9 am Mass Customary: Subdeacon (SD)



SD is the first of the three Sacred Ministers (SM), directly behind the MC. (See Server notes for diagram.) When the altar steps are reached, the lineup is as follows:

A Th SD Cel D MC A

At a signal from the MC, all genuflect. At a signal from the Cel., the SM ascend the steps and to bow over the altar. The Cel. kisses the altar, but D & SD do not.

SD Cel D

The 3 SM move to the side for the reading of the Collect for Purity. They are lined up in a diagonal line, slant “I”. The SD is standing on the Pavement.

The SM then move to the center into a straight “I” formation, prior to the Gloria.

As soon as the Cel says “Glory Be to God on High,” the SD and D move up to either side of the Cel. Censing is generally done during the Gloria, and the SD & D hold the edges of the Chasuble to keep it away from the thurible.

The Cel starts the censing of the altar in the center, moves to the right end of the altar,back to the center, to the left, and finally moves all the way to the right again. Whenmoving past the Cross at the center of the altar, SM pause briefly to reverence it. During censing the SM face the direction in which they are moving and walk forward so as to avoid “crab steps.” Movements of the Cel should not force the other SM to move to a lower step at the ends of the altar, but it happens sometimes. When the SM are all the way to the right for a 2nd time, the Cel hands the thurible to the D, as the D & SD move -in tandem as much as possible- to the floor for the censing of the Cel. D&SD jointly reverence the Cel before and after censing.

After censing the Cel, the SM once again return to the center, on their respective levels.

As the Cel reverences the altar before he turns to say, “The Lord Be With You,” the D & SD turn away from the center, take one step, then turn to face the altar. (This is so the Cel can be seen as he speaks.)


All then move right to form a straight “I” while the Cel reads the Collect for the Day.


At the end of the Collect the SM move to the Sedilia. D&SD help put the back of the Chasuble behind the Cel’s chair. (SD flips up back of his/her Tunicle before sitting.)

The Liturgy of the Word

SM are seated for the OT reading. (Done by a member of the Congregation.)

As the Psalm is sung, the SD stays seated until 2 or 3 verses before the Gloria Patri. At that point s/he walks to the center of the pavement, genuflects, and proceeds to the Lectern.

SD remains facing north - toward the pulpit - and bows during the Gloria Patri. At the end of the Psalm, s/he turns toward the Lectern and announces the reading. (The light should be turned on already, and should be left on after the reading.)

S/he concludes the reading with, “The Word of the Lord.”

SD returns to the front of the altar, genuflects (after the Thurifer has moved off to theside), and ascends the altar steps to move the Altar Book & stand from the Epistle side (right end) of the altar to a left-of-center position on the Gospel side. When passing the Crucifix, SD reverences with a brief bow of the head.

S/he descends steps to lineup position for Gospel procession.

[ altar ]


The MC leads the procession to midway down the center aisle and the others follow in this order:


When in place indicated by MC, SD turns and faces the altar; D faces West. SD holds out hands for the Deacon to place the Gospel Book. SD should stand so that Gospel Book is in line with the candles.

At the end of the Gospel, the D takes Gospel Book, elevates it, and returns it to the hands of the SD. The Book will be kissed and closed by the celebrant, whether he is standing nearby because he is preaching, or is back by the Sedilia. (SD closes Book if Cel does not.) In any case the SD leads the procession back. However, s/he does not genuflect or pause at the foot of the altar, but returns to the Sedilia and waits for the MC to take the Gospel Book and put it away. The SD sits in his/her chair during the sermon.

At the end of the sermon SM stand and SD leads SM to foot of steps facing the altar.

(There is no genuflection because the SM are not turning their backs to the altar.)

[ altar ]
SD Cel D

CREED : At the mention of the Incarnation, all genuflect with the right knee touching the floor (not the step.)

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE: SD & Cel remain standing in position as D leads prayers.

CONFESSION and ABSOLUTION: All kneel after D has returned to position.

PEACE: SD and D stand and turn to face each other while Cel faces Congregation. Cel turns to give peace to D first, then SD. (Hands are placed on shoulders, and lean toward Cel on right, then left.)

SM genuflect together and return to stand in front of Sedilia. They give the peace to the Acol. SD remains standing while incense is laid on for the offertory procession.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist:

OFFERTORY ANTHEM: SD and Cel sit while D prepares vessels. (Once again SD aids Cel with Chasuble.)


• SM stand and SD leads them to the foot of the altar steps where they genuflect, then turn to face the procession. When Cel steps forward to receive gifts, SD and D move forward also, but remain slightly behind him.

Note: When turning SD should always turn in toward the Cel.

• The Cel receives the alms bason and hands it to the SD; takes the flagon and passes it to the D; and takes the Ciborium himself.
The SM nod to processors, turn, and go up the steps carrying the offerings.

Note: SD should remove attendance slip from top of bason when handing it to the Cel. for elevation.

• After the Cel takes the alms and elevates them, they are returned to the SD who turns and hands the bason to the CM, who has come up to receive it.

SD then moves right to receive the water cruet from the MC.


• As the Cel reverences the altar before he turns to say, “The Lord Be With You,” the D & SD turn away from the center, take one step, then turn to face the altar.

• As the Cel turns to face the altar again, SD & D also turn, take one step to return to “I” formation.

SM remain in this position through the Proper Preface. At the words “Therefore with ...”, SD & D join the Cel at the altar. (The D should pause a beat to allow the SD to “catch up.”)


• SM cross themselves at “Blessed...”, but again watch the Cel. PRAYER OF CONSECRATION:


• As Cel turns to the Congregation with the elements held up, the SD and D turn to face the Cel and elements, and make the sign of the cross.




When SD and D reach their step locations, they reverence, and then immediately ascend steps.




• At the end of the prayer, SM move to "I" formation at center.

• D and SD split for Cel to say, “Let us pray.”

SD and D kneel in place and Cel gives blessing.

• SM bow over altar, turn and descend steps.


• SD is in the same position in lineup as at the beginning of the mass.

[ altar ]
[ altar steps ]
Th SD Cel D MC