifer walks the first Clerk carrying the service book, while the Subdeacon follows him with the Gospel book. Near the Verger is the Paschal candle, which may be placed in the sanctuary from Easter Eve till Ascension Day.


THE Thurifer holds out the censer to the Deacon, who puts in the incense. The Priest stands on the footpace, and blesses the incense, as it is put in. The Subdeacon and Clerk have removed the books and cushions from the altar, so that all may be ready for the censing. The Taperers have placed their candles in blocks provided for the purpose, which should stand permanently within the sanctuary. The altar is entirely without ornament, except for the two candlesticks, but it is covered with a rich gold frontal, while behind it hangs a dossal of similar material. The riddel curtains are supported by rods, which in turn are supported by four posts. Each of the riddel posts is surmounted with the figure of an angel, holding a candlestick. The candles on the riddel posts are not lighted on ordinary Sundays, but are reserved for festivals ; the front two may be lighted on red-letter days, and all four on the great festivals. The two standard candles are lighted for all solemn celebrations and during solemn Mattins or Evensong.


THE Our Father and Collect for Purity may be said at the north end of the altar; at their conclusion the Priest will turn and face the people for the Decalogue. The Deacon stands aside, so as not to be in the way of the Priest, and, for the same reason, the Subdeacon may kneel. The Thurifer has retired from the sanctuary. The Clerk and Taperers stand. At the south horn of the altar the service book lies open (at the Collect for Church and King). The book is supported by a cushion, according to traditional custom which has much to commend it. In the north wall of the chancel will be seen the aumbry in which the Sacrament is reserved for communicating the sick.


THE Collects for Church and King, and of the day, are sung at the south horn of the altar. The Deacon and Subdeacon stand in a line behind the Priest. The Clerk is seen facing north, while the Taperers stand, in their usual place, by their tapers. As the dossal bears a painted picture of the Crucifixion, the placing of a metal cross or crucifix in front of it would be quite superfluous, and would hide the painting from view.


THE Epistle is sung or read by the Subdeacon at the entrance into the Choir, The Priest and Deacon sit in the sedilia (the Priest in the easternmost seat), and the Clerk may sit or stand. The Taperers sit in their seats on the north side of the sanctuary, leaving their tapers before the altar in their stands. The Choir and people sit. The chanters' lectern stands in the midst of the Choir. The Choir itself is separated off from the nave by a light painted screen of wood upon which stands a crucifix with attendant figures. The top part cannot be seen in this picture.


THE Gospel is sung or read by the Deacon. This may be done outside the rood-screen, or in the pulpit, or, from motives of convenience, at the Chanter's lectern, as here. The Deacon faces north-west; the Subdeacon is exactly opposite him and steadies the lectern. On either side stand the Taperers, with their candles. The Thurifer stands behind the Deacon, and swings the censer very gently. The Priest and the Clerk stand at the altar, facing the Deacon. On festivals the second Clerk stands behind the Subdeacon, holding the cross. The lighted Paschal candle will be noticed. It always stands on the north side.


THE three Ministers stand side by side upon the footpace, the Deacon and Subdeacon turning slightly inwards. The open book on its cushion can just be seen between the Priest and Subdeacon. The Clerk, it will be observed, does not turn to the east, but faces north, as usual. It will be noticed in this, as in the other plates, that the amices of all Ministers are apparelled with a more or less stiff piece of material, and are worn thrown well back, after the manner of a hood, and not tight round the neck, as though they were collars.

NOTE.--The Ministers occupy the same positions here as they do for the Gloria in Excelsis. At the Sanctus the three Ministers would be still standing in the same place, though bowing. The Clerk would be the same, but the two Taperers would be standing at the entrance into the Choir, as in Plate xii.


AFTER the presentation of the alms at the altar, the Clerk brings the elements to the high altar, going round the long way, and entering by the Choir. He is preceded by the Taperers, Thurifer, and (on festivals) the second Clerk, with cross. (Cf. Alcuin Club Collection XIX, p. 56, and Dearmer's Parson's Handbook, Tenth edition, p. 417, n. 16.) The Priest, Deacon, and Subdeacon stand at the altar on their respective steps and await the procession, facing the people. The Clerk muffles his hands and shoulders in the offertory veil and so carries the elements.


THE Prayer for the Church is said by the Priest, standing in the midst of the altar, with the book on its cushion slightly to his left. As at the Collects, he has his hands extended--the normal attitude of prayer at the altar. Behind him in a line are the Deacon and Subdeacon. The Clerk, as usual, faces north, the Taperers stand by their tapers. Upon the altar may be seen the burse, in which the corporal is brought to the altar.

It will be noticed that an earthenware jug of flowers is standing in a convenient place, not on the altar and out of the way of the Ministers. This is in accordance with the sentiment of the Church that the altar is too sacred to have placed upon it anything not essential to the performance of the rite. At the same time an opportunity is given for adding that touch of decoration which is equally consonant with ecclesiastical tradition.

NOTE.--The positions of the various Ministers in this plate are identical with those at the Our Father and the Prayer of Oblation. The positions of the Priest, Deacon, Subdeacon, and Clerk are also the same during the Prayer of Consecration; though the Taperers would then be standing at the entrance to the Choir, as in Plate xii.


THE Priest turns to the people (as he is addressing them); the Deacon and the Subdeacon face north and south respectively, and draw aside, so as not to come between the Priest and the people. The Clerk and the Taperers stand in their usual places. These positions are also taken for the Bidding, at the beginning of the Prayer for the Church, and for the Invitation (though in this latter case the Priest's hands will not be extended).


THE Priest kneels on the footpace--quite clear of the altar; the Deacon kneels on his step, below the Priest to the right of the latter, the Subdeacon to the Priest's left, on the step below that of the Deacon. The Clerk (who cannot be seen in this plate) kneels in his usual place, facing north. The Taperers stand, one on each side of the entrance to the Choir, guarding (as it were) the approach to the altar. They take up this position during the singing of the Preface (see D. C., p. 37).


ALL kneel in their accustomed places, while the Priest stands aside, to avoid turning his back on the Sacrament. His left hand rests on the altar, and with his right he blesses the people.

Upon the altar stand the chalice and paten containing what is left of the consecrated elements. They are veiled with white linen.


THE Priest holds out the chalice, into which the Subdeacon pours wine and water (see D. C., p. 40, ยง 22). The Deacon folds up the corporal and pall, and places them in the burse. The Clerk stands in readiness to receive the vessels when they are cleansed--the offertory veil is over his shoulders, and he takes out the vessels, when ready, by the shortest way to the vestry. The Taperers wait to receive the wine and water cruets, and to assist at the final lavabo (see D. C., p. 41).


BOTH Mattins and Evensong may on Sundays and Festivals be solemnly sung. The directions in detail for these services will be found in the Directory of Ceremonial.

Two pictures of the ceremonial are given here.


THE Priest who sings the office is seen censing the altar (see D.C., p. 24). He is vested in choir dress, i.e. surplice, hood, and scarf, over which he wears a cope. The Taperers stand in their normal places, holding their tapers. The Thurifer stands in the middle, ready to receive back the censer from the Priest. Clergy in surplice, scarf, and hood are seen standing in returned stalls, whilst Choirmen in surplices are also in their place. If desired, two chanters may stand at the lectern in the midst of the Choir, with or without copes, and sing alternate verses of the canticle with the Choir. Flowers are seen set about in places where they can be seen well and yet do not obstruct.


THE Priest who sings the office stands before the midst of the altar, below the steps, and sings the Collects, facing east. The Taperers stand close beside him, facing one another, and holding their tapers so that the light is thrown upon the book.

On the left may be seen two stools for the Taperers at a solemn Eucharist. During Mattins and Evensong they may sit with the Priest in the sedilia to the south.


THIS picture shows the Cross-bearer of Westminster Abbey vested in albe, amice, and tunicle, accompanied by two Servers in apparelled albe and amice.

The photograph was taken immediately after the wedding of H.R.H. the Duke of York to the Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.

It is interesting to notice that in the greatest church of the Empire, at a ceremony performed by the Primate of All England, the dignified vesture so long customary in England was revived.

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