Liturgical Notes – as given to the servers this morning

[Well, this is what was supposed to happen…]

  1. Bishop Idris is preaching this morning. On the rota (prepared before KH was installed), +Idris is down to preach and KH to celebrate. +Idris is to be invited to celebrate if he wishes as is the courtesy given to a Diocesan Bishop when in his churches.
  2. We will be using incense this morning. We will use it only at the offertory. The Thurifer is to go and light the thurible immediately after the sermon. Thus giving time during the creed and intercessions for the lighting up. Please light up in the sacristy with the door closed – otherwise we get the noise of clanking chains disturbing the intercessions.
  3. Offertory procession people are to bring the elements at the start of the hymn. The Deacon and Subdeacon are to lead them. It is D and S who go down the congregation sharing the peace. Elements should be at the table quickly so that they can be prepared and censed.
  4. Table is laid by servers, then checked (and perhaps chalice filled up) by the Deacon on arriving back at table.
  5. Thurifer comes out at start of offertory hymn and holds the thurible so that the presiding minister can put on incense. Once the table is prepared, the presider censes the [gifts on the] altar with three swings and, if there is time, goes around the table. Thurifer – please do not cense the sacred ministers or the congregation today. Ideally, if the money has come down the aisle by the time the presiding minister has gone around  the table, then it gets a swing as well. Thurible goes out and into the sacristy at this point and does not reappear. Our aim is to use the thurible responsibly with a faint whiff of smoke, not to re-enact the clouds of transfiguration which surrounded Our Lord, throughout communion.
  6. At table, Deacon and Subdeacon assist the Presider. Subdeacon is on the side of the Eagle lectern when facing the people, the Deacon on the organ side.
  7. Deacon and Subdeacon do what the Presider does eg bowing at the Sanctus.
  8. Lay people from the congregation who are nominated to assist with communion should still do so.
  9. Deacon and Subdeacon should take the vessels to St Anne’s Chapel after communion leaving the Presiding Minister presiding in church at all times.
  10. Servers should have one eye on the MC, one eye on the Presiding Minister and one eye on what they are doing at all times.




  1. Moyra says

    So what really happened?
    you can’t leave me in suspense like that…. Did any of it go according to plan?

  2. Anonymous says

    What really happened

    Well, Fr Bishop did not really turn up with enough time to spare to be accorded the offer to celebrate. He did make it into the pulpit in time for the sermon. Just.

    So, we had a Presiding Minister and Sub-deacon. Not quite a High Mass, more Gas Mark 5.

    Excellent control of the thurible.

    No amount of bowing to the offertory procession or censing them would make them go away. Perhaps someone was supposed to do something else to them, but I sure don’t know what they were waiting for. Perhaps someone will tell me in the week.

    Offertory elements arrived nearer verse 4 of the hymn than verse 1.

    Presiding Muggins ended up flitting out with the vessels to St Anne’s chapel.

    And a good time was had by all. 



  3. Pamela says

    I wish I’d been able to get out my bed in time for yesterdays service – I love it when the incense is used.

  4. Vicky says

    chaos what chaos?
    apart from the late Bish and the sneaky switching on of his mike, I was blissfully unaware of the chaos at the altar……isn’t it always like that?  Just think yourselves lucky you don’t have to accurately time the ringing of bells and the ‘donging’ of dongs which, if inappropriately done, can throw transubstantiation into reversal…..

  5. Brannon Hancock says

    didn’t notice
    I didn’t notice a thing. (Well, except the tardy homilist.) ‘course, sitting out w/ the congregation, my eye misses a lot of that I’d probably notice were I with the choir in our normal place. For instance, with the Bishop at the “big pulpit,” I couldn’t see him at all from where I was sitting. In fact, it took me about 25 seconds to figure out where the strange disembodied voice was coming from…

  6. Anonymous says

    Servers and Sight Lines

    Oh, there was no chaos at the altar – the servers served impeccably. It is the mark of good serving that no-one should know that things were not quite going to plan.

    As for seeing the Bishop – one of the things I’ve been giving a lot of thought to is the sightlines in the Cathedral which are pretty terrible. There is no perfect place to preach from or to celebrate at which will enable everyone in the pews to see. At one time in the life of the church people were charged pew rents – higher rent for seats you could see from.

  7. Elizabeth Anderson says

    sight lines
    True enough re sightlines. As someone who regularly sits in south side pews – I’ve figured out exactly where to sit in the pew so that the offending pillar is between altar and eagle – so I could see preacher and celebrant. Which is extremely selfish becuase it means whoever else is in the pew (usually James) can’t see.

    I thought the preaching from the centre, in front of the altar – most visible – and not so far away from congregation as ‘voice from the sky’pulpit – is best option so far.

    As for incense – not a wiff reached said south aisle. But I suppose for it to permeate to back of church would involve overwhelming those front and centre.

  8. Anonymous says

    Sight Lines from the North Aisle
    As a someone who regularly sits in the North Aisle, I can see most of what goes on except when the pulpit is being used. On those occaisions, moving tot he other end of the pew gives me a view of the pulpit around the north side of the organ console.

  9. Elizabeth Anderson says

    I feel like great amusement could be had by all with coloured yarn connecting various bits of the Cathedral. Green for the pulpit, red for the altar, blue for the lectern – stretching around the pillars, organ console . . .

  10. Mysterious stranger says

    Mystery to me
    As someone who has just about mastered morning prayers the above just remains a complete mystery to me.I like the idea of the yarn though.

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