9 am Mass Customary: Master of Ceremonies (MC)

PREPARATIONS: (If Acolytes are available, they should help.)

• MC should arrive by 8, or 8:15 at the latest, and check service bulletin for special processions, baptisms, or any other events which are not part of a regular Mass.

• Candles - on high altar & All Saints’ - usually light them first before the 8 AM Mass is into the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

• Remove blue cover-cloths after lighting candles. Cloths get put in Smoke Sacristy.

• Carry items to go onto Credence into the Smoke Sacristy to take out later.

• Set at Credence: (see diagram in first section, general notes)

-Veiled chalice - check for Priest’s Wafer and a total of 3 purificators
-2 extra chalices with palls
-Water and wine cruets labeled A for Aqua & V for Vino; check contents
-Small box with wafers

• Large Flagon and Ciborium for Offertory are set at end of shelf in front of sofes for Verger or usher to take to Baptistry.

• Water glasses to Pulpit and to Gradine within reach of Cel.

• Chasuble over altar rail if there is a procession.

• Check chairs at Sedilia to be sure they are far enough away from wall to provide room for vestments to be tucked over chair backs.

• Check - all servers present? Reader present? Sanctus bell ringer present?

• If there is no CM, and Crucifer cannot be CM, MC should be prepared to slip behind Reredos, to remove Altar Book during censing at Offertory.

• Count # of Eucharistic Ministers - five preferred; four doable if CM, as well as CC return to high altar after serving at All Saints. (The MC can administer a chalice in a pinch, but it is best if s/he is not used. Check with clergy for their preference.)

Altar Book - Check to see if ribbons have been set. They should be marked at: Opening Acclamation; Collect of the Day; Sursum Corda; Eucharistic Prayer A; Preface and Post-Communion Prayer. Check with Cel that he is satisfied with Book markings. Set on stand, closed, on south horn of high altar.

Binder with Creed and Prayers - Place on small bench next to MC’s chair. If not in Sacristy, it may need to be retrieved from the Lady Chapel. A copy of the BCP is not usually called for, but it can come in handy to have next to MC in case it is wanted by a SM.

Lesson book - set on Stone Lectern and open to first lesson of the day. If not in Sacristy, it may need to be retrieved from the Lady Chapel. Lights should be turned on at Lectern.

Service Bulletins - set out in stalls for Choir Clergy, CM, Cr, and Verger; in the Sanctuary for all servers to be available for Psalms. In addition, leave one in Smoke Sacristy for Thurifer.

Hymnals - one each for TT for Gospel Hymn; one for MC. Th can use one at TT chairs for Recessional hymn. SM generally do not carry hymnals in or out. Optional for MC when entering.

Some possible Reminders to servers:

- Everyone (except Cr): When exiting from the Baptistry at the end of the Mass, genuflect when passing the high altar, reverence (slight bow) at the side aisle (All Saints Altar) then continue out the North Door to the Smoke Sacristy.

- Crucifer: Count Communions at All Saints.

- Thurifer: When entering for Gospel Procession, try to time it so Acol can flank you for genuflection. (If Cr is also CM, then Th should be asked to count at All Saints.)

- Acolytes:
Gospel Procession:
• At end of Epistle, move quickly to foot of altar steps at the center, leaving just enough room for Th, and genuflect with him/her then move into position.
• Because fewer folks than in previous lineup, need go only to position of outside candle on altar, or even closer to middle.
• When following MC and heading out of sanctuary, come toward each other and turn west when both reach center of opening in altar rail.
• As Gospel is read, candles remain high to light Gospel book.
• When returning to base of altar steps, keep in mind number of people so as to not leave gaps.
- genuflect for Incarnation, don’t kneel
- pause at altar gate so both can move together to meet Cr.

- Torchbearers:
• Candles are held high except when kneeling.
• Three separate elevations during Canon of Mass

For Feast day or Lenten processions:
Th and MC switch places for opening line-up at foot of altar steps, i.e., MC goes left and Th right, for greater ease of laying on of incense.
Acol/Cr positioning in Chancel at entry - “wheeling” in front of organ etc.
Check with clergy as to when censing of altar will take place - hymn? Gloria? Kyrie?
CM and/or TT - do “traffic control” - peel off near pulpit (near lectern during Lent)
Cr - If there is a Procession for a feast day or Lent, retrieve Cope at Offertory and take to Sacristy. (Also retrieve Copes from CC if Verger has not done so.)


• When all in procession reach foot of altar steps and D has placed Gospel book on the altar, MC signals genuflection by extending arm straight out, then lowers for all to move as arm descends.

• When SM ascend to altar, all other servers inside altar rail, turn south (right) and proceed to places at or near Credence. (Acol in front of their candles, MC in front of Credence, and Th at foot of steps to left of MC.) Torches exit to Smoke Sacristy, place lighted candles in rack, and return to stand in front of seats flanking Bishop’s Throne.

• SM in “slant I” formation for Opening Acclamation & Collect for Purity


• D & SD ascend to altar

• At a signal from the MC, Th ascends steps to hand Thurible to Cel, and MC removes Altar Book & stand. Both return to foot of steps.

• MC replaces Book after Cel has been censed by Deacon. (Optional: Turn ribbon so Book opens to Collect.) D hands Thurible to Th, who exits.


• SM in “I” formation at the south horn of the altar.
• Acol are in front of their candles; MC in front of Credence.
• At end of Collect, SM descend to Sedilia.
• MC assists D with Dalmatic

FIRST LESSON: read by someone from the Congregation

PSALM: sung by Choir and/or Congregation; SD leaves his/her chair and goes to Stone Lectern 2-3 verses prior to Gloria Patri, depending upon pace of music, length of psalm verses, etc.

EPISTLE: (read by SD)
When finished, SD returns to chancel to move Altar Book from south horn to left of center, then goes to lineup for Gospel procession. (SD waits for Th to enter and move to SM for laying on of incense before genuflecting.)

• At the end of the Epistle, when the congregation says, “The Word of the Lord,” Acolytes stand, take candles and move to foot of altar steps in the center. They genuflect with Th when s/he arrives between them, then move to usual place.
• Th has incense laid on, then takes usual position next to Acol on north side.
• SD returns from Lectern and moves Altar Book from Epistle side to Gospel side, then descends steps to stand in usual position. (Lineup is: Acol Th SD D MC Acol).
• D takes Gospel Book to Cel for blessing, then MC & D join lineup, with MC leading the way.
• MC cues genuflection; all turn and face west. MC leads the way down the center aisle followed by Acol, Th, SD, D
• MC stops approximately halfway down aisle, by floor register, and signals to Acol to stand in front of pews on both sides.
• Th stands East of Acol on North side.
• MC stands East of Acol on South side.
• SD turns to face the altar and extends hands for Deacon to place the Gospel Book.
• D announces Gospel Reading and censes Book.
• Gospel is read.
• SD leads Procession back, then MC and others follow in the same order as before.
• SD does not genuflect but proceeds directly to the Cel, hands Gospel to him for kiss, then book is closed and held by SD as s/he remains standing in front of sedilia.
• If Cel is preaching, he kisses book before Procession enters chancel; SD closes book and proceeds back to Sedilia without genuflecting.
• Acol, Th, D, (unless preaching) & MC, line up at altar steps, genuflect, and proceed to sedilia. (Th exits.)
• MC receives book from SD and places on lower shelf of table below Credence.

• All are seated during the sermon.
• Sometime during Sermon either D or Cel may ask to look at the Intercession book or ask for a BCP.
• At end of Sermon, all at Sedilia stand up.
• MC makes sure that D has intercession book.
• SM proceed to center at foot of altar steps for Creed, etc.
• MC and Acol move forward to stand next to bottom step on the side for Creed & Prayers of the People. TT are in corresponding position on opposite side.
• MC offers Service Leaflet to Acol if responses not memorized.
• Kneel at the same time as the SM for Confession and Absolution.

All stand, exchange peace. TT exit to retrieve candles. (If Acol are also doubling at TT, they take their candles and proceed to foot of altar steps.)

• Th and TT enter. TT remain outside of railing and Th passes through gate. All three genuflect together at MC’s cue.
• Th goes to SM for laying on of incense carrying Thurible in left hand and boat in right hand to pass to D. (After laying on of incense, D passes boat to MC to put on table below Credence unless Th has a strong preference for carrying the boat.).
• Th returns to base of steps at center; MC cues genuflection for Th and TT, who then exit down South aisle to Baptistry. (Th does not swing Thurible.)
• Cel, SD and MC sit during Anthem.
• Deacon sets the table then returns to seat. MC assists with Deacon’s Dalmatic.
• At end of Anthem, Offertory Procession heads up aisle.
• SM leave Sedilia, go to base of altar steps, genuflect and turn to receive gifts.
• MC assures that TT are standing at first open spaces in altar rail; signals TT to genuflect with bearers of Offertory Elements.
• MC picks up Water Cruet (Checks to see Cruet is labeled “A”, for aqua.)
• SD gives offertory bason to CM, then proceeds to other end of altar to receive Water Cruet from MC. (If there is no CM, bason is handed to MC.)
• SD pours water into Flagon at signal from Cel.
• SD returns Water Cruet to MC, and returns to his/her place on Cel’s left.
• MC carries Cruet back to position on Credence.
• Th waits for signal from MC to ascend steps

• Censing of Altar - CM removes Altar Book and stand, replaces when Cel hands off Thurible to D.
• D censes Cel.
• Acol take Lavabo Bowl, Purificator and water to Cel for hand washing. (If no Acol, MC goes to Cel with bowl in left hand, purificator over left arm, and with right hand pours water from Cruet over fingers of Cel.)
• Th censes D with 2 doubles, SD with one double; moves on to cense other servers, Choir Clergy, Choir, & Congregation.
• MC sets out kneelers for Acol, Th, and MC.
• If needed, MC lays on more incense after Th returns to place

All remain standing.

• MC signals all to kneel.
• Remain kneeling during Lord’s Prayer, Fraction, and Prayer of Humble Access.
• Remind Th, if needed, re censing at 3 elevations - host, chalice, and at end, during “by whom and with whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit...” as priest elevates elements.
• TT also elevate their candles at the three times Cel does elevations.

• All servers stand - signal to TT if necessary
• TT wait and genuflect at the same time as Th.
• TT wait for Th to pass between them, then follow to Smoke Sacristy, putting lighted candles in stand for later use. When TT re-enter,the person entering first goes to farther seat to assure smooth movement.
• Th empties Thurible and re-enters to receive HC.
• MC takes two empty chalices, covered with palls, and places them on the altar.

• CC & CM administer Communion at All Saints; when finished, CC administers host at high altar and CM places chalice upon the Corporal on the high altar, genuflects, and returns to stall.
• Acol stand in front of their candles as they receive communion, and then count Communicants. Acol divide up the counting using the green middle line as a divider. MC is responsible for counting all Servers & SM.
• If Cr hasn't moved to All Saints altar to count, see if staring at him/her will work! If not, CM can usually provide a guesstimate.

• MC gets water cruet, ascends steps and stands to the right of the SD. (Leave room for SD if s/he is still administering chalice.)
• At a signal from the Cel, SD pours water into Flagon. (Water Cruet remains on altar until after Cel’s ablutions.)
• Acol come up to end of altar when signaled by MC.
• MC gives one item to each Acol, they turn together and descend steps, then return for additional vessels.
• SD and D exchange places w/ veil and book in hand, respectively; SD veils chalice
• Acol draw near to bottom step, kneel at “Let us pray.”
• MC moves to pavement to meet SD at his/her position in lineup, receives veiled chalice and carries it to the Credence.
• MC joins Acol kneeling for Prayer of Thanksgiving.

• All remain kneeling as SD & D kneel for Blessing by Cel.
• D stands and gives dismissal.
• All stand. SM ascend to altar. TT exit to pick up lighted candles & return to places outside rail.
• Acolytes pick up candles and go to meet Cr. Remind nearer acolyte to wait at gate for other acolyte to reach center before stepping out.
• MC and Th pick up hymnals and join lineup - Th SD Cel D MC
• MC signals genuflection after play through of hymn.
• All turn. Cr & Acol lead Recession followed by Choir, Verger, CM & Choir Clergy.
• Torches face each other and at signal from MC, meet at center, turn, and walk out together, following Choir Clergy.
• MC & Th meet at center, turn, and walk out together, following Torches.
• All gather in Baptistry, in front of Font for prayer by Cel.

• SD goes to fetch veiled chalice to take to Working Sacristy.
• MC, CM, and Th can receive vestments and return them to Vesting Sacristy.
• MC gets counts from Acol and Cr, if not done previously.
All servers remove vessels and take to Working Sacristy.
• Money is put in safe.
• Altar Book back to cupboard in Sofe. (Lesson book should stay; can turn the page back to first lesson if you have time.)
• Binder for Creed and Prayers is returned to its place in the Sacristy at the left end of the vesting altar.
• Water glasses - remove glass from high altar; can leave preacher’s if plenty left.
• Return notebook of 9AM Mass back to cupboard in sofe.
• Record number present, number of communions, and write initials in “Server” column in book on desk in Vesting Sacristy.
• Check upstairs to be sure all cassocks and cottas have been hung up.