Category Archives: Liturgy

Bishop Grafton on Bishop Peterkin’s “Open Letter” (1911)

To the Editor of The Living Church:[1]

MY good brother, Bishop Peterkin, is in favor of retaining the word Protestant in our Church title because it involves a denial of the Real Presence in the Eucharist, the Sacrament of the Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, and Sacramental Confession. These doctrines, he holds are Roman errors, repudiated by our Reformers, and not in the Prayer Book. On the other hand, many conservative Churchmen of different schools object to the term “Protestant” because it has come to mean a rejection of authority, of the plenary inspiration of Holy Scripture, of the supernatural generally, and miracles. It echoes the rationalizing spirit of the day, tends to a denial of the Deity of Christ, of the Virgin Birth of Christ, of the Resurrection of the body.

Modern Protestantism stands, therefore, for a decadent Christianity. As conservative and evangelical Churchmen we wish, therefore, to get rid of the title.

In the interests of peace, I would point out that what we Churchmen agree in believing, is not the Roman doctrine but one which is largely repudiated by Protestant sectarianism. We believe in the Real Presence. But our belief does not involve the Roman doctrine of Transubstantiation. Rome makes the manner of the change wrought by the consecration a dogma. We do not pretend to define the manner, but leave it a mystery. The Presence is after a heavenly and spiritual manner, ineffable and sacramental, and not in accordance with natural laws. Sectarian Protestantism denies the Real Presence and regards the Communion as a mere commemoration service. The word Protestant is thus associated with Zwinglianism. This is not the doctrine of the Prayer Book or of our reformers. Do we wish to be Zwinglianists? Shall we not get rid of a title that so compromises us?

Then as to the “Sacrifice of the Mass.” We do not hold that the Eucharist is a repetition or an addition to the work of the Cross. We do believe it is a sacrifice or offering made to God. Thus our Prayer Book bids the priest say, “these thy Holy Gifts which we now offer unto Thee.” Our American Prayer Book also calls the holy table an altar, and an altar implies sacrifice. Now our Lord’s Sacrifice had three parts to it. He freely offered Himself in the Upper Chamber. He offered Himself with the shedding of Blood on the Cross. He presented Himself as the Lamb slain before the Eternal Father in heaven. In the Eucharist we commemorate the voluntary offering of Himself. We make an unbloody and symbolical memorial of His death on Calvary, and plead, in union with our ascended Lord, the all-sufficient merits of His sacrifice. But in Protestant sectarian meeting-houses there are no alters, for they have no sacrifice to offer. Protestantism thus denies the existence of a form of worship which is essential to our Church. Ought we not to unite in repudiating a title which denies what our Church and our Prayer Book teach?

Again, then, as to “Eucharistic Adoration.” We Catholics do not adore the elements. Why not take our word as brother Christians for it? If we knelt down in worship before Christ when visible, we could not rightly be accused of worshipping His dress. Now our acts of worship are not paid to the elements, which are like the veils of His Human Body, nor to His Human Body apart from His Soul, nor to His Soul apart from His Divinity, nor to His Divinity apart from His Divine Person. His Divine Person is the object to which our adoration is paid.

He does not move from the right hand of Power, but abiding in His Spiritual Body the Church, makes Himself manifest within it, even as we believe that, without moving, He appeared to Saul on the roadway to Damascus. Our acts of worship, being directed to the Person of the Son of God, cannot be censured as idolatry, or Romanism, or as denied by our Prayer Book.

The worship of God enters largely into our Communion. On entering the church, which is God’s covenanted meeting place, we kneel down and recognize His Presence, but do not worship the building. Protestantism does not do this. It does not believe in the doctrine of holy or consecrated places or things. It regards the Communion elements as simply unchanged bread and wine. It received them sitting in its pews, with the bread and wine passed around on a waiter. Why, out of fear that our Eucharistic Adoration means something we repudiate, do you wish to retain the term Protestant, which implies something Churchmen of all schools abhor?

“Sacramental Confession” is, I know, a bugbear. It cannot however be denied that provision is made in the Prayer Book for confession before God in the presence of a priest, and a form of absolution given for the priest to pronounce. When, by whom, or how often, it is to be resorted to, are too large questions for present treatment. But all of the Catholic school recognize that it is not obligatory—as Rome teaches—but voluntary. It is a prerogative of priesthood and the right of the laity to use it as they please. It is an ancient mark of the Apostolic Catholic Churches. To deny it, by the use of the term Protestant, is to disparage our own heritage. Our Church certainly holds that her priests have power to declare and pronounce to penitents, the absolution and remission of their sins. This, sectarianism denies. Why then adopt a name which rejects what we Prayer Book Churchmen hold?

Let all Churchmen try to draw together. Each school needs the others. They are, when charitably understood, complementary, not contradictory. Much of all our differences lies in words. It is largely through verbal misunderstandings that we are kept apart. Thank God, however, theology is not religion, and it is religion that makes us all of one heart.

C. C. Fond du Lac.

[1] The Living Church, October 14, 1911, pp. 813-814. This letter responds to Bishop George W. Peterkin’s open letter (September 30, 1911, pp. 744-745) on the shared “distrust of Catholic advance which so generally characterizes Virginians.” Peterkin was the first Bishop of West Virginia, serving from 1878 to 1902.

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Evening Communions and Individual Communion Cups, by Charles Chapman Grafton (1911)

To the Editor of The Living Church: [1]

THERE are two un-Churchly customs, one of which, we believe, started in England. These customs are evening Communion, and the giving of the Sacrament in individual cups.

When the custom of having early celebrations increased in England, the Low Church partisans there introduced what was then unusual, the practice of evening Communions. It was a partisan move for the purpose of counteracting the practice of coming to the Communion early and so fasting. Fasting Communions became common, not on account of any English Church law, but as a matter of devotion and reverence. The fresh, early morning before the day’s work had come in was found to be a fitting time for devotion. The partisan excuse for evening Communion was that it met the wants of the servant class and working people. It was seemingly insincere, and a manufactured subterfuge to cover up a partisan movement; for it was obvious that the Roman Catholic Church, which largely dealt with those classes of persons, found no difficulty in getting them to early Communion. It is a growing sign of Christian consideration of others’ feelings that now evening Communions in England are diminishing. We trust it may be so here, where the restoration of good feeling amongst the different schools is the most important need for union.

The other un-Churchly custom is that of the introduction of individual cups.

We are sorry to think that the real reason for their introduction is a partisan one. It gives great pain to a large class of devout Church people, and introduces another cause of division amongst us. Love and charity towards their brethren should lead to its withdrawal. The excuse for it is the danger of infection. But as no instance of infection had been proved, and medical experts have said the danger was infinitesimal, the reason appears to be more fictitious than real. Moreover we believe that our Lord will protect His own Sacrament, and that His promise must here apply: “If ye drink of any deadly thing, it shall not hurt you.” Those who believe that the element, by consecration, has been changed from its natural use, cannot believe that any physical harm can come from receiving the chalice.

What, however, shall a Catholic-minded communicant do, finding himself where this un-Churchly custom has been introduced? In my judgment, the priest has broken the rubric. The rubric requires him, in consecrating, to take the Cup into his hands, and in giving the Sacrament, to give the Cup. Is it not the Cup which has been consecrated that he is to give into the hands of the people? He is not to give any cup, but the Cup in which the wine was consecrated. Would he not break the rubric by giving any other? If he should prepare all the individual cups previously and consecrate them, all the symbolical significance of drinking of one cup would be lost.

On the other hand, if he fill the individual cups from the chalice or vessel in which he has consecrated, he runs the great risk of spilling the sacred element. For the wine cannot be poured from the consecrated chalice or other vessel in which he has consecrated, in the small quantities of two or three drops, without some being spilt, if there are many cups. Nor can he cleanse all the cups, taking ablution in each, without seeming irreverence and greatly prolonging the service, or else falling into the greater irreverence of not taking the ablutions and so cleansing the cups.

What then is the devout communicant to do where the individual cups are used? The rubric and custom of the Church appear to be broken. Holy Scripture, in joining the partaking of the Cup of Blessing or one consecrated Cup, seems to be violated. Possibly Churchmen might be willing to be governed by our Lord’s action in the Last Supper, who did not have individual cups, but the one Cup which He blessed and of which all the apostles received.

The custom of individual cups seems to me so un-Churchly, unrubrical, so distrustful of Christ’s protection, that I should advise a devout communicant, where individual cups were used, to go to some other church to receive his communion, or to leave the parish.

C. C. Fond du Lac.

[1] The Living Church, August 26, 1911, p. 577.

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Roman Imitations, by Charles Chapman Grafton (1911)

To the Editor of The Living Church:[1]

I feel very strongly the importance of Catholics avoiding even an apparent imitation of Roman ceremonial. There is, or was (for I hope it has passed away with the late secessions), an idea, that if our ritual could be made like that of Rome, it would help on a reconciliation. But the present attitude of Rome shows this to be an impossibility. Reunion with Rome as an end of our movement should be dismissed from every Catholic-minded Churchman. For Rome does not ask for our agreement with her in Faith, but for submission to papal authority. There is a vast difference between the Catholic religion and the papal monarchical system. The latter is, we believe, a perversion of the Gospel, a destroyer of unity, a promoter of schism, a claim unsupported by Scripture or tradition, and a form of anti-Christ. Even if reunion were within the scope of possibility, an agreement with her in details of ritual would not aid the result. What we must do is to make it clear to our fellow-Churchmen that our Catholic movement has neither in thought or wish a return to papal submission. If we are to gain the good will of our Evangelical and High and Broad conservative brethren, we must make this obvious by our teaching and practice. It is only so that we can succeed.

Now the omission of the Nicene Creed in our weekly Eucharist gives the impression to our brethren that it is a Romish imitation. Are we not here, as in other cases, to consider our weaker brethren, and to avoid any appearance of evil? Ought we not to make any personal sacrifice in order to demonstrate our loyalty to our Book of Common Prayer? Does the allowed omission of the Nicene Creed in the first Prayer Book of King Edward VI. give us any authority to do so, who have promised our obedience to the present book? The omission is not so obviously a return to an English precedent, if such a return were allowed, as it is to an apparently Romish imitation. Allowing the good intentions of all our Catholic friends, we would, however, kindly ask them: Is the omission wise? Also, may we not say the same as to the shortened Mass?

Again, may we urge all our Catholic friends strictly to conform to the rubric which bids the consumption of the Sacred Elements left over from the Communion of the people to be made after the Benediction? It perhaps will surprise some churchmen to learn that there are any priests who consume the Sacred Elements after their own or the people’s Communion. Why do they do this? The only reason I know is that they do it in imitation of the Roman rite. Now our prayer Book, with seemingly great wisdom and devotion, reserves the Blessed Sacrament to the end of the service. The people standing, sing the Gloria in Excelsis in Its presence, as an act of devotion. We regard it as one of the most glorious heritages of our American Liturgy. But our friends set the rubric aside, and consume the Elements before the Benediction. No wonder the Church loses confidence in any party or cause that allows such a custom! Now wonder that these men look Romewards.

Another apparent imitation is the covering of the Sacred Elements, after the recitation of the canon, with a silk veil, instead of a “fair linen cloth,” a direction which we put in by the reformers for the purpose of protecting the Blessed Sacrament from pollution by flies or other insects. Symbolically, it has a beautiful reference to our Lord’s Body when taken down from the Cross, being wrapped in fair linen. It also bears witness to our Lord’s Blessed Body and Blood being present, though under sacramental veils. In the Roman rite, the Mass being over, when the priest has communicated, the Sacred Elements are covered with a silk veil, like that which is used by many of our clergy when bringing in the empty Chalice and Paten at the beginning of the service. A covering by the silk veil thus teaches the Roman doctrine that the Mass is over, and is a sign to our people that the Sacrament is no longer there. Be this as it may, it is a Roman and not an Anglican practice.

Again, we fear that some are still governed in their ritual by the book Father McGarvey put forth before his secession to Rome. He was, as his secession proved, a Romanist at heart. His apparent desire was so to interpret our rubrics as to make them conform with Roman practice. He sought in many ways to undermine the loyalty of our people. It seems a small thing, but why should a priest go to the epistle end of the altar to say the concluding prayers? The Roman priest does this, for having consumed the Blessed Sacrament which he had consecrated, he naturally returns for the concluding prayers to the epistle side, where he began the service. But with us the Blessed Sacrament is still unconsumed. Why then should not the priest stand before it, as he had previously done? Why go away, and leave It, and go to the Epistle side? It is, we grant, very immaterial.

There are a good many other smaller points like these which we would respectfully bring before our good Catholic friends, as one who has had the great cause so long and so deeply at heart. The first and great work to be done in the Church is to unite the Evangelicals, the Conservative-broads, the old-fashioned High Churchmen, and ourselves together in loving Christian fellowship, in mutual trust, and toleration, and cooperation in the building up of our communion.

C. C. Fond du Lac.

[1] The Living Church, July 1, 1911, pp. 303-304.

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Where Should the Priest Begin the Holy Communion? by Charles Chapman Grafton (1907)

To the Editor of The Living Church:[1]

I HAVE little or no interest in the ritual question raised by the Bishop of Marquette. In this time when men calling themselves Churchmen are, under the pretense of defending Christianity, undermining its very foundations, and in the presence of an apostasy unparalleled in the history of Christendom, this matter of ritual seems too trivial for consideration. We are living in an awful and most solemn time when the final anti-Christ is making his most subtly satanical attack on Christianity.

I do not care where one stands at the beginning of the Holy Eucharist. For forty years I have always begun at the Epistle side, and have seen most celebrations begun in that way. It is now the established custom in England and America of a very large number.

I have adopted it, as I suppose others have done, not because it is like the Roman way, but as the best interpretation which, as a lawyer trained, I could give a difficult rubric. The intention of the rubric, as a directory one, must be assumed to be the determination of the place where the priest shall stand. It must be interpreted, therefore, as designating that one place for him and not leaving him to make his own choice of position.

Which of the interpretations does this best?

The rubric reads: “Standing at the right hand of the table.” Does this mean the Epistle or Gospel side? Is the “right hand” to be determined by the table as facing the priest, or by the priest as facing the table?

The arguments in favor of the Gospel side are that in changing from the English rubric which placed the priest at the “north” side, our revisers probably meant to denote the same side without reference to the points of the compass, which, in the loss of the orientation of our buildings, was not advisable. We are, however, obliged, in considering a law, to derive its intention from the law or rubric itself, and not from the supposed purpose of its legislators. Obliged thus to interpret the rubric by itself, its construction must be governed by the intention to designate the position of the priest.

Contemporaneous exposition of a law may be referred to in cases where the law is ambiguous. Until the rubric is shown not to be clear by itself, contemporaneous exposition may not be appealed to. In this case, whatever was the usage in the early part of the last century, it was a continually changing usage and therefore can have little weight, legally considered, in understanding its meaning.

Whatever weight a judicial mind would give to these two reasons, there is this fact in the case which requires consideration: the table may, by the rubric, be moved about and placed in the body of the church. This was done in Puritan times and the rubric still allows it. It might be so placed that the smaller or Gospel end would be turned technically eastwards. In this case the “right side” would be what we now call the back of the altar. I have known clergymen taking that position. A table, therefore, that can be turned about and turned around, has no fixed portion which can be called its right side. The Bishop of Marquette also claims that the rubric would be complied with by the clergyman standing either in front of the Gospel side or by taking up an entirely different position both in respect to the people and the altar at the north or Gospel end. According, then, to this interpretation, no one position is designated to the exclusion of all others, and the clergyman is left to make a choice. This interpretation, therefore, is to be rejected because it defeats the intention and purpose of the rubric.

It seems, then, that it is more in accord with the rubric’s intent to define the right or left hand by the clergyman’s attitude to the table rather than by the table’s attitude to him.

In the marriage service the parties are placed, according to the rubric, “the man on the right hand and the woman on the left.” The Bishop of Marquette says this could not refer to the table because there is no reference to the table in the marriage service. I would respectfully call his attention to the fact that there is a reference to the table in the form given in the English Prayer Book. There “the minister, after the blessing, goes to the Lord’s table.” The Psalm ended, “the man and the woman kneel before the Lord’s table and the priest, standing at the table, shall say,” etc. The reason why the rubric that states that the minister shall go to the Lord’s table, etc., was left out of the American Prayer Book, was because there was ordinarily no recess chancel with a distinction between the nave and the sanctuary. The American usage assumed that the parties would present themselves before the priest standing at the table. Therefore, the direction that the man and woman shall stand on the right and left, while it may refer to each other, may also refer to the table. If it does refer to the parties themselves, anyway it places the man, who is said to be on the right hand, on the Epistle side of the altar. But it was not so much for this reason I have given, that I and others have been led to adopt our present practice.

Though I have, therefore, been led to think that when the priest is bidden to stand on the right hand of the table, the right hand is determined by the priest’s attitude as he faces the altar and not as the altar faces him, for this interpretation gives him no choice of position, while the other interpretation makes his position an indeterminate one which vacates the legal interpretation of the rubric.

But as I have said, it is not a matter in which I feel any concern, especially with the tremendous issues now before the Church, which should lead all conservatives to drop minor questions and rally to protect our Church from what seems to some an impending apostasy.

C. C. Fond du Lac.

Bishop’s House, Fond du Lac, Wis.

[1] The Living Church, March 9, 1907, p. 654. Grafton responds to a letter to the editor by Gershom Mott Williams (1857-1923, Bishop of the Diocese of Marquette from 1895-1919) in The Living Church, March 2, 1907. Three further letters on the subject of the position of the celebrant during Holy Communion followed on March 15, 1907, when the editor declared “The discussion of this subject is now at an end” (p. 691). Notwithstanding this statement, further letters on the topic continued on March 30, 1907 (pp. 768-769) and April 6, 1907 (p. 804).

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Children at the Eucharist, by Charles Chapman Grafton (1907)

To the Editor of the Living Church:[1]

ONE regrets to find any one so narrow-minded as to forbid the presence of children at the Eucharist. But loyal Churchmen, one would think, would be willing to be guided by the Prayer Book. When children are baptized their sponsors are bidden to have them “hear sermons.” Now the only place where sermons are ordered by the Prayer Book is in the Communion service. Surely if, in obedience to the order in the Prayer Book, children are taken to that service, has a Bishop a right to forbid their presence at it? As there is no provision for the withdrawal of any, they have a right to stay through. The Spiritual advantages to the children are very great, and we encourage in our diocese what are called children’s Eucharists, but here we are merely pointing out the illegality of forbidding their attendance.

C. C. Fond du Lac.

[1] The Living Church, August 31, 1907, p. 603; reprinted in Works, Vol. 7, pp. 215-216.

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The Italian Conference, by Thomas Burgess (1919)

For the first time—September ninth, tenth and eleventh—our Italian missionaries have met and prayed and eaten and hobnobbed and planned together. Called by our new Americanization department (“foreign missions at home”), to New York from Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, and places between, they came, seventeen of our twenty-two Italian clergy in active service. Four others have not yet returned from war service, and only one other could not come.

“Why, I know you, quoth the priest from Gary, Indiana, to the curate of Calvary, New York, “you used to go to school to me in Italy. That was nine years back. This was said on the close of the General Theological Seminary on the first afternoon of the conference, as they were coming in to find the rooms assigned in Dodge Hall.

For three days the seminary was taken charge of by the conference. The dean had kindly invited us and placed at our disposal a dormitory, a lecture room and the chapel. Between sessions and services and late into the nights on the close or gathered on chairs and desks in the dismantled rooms the welkin rang with vociferous Italian and English.

If nothing more had been accomplished than the mere get together, the time and money was most well spent.

But much more was accomplished, which bids fair to be a great new beginning of the grasping of our opportunity to minister to the nearly three millions out of four utterly unchurched men, women and children of our neighbors from sunny Italy. These are a mighty means for the upbuilding of our country, if given a helping hand; or a mighty menace, if let alone to lapse still further into neglected atheism and the prey of the forces of discontent. It depends on the Nation-Wide Campaign what our answer shall be.

The conference began with a session in the Italian language.

At four o’clock Father Huntington, O. H. C., gave the first of the two meditations in the chapel, which were to set the spiritual tone of the conference and crystallize its aim, “The Glory of God, the saving of the lost, the sanctification of the faithful.” Such are the essential roots of true Americanization. Evening Prayer was said in Italian, with English hymns.

The next morning we gathered at the Altar, making our special intention the work in hand.

At ten o’clock came the morning’s session of the conference, held in the Church Mission House. At this were not only the Italian clergy but a goodly number of native-born Americans who have been most active in our Italian mission field at home, coming from Erie, Boston, Philadelphia and nearer places and New York, a bishop, priests and laymen and women. Here are the subjects discussed, each discussion led by a ten-minute paper prepared beforehand:

An Italian Periodical, the Reverend Nicola Accomando; The Second Generation, the Reverend F. I. Urbano; Training of the Clergy, the Reverend T. E. Della-Cioppa; Unification, the Reverend Siste Noce (who came all the way from North Carolina, where he is trying to recover from a breakdown from years of overwork): Social Service, Deaconess Gardner: Neighbors, Miss Skinner; Spread of the Work, the Reverend Oreste Salcini.

The discussions were exceedingly lively at times à la Italienne—not the easiest matter in the world for the presiding officer—and “change of name” and “ceremonial extremities” crept in out of order and had to be referred back to the General Convention.

Nevertheless the spirit was fine and the papers and talk thoroughly worth while. On the stroke of twelve we all went downstairs to the chapel for the usual noonday prayers.

Next, the conference walked way over to the Grace Chapel Settlement House for luncheon, presided over by Dr. Slattery, and served in the building where for many years Italian work has been done with the full equipment it ought to have everywhere. There 1,000 Italians have been confirmed and nearly 20,000 visits a year are received from Italians seeking advice on American life. After the luncheon the conference continued.

That evening was the great service in the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. To be sure the congregation was not as large as hoped for, for all New York had turned out that day to greet General Pershing and had watched for hours the parade of the famous First Division. You could not blame the people for being tired. But the choir was nearly full with some one hundred and fifty choristers, the combined Italian choirs of the city, lifting to God their glorious Italian voices, and the Italian clergy and a number of other clergy.

The service was sung in Italian, except America and The Star Spangled Banner, different Italian priests taking part and Canon Nelson, who has done so much for Italian work, reading the lesson. Addresses were made by Bishop Burch, Mr. Fred C. Butler, Federal Director of Americanization, representing Secretary Lane, of the Department of the Interior: and the senior Italian priest present, the Reverend Carmelo DiSano. This last spoke in Italian, gesticulated dramatically and drew forth and waved at the right place a small silk American flag. Of course our flag and that of Italy were carried in procession and also a beautiful banner of one of our Italian Church societies. It was an inspiring service.

At the seminary dormitory that night we sat around and discussed theology and kindred topics till after midnight.

Next morning, after the Holy Eucharist and breakfast in the little restaurant where we ate together, came the final session. There we summed up the results of our discussions and parted with mutual congratulations.

Here are the resolutions adopted by the final session:

General Missionaries: That two missionaries be appointed by the General Board of Missions for itinerant work among Italian missions, and to survey and establish new missions.

Uniform Control: It is the opinion of this conference that the Italian work and missionaries should be taken under the authority of the General Board, and the salaries paid by the same.

Hymnal: It is the opinion of this conference that, although it is advisable to use the English Hymnal, an Italian Hymnal is necessary. That the Hymnal prepared by the Reverend Della Cioppa be published.

Prayer Book: That this conference of Italian clergymen recommends to the Commission on the Italian Prayer Book, that a new translation be made instead of correcting the old one.

Periodical: This conference commends that an Italian periodical be published for use by all Italians in this country for their Americanization and religious instruction. That it be published by the Department of Christian Americanization, with the co-operation of a committee of Italian priests, selected by the secretary of said department.

Bi-lingual Publications: It is the desire of this conference that the publication of condensed service books or pamphlets be made in Italian-English in parallel columns.

English Language: Although in many cases the use of the Italian language is absolutely
necessary, this conference commends the wide-spread practice of using the English language as much as possible in the services and instructions.

Thanks: Vote of thanks to the Secretary.

The Spirit of Missions (New York), October, 1919, Vol. LXXXIV, No. 10, pp. 661-662.

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The Eastward Position, by Charles Chapman Grafton (undated)

Undated twelve-page typescript by Charles Chapman Grafton (1830-1912), transcribed in 2012 by Richard Mammana from scans provided by Canon Matthew Payne, Archivist of the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac

Whether it is one of the signs of the Second Coming of Christ or not, certain it is that there is an increasing desire among all Christian people for more generally recognized union and fellowship. Never, we believe, was there more earnest and continuous prayer being made that the wounds in Christ’s mystical body might be healed. Partly it may come from a realization of the increasing strain of conflict with unbelief, and the potency of the malefic forces of evil. Partly it may come from the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, impelling Christians to a more loving union among themselves. In no part of the Christian family is this duty more imperatively pressing than among English Churchmen.

Entrusted as God has the Anglican Church at the present time, with an evangelizing mission—imperative, world-wide—love must first assuage our internal strife that God may the better do His work through us.

Internal union is the urgent need and duty of the hour. Everything that separates Churchmen into antagonistic sections hinders that fellowship which should bind us together in Christ.

In our zeal for the maintenance of our theological opinions concerning the faith, we are apt to exaggerate their importance and make them sources of needless division. We must often have presented to the angels the spectacle of men neglecting their chief duty of extending the Kingdom of Christ while engaged in quarrels over subordinate and unessential details. God grant that this evil spirit of suspicion and distrust and discord be cast out from us and that we come to sympathise more with one another and understand one another better and dwell together as brethren.

[2] Looking to the English Church, as one turns to a spiritual Mother, the writer, being an American Churchman, has wondered why what is called in England the “Eastward position” should be made a party matter. In America, the Bishops and Clergy, whether called “high” or “low,” or “broad,” alike almost universally take that position when consecrating the elements. He remembers seeing the North End taken but once, in a clerical life, which now covers upwards of fifty years. It was then by a high Churchman who said he took that position because in the old dispensation the victim was slain at the North Side of the Altar. It seemed to him the most proper and significant as being the sacrificial side. His was an exceptional case. The Eastward position has become in America eliminated from party strife and is no sign of a party badge. Surely it would be of advantage if it could be so in England. For everything that divides Churchmen, hurts the Church and hinders Christ’s work.

One road to peace is to enlarge the category of things unessential. Let us in view of our common perils, “lighten the ship.” How foolish now seems the violence once displayed over the colour and material of the preacher’s gown. Of little consequence was it how he dressed, whether in black silk or white linen; the one all essential was the spirit with which he spoke and above all value was the message which he delivered. In like manner it is not essential to our Lord’s true and spiritual Presence, whether, in consecrating, the priest stands at one side of the Table or another. The all-absorbing fact in that divine mystery is, that Christ verily and indeed is there and by a faithful reception we can become partakers of Him. In the pulpit the clergyman, in delivering the Gospel message, is the ordained [2/3] representative of Christ as the Prophet and Teacher of mankind. At the Holy Table he is the minister of Him, Who, as our Great High Priest, blessed and brake the Bread at the last supper and offered Himself to death upon the Cross. At whatever side of the Table he stands, the clergyman is the official representative of Christ, as the Priest, and the holy gift of Christ’s Body and Blood is the same. Why, then, should the position be made a mater of division among us? In Russia there is a sect of “Old Believers” who make it a ground of complaint and separation, that the Orthodox walk round the Altar one way, from West to East, and not by way of the sun from East to West. It seems very foolish, to say nothing more, but is not this, our controversy, of just about the same character?

Quite a number of the clergy, we believe, look upon it in a mere conservative way. They have been accustomed to take a certain position and continue from habit to do so. They think that the one they have chosen is the one directed by the Prayer Book. At least, they think it to be the best interpretation they can give to the rubric. The greater number of the clergy, high and low, desire to be loyal, and if they think the question to be an open one, hold that their own practice and position is allowable. But after all, there is a diversity of practice whose significance has been exaggerated by party spirit; and if without sacrifice or principle uniformity could be brought about, would it not be better for the two schools of the Anglican Church in this respect to be in harmony? Do we not all desire to minimize our differences and come as far as possible into a loving and Christian agreement? If in America it is so, and there the position at the consecration does not divide Churchmen, why should it not [3/4] be so in England? It is but a little thing, but every barrier that is removed between Churchmen and between parties is a great gain for God. Only let the conservative clergy of all schools grow in better accord and Christian fellowship and the Church will receive a new gift of light and love from the Holy Ghost. The exigencies of our time and the future of the Church cry out to us to get together as brethren. Believing that the clergy generally desire to following the directions of the Prayer Book and be loyal to it, let us lay aside our prejudices and anew seek to discover the true interpretation of the rubric involved and be guided by it.

We thus assume that those whom we address are sincerely desirous of obeying the Prayer Book, and are willing, whatever their custom may have been hitherto, to follow its directions.

It is very difficult for any one of us to acknowledge he may have been mistaken, and it may require heroic courage to alter a life-long practice. But as writing for God and for the love He bears His Church, we will examine the question legally, honestly and disproportionately, believing that God will bless it to all humble-minded and charitably inspired souls.

The question such a person puts to himself is, what does the Prayer Book direct? His resolution is, by God’s grace I will follow it.

The Rubric reads thus:

“When the Priest, standing before the Table, hath so ordered the Bread and Wine, that he may with more readiness and decency break the Bread before the people and take the Cup into his hands, he shall say the Prayer of Consecration.

[5] The first and only postulate we make is, that by its terms the object and purpose of this Rubric is to determine the place where the Priest shall stand when about to consecrate. The Priest is not to determine it for himself. It is to be determined for him, by the Church. He is not to please himself or to have a choice in the matter. He is given a command which he is to obey. This being the purpose and object of the Rubric it must be so construed as determining that position. We submit this is the one and only legal way of regarding it.

It is not merely the only legal view we can take of any Rubric, but this view is corroborated by its history. During and before the period of the Commonwealth, many and angry contentions had arisen about this very matter. The communion table had in many places been moved out into the body of the Church by the Puritans. They had gathered about it as at an ordinary table, sitting about it as at a common meal. Churchmen like Bishop Wren, who had taken the old Eastward position, standing before the Table with his back to the people, had been for this very matter tried and condemned. There was throughout the church great diversity and a widespread confusion. As the Restoration of the final revision of the Prayer Book the Bishops inserted this Rubric to settle the matter. It was inserted to determine the place the Priest should occupy at the Consecration.

We will therefore assume that our postulate is granted by our readers.

Let us then examine the Rubric and see what is the position it bids the priest take. First, it is stated that the Priest shall be found “Standing before the Table.” Why, we may ask, [5/6] was the word before used in the Rubric and not some other term of local designation? Why was not some point of the compass taken, as one is in the rubric at the beginning of the communion service? Why did it not say north side or east side, or right or left side? Because the Table had by the Puritans been moved out from the chancel and could be turned about at will, and so no one particular place could be designated by any one point of the compass. What would be north or south, right or left, would be changed by every changed position of the Table. The makers of the Rubric were therefore obliged to designate the point they had in mind by some other terminology. The problem before them was how to designate the place where the priest was to stand so that it could not be affected in whatever way the Table might be turned. We shall see presently how they did this and in such wise as that no moving of the Table could affect the rubric’s meaning or change the designated place.

We must then assume they used the word “before” as best suited to carry out the intention of the rubric, which was, it is agreed, to state the position the Priest was to take.

What then does the term “before” in reference to the Table signify? Since we have agreed that the Rubric, being of an imperatively directory character, must designate some one particular side as to the priest’s position at the Table, what particular side or spot does it describe?

It is obvious that taken by itself alone, the word is an ambiguous one and may have one of two meanings.

First,—“before the Table” may mean “in the presence of the Table.”

[7] No matter, said one of the Judges of the Privy Council, when the case was being argued before him, on which side of a table I am sitting or standing, I may be said in any position to be “before the Table.”

This is true. But it cannot have that meaning assigned to it here, because, in that case, at whatever side of the Table the Priest stood, he would be before it. The Rubric would thus fail of being a directory one. It would not point out, as we agreed it should, the one place where the Priest should stand. He would be left to make his own choice. He would not be obeying an explicit command. As the purpose of the Rubric is to designate the position to be taken by the priest, the word “before” cannot mean “in the presence of,” but must mean some one particular side.

The question next is:—Can we discover from the Rubric itself what that side is? We might imagine a rubric so ambiguously worded as to make this impossible. Were the makers so unskilled as not to be able to meet this difficulty? They have gone through a large and trying experience concerning this very matter. Their attention had been especially called to it.

They could not have been so stupid as not to have weighed every possible subterfuge by which their intention could be set aside. Be this as it may, in the construction of all Canons, Statutes, Laws, Rubrics, we are bound to be guided by those wise rules which the science of the law has demonstrated to be the only sure way of arriving at their true meaning.

Now one of these laws of construction is that we must so construe a law or rubric as to carry out its purpose and also that [7/8] like or similar words used in any law must be construed as having the same meaning. Let us then apply this principle, and see if it helps us out of the difficulty. Now the word “before” is used in the Rubric designedly twice. The Priest is not only to stand “before the Table,” but he is also to break the Bread “before the people.”

What, then, we ask ourselves, does “before the people” mean? It cannot mean “in the presence of the people,” nor “in the sight of the people.” For it would not, so construed, determine the Priest’s position, and the Rubric we have seen must be construed strictly according to its purpose which is to define one position to the exclusion of all others.

If, then, the word “before the Table” designated one side of “the Table,” so the word “before” in this place must likewise signify one position in relation to “the People,” for the same word in a law must have the same meaning assigned it in one place as in another. And as the object of the Rubric was to designate the position of the Priest, this term must be construed to further the end for which the Rubric was made.

Now the phrase “before the people” as designating a position to be taken by the Clergyman has but one signification. It cannot mean behind the people, nor can it mean on one side, or the right or the left flank of the people. When a Colonel is bidden to stand before his regiment, or a Captain before his company, it does not mean either behind them or on one side, but in front of them. And if the priest is thus placed in front of the people, the people by the same direction are placed behind him.

We now see why the makers of the Rubric avoided taking the points of the compass, or using any old liturgical terminology [8/9] to disclose the Priest’s position. For had they done so, it could have been easily evaded by a removal or turning about of the Table or by the people surrounding it. So they wisely took two objects, viz: the Table and the People. Their purpose could not then be evaded wherever the Table might be placed. The Priest was bidden so to stand, as at the same time to be “before the People” and “before the Table.”

Since the word “before” must be legally construed as having the same signification in each clause of the Rubric, and the Priest is directed by the word “before” not to stand behind the people or at one side of them, but, they being behind him, in front of them, so likewise he is bidden by the same word “before” not to stand behind the Table, or at one end or side of it, but in front of it.

Why, it possible may be asked, is not the Priest before the Table and also before the people, when standing at the so-called North End of the Altar? Because in that case the word “before” would be used ambiguously, i.e. in two different senses. While the clergyman would be “before the people” in that, though standing sidewise, he would yet be in front of them; he would not be before or in front of the Table, but at one side of it. He could only be said to be “before it” in the sense of “being in its presence,” which we found must be a rejected signification. It has to be rejected because it does not designate one particular side of the Table to the exclusion of all the others. The term “before the people” means, therefore, somewhere in front of them. In front of them must signify the locality whither the faces of the body of the people are turned. The Table [9/10] likewise has a back side and a front side. “Before the Table” here then must mean the front of it or the way it faces. The two objects given by which the Priest’s position is fixed, are the people and the Table. The front side of the people is that side of them, considered as a body, that faces the Table; the front side of the Table is the side of it that fronts or is turned towards the people.

The Rubrical direction then, so far as we have examined it, places the Priest somewhere between the people and the Table. He must be before the people as they face the Table and before the Table as it faces the people.

But if the Rubric had only said this, the place of the Priest would still be undetermined, for he would be in front of both the people and the Table, whether he was standing close to the people, or midway between the Table and the people, or with his face turned towards the people, or if he were standing sidewise.

The makers of the Rubric, who were not unskillful men and also had had to cope with a great deal of ingenious Puritan evasion in this very matter, framed their Rubric to meet this further necessity. They seem to have carefully studied how they could, with their experience of the past, frame a Rubric which would meet all efforts to evade it and which would embody their own practice.

So they added some further directions, skillfully working them into the Rubric, which did two things. First having, as we have seen by their direction, placed the Priest between the Table and the people, they ordered him to stand not near the people but [10/11] ordered him to stand not near the people but close to the Table. He must so stand near the Table that he “may order or arrange the Bread and Wine.” Thus he was placed between the people and the Table, but close to the Altar.

Moreover lest he should face the people while he consecrated, they also ordered that so standing he must break the Bread and take the Cup into his hands. This direction turns him with his face and both hands towards the Altar, where the Elements have been ordered to be placed. In order to break the Bread and take the Cup into both hands, he must, to do this, be turned fully around towards the Table. He cannot perform these acts with his face to the people and his back to the Altar. He cannot do it as he is directed if he stands sidewise, for then he would have but one arm and one hand towards the Table. And having turned towards the Table there is no direction that he should take any other position.

Thus the Rubric places him between Table and people and close to the Altar and turned towards it. There is one further point the authors of the rubric seem to have had in mind. It was and is still customary to place the Elements before or at some part of the service on the Table and by custom in a central position or the middle of it.

When Bishop Wren was tried, in the time of the Commonwealth, and it was charged that he took the Eastward position at the time of the Consecration, and did not stand at the North End, he pleaded that being short of stature, it was both inconvenient for him standing there to reach over to the distant Elements, in the middle of the Table, and that obeying the Apostolic injunction, “do everything in decency and order,” the position he adopted was the [11/12] most seemly and decent. The please was scornfully rejected. When the Bishops at the time of the Restoration, and Wren was one of them, formed this rubric, they very naturally embodied Wren’s plea within it. Not only did they frame a Rubric which should place the Priest next to the front of the Table and turned toward it, but placed where he had ever been accustomed to stand, viz: in the middle of the Altar as the place where he could with “more readiness and decency,” according to their view, break the Bread and take the Cup into his hands. We submit that what is called the Eastward position is shown to be he legal and the correct one.

The idea that the Reformers of 1662 had any notion that it was of any doctrinal significance, or of devotional value for the people to see the manual acts finds no warrant in Anglican theology or the Rubric. Yet we should in conclusion deal with what seems to be with some, more like an unreason prejudice, than a real difficulty.

If the English clergy would unite with their American brethren, in adopting this legal common sense construction of the Rubric, the two communions would become more assimilated, and by the removal of the question from the area of party strife, the cause of Christian unity and harmony among ourselves, so necessary, so imperative for the future of England’s Church, would be greatly forwarded. The prayer of every true lover of the Anglican Church must be, that her members miss not the day of their visitation, but with loving tolerance of even brothers’ weaknesses, rally together to withstand the assault, it may be the final one, between unbelief and worldliness and the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

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At All Saints’, Lambeth (1899)

THE services at All Saints’, Lambeth, where the Rev. F. G. Lee, D.D., has been Vicar for thirty-two years, have long been notorious. The following report of a choral celebration of Holy Communion fully justifies the reputation which the church has obtained.

The district of All Saints’, Lambeth, embraces some of the most squalid parts of South London. The church is situated in a by-street just off the thoroughfare widely known as the Lower Marsh, which runs from Waterloo Road to Westminster Bridge Road. The Vicar—the Rev. Dr. Lee—who has been there a great many years, has for a long time been associated with the “Catholic revival,” and in regard to both doctrine and ritual it has been always understood that you could be sure of the “correct thing” at All Saints’. Moreover, Dr. Lee is one of the clergymen connected with the Order of Corporate Reunion. It is commonly reported that he looks upon Rome with a tender eye, and there is reason to believe that whatever doubts certain advanced clergy may have about the validity of their Orders, he has absolutely none about his own. It is, too, an interesting indication of the Vicar’s sympathies that amongst the numerous cards at the west end of the church, begging you of your charity to pray for the repose of the soul of So-and-so, is one bearing the name of Cardinal Newman.

I do not know for how long All Saints’ has been notorious for its “Catholic” services, but certainly the church was never built for a display of advanced ritual. It does not even possess a chancel; it has an apse instead. But any difficulty on this score has been removed by the erection across the nave of the church of a wooden screen of slender build, and surmounted by a crucifix and six candles. Within this screen sat choir and clergy. The choir was not a large one, but two of the men had brass instruments, so there was a good volume of sound. Contrary to general custom the clergy seats are at the east end of the stalls farthest away from the people. The High Altar is in the apse. Just below the steps leading to the High Altar there are three chairs, and behind them a large reading-desk, all placed so that anyone using them would be facing eastwards. There are two side-altars, and the whole appearance of the east end seemed rather to suggest that of a not too well-kept Roman Catholic chapel. The church itself looked dirty and decayed; but it is clear that other things at All Saints’ need restoring besides the fabric.

The church seats something like 2000 people, for there are deep galleries along either side and at the west end; but on Sunday morning last, when I was present at Matins and at the choral celebration, it was almost empty. The congregation consisted of two men (one of whom was myself), eight women, and seven children, and of these one woman and two children left the church during the progress of the service. It is quite evident, therefore, that whatever may be the influence of Catholic doctrine and high ritual amongst the leisured classes of the West, they have no power to attract the masses of this parish. It was a melancholy sight-a congregation of seventeen in a church capable of holding 2000, and Dr. Lee, standing before the High Altar, attired in gorgeous vestments and celebrating the Communion to the accompaniment of organ, trumpets, and choir.

Of the service itself not much need be said. It followed the lines with which the reader is by this time familiar, except that the ritual was less ornate than that to be seen at the West End. But seeing that the offertories are so small in amount it is obvious that the strictest economy must be practised. Dr. Lee announced from the altar that on the previous Sunday they amounted to one shilling in the morning and two shillings at night, and threepence at a celebration during the week.

For the celebration there were four candles lighted at the High Altar. Dr. Lee was the celebrant. He wore a green chasuble, and was attended by a lad who acted as server. The Introit having been sung, he began the service at the north side of the altar, only crossing to the south side for the Collect and Epistle, both of which he read facing eastwards. He recrossed to the north side for the Gospel, but before he read it he bowed towards the elements. The sermon-a very short one-was preached by the curate, who, as he passed the small altar in the north aisle on his way to and from the pulpit, ostentatiously bowed towards it. But there was no other evidence of the Reserved Sacrament being there. During the offertory hymn Dr. Lee went to the south corner of the altar and washed his fingers with some water that was brought to him by the server from the credence table, and wiped them with a towel. Returning to the centre of the altar he read the Prayer for the Church Militant, adding to the clause, “And we also bless Thy Holy Name for all Thy servants departed this life in Thy faith and fear,” the words “Particularly those for whom we are bound to pray.” During the singing of the Sanctus the sacring-bell was rung three times by the server, and the celebrant bowed his head over the elements. The Prayer of Consecration was said with the accompaniments usual at such churches, the Benedictus was sung as a preliminary to it; during its recital the sacring-bell was rung at the words “This is My Body,” and again at the words “This is My Blood”; the host was elevated and the celebrant genuflected before the consecrated elements; and at the close the Agnus Dei was sung.

There were no communicants. Dr. Lee turned to the people with the paten in his hand, but no one approached, and he resumed the service. It seems strange that when the service is merely a Mass and not a Communion that the celebrant should not hesitate to use the prayer which contains the words “humbly beseeching Thee, that all we, who are partakers of this Holy Communion …”; but Dr. Lee used it on Sunday as I have heard other priests use it under precisely similar circumstances. The service was then brought to a close. In pronouncing the blessing Dr. Lee made the sign of the cross three times at the mention of the Trinity. A hymn was sung while the ablutions were being performed, and the service finally concluded with the singing of the Nunc Dimittis.

It is hardly necessary to comment upon a service of this kind; it carries with it its own condemnation.

The Roman Mass in the English Church: Illegal Services Described by Eye-Witnesses, Reprinted by Permission from The Record, with Introduction and Notes (London: Charles J. Thynne, 1899), pp. 50-53.

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Toward a Uniate Rite, by J.E. Bazille-Corbin (1952)

Toward a Uniate Rite: Being the Text of the Sarum Ordinary and Canon, Closely Rendered into English, Rubricated and Presented in a Usable Form


            In the subsequent pages will be found the ORDINARY and CANON of the Western Mass, translated from the Latin of the later printed SARUM missals, in which we possess the VENERABLE RITE OF SAINT OSMUND in its final and mature form.

            The translation adheres word for word, as closely as the English language permits, to the Latin original.

            A like version of the current ROMAN RITE, including the full PROPRIA, made its appearance some years back and is published by Messrs. Knott (of Brook Street, Holborn) under the title of “The English Missal”. Its purpose is employment in conjunction with (or in part, or wholly as a substitute for) the Holy Communion service of the Book of Common Prayer of 1662, which remains the authorized altar-liturgy of the Church of England.

            Messrs. Knott’s “English Missal” has run into several editions and would appear to be extensively used by the Catholic-minded clergy of the Anglican Church in this country, though with little or scant sanction from their Episcopate.

            It has been thought, not only by myself but by not a few eminent churchmen and liturgiologists whom I have consulted, that a translation of the SARUM Ordinary and Canon (possibly as the precursor of a complete Sarum Missal in English) with rubrical direction as ample and detailed as those in Messrs. Knott’s “English Missal”, might well prove of value at the present time, both as the essential part of a practical altar-book and to the student, be he cleric or laic. To this end therefore it is now put out.

            Apart from the “Anglo-Catholic “ party, which whether or no it be actually realised by all its component members, is really a centripetal movement of the separated part towards “ the Rock “ whence in the sixteenth century it was ruthlessly “hewn”, there is a spate of other small bodies, many of them of extreme numerical tininess, some indeed possessing hardly more than a paper existence save in the minds of their particular hierarch, yet all, it would seem, groping their way towards the Divine plan of a United Christendom and all insistently claiming to possess Sacred Orders of valid origin. From enquiries that I have been at pains to make, I have discovered that no one of these bodies claims to be a “church” in the schismatic sense in which that noun is often used, but rather considers itself an autocephalous rite within the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of God.

            The largest perhaps of these communions, with a world-basis of organization, is known as “The Catholic Apostolic Church”—(it has no connection with the similarly entitled “Irvingite” body)—or “The Catholicate of the West”.

            The original channel of its Orders comes from the Syrian-Jacobite patriarchate of Antioch—but, by a series of subsequent Consecrations, all received “sub conditione”, its present Patriarch, His Sacred Beatitude Mar Georgius I, has consolidated in his own person no fewer than eight distinct “lines” of valid episcopal succession, in addition to (as he describes it, “for what they may be worth”), the Anglican and Nonjuring successions.

            “The Catholicate of the West” has moreover been granted legal incorporation by the government of India and is thus a State-chartered body.

… We can hardly evade the conclusion, if facts be faced up to and unmistakable tendencies examined, that all these communions, including the entire Anglican body, in their recoil from the impact with today’s atheistic communism, indifferentism, and religious bankruptcy, are moving, often quite unconsciously, or (may it not be said?) are gently being drawn by the Divine Hand, towards that rock-like bulwark of the Christian Faith and one visible fold, the historic See of Peter.

            And having arrived at the gates of spiritual Rome, on what terms may we suppose, will they be received? Doubtless, for perfect             œcumenical assurance, conditional validation of their Orders, or perhaps Ordination “de novo” may be required, and then, if they should not be desirous of being absorbed into the secular rite of the West, they might conceivably be allowed to continue their existence as one or more UNIATE BODIES in full communion with the Holy See.

… (It should here be noted that no Uniate Church within the papal communion uses the Roman secular Liturgy.

            Each has its own traditional rite and ceremonial.

            Each preserves intact its internal organization and discipline.

            Thus the several Uniate Rites of the East find their expression either in the vernacular tongue, or, more generally, in an archaic traditional form of the vernacular.)

            Granted that the facts and probabilities as above set out, be correct, it were surely convenient that the rite, once more widely current than any other in this country, should be available today in English and in a practical, i.e., a usable dress.

            Up to the present there has existed no edition (free from extraneous interpolations) in the English tongue, of the Sarum Ordinary and Canon, so rubricated and arranged, as to be conveniently read at the altar.

            . . . In the pages that follow, the rendering of the Latin given in “The English Missal” has, after a careful comparison, been closely followed wherever the text of the Sarum and Roman liturgies are identical.

            This has been done in no spirit of plagiarism or uncritical “philoanglicanism” but deliberately, with intent that the present version may avoid any pointless verbal variations from the valuable work published by Messrs. Knott, variations such as must necessarily irritate and confuse a priest who had grown familiar with the closely literal, yet rhythmical and ear-pleasing, and in my opinion (which has been arrived at after a careful comparison therewith of numerous other translations into English of the Roman rite), unquestionably the best version so far produced.

            In my responsibility for the text and rubrics that follow I therefore desire straightway to record my grateful indebtedness both to the Editor and the Publishers of “The English Missal”.

            … A Low Mass, in its simplest form, that is one whereat the celebrant is assisted by a single server, is all that is here contemplated. No provision has been made for the ministering of Holy Communion during or outside the Mass, and it is certainly doubtful whether, it was, prior to the Reformation, normally administered, as is now frequently done in the Western Church, outside the service.

            If then this version of the Sarum Ordinary and Canon be used, Holy Communion can be given very much along the lines of the rite prescribed for that purpose in the Roman Missal (see Messrs. Knott’s The English Missal). The Sarum “Confessio”, etc., being substituted for the Roman “Confiteor”, etc., and the threefold “Domine non sum dignus . . .”, which does not occur in the Sarum liturgy, omitted.

            [Holy Communion will be received of course, in one kind only and the Blessed Sacrament placed direct in the recipient’s mouth whose tongue at the time of reception should be somewhat extended and rested upon the lower lip.

            The “houselling cloth”, stretching the length of the Communion rail will be used, the communicant raising it, with both hands placed beneath, to just below his chin. If the intending communicants be ten (or under ten), in number, the necessary small wafers will have been set in a pile on the corporal for consecration to the left of the priest’s Host, having, at the Offertory or earlier, been placed on the paten with the Host.

            If more be required, a standing pyx (or ciborium) will be used. (A second chalice, covered with a pall, can take the place, if necessary, of a standing pyx).

            During the first part of the service this will be set just behind the corporal after the latter has been spread. It will be moved on to the corporal, to its right hand side, and uncovered when the priest offers the Host and the chalice together at the Offertory and covered immediately afterwards.

            The priest will again uncover the pyx just before he begins the words:—“Who the day before He suffered . . .” and will cover it again immediately before he uncovers the chalice and says:—“Likewise after supper . . . ”

            It is more consonant with ancient practice to place the small wafers for the communicants on the paten, or in the standing pyx, at the same time as the paten and chalice are themselves prepared; but, if the number of intending communicants be not easily ascertainable before the service starts, it may be necessary for them to be taken from the wafer-box immediately after the priest has read the Offertory verse.]

            . . Should there arise, subsequent to the publication of the present work, a demand for a “directorium” for the celebration of a High Mass on similar lines, this could be met later by a supplementary compendium of the necessary instructions. Meanwhile the Sarum Ordinary and Canon as here below set out can be privately bound up and used in conjunction with the “Propria” as given in “The English Missal”, until such time as a translation in full of the Sarum Proper be forthcoming, together with the Kalendar, in which there are naturally fewer feasts than find place in the Roman rite of today. The number of commemorations could then be brought up to date as authority might direct.


            As is generally known the old liturgical texts were but sparsely rubricated in comparison with those of today, even after the introduction of printing. The pre-Reformation rites moreover, both here and abroad, were drawn up in contemplation of the norm of Eucharistic celebration, i.e., they dealt exclusively with what was to be said or done at a High Mass.

            Whence then, it might be asked, have been collected all the detailed directions that appear in this English version? Let it not be thought for a moment that any one of them is the fruit of a lively imagination, or has been capriciously composed. To a large extent they are the result of a study of the many small handbooks or tractates widely current in the fourteenth and two subsequent centuries both here and in northern France (and indeed elsewhere in Europe also), which were put out by practised liturgiologists to instruct and assist the priest in an accurate performance of his daily craft—the celebration of a Low Mass. Those here drawn upon, with the exception of the Dutch tract DAT BOEXKEN VANDER MISSEN (Antwerp 1507), are collected in the late Dr. J. Wickham Legg’s “Tracts on the Mass”, London 1904, q.v. Other works consulted are:—

            Thomas Becon: Works. Vol. III “The Displaying of the Popish Mass”. P.257.

            Becon, one of Cranmer’s chaplains, is known chiefly by his scurrilous Protestant writings. And unpleasant though it be to quote from such a source, he may be relied on as giving us, from his own point of view, an accurate picture of the ceremonies of Low Mass with which he was familiar in his Catholic days. He wrote, while in exile, during Queen Mary’s reign.

            “The Layfolks’ Mass Book”. Early English Text Society, London 1879.

            “The Clerk’s Book of 1549”. J. Wickham Legg. Henry Bradshaw Society, London 1903.

            John Myrc—“Instructions for Parish Priests”. Early English Text Society, London 1868.

            L. Duchesne—“Origines du culte chrétien”, Paris 1889, P.195.

            “The Use of Sarum”. Vol. 1, P.62, etc. W. H. Frere, Cambridge 1898.

“Studies in Ceremonial”. P.236, etc. V. Staley. Oxford 1901.

            “The Ancient Liturgy of the Church of England”. 3rd Edition. W. Maskell. Oxford 1882.

            “The Sarum Missal in English”. Part I. F. E. Warren. London 1911.

            “Missale ad usum insignis ecclesiae Eboracensis”. Vols. I & II. Surtees Society 1874.

            “Claude de Vert”. “Explication des ceremonies de l’Eglise”. Vol. III. P.2, etc. Ed. 1713. (Where special mention is made of the rite of Salisbury.)

            “Pierre le Brun”. “Explication de la Messe”. Vols. III. P.111, etc. Ed. 1726 (quoting Micrologus who wrote circa. 1090.)

            Dr. Rock. (Ed. Hart and Frere), London 1905. “Church of our Fathers”. Vol. I. pp. 477-8 and elsewhere.

            De Molèon. “Voyages Liturgiques”. P. 87, etc. Paris 1718.

Further to the above, notes have been made and facts collected over a period of some thirty-six years from sources too numerous to particularize. For example, in 1913, I was in correspondence with the late Canon Vernon Staley (then Rector of Ickford, Oxfordshire) over a wide range of liturgical subjects and we discussed the possibility of a revision of the “Prayer Book” rite. Early in 1915 letters passed between myself and the late Canon F. E. Warren, Rector of Bardwell, Bury S. Edmunds: in connection with certain obscurities in the Holy Week ceremonies, not completely elucidated in his translation (in two volumes) of the Sarum Missal.

            In 1920 letters passed between myself and Dr. Francis C. Eeles (who was then engaged at the Victoria and Albert Museum), as to Thomas Becon’s reference to the “Commixture” and the position of the “Angus Dei” in relation thereto.

            To the last named, and to the memories of the two former, as well as to all those who have helped me personally, and who have generously put the result of their studies and investigations at my disposal, I desire to record my thanks and indebtedness, also to those whose books I have consulted over more than half a life-time, and to many friends whose encouragement has made the publication of this present work a possibility.

            … In such respect was the ancient Use of Sarum held, both in this country and abroad, that it is possible to collect from a number of writers quotations from, and comments on, the manner in which the ceremonies accompanying the “Rite of S. Osmund” were performed, not so much in the Cathedral Church of Salisbury, where there was ample space and equipment for their rendering in the fullest and most dignified manner, but rather as with such modifications and adaptations which the then exigencies of the average parish church necessitated.

            It was the measure of prestige that the Use of Sarum had acquired, long prior to the issue of the first English “Book of Common Prayer”, that ultimately caused the Convocations of the Realm to accept it as the standard to which all diocesan and local practices should ideally conform. There seems little doubt that, at least in the southern province, the rites proper to the Religious Orders (then, doomed to but a few years of further existence) excepted, considerable attention was being given to put this “recommendation”—if it were nothing stronger—into practical effect.

            It is idle to speculate as to what might have been the liturgical result, or how different the course of Church life and history could have been in England, if Henry VII’s elder son Arthur, married to a Princess of Spain, had succeeded his father, or if Queen Mary I had had a son by her husband King Philip.


Runwell S. Mary,


Feast of the Assumption of our Lady, 1951.

The Order for the Celebration of Low Mass


according to the

Use of the Illustrious Church

of Salisbury


rendered into English (and rubricated in detail, the directions taken from those in the printed editions of the Sarum Missal of several dates, from the Sarum Consuetudinary and Customary, and from “Alphabetum Sacerdotum” and such other handbooks and tractates as were in common use by the clergy of England in the times before the Reformation). 



Rector of Runwell S. Mary, Essex.

The Ordinary of the Mass

The priest shall be careful that his hands are washed before he celebrates Holy Mass.

            He may, if he choose,

(i) prepare both the paten and the chalice in the sacristy, or other accustomed place, before he assumes the sacred vestments, blessing the water in the cruet, (which water shall be renewed daily), in the manner below prescribed. The paten, with the host covered by the pall, shall then be set upon the chalice, and the burse, containing the purificator and corporal, shall be laid upon the paten, Or

(ii) He may carry in the vessels empty, (the purificator being within the chalice-bowl, and the burse, containing the pall and corporal resting on the paten which he has placed on top of the chalice,) and prepare them after concluding the psalm Judica me and when he has reached the altar, Or

(iii) the chalice alone may be prepared when he has arrived at the altar, the host having already laid on the paten and covered with the pall.

            The priest will vest in the sacristy, if there be one. Otherwise he may vest in a side-chapel, where the vestments have been laid out for that purpose, or, even at the altar which he is to celebrate, which will be prepared beforehand: the vestments being arranged in order on the north part of the altar itself; the paten and the chalice containing the purificator, together with the burse, containing the corporal and pall, in the centre; the missal, on its cushion or desk, at the south part of the altar; the cruets and the bread-box, the bowl and the towel for the hand-washing at the Offertory, on the piscina-shelf, credence, or other convenient place nearby.

            As he puts on the sacred vestments the priest will say the hymn Veni Creator Spiritusand that which follows: 

            “Come Holy Ghost, our souls inspire

And lighten with celestial fire,

Thou the annointing Spirit art

            Who dost thy sevenfold gifts impart.

Thy blessed unction from above

            Its comfort, life and fire of love;

Enable with perpetual light

            The dullness of our blinded sight.

Anoint and cheer our soiled face

            With the abundance of thy grace.

Keep far our foes, give peace at home

            Where thou art guide, no ill can come.

Teach us to know the Father, Son,

            And Thee, of both to be but One;

That through the ages all along,

            This may be our endless song.

Praise to thine eternal merit

            Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

            V. “Send forth thy Spirit and thy shall be made

R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.”

            “God unto whom all hearts be open, all desires known and from whom no secret lies hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our heart by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit that we may be worthy perfectly to love Thee and fitly to praise Thee.

            Through Christ our lord. Amen.”

            As he takes the chasuble the priest shall begin the antiphon:

“I will go unto the altar of God.”

            and shall continue, or else the clerk shall answer:

            “Even unto the God of my joy and gladness.”

Carrying the vessels, his left hand holding the chalice, the paten resting upon it, his right hand laid lightly upon the burse, preceded by the clerk, the priest shall go to the altar continuing privately, or, by alternate verses, aloud with the clerk:—

1. Give sentence with me, O God, and defend my cause against the ungodly people: O deliver me from the deceitful and wicked man.

2. For thou art the God of my strength, why hash thou put me from thee: And why go I so heavily, while the enemy oppresseth me?

3. O send out thy light and thy truth, that they may lead me: And bring me unto thy holy hill to thy dwelling.

4. And that I may go unto the altar of God, even unto the God of my joy and gladness: And upon the harp will I give thanks unto thee, O God, my God.

5. Why art thou so heavy, O my soul: And why art thou so disquieted within me?

6. O put thy trust in God, for I will yet give him thanks: Which is the help of my countenance and my God.

7. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost:

8. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

            AntiphonI will go unto the Altar of God: Even unto the God of my joy and gladness.

            From Passion Sunday until Maundy Thursday inclusive, in Masses of the Season, the Psalm “Give sentence with me,” is omitted, the antiphon being, however, said once in full. This is done likewise in all Masses for the Departed.

            Having arrived at the altar, the priest shall make the accustomed reverence and ascend the steps, or step, to the middle of the altar. Setting down the vessels, a little to his left he will take the corporal from the burse and spread it on the altar in the midst and place the vessels in the centre thereof. The burse he will set upright, its opening downwards at the back part of the altar somewhat to his left, or, if it be more convenient, to his right, or may lean it against the reredos.

            [N.B. The front edge of the corporal shall reach to the front edge of the altar but shall not overhang the same.]   

            Unless the host be already in the paten and covered by the pall this shall be done now, the clerk ministering to the priest throughout.

            Then, if the chalice have not been made, the priest shall proceed to prepare it as follows:

            He shall take the chalice in his left hand, wipe the inside of the bowl with the purificator, set the purificator down on the altar to the right of the corporal leaving it folded in three and lying horizontally and parallel to the edge of the altar, shall take the cruet of wine in his right hand from the clerk and shall pour a small quantity of wine into the chalice.

            The clerk shall take back the wine-cruet and shall offer the priest the cruet of water saying: Bless.

            The priest shall replyThe Lord. and shall bless the water in the cruet with the sign of the Cross saying:

By Him be it blest, from whose side came forth Blood and Water. +

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

            Taking the cruet, the priest shall add to the wine in the chalice a few drops of water.

            He shall then set the chalice in the centre of the corporal, cover it with the paten containing the host which in turn is covered with the pall (and, if he choose, with the burse as well), continuing privately as below:  

            Meanwhile turning by his right he shall go to the book on its cushion, or desk, on the south end of the altar and shall open it at the Proper of the Mass which he is to say.

            Kyrie eleison: Christe eleison: Kyrie eleison.

            Our Father which (or who) are in Heaven: Hallowed be thy Name: Thy Kingdom come: Thy will be done in earth as it is in Heaven.

            Give us this day our daily bread: And forgive us our trespasses:

            As we forgive them that trespass against us:—

            Hail Mary, full of grace: The Lord is with thee: Blessed art thou among women: And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

            Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of death:—

            Having turned from the book by his left and gone to the midst of the altar, the priest shall lower his amice (together with his hood), using both hands, on to his neck and turning by his right shall come down to the pavement, i.e., to below the lowest step, turn again by his right so as to stand facing the centre of the altar, where, with his hands joined (and the clerk kneeling on his left), he shall say in a loud voice:

            And lead us not into temptation.

            R. But deliver us from evil.

            Confess unto the Lord, for he is gracious.

            R. For his mercy endureth for ever.

            Inclining forward the priest shall continue:

            I confess to God, to blessed Mary, to all the Saints and to thee, that I have sinned exceedingly, in thought, word and deed, through my fault. I beg holy Mary, all the saints of God, and thee, to pray for me.

            The clerk shall answer:

            Almighty God have mercy upon thee, forgive thee all thy sins, deliver thee from every evil, preserve and strengthen thee in goodness, and bring thee to everlasting life.

            The priest shall answer. Amen and shall stand upright. The clerk shall repeat the Confession:

            I confess to God, to blessed Mary, to all the saints, and to thee, that I have sinned exceedingly, in thought, word and deed, through my fault. I beg Holy Mary, all the saints of God, and thee, to pray for me.

            The priest shall answer, as above:

            Almighty God have mercy upon thee, forgive thee all thy sins, deliver thee from every evil, preserve and strengthen thee in goodness, and bring thee to everlasting life

            R. Amen.

            And the priest shall add: (both he and the clerk signing themselves with the sign of the Cross meanwhile):

            The Almighty and merciful Lord grant unto us + absolution and remission of all our sins, time for true repentance and amendment of life and the grace and comfort of the Holy Ghost.

            R. Amen.

            V. + Our help is in the Name of the Lord.

            R. Who hath made heaven and earth.

            V. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

R. Henceforth, world without end.

            PriestLet us pray.    

            As he says Let us pray the priest goes up to the centre of the altar, his hands joined and in a loud voice, with body inclined continues:

            Take away from us, O Lord, all our iniquities, that with pure minds we may be worthy to enter into the Holy of Holies. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

            Disjoining his hands and laying them somewhat apart with palms down on the altar he will kiss the altar, raise himself and make the sign of the Cross upon his face, saying:

            + In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

            Then will the priest go to the south end of the altar and read the “Office” (or “Introit” as it is more commonly called) with his hands joined. This is the manner in which the “Office” is said.

            The Office and the Psalm are first said, and the Office is repeated. Then is said Glory be to the Father . . . etc. After which the Office is repeated for the third time. But from Passion Sunday until Maundy Thursday inclusive, in Masses of its season, “Glory be . . . ” etc., is omitted, and the Office is not repeated a third time.

            Then in the same place, with his hands joined, the priest shall say the ninefold Kyrie alternately with the clerk.

            V. Kyrie eleison.

            R. Kyrie eleison.

            V. Kyrie eleison.

R. Christe eleison.

            V. Christe eleison.

            R. Christe eleison.

            V. Kyrie eleison.

R. Kyrie eleison.

            V. Kyrie eleison.

            After the Kyrie said, the priest, turning by his left goes to the middle of the altar and there begins (if it is to be said), Gloria in excelsis, extending and then joining his hands and inclining somewhat.

            Glory be to God on high:

After the above words said he shall betake himself to the south end of the altar and continue with joined hands.

            And in earth peace to men of goodwill. We praise thee. We bless thee. We worship thee. We glorify thee. We give thanks to thee for thy great glory. O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father almighty. O Lord, the only-begotten Son Jesu Christ, O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. Thou that takest away the sins of the world, receive our prayer. Thou, that sitteth at the right hand of God the Father, have mercy upon us. For thou only art holy. Thou only art the Lord. Thou only O, Jesu Christ, with the Holy Ghost + art most high in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

            Note that Gloria in excelsis is not said except on feast days and on such Sundays as are outside the season of Advent. Nor is it said from Septuagesima until Easter Even either on Sundays or when the Mass is of the season. Nor is it said when, at any time, the Sunday Mass is resumed during the week.

            Note that whenever the priest shall turn to salute the people with the words The Lord be with you, he shall first kiss the altar in the midst, and turn by the right, extending, slightly raising and then joining his hands, and when he kisses the altar he shall lay his hands somewhat apart, the palms downwards, thereon.

            Having made the sign of the cross upon his face at the end of Gloria in excelsis, the priest will return to the centre of the altar, and then turn to the people, and say:

            The Lord be with you.

            R. And with thy spirit.

Having gone again to the south end and turned to the altar, he says:

Let us pray

and the Collect or Collects as the occasion may require.

            When more than one Collect is to be said, the first Collect and the last (even if there be only two to be said), alone, shall have the full ending, and before the second Callect Let us pray, is to be repeated. The like rule is observed with the Secrets and with the Postcommunions, which at all times must correspond, both in number and source with the Collects.

The conclusion, commencing Through … (or in the instances in which the prayer is addressed to God the Son, Who livest … ) is always said with the hands joined, that is with the tips of the fingers of each hand touching.

            Then shall follow the Epistle or Lesson, which the priest will read in the same place facing due east, the book lying on its desk (or cushion) and the priest placing the palms of his hands on the pages.

            Which read, he shall straightway read the Gradual and Alleluiatic Verse, or the Tract and the Sequenceas may be appointed.

            Then, turning by his left, the priest shall go to the centre of the altar (the Missal and its desk meanwhile having been carried by the Clerk to the Gospel end, and set there angle-wise, so that the Gospel may be read towards the North. If necessary the priest may move the book thither himself), and raising with both hands, the pall, together with the paten (on which lies the host), from the top of the chalice, shall glance within the chalice to make sure that he has not omitted to prepare the same, and then shall immediately replace the paten, the pall thereon. Then, with joined hands, he shall say, in a low voice:

            Bid, Sir, a blessing.

and shall himself reply:

            The Lord be in my heart, and in my mouth, that I may proclaim the holy Gospel of God. + In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

            Here he shall sign himself from forehead to breast and then, turning by the left, go to the north part of the altar, where facing, as far as possible due north, he shall read the Gospel with hands joined. First, however, without turning to the people, or disjoining his hands, he says:

            The Lord be with you

R. And with thy spirit.

            Making the sign of the Cross first upon the open book, secondly upon his forehead, and thirdly on his breast, with his right thumb, he says:

            + The beginning (or the continuation) of the + Holy Gospel according to +

            R. + Glory be to thee, O Lord.

            No response is made at the end of the Gospel, but the priest, having finished reading, kisses the book, which on its desk or cushion is moved again nearer to the centre of the altar, but still on the priest’s left hand. Turning by his right, the priest moves to the centre of the altar.

            Standing in the midst of the altar the priest shall begin the Creed if it is to be said). The Creed is said on all Sundays without exception throughout the year, and on a number of other days as appointed in the “Propria”.

            Extending, raising and then joining his hands, he shall say:

I believe in one God—

the rest is said with hands joined. He inclines his head as he says God and again at the holy Name Jesus and again at worshipped. He makes a profound reverence, or a genuflexion on his right knee, at And was incarnate until after he has said And was made man. At And the life of the world to come it is customary that he sign himself from the forehead to the breast. 

the Father almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, Begotten of his Father, before all worlds. God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, Begotten not made; Being of one substance with the Father, By whom all things were made. Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, AND WAS INCARNATE BY THE HOLY GHOST OF THE VIRGIN MARY, AND WAS MADE MAN. And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried. And the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures. And ascended into heaven. And sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end. And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord, and Giver of Life. Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son. Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified. Who spoke by the prophets. And I believe One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins. And I look for the Resurrection of the dead. And the life of the world to come. Amen.

            Then shall the priest kiss the altar in the midst, in the manner described before the Collect, and turning likewise to the people shall say:

            The Lord be with you.

R. And with thy spirit.

            Having turned back to the altar, without moving from the centre and with hands joined, he shall say: Let us pray, and shall read the Offertory.

            Which read, he shall remove the pall from off the paten and place it to his right on the altar and with both hands shall raise the chalice, the paten resting on it, to the height of his breast and shall say:

            Receive, O Holy Trinity this Oblation, which I, an unworthy sinner, offer in thine honour, and in that of Blessed Mary, and of all thy saints: for my sins and offences: for the salvation of the living: and for the repose of all the faithful departed.

            Then tracing out the sign of the Cross, over the corporal, with the vessels as he sets them down again thereon, he shall say:      

            + In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen. May this new Sacrifice be accepted of almighty God.

            Which done, he takes the paten from the chalice, slips the host off on to the centre of the front third of the corporal, immediately in front of the chalice, kisses the paten and places it to his right upon the altar so that it is half underneath the spread corporal and half beneath the purificator. He then covers the chalice with the pall.

            Then he goes to the south end of the altar and washes his thumbs and forefinger, the clerk ministering to him with the water (the cruet may be used for this purpose, but a separate jug with unblessed water is to be preferred), the basin and the finger-cloth (or towel).

            As the clerk pours the water over his thumbs and forefingers, or, as he dries his hands on the finger-cloth, the priest says:

            Cleanse me O Lord from all pollutions of mind and of body, that being clean, I may be able to fulfil the holy work of the Lord.

            Then having returned to the centre of the altar and standing facing east, with head inclined and hands joined, and resting upon the altar, he shall say:

            In a humble spirit and with a contrite heart, may we be accepted of thee, O Lord, and so let our Sacrifice be offered in thy sight, that it may be accepted of thee this day, and be well-pleasing unto thee, O Lord God.

            Here he shall kiss the corporal to the right of the Oblation, and make the sign of the cross over the same and then upon himself, saying: + In the Name of the Father, and of the + Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen.         

            Then shall the priest kiss the corporal, as above, and turn towards the people, extending and then joining his hands and saying aloud:

            Pray brethren (and sisters) continuing in a low voice for me, that this, my Sacrifice and yours likewise, may be accepted of the Lord our God.         

            In a low voice the clerk shall answer; (or the priest himself shall say)The grace of the Holy Ghost illumine thy (my) heart and thy (my) lips, and the Lord graciously receive this sacrifice of praise at thy (my) hands, for our sins and offences.       

            Instead of turning back to the altar, by his left in the usual manner, the priest shall here turn by his right (that is shall complete the circle) and continuing in a low voice shall say Let us pray and the Secret (or Secrets, one or more according to the number and order of the Collects) with hands extended.

            The Secret, or the first Secret (if there be more than one to be said) shall have the full ending, and the priest shall repeat Let us pray before the second, if two or more are to be said.

            At the end of the last he shall raise his voice saying the concluding words aloud: Throughout all ages, world without end. R. Amen.

            Then shall follow the Preface.

            [In all Masses for the Dead when the body is present, and when Mass is said for the dead on the thirtieth day after the burial, and on all anniversaries of the departed, but not on All Souls’ day nor at any other Masses for the dead, immediately after he has washed his fingers, the priest standing in the centre of the altar and turned towards the altar, with joined hands, shall say aloud:

            Sacrifices and prayers we offer unto thee, O Lord.

            The clerk shall answer, or else the priest himself shall reply:

            Do thou receive them for the souls of those, whose memory we this day recall. Make them, O Lord, to pass from death unto life.

            While this response is being made the priest shall say the prayer In a humble spirit . . . etc., as above.

            After + In the name of the Father and of the + Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen, the priest shall turn to the people and raising his voice somewhat shall say: Pray brethren (and sisters) continuing in a lower voice for the faithful departed.

            R. Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord and let light perpetual shine upon them, which, of old, thou didst promise unto Abraham and his seed.

            If the foregoing response be not made by the clerk, the priest himself shall make it.

Then shall follow Let us pray and the Secret (or Secrets).]   

            With his hands still joined, and without turning to the people, the priest shall say: The Lord be with you.

            R. And with thy spirit.

            Here he shall disjoin his hands and raise them somewhat, as he says:

            Lift up your hearts

            R. We lift them up unto the Lord.

joining his hands and inclining his head the priest shall say:

            Let us give thanks unto our Lord God.

R. It is meet and right so to do.

            Here follows the Common (or Ferial) Preface, which is said on those occasions to which no Proper Preface is assigned. The priest extends his hands and says: 

            It is truly meet and just, right and salutary that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto thee, O Lord holy, Father almighty, everlasting God, Through Christ our Lord; Through whom the Angels praise, the Dominations adore, the Powers fear thy majesty, the heavens and the heavenly Virtues and the blessed Seraphim together, sing thy praise with exultation; with whom, we beseech thee, bid that our voices also be admitted, with suppliant thanksgiving saying:

            Raising his arms somewhat, joining his hands and inclining his head the priest shall continue:

            Holy; Holy; Holy; Lord God of Sabaoth (or of Hosts); Heaven and earth are full of thy glory.

Hosanna in the highest. + Blessed is He, that cometh in the Name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

            And the priest shall sign himself on the face at Blessed is He 

            Note that on all feasts of our Lady, if the Church be dedicated in her honour, and throughout the octaves of the same when the Mass is of the feast, and at all Votive Masses celebrated in honour of our Lady, the words are to be said as follows:

            + Blessed is the Son of Mary, that cometh in the Name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

            At the words Holy, Holy, Holythe clerk shall ring the bell thrice.


1. Preface of the NATIVITY of the Lord.

            The preface of the Nativity is said at all Masses of Christmas Day and daily up to and including the Feast of the Circumcision: at all Masses of Our Lady from Christmas to the Feast of the Purification. On the Feast of the Purification: at all Votive Masses of Corpus Xti; and on Corpus Xti: and throughout the octave of Corpus Xti; when Mass is said of that feast.

… everlasting God. Because by the mystery of the Incarnate Word, the new light of thy glory hath shone upon the eyes of our mind: that while we acknowledge Him to be God visibly, we may be caught up by Him to the love of things invisible. And therefore with angels and archangels, with thrones and dominations, and with all the host of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of thy glory, ever-more saying: Holy, Holy, Holy … etc. (as in the Common Preface).

2. Preface of the EPIPHANY of our Lord.

            The preface of the Epiphany is said on the day of the Epiphany, and on the seven days following

… everlasting God. Because that when thine only-begotten Son manifestly appeared in substance of our flesh, he restored us in the new light of his immortality. And therefore with angels and archangels, with thrones and dominations, and with all the host of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of thy glory, ever more saying: Holy, Holy, Holy … , etc. (as in the Common Preface).

3. Preface of ASH-WEDNESDAY.

            The preface of Ash-Wednesday is said daily on week-days during Lent (except on any feast which has a proper preface assigned to it): but on the Sundays in Lent and on Maundy Thursday the Ferial Preface is said.

… everlasting God. Who by bodily fasting dost overcome vice, dost raise the mind, and dost bestow virtue and rewards, through Christ our Lord. Through whom the angels praise … etc. (as in the Common Preface).

4. Preface of EASTER.

            The preface of Easter is said on Easter-Even, Easter Day, daily throughout the Octave, on all Sundays up to Ascension Day and on the weekdays that follow them whenever the Sunday Mass is resumed.

… everlasting God. And thee indeed at all times, but chiefly on this day (or at this time), should we praise more gloriously, when: Christ our Passover is sacrificed. For He is the very Lamb which hath taken away the sins of the World. Who, by his death, has destroyed death, and by his rising again hath restored to us life. And therefore with angels and archangels, with thrones and dominations, and with all the host of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of thy glory, ever-more saying: Holy, Holy, Holy …. etc. (as in the Common Preface)

5. Preface of the ASCENSION.

            The preface of the Ascension is said on the feast of the Ascension, and daily throughout the Octave.

… everlasting God. Through Christ our Lord: Who, after his Resurrection, manifestly appeared to all his disciples, and, in their sight, was taken up into heaven, that he might make us partakers of his Godhead. And therefore with angels and archangels, with thrones and dominations, and with all the host of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of thy glory, ever-more saying: Holy, Holy, Holy … etc. (as in the Common Preface).

6. Preface of PENTECOST (Whitsun).

            The preface of Pentecost is said on Whitsunday and throughout the week, and at all Masses of God the Holy Ghost.

… everlasting God. Through Christ our Lord: Who, ascending above all heavens and sitting at thy right-hand, poured forth (this day) the promised Holy Ghost upon the sons of adoption. Wherefore, with exceeding joy, the whole world rejoiceth. The heavenly virtues and the angelic Powers together sing the hymn of thy glory, evermore saying: Holy, Holy, Holy … etc. (as in the Common Preface).

7. Preface of the HOLY TRINITY.

            The preface of the Holy Trinity is said on Trinity Sunday and on all the Sundays following up to Advent, when the Mass is of the Sunday, and at all Masses of the Holy Trinity throughout the year, but it is not said when the Mass of the Sunday is resumed during the week.

… everlasting God: who, with thine only-begotten Son and the Holy Ghost, are one God, one Lord, not one only Person, but three Persons in one Substance. For that which, by thy revelation we believe of thy glory, the same we understand of thy Son, and the same of the Holy Ghost, without any difference or inequality: that in the confession of the true and everlasting Godhead, distinction in Person, unity in Essence, and equality in Majesty, may be adored: Which angels and archangels, the cherubim and seraphim praise, who cease not to cry with one voice, saying: Holy, Holy, Holy … etc. (as in the Common Preface).


            The preface of the Apostles and Evangelists is said on all feasts of the Apostles and of the Evangelists, and throughout the Octaves of the apostles Peter and Paul and Andrew, except only on the feast of Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist, within the Octave of Christmas. It is said, however, on the Octave of that feast, and on his feast on May 6th. It is also said at a Votive Mass of any Apostle or Evangelist, except within the Octave of a feast to which a Proper Preface is assigned.

… everlasting God; and humbly to entreat thee, that thou, the everlasting Shepherd, wouldst not forsake thy flock, but, through thy blessed Apostles, keep it by thy continual protection, that it may be governed by those same rulers, whom thou host appointed to preside as vicars of thy work and shepherds of the same. And therefore with angels and archangels, with thrones and dominations, and with all the host of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of thy glory, evermore saying: Holy, Holy, Holy … , etc. (as in the Common Preface).

9. Preface of the HOLY CROSS.

            The preface of the Holy Cross is said on both feasts of the Holy Cross (that is on the Invention May 3rd, and on the Exultation, September 14th) and on all commemorations thereof throughout the year. [It is also said according to the Use of York and certain other contemporary English and many continental rites, from Passion Sunday daily until Maundy Thursday inclusive.]

… everlasting God: Who, by the tree of the Cross, didst give salvation unto mankind, that, whence death arose, thence life might rise again: and that he who by a tree overcame, might also by a tree be overcome: Through Christ our Lord. Through whom the angels praise . . . . etc. (as in the Common Preface).

10. Preface of the BLESSED VIRGIN MARY.

            The preface of the Blessed Virgin Mary is said on all her feasts, except that of her Purification (when the Preface of Christmas is said). It is also said throughout the Octaves of her Assumption and of her Nativity, and in all Masses celebrated in her honour, except from Christmas Day till the feast of her Purification.

… everlasting God: And that on the

            Conception (December 8).

            Annunciation (March 25).

            Assumption (August 15).

            Nativity (September 8).

            Visitation (July 2).

            or in Veneration (at her daily Masses).

of the blessed and glorious ever-Virgin Mary, with exulting minds, we should praise, bless and proclaim Thee: In that, by the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost, she conceived thine only-begotten Son, and the glory of her maidenhood yet abiding, shed forth upon this world the light eternal, Jesus Christ our Lord: Through whom the angels praise … etc. (as in the Common Preface).

            [Note that there are ten Proper Prefaces (according to the use of Sarum), and one Ferial (or Common) Preface, and that every preface is in the same form as far as the words . . . everlasting God, and again from the words Holy, Holy, Holy to the end.

            Note also that when the first part of the preface ends with the words … Christ, our Lord, it is always continued as follows … Through whom the Angels praise, the Dominations adore, the Powers fear thy majesty, the heavens and the heavenly Virtues and the blessed Seraphim together, sing thy praise with exultation: With whom, we beseech thee, bid that our voices also be admitted with suppliant thanksgiving saying: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth (or of Hosts): Heaven and earth are full of thy glory. Hosanna in the highest. + Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord, Hosanna in the highest.

            Those Prefaces, the first part of which do not conclude with the words … Christ our Lord (that is the preface of the Nativity of our Lord, the Epiphany, Easter, the Ascension, the Apostles and Evangelists) end thus:

            And therefore with angels and archangels, with thrones and dominations, and with all the host of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of thy glory, evermore saying Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth (or of Hosts): Heaven and earth are full of thy glory. Hosanna in the highest + Blessed is He that comest in the Name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

            The preface of Pentecost and of the Most Holy Trinity are irregular in form as far as the words, Holy, Holy, Holy …]    

            Straitway when he has said + Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highestthe priest shall begin:


With joined hands and body inclined he shall say:

Therefore most merciful Father, through Jesus Christ, thy son, our Lord, we humbly pray and beseech thee,Here laying his hands palms downwards one on each side of the Corporal, he shall stoop and kiss the altar to the right of the Oblations, and raising himself shall sign thrice over the host and chalice together, with his right hand, the left remaining on the altar, and shall say:

            that thou accept and bless these + gifts, these offerings, these + holy and unspotted sacrifices,

extending his hands he shall continue:

which first we offer unto thee for thy Holy Catholic Church, that thou wouldst vouchsafe to keep it in peace, to guard, unite, and govern it throughout the whole world, together with thy servant our pope … our bishop … and our king … and all the orthodox and those who profess the Catholic and Apostolic Faith.


            (Here he shall recall the living for whom he desires particularly to pray.) Remember, O Lord, thy servants and handmaids … and … He joins his hands and prays silently for them. Then extending his hands he continues and all here present, whose faith and devotion unto thee are known and manifest: for whom we offer unto thee, or who themselves offer unto thee, this sacrifice of praise, for themselves and for all to whom they are bound, for the redemption of their souls, for the hope of their salvation and safety: and who render their vows unto thee, the eternal, living and true God.


*Joining in communion and venerating the memory first of the glorious ever Virgin Mary, Mother of our God and Lord Jesus Christ He inclines his head and joins his hands as he says these last words, extending them again as he continues:—

            *On the feast of the Nativity and on the seven days following is said:

            Joining in communion and celebrating the most sacred day (or most sacred night) whereon the undefiled virginity of blessed Mary brought forth a Saviour for this world: and venerating moreover the memory first of the same glorious ever Virgin Mary, Mother of the same our God and Lord Jesus Christ*

            *On the feast of the Epiphany and throughout the Octave is said:

            Joining in communion and celebrating the most sacred day, whereon thine only-begotten Son, co-eternal with thee in glory, visibly appeared in the body in the verity of our flesh: and venerating moreover the memory, first of the glorious ever-Virgin Mary, Mother of the same our God and Lord Jesus Christ*

            *On Maundy Thursday is said:

            Joining in communion and celebrating the most sacred day whereon our Lord Jesus Christ was betrayed for us, and venerating moreover the memory, first of the glorious ever-Virgin Mary, Mother of the same our God and Lord Jesus Christ*

            *On Easter-Even and until the Octave of Easter inclusive is said:

            Joining in communion and celebrating the most sacred day (or night) of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh; and venerating moreover the memory first of the glorious ever-Virgin Mary, Mother of the same our God and Lord Jesus Christ*

            *On the Feast of the Ascension and throughout the Octave is said:

            Joining in communion and celebrating the most sacred day whereon our Lord Jesus Christ, thine only-begotten Son set at the right hand of thy glory, the substance of our frailty united to himself: and venerating moreover the memory first of the glorious ever-Virgin Mary, Mother of the same our God and Lord Jesus Christ*

            *On the Feast of Pentecost, and daily during the week, is said:

            Joining in communion and celebrating the most sacred day of Pentecost whereon the Holy Ghost appeared to the Apostles in tongues of fire: and venerating moreover the memory first of the glorious ever-Virgin Mary, Mother of our God and Lord Jesus Christ*

* As also of thy blessed Apostles and Martyrs, Peter and Paul, Andrew, James, John, Thomas, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon and Thaddeus: Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Laurence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian, and of all thy saints: by whose merits and prayers, grant that in all things we may be defended with the help of thy protection.

            He joins his handsThrough the same Christ our Lord. Amen. Here resting his hands, palms downwards, on the Corporal, one on either side of the Oblations he regards the Sacrifice with great veneration and says:

            This Oblation therefore of our bounden service, as also of all thy family, we beseech thee, O Lord graciously to accept and order our days in peace, and bid us to be delivered from eternal damnation and to be numbered in the flock of thine elect. He joins his hands. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

            On Easter-day and until the Saturday in Easter week inclusive, and from Whitsunday and until the following Saturday inclusive according to the Use of Sarum (but, in many other contemporary Uses, from Easter-Even until Saturday in Easter-week and from the Vigil of Whitsun until the Saturday following, all these days inclusive), is said:

            This Oblation therefore of our bounden service, as also of all thy family, which we offer unto thee on behalf of those also whom thou host vouchsafed to regenerate by water and the Holy Ghost, granting them remission of their sins, we beseech thee, O Lord, graciously to accept, and order our days in peace and bid us to be delivered from eternal damnation and to be numbered in the flock of thine elect. He joins his handsThrough Christ our Lord. Amen.

            Which Oblationetc….

            On Maundy Thursday is said:

            This Oblation therefore of our bounden service, as also of all thy family, which we offer unto thee because of the day on which our Lord Jesus Christ delivered unto his disciples the celebration of the mysteries of his Body and Blood, we beseech thee, O Lord, graciously to accept and order our days in peace and bid us to be delivered from eternal damnation and to be numbered in the flock of thine elect. He joins his hands. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

            Which Oblationetc….

            Continuing with hands joined he says:

            Which Oblation, do thou, O God, we beseech thee, vouchsafe in all things to make He lays his left hand on the corporal and signs with his right thrice over the Oblation + blessed, + approved, + ratified, reasonable and acceptable, that unto us it may become He signs over the host + the Body and over the chalice and + Blood of thy most dearly beloved Son He joins his hands and bows slightly our Lord Jesus Christ.

Then he wipes his forefingers and thumbs on the front corners of the corporal, sayingWho, on the day before he suffered

            On Maundy Thursday after suffered he shall add for our salvation and for that of all men, to wit to-day

            He takes the host between his thumbs and forefingers, saying took bread into his holy and venerable hands,glancing upwards he continues and lifting up his eyes to heaven to thee, God, his almighty Fatherinclining his head slightly he says giving thanks to theethen holding the host in his left hand with thumb and forefinger he shall bless it with his right saying he + blessedthen he shall strike the host lightly with the edge of his right hand (but not so as to break it) saying breakThen holding it with both hands as before, he shall say: and gave to his disciples, saying, Take and eat ye all of this.

            Here leaning somewhat forward and resting his forearms on the altar, he says in one breath and without any pause


            Having so said and still holding the Host, his wrists now resting on the altar, the priest genuflects and adores, rises from his knee, raises the Host above his forehead (still holding it as before) so that it may be seen of the people. Then he reverently replaces it on the Corporal before the chalice, making with it the form of a cross as he sets it down. He again genuflects and adores.

            Keeping the thumb and forefinger of each hand joined and taking care to so keep them, as far as possible, until after the Ablution of his fingers, he at once uncovers the chalice, moving the pall therefrom, between the fore and middle fingers of his right hand, and laying it a little to his right. He then rubs his thumbs and forefingers lightly over the bowl of the chalice in case of crumbs (which action he repeats as often as he has occasion to uncover the chalice after handling the Host) and says: Likewise after supper,

            He takes the chalice in both hands if possible between the fore and middle finger of both hands only, using the right hand above the knop and the left below it, and says: taking also this excellent chalice into his holy and venerable hands, He bows his headalso giving thanks to thee, Steadying the chalice with his left hand, he makes the sign of the cross over it with his right, replacing his right hand on the stem of the chalice immediately afterwards, sayingHe + blessed and gave to his disciples saying: Leaning his forearms on the altar, holding the chalice in both hands (above and below the knop), and slightly raised above the corporal, he pronounces the words of consecration in one breath:


            He sets down the Chalice upon the corporal behind the Host, and resting his hands upon the Corporal, one at each side, genuflects and adores. Rising he raises the Chalice, his right hand on the stem, above the knop, and his left supporting the foot (at least breast-high, but preferably) well above his head, so that it may be seen of the people, and as he elevates it, he saysAs oft as ye do these things ye shall do them in remembrance of me.

            [The clerk shall ring the bell thrice at the elevation of the Sacred Host and thrice at the elevation of the Chalice: the first time as the priest genuflects, the second time as he elevates and the third time as he genuflects again.]         

            The priest sets down the Chalice on the corporal, covers it with the pall, genuflects and adores as before, rises, and extending his arms on either side of his body in the position of the Crucified, the fingers extended (except for the thumbs and forefingers), but not spread, he says:

            Wherefore, O Lord, we also thy servants, together with thy holy people, mindful of the blessed Passion of the same Christ, thy Son, our Lord, as also his Resurrection from hell and glorious Ascension into heaven, do offer unto thine excellent Majesty of thine own gifts and bounty;

            He joins his hands, lays his left on the corporal or on the foot of the Chalice and signs thrice with his right over the Host and Chalice together, sayingA pure + Host, a holy + Host, a spotless + Host, the Holy + Bread Here he signs once over the Hostof eternal lifeand once over the Chalice and the + Chalice of everlasting salvation.

            Extending his hands before his breast he continues:

            Upon which vouchsafe to look with a favourable and gracious countenance and to accept them, as thou didst vouchsafe to accept the gifts of thy just servant Abel, and the sacrifice of our patriarch Abraham, and the holy sacrifice, the spotless host, which thy high-priest Melchisedech offered unto thee.

            Bowing profoundly over the altar his hands laid, the right over the left crossed upon his breast the fingers (except for the thumbs and forefingers which are kept joined) extended and laid lattice-wise across one another, he says:

            We humbly beseech thee, almighty God, command thou these to be brought by the hands of thy holy Angel to thine Altar on high, in the presence of thy divine Majesty, that as many of usLaying his hands on the Corporal, one on each side, he kisses the altar to the right of the Sacrifice as by the partaking of this altar, shall receive the most sacred With his left hand still resting on the Corporal, or on the foot of the Chalice, he signs with his right once over the Host and once over the Chalice, saying: + Body and + Blood of thy SonHe signs himself on the face, continuing: may be fulfilled with all heavenly benediction and grace; He joins his hands Through the same Christ, our Lord. Amen.


            Remember, also, O Lord, thy servants and handmaids … and … who have gone before us with the sign of faith and rest in the sleep of peace.

            He joins his hands and prays awhile in silence for those whom he intends to pray, then extending his hands he proceeds: To them, O Lord, and to all who rest in Christ, we beseech thee to grant a place of refreshment, light and peace.

            He bows slightly and joins his hands:

            Through the same Christ, our Lord. Amen.

            Laying his left hand either on the altar, or on his breast, he strikes his breast, with his right hand, once, saying raising his voice somewhat:

            To us sinners also, Extending his hands, he proceeds secretly: trusting in the multitude of thy mercies, vouchsafe to grant some part and fellowship with thy holy Apostles and Martyrs: with John, Stephen, Matthias, Barnabas, Ignatius, Alexander, Marcellinus, Peter, Felicitas, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cecilia, Anastasia, and with all thy saints: within whose fellowship we beseech thee admit us, not weighing our merit, but granting us forgiveness. He joins his hands. Through Christ our Lord, by whom, O Lord, all these good things, thou dost ever create,

            Laying his left hand on the Corporal, he signs with his right thrice over the Host and Chalice together, saying dost + sanctify, + quicken, + bless, and bestow upon us. Uncovering the Chalice with his right hand, he sets down the pall on the altar to his right, genuflects, rises, takes the Host with his right thumb and forefinger and steadying the Chalice at the knop, or at its foot with his left hand, signs five times with the Host over the Chalice, in the manner following:—

firstly a large cross over the Chalice (the four arms of the cross extending beyond the bowl), secondly from lip to lip of the Chalice, thirdly a cross made wholly within the bowl of the Chalice, fourthly a cross similar to the first, fifthly one made in front of the Chalice, saying:

            Through + him, and with + him, and in + him, is unto thee, God the Father + almighty, in the unity of the Holy + GhostRaising the Chalice slightly above the Corporal between the fore and middle fingers (if possible) of his left hand and holding the Host above it with his right, he says: All honour and gloryHe replaces the Host on the Corporal, rubs his thumbs and forefingers lightly over the bowl of the Chalice, covers the Chalice with the pall, genuflects, rises and with his hands resting upon the Corporal, one on each side, says, aloud:

            Throughout all ages, world without end.

            R. Amen.

            Let us pray, Commanded by saving precepts and taught by divine institution, we are bold to say:

            Raising his hands from the altar and extending them, he says:

            Our Father which (or who) art in heaven. Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us.

            And lead us not into temptation.

            R. But deliver us from evil.

            The priest says secretly: Amen.

            The priest takes the paten from beneath the Corporal holding it between his right fore and middle fingers, kisses it, places it first before his left eye, then before his right eye, makes a large sign of the cross with it in front of his face, slides it under the Host on the Corporal, continuing, meanwhile, in a low voice,

            Deliver us, O Lord, we beseech thee, from all evils, past, present, and to come, and at the intercession of the blessed and glorious ever-Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and thy blessed apostles Peter and Paul and Andrew with all thy saints, favourably grant peace in our days, that by the help of thine availing mercy, we may ever be free from sin and safe from all distress.

            Here he uncovers the Chalice, genuflects, takes up the Host with his right thumb and forefinger, holds it over the Chalice bowl with the thumbs and forefingers of both hands and breaks it into three parts.

            At the first fraction, which divides the Host down the centre into two halves, he says:

            Through the same Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord.

            He transfers the half from his right hand to his left, and holding both portions between the left thumb and forefingers, he breaks off a third portion from one of them with his right hand, and holding this third portion (which is called the “particle”) in his right hand, and the other two portions in his left (keeping both hands well over the bowl of the Chalice all the while in case of crumbs), he says:

            Who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God. He raises his voice and continues aloud:— 

            Throughout all ages, world without end.

R. Amen.

            With the particle he makes three signs of the Cross over the Chalice sayingThe peace + of the Lord be + alway with + you.

            R. And with thy spirit.

            Holding the three portions of the Host in both hands as before, he says:

            O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world:

Have mercy upon us.

            O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world:

Have mercy upon us.

            O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world:

Grant us peace.

            Making the sign of the cross over the Chalice with the particle he places it within the Chalice saying in a low voice:

May this most holy commixture of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ be unto me, and to all who receive it, health of mind and body and a wholesome preparation for attaining worthily unto eternal life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

But in Masses for the departed—“Agnus Dei” is said thus:

            O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world:

                        Grant them rest.

            O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world:

            Grant them rest.

            O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world:

            Grant them rest eternal.

            And the Commixture is then made as above.

            [If the Pax be given the priest now sets down upon the paten the other two portions of the Host, rubs his forefingers and thumbs over the bowl of the Chalice, covers the Chalice with the pall, genuflects and says the prayer following:

            O Lord, Holy Father, almighty and everlasting God, Grant that I so worthily receive this most holy Body and Blood of thy Son our Lord’, Jesus, Christ, that thereby I be found fit to obtain remission of all my sins, to be filled with thy Holy Spirit, and to have thy peace: Because thou art God alone and there is none else beside thee, whose kingdom remaineth glorious, world without end. Amen.

            Then the priest shall kiss the corporal to the right of the paten, the top of the Chalice and afterwards the clerk sayingPeace be to thee and to the Church of God.

R. And with thy spirit.

            After the “Pax” has been given (or while the people are receiving it) the priest shall take up both portions of the Host from the paten and holding them between his thumbs and forefingers over the paten shall ‘say the following three prayers before he communicates himself.]

            And if the “Pax” be not given, the priest having, as above directed, placed the particle within the Chalice, having covered the Chalice with the pall using his right forefinger and middle finger as to do, and genuflected, says the three prayers following before he communicates himself, holding, as he does, both portions of the Host between his two thumbs and forefingers over the paten, and saying:

            O God the Father, fount and source of all goodness, who, moved by pity, didst will that thine only begotten Son, for our sakes should descend to this lower world and take the flesh which I, an unworthy and most wretched sinner, hold here in my hands: Here he shall incline his head somewhat I adore thee: I glorify thee: with the whole intent of my heart and mind I praise thee: and I pray that thou desert not us thy servants, but blot out our sins, that so we may avail to serve thee the only living and true God with a pure heart and a chaste body. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

            O Lord Jesu Christ, who, by the will of the Father and the co-operation of the Holy Ghost, hast, through thy death, given life unto the world, deliver me by this thy most sacred Body and Blood, from all mine iniquities and from every evil: and make me ever to obey thy commandments and suffer me not to be for ever separated from thee O Saviour of the world. Who with the same God the Father and the same Holy Ghost livest and reignest God, throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

            Let not the sacrament of thy Body and Blood, O Lord Jesu Christ which, though unworthy, I receive, be unto me for judgment and condemnation, but, of thy goodness, may it avail for the salvation of my body and soul. Amen.

            Here inclining profoundly the priest shall address the Host saying in a low tone:

            Hail evermore, Most Holy Flesh of Christ: To me, before and above all things, the sum of delight.

[And the clerk shall ring the bell thrice.]

            The priest inclining his head over the paten shall receive both parts of the Host which he has meanwhile been holding with the thumbs and forefingers of his hands. As he receives he shall make the sign of the cross with the Host before his face and say:

            The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ be unto me a sinner the Way and the Life + In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

            The priest shall then uncover the Chalice, genuflect, rise (and rub his thumbs and forefingers over it, in case of crumbs) and shall take the paten between the first and middle finger of his right hand and run the edge of the paten lightly over that portion of the Corporal whereon the Host has lain, using the tip of his left forefinger to collect on the paten such small crumbs or fragments, if any there be, of the Host from the Corporal. Then having rubbed his left thumb and forefinger together over the paten, he shall transfer the paten to his left hand, holding it between the first and middle finger, and with his right thumb shall wipe any crumbs from the paten into the Chalice and replace the paten in front of the Chalice on the Corporal, Then, with hands joined before his breast, he shall say, with great devotion to the Blood:

            Hail evermore, Celestial Draught. To me, before and above all things, the sum of delight.

            Then he shall receive the contents of the Chalice together with the particle therein, making first the sign of the cross with the Chalice before his face, and saying:    

            The Body and Blood of our Lord Jesu Christ avail to me a sinner for an everlasting remedy unto life eternal. + In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

            Having set down the Chalice, the priest shall join his hands and remain for a brief space in meditation on the most Holy Sacrament: during which space, according to the Use of Sarum, the prayer following (which is not found in the contemporary uses or in that of the Roman rite), is appointed to be said:

            I give thanks unto thee, O Lord, holy Father, almighty everlasting God, who hast refreshed me with the Most Holy Body and Blood of thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ, and I pray that this sacrament of our salvation, which I an unworthy sinner have received, may not bring to me judgment or condemnation in accordance with my deserts, but may profit my body and soul unto life eternal. Amen.

            Then holding the Chalice between the fore and middle finger of his right hand, he shall extend, to the full, his right arm towards the Epistle end of the altar and the clerk shall approach and pour a little wine into the Chalice which the priest shall then drink. Then shall the priest say:

            What we have taken with our mouth, O Lord, may we receive with a pure heart: and, from a temporal gift, be it made unto us an eternal remedy.

            Then turning by his right the priest shall go towards the Epistle end of the altar, holding the Chalice so that his thumbs and forefingers are joined over the Chalice-bowl, and taking the purificator with him. Resting the Chalice on the altar and laying the purificator across the foot of the Chalice on that side nearest to himself, with his thumbs and forefingers held over the Chalice-bowl, he shall cause the clerk to pour, first a little wine and then rather more water over his thumbs and forefingers into the Chalice. Setting down the Chalice, he shall dry his hands on the purificator and then taking up the Chalice and turning by his left, he shall go to the centre of the altar and receive the ablution revolving the Chalice completely as he drinks from it, so that the whole interior is cleansed.

            He shall then set down the Chalice somewhat off the corporal, dry his lips with the purificator and shall say:

            May this Communion, O Lord, cleanse us from sin, and make us to be partakers of the heavenly healing.

            Then he shall spread the purificator over the bowl of the Chalice, or shall fold it and place it within the bowl of the Chalice, set the paten thereon, cover the paten with the pall, fold the corporal, place it inside the burse, and lay the burse on top of the vessels, arranging them in the midst of the altar.  

            [While the priest dries the Chalice the clerk shall carry the missal, on its desk or cushion, to the Epistle end of the altar, placing it there as at the beginning of the Mass.]

            Having arranged the vessels as above directed, the priest with joined hands shall incline before the cross on the altar and shall say:

            Let us adore the sign of the Cross, whereby we have received the Sacrament of Salvation.

            Having said which in the midst of the altar, the priest shall cross to the Epistle end and shall read the Communion. At the conclusion of which he shall make the sign of the cross upon his face.

            Then turning by his left he shall go to the midst of the altar, kiss it and turning by his right to the people, raising slightly and disjoining, and then joining his hands, shall salute them in the usual manner, saying:

            The Lord be with you.

            R. And with thy spirit.

            Turning back by his left he shall go to the book and read the Postcommunion (one or more, according to the number and order of the Collects and Secrets). At the conclusion of the last Postcommunion he shall make the sign of the cross upon his face and turning again to the people, in the manner above described, shall say:

            The Lord be with you.

R. And with thy spirit.

            Ite missa est.

or (if Gloria in excelsis have not been said at the beginning of the Mass)

            Let us bless the Lord.

R. Thanks be to God.

            But in Masses for the Departed, instead of Ite Missa est, or Let us bless the Lord, there is said:

            May they rest in peace.

            R. Amen.

            Which said the priest turns back to the altar, and standing in the midst, with joined hands, says secretly:

            May the obedient performance of my bounden duty be pleasing unto thee, O Holy Trinity, and grant that the Sacrifice which I unworthy have offered in the sight of thy Majesty may be acceptable to thee, and through thy mercy obtain thy gracious favour for me and for all for whom I have offered it up. Who livest and reignest God throughout all ages, World without end. Amen.

            Then raising his voice the priest shall say aloud:

            May almighty God bless you,

            laying his hands upon the altar, palms downwards, he shall kiss the altar and turn by his right to the people and shall bless them, saying:

            + The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

R. Amen.

            Turning back to the altar by the right (i.e., completing the circle as he did when saying the “Orate Fratres et Sorores” before the Secret), he shall kiss the altar as before and sign himself on the face, saying secretly:

            + In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

            Then with both hands, he shall draw up his amice together with his hood over his head, take the vessels, turn by his right, come down from the altar and (with the clerk) make a reverence and then (preceded by the clerk) return to the place where he vested before the Mass.

            While returning from the altar the priest shall say in a low voice the first fourteen verses of Saint John’s Gospel at the conclusion of which the response is made:

            Thanks be to God.

            N.B. This last Gospelaccording to the use of Sarum, is invariably recited at the conclusion of Mass, except only after the third Mass of the Nativity of our Lord, when, in its place, the Gospel from the Feast of the Annunciation of our Lady is said.

            And here it should be noted that when any priest is required to celebrate Holy Mass more than once in a day, he shall not receive either Ablution of the Chalice till after he shall have said the last Mass, but on communicating himself he shall be more than otherwise at pains reverently to consume the Blood to the very last drop, revolving the bowl of the chalice between his lips to ensure that he so do.

            He shall not then wipe the chalice or his own lips, but shall open and spread the purificator across the bowl of the Chalice, shall set the paten thereon (and if he then lay the host for the next Mass on the paten shall cover the same with the pall), shall leave the corporal spread on the altar, the sacred vessels standing on it and shall lay the burse upon them.

            At the next Mass he shall be careful not to wipe the chalice before pouring in the wine.

Printed for the author at Runwell St. Mary, 1952, digitized by Richard Mammana in 2019 from a personal copy.

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Filed under Anglo-Catholicism, Bibliography, Book of Common Prayer, Liturgy

Demonstrated Eucharist, by Dom Gregory Dix (undated, c. 1955)

Statement of Dom Morris, Abbot, Nashdom Abbey:

I am grateful for your courtesy in asking my permission to publish this material in the way that you suggest. It is my duty to take into account what would have been the probable wishes of Dom Gregory in the matter. On the negative side, I know that he declined an offer from a weekly periodical in this country called “Everybody’s” to write an article on the subject, although I am not clear as to his reasons for this refusal. Also, I think it probable that in addressing a wider public through the medium of the printed word, he would have introduced greater safeguards, particularly on the subject of the ministry, in case he should seem to give countenance to celebrations by other than bishops in the Apostolical succession or by episcopally ordained priests. He would have emphasised that the early evidence is overwhelming in favor of confining the power of celebration of the Eucharist to such bishops or by deputation to their presbyters.

On the other hand, I know from experience that such demonstrations can be a powerful means of increasing the knowledge, and appreciation of and devotion to the Eucharist, which was of course an end very dear to Dom Gregory’s heart. His own deep devotion centred round the Eucharist and it was his great desire that others should come to an ever full appreciation of our Lord’s gift of Himself in the Sacrament and of the full intent of His words “This is my Body,” and “this is my Blood.”

In view of these considerations, I gladly agree to the publication of the material by the Missionary Society in the form you suggest.


Let us just say a prayer; you needn’t kneel down. “O God, who in a wonderful sacrament hast left unto us a memorial of thy Passion: grant us, we beseech thee, so to venerate the sacred mysteries of thy Body and Blood, that we may ever perceive within ourselves the fruit of thy redemption. Who livest and reignest God, world without end. Amen.”

We are here tonight to study a little more deeply and a little more meaningfully, and a little more responsively into something that we all know well. That service which ever since the night before Calvary has been the heart and the core and the power of Christian living. That service which has many names; the Holy Communion, which is a name given from one part of what we do; or the Holy Sacrifice or the Holy Offering or Oblation, which is given from another part of what we do; or the Breaking of Bread, a name from yet another part of what we do; or the Lord’s Supper, a name given to remind us of how that rite originated, how it began; or the Holy Eucharist or Thanksgiving, which reminds us of the special nature of the prayer which is the central thing in it; or that simple little word the Mass, which is a useful word, because it doesn’t mean any of those particular things; it means them all together.

We use different names but we need never quarrel with anybody about the name they give it. They are all true and they all simply define the obedience that we pay to our Lord’s last command before He died to those whom He called His own. Do this for the recalling of me.

            And you know how, if you want to understand a rather elaborate and complex thing, you have got to get it in its original form, in its simplest beginning. When you have seen that fundamental, basic meaning then the more elaborate form begins to seem simple. And so I want you to think, to start with, of the Eucharistic Service, the Mass, the Holy Communion Service as we know it. Think of it in the form you go through Sunday by Sunday (and please God oftener) in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church. Has it never struck you as being rather an odd thing about that service: That the service which is headed the administration of the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion doesn’t begin to talk, or to think, or to do anything about Holy Communion ’til it’s half over? It isn’t merely that it doesn’t mention the word; it doesn’t speak of or do anything about the bread and the wine; it doesn’t begin to prepare for Holy Communion until after the Creed. That rather odd fact comes down in all the liturgical services of Christendom for the same reason. Historically the eucharistic rites of all Christendom come down from two distinct, separate services, which had different origins, served different purposes, and were attended by rather different people, very often held at different times. 

The first part of the service comes straight down from the synagogue service of our Lord’s time and the apostle’s time. I wish we had time tonight to dip into that very interesting derivation and show how it represents to us just that worship that our Lord, himself, as a boy and as a man went to week by week at Nazareth. The service at which he preached, if you’ll read the fourth chapter of St. Luke’s Gospel; the service which the Apostles were quite accustomed to as their public worship and which quite naturally after the Resurrection and Ascension, they continued as, so to speak, their Christian propaganda service. But we haven’t time for that tonight. And so, I want you in your mind to draw a thickline after the creed in the ordinary Eucharistic office that you know; and think only of the second half of the service; that doesn’t come from the synagogue service, that doesn’t come from anything done in publicly. It comes from something done strictly privately in the upper room of a private house, the last supper of the Lord with His own. Now I’m going to read you the earliest account that we have of what happened at that supper. This was written down in the form we have now by St. Paul in his letter to the Corinthian Christians, which he write in the spring of A.D. 53—I Corinthians 11. And I shall read it, not quite as it is written in the King James version, but translated quite literally from St. Paul’s Greek. “For I handed on to you as that which I had received from he Lord how that the Lord Jesus in the night in which he was betrayed to break; and when he had given thanks, he braked it and said, This is my body which is for you, do this for the recalling of me.” In the same way this cup, also, after supper saying, “This is the new covenant in my blood. This do whenever you drink it for the recalling of me.”” And then St. Paul himself goes on to say, “For as often as you eat this break or drink this cup you proclaim the Lord’s death ’til he come.”

The first of our gospels, St. Mark’s gospel, was written down as we have it now, about 15 years later than that. So this is the earliest account. And you’ll notice St. Paul says that this isn’t the first time he tells the Corinthians about it all; years ago when he first came to Corinth he told them of it in this form. And this is the form in which he first learnt about it when he himself was baptized and confirmed as a Christian at Damascus; that was perhaps 5 years, perhaps even less, from the day of the last supper itself. And he knew St. Peter and all the others who had been there at the supper and so you can take it that this account of St. Paul’s is equivalent to quite first hand evidence of what happened at the last supper.

Now, I suppose, all of us take it for granted when we read that story either in the gospel or in St. Paul that when our Lord said “Do this for the recalling of me,” he was commending them to do something quite new which they had never seen before, the breaking of bread and the blessing of the cup, which they would never have dreamed of doing again unless he had especially told them to do it. But, as a matter of fact, that’s quite wrong. At the beginning of supper our Lord took bread and he blessed it and he broke it and he gave it. And after supper he took the cup and he blessed it and he gave it. Now those were two perfectly ordinary Jewish actions. When he took the bread and blessed and brake it at the beginning of supper the apostles wouldn’t be the least surprised. That was the ordinary Jewish grace before meals. Every night since they were little boys they had watched their fathers take bread, take one of the little flat Jewish loaves and break it and bless it with a special blessing which ran: “Blessed be thou, O Lord God, King of the universe, who bringest forth bread from the earth.” And then their father would take a little piece and give a little broken fragment of the bread to everybody at the supper table. All their lives they had seen that done every night, and, I suppose, every time they had eaten with our Lord together they had watched him do it. And so, there was nothing new at all as far as that was concerned. What was new—what was quite different—was the meaning that our Lord gave it. He took the bread, he brake it, he blessed it, and he gave it. And as they were each eating a little broken fragment of bread as their ancestors had done right back to the days when Israel was in the desert, one or two thousand years before in the desert rite of hospitality, he suddenly said something quite new, “This is my body which is given for you.” Now “do this” is not a command to do anything new, it is a command to do the old accustomed rites, the thing they knew so well, with a quite new meaning:—“For the recalling of me.” And then comes supper and the story we know so well of Judas’ leaving the supper and going out and St. Peter saying that he’ll never deny our Lord and our Lord’s washing his disciples’ feet and the rest of the story we all know so well. And then after supper in the same way the cup; St. Paul doesn’t say what cup; he didn’t have to. Not every night at supper, but only on the occasions when supper had a little formality—a father’s or mother’s birthday or a time when you had visitors in and a [2/3] bit of a party or on the night before a great religious feast like the Passover or the Feast of the Tabernacles—the drink at the end of the supper took a slightly different form. The ordinary form was this: the father of the family or host of his guests stood up at the end of supper and said, “Let us give thanks to our Lord God.” And the guests answered, “It is meet and right.” And then the host chanted a long grace which gave thanks to God not only for the meal that they had just had but for God’s gift to his people of the Holy Land and of his law and above all for his covenant with his people—that which made Israel a nation, that which was the very meaning and foundation of life and religion and nationality to a Jew—the covenant of God. At the end of this thanksgiving to God for his mercy to his people the guests or the family chanted “Amen.” Well now, on, as I say, rather formal family occasions, that was sung over a cup of mingled wine and water and then at the end of this when they sang Amen, the father or the host handed it all around the table and it was passed like a loving cup as they all stood and they each took a sip from it. Well, after supper they called that cup of wine and water quite simply “the cup of blessing.” And you remember St. Paul used this normal Jewish name when he wrote “the cup of blessing which we bless is it not a communion—a sharing—of the blood of Christ?” And so our Lord blessed the cup of blessing at the end of supper with the old Jewish thanksgiving for God’s mercies to his people and for the old covenant and then as the cup is being handed round he says something that is very startling indeed, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood.” All through the centuries Israel had lived by its covenant and so all through the centuries the prophets had warned them that God one day would raise up a Christ, a Messiah, a Deliverer who would bring new Israel, give Israel a new covenant, the final covenant which God would make. And now it’s come, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood.” He is claiming to be not only the priest who shall found and set up the new covenant, but the sacrificed victim—because you could not make a covenant with God without offering a victim in sacrifice. He is going to be the priest who is going to offer himself in sacrifice the next morning. “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Whenever you drink it do so for the recalling of me.” Now there is the last supper as our Lord does it. You might call it seven actions in two groups; one before supper, one after supper. He took bread, he blessed bread, he broke bread, he gave bread. Then comes supper. Then he took the cup, he blessed the cup, he gave the cup. Seven actions, four before, three after supper, and in between, the supper. And there doesn’t seem to be any doubt that for the first twenty or thirty years of Christian history that was the way the Christians did it. They took bread and blessed it, broke it and gave it at the beginning of the meal. Then came the meal. Then came the taking and blessing and giving of a cup. Just like that. St. Paul when he writes to the Corinthians assumes that’s the way that Christians there do the Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper. You remember had a lot of fault to find with the Corinthians about the way they were doing it. He says they were doing it in a very unseemly way, and some of them are getting drunk and some of them are quarreling and some of them don’t get anything to eat at the supper and the selfish and most greedy eat more than enough.

You can see what’s happened. The Jews had a long tradition of religious meals and of right and proper behaviour at them. But Christianity’s spreading now among the Greeks, the Gentiles—Corinth was a Greek city and the Gentiles had a tradition of feasts in honour of the Gods which were just occasions of merry-making with a good deal of drunkenness and disorder. You can see that they were treating the Christian Lord’s Supper as a heathen religious meal. So it began reverently enough. Their bishops—their presbyters—take bread and bless it, break it and give it. Then comes the meal and it’s all rather noisy and sociable and festive and some of them start quarrelling, and it’s all very undignified. And the second half of their [3/4] communion—the blessing of the chalice and the partaking of the communion of our Lord’s blood—is still to follow after the meal. By the time they come to that they’re not at all in a right state to have it. And so somewhere in the next ten years a change was made. You see the things to which our Lord had attached such special meaning. This is my body which is given for you, this cup is the new covenant in my blood. They are, so to speak, isolated at the beginning and end of the meal and the supper is what is causing scandal and what is becoming a source of disorder in the Church and our Lord attributed no special meaning to the supper at all. It was what came before and after it. And so somewhere in the early 60s, or before the year 70 anyhow, the Apostolic Church had come to the conclusion that the supper was what was causing the trouble, and it was the supper that they must leave out. And right after that just the things, the actions which our Lord had commanded to be done for the recalling of Him were combined. Now look at what you get if you bring these two sets of actions together: you take bread, you break bread, you bless bread, you give bread, you take a cup, you bless a cup, you give a cup. That includes the whole of what was commanded by our Lord for the recalling of him. If you notice, you do practically everything in it twice over. And so they made a quite simple rearrangement. They took bread and wine together; they blessed bread and wine together; then they broke the bread and then they gave the bread and wine together. Just like that. It included still all the actions about which our Lord had said “Do this.” And it included them in a compact sensible order. Now that way of doing the Eucharist seems to have been devised somewhere between the writing of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Corinthians in 53 A.D. and the writing of St. Mark’s Gospel somewhere about 67 or 68.

And so at the end of the Apostolic Age you get that rearrangement which is the way that all Christians have done it ever since. There they had, so to speak, the skeleton—the absolute basic foundation—of all Eucharistic rites that contain the whole action that our Lord told us to do for the recalling of him. You take bread and wine, you bless bread and wine, you break bread, you give bread and wine. Or the usual words that we normally use: offertory, consecration prayer, fraction (the breaking of the bread), communion. Our Lord’s own actions we repeat in a compact way. Of course, we are used to a service that’s got a good deal more than that bare skeleton, that bare outline. We have things like the confession and absolution, prayers like the thanksgiving and the offering. When you come to think of it, all those are “extra” prayers. They are rather concerned, not so much with doing, because our Lord didn’t say pray this or think this or feel this. It is an action. It is Do this. They are, so to speak, more concerned with what I feel about doing this. They are, so to speak, its reaction on me expressed in words. I feel very unworthy of coming to communion and so I say the confession. I am comforted by listening to the comfortable words. I feel that I want to worship God and so I say the Sanctus. I feel thankful and grateful for receiving my communion so I join in the thanksgiving and so on. But the actual acts that our Lord commanded are confined to those four things: offertory, prayer (consecration prayer), breaking of the bread, giving of the bread and wine together.

IV. The Demonstration

            The Demonstration begins with no one on stage. Before it begins, each participant should conceal on his person one Host, one Bottle, and one Sacrament Box. The Archdeacon and other Deacons enter one or two at a time from all points designated as doors, greet each other, and put on their stoles immediately. The Deacons go to the doors to prevent the entry of any but baptized and confirmed communicants, while the Archdeacon places a Stole on each chair. The clergy and laity begin to come in one, two, or three at a time, and greet each other happily. Bishop and Priests put on stoles and sit down, while Laity take their stand, (the Priests always stand whenever the Bishop stands, and sit when he sits,) and the Bishop sings:


The rest of the participants all sing this response:


The Bishop and the Priests sit. The Assisting Deacon spreads the Altar Cloth on the Altar, passing round the end of the row of Priests, and never breaking through the semi-circle formed by the Bishop and Priests. (See paths A on diagram.) The Archdeacon brings the Chalice, Bowl and Paten from the Credence Table, and after giving the Chalice to the Assisting Deacon, they take their places at positions C and D respectively. Note that whenever the Chalice is carried by itself, it is held with one hand on each handle.

The first main Act of the Service—The Offertory

            The adult Laity (men first, then the women) pass by along line E, each placing his Host on the Paten, and then “emptying” his Bottle into the Chalice. (For the purposes of the demonstration, the Bottles do not contain, as they did in the second century, a few drops of wine, but even though they do not the people go through the pouring motions. When the adult Laity are through, the Children (who are too poor to bring host or wine, since they are supported entirely by the alms of the Church) come up and “pour” water into the Chalice. The Archdeacon and the Assisting Deacon turn and place the Chalice and Paten respectively in positions K and J on the Altar. The Clergy then make their own offering in both kinds in the following order—Bishop, Priests, Archdeacon, and Assisting Deacon, and Deacons. (Note that the Deacons stay guarding the doors all during the service, except when they leave them momentarily three times.) The Deacons return to the doors, the Archdeacon and Assisting Deacon place the two or three hosts necessary for the conduct of the service directly on the altar cloth at position F, and place the Chalice at position G. The Archdeacon carries the surplus hosts on the Patent to the Credence Table, while the Assisting Deacon gets the Scroll off the Extra Table. (Note that the Bishop and Priests sit throughout the Offertory, except when they make their own offerings.)

The Second Main Act of the Service—The Prayer (of Consecration)

The Archdeacon, returning to his place, receives the scroll from the Assisting Deacon, who is back in his place. The Archdeacon, opening it, holds it where the Bishop can see it easily. The Bishop and the Priests arise, and the Bishop begins the chant with the versicles (V), and the people sing the responses (R). The ancient Jewish custom of bowing at the words “Lord God” in the third V. is observed by all.

            At the words “Lift up your hearts…” in the Prayer, all present except the archdeacon, who is holding the scroll) assume the Jewish posture of prayer which is used by the early Christians. (See Photograph #4). After the words “… and demonstrate the resurrection…” there is a slight pause in the singing while the Bishop and Priests arrange themselves around the Altar with their hands extended over the elements for the actual consecration. (See Photograph #5.) After the words “… do my recalling,” Bishop and Priests step back to their places; each just in front of his chair, and resume the prayer posture. When the Bishop finishes the prayer, all sing the response “Amen,” and the Bishop and Priests then sit.

The Third Main Act—The Fraction

The Assisting Deacon takes the Scroll from the Archdeacon and puts it back on the Extra Table, then proceeds to the Altar, meeting there the Archdeacon, who has gone to the Credence and has brought the empty Second Paten from there (or emptied the one used at the Offertory and brought it to the Altar again). The consecrated Hosts are placed on the Paten, and the Archdeacon and Assisting Deacon break them into small pieces quickly, but reverently.

The Fourth Main Act—The Communion

The Communion is taken first by the Bishop, the Archdeacon carrying the Patent and the Assisting Deacon carrying the Chalice. The Bishop, still seated, communicates himself from the Paten held by the Archdeacon, and then receives the administration of the Chalice at the hands of the Assisting Deacon. The Bishop and Priests rise, and the Bishop receives the Paten from the Archdeacon (who steps back into position B after the Bishop receives the Host) and administers the Host to him. The Bishop then carries the Paten to the Priests (in any convenient order), who, standing each in his respective place, communicate themselves. By the time the last Priest is communicated, the Deacons and the Assisting Deacon have lined up along line E in the diagram, and the Bishop goes to administer the Host to them. Immediately after the Bishop administered the Host to the Archdeacon, the Assisting Deacon communicated him from the Chalice. The Archdeacon then took the Chalice and followed along right behind the Bishop, communicating the Priests and Deacons. The Bishop and the Archdeacon now take their places at C and D respectively, and the people (men and boys, then women and girls) pass by in order, each person stopping and facing first the Bishop and then the Archdeacon to receive his Communion. When communicated, each Deacon and lay person returns to his place. When the Bishop finishes administering the Host, he puts the Paten on the Altar (at H), returns to his throne, and sits down, the Priests sitting down at the same time. The Archdeacon returns the Chalice to position G on the Altar, and stands at B.

The lay people (in the same order as before) pass by the Archdeacon, who places a piece of the Host in the Sacrament Box carried by each person. The Archdeacon then returns the Patent to position F on the Altar, and the Clergy take their portions of the Sacrament in this order: Bishop, Priests, Archdeacon, Assisting Deacon, and other Deacons. The Bishop and Priests consume the remaining elements, the Archdeacon places the emptied Chalice and Paten on the Credence Table, the Assisting Deacon folds the Altar Cloth and places it on the Extra Table, and all return to their original places. The Archdeacon then sings:


and all respond:


The clergy remove their stoles, the Archdeacon places them on the Extra Table, and all depart.


I. On the manner of singing the Prayer:

            If the “Bishop” is unfamiliar with the Plainsong Notation of the Scroll, he can get the general idea from number 734 in the Hymnal 1940 which shows the second and third sets of versicles and responses in modern notation. The only notes used in the Prayer which are not used in No. 734 are those at the very end, for instance the two notes of the word “ever” which would be C and B respectively in the key in which No. 734 is written. The Plainsong Notation merely acknowledges complete freedom in transposing the tune up or down to fit the voice of the singer.

II. On the Manner of Communicating.

            The early Christians always signed themselves with the Sign of the Cross before receiving the Host, and again before receiving the Chalice. In the case of a Bishop or Priest, who administers the Host to himself, it is made with the particle between the fingers, saying as he signs the Cross, these words of administration: “The Bread of Heaven in Christ Jesus,” and also saying, after he consumes the Host, “Amen.” Deacons and laity, who receive the Host from the Bishop, sign themselves with the empty hand as we do today, then receive the Host directly on the tongue, having tilted the head back slightly and extended the tongue out a little over the lower lip. All reply “Amen” to the words of administration immediately after consuming the particle. 

            Every one receives the Chalice in the same way, since each person receives it from some one else. Having signed the Cross, the person receives three sips of the Wine, one at the mention of the name of each Person of the Blessed Trinity in the following words of administration pronounced by the person holding the Chalice: “In God the Father Almighty, and in Christ Jesus, and in the Holy Spirit, in the Holy Church.” The one who has received replies immediately, “Amen.”

            All receive standing, except the Bishop.


1. List of characters—all parts may be taken by any one, regardless of ecclesiastical status, since this is not to be a valid celebration of the Holy Communion.

a. Men: (1) Bishop—one

(2) Priests—any even number up to twelve

(3) Archdeacon—one

(4) Deacons—any number from two to six

(5) Laity—a token number, usually kept small for convenience, say 10 or 15.

b. Women—used as laity, in numbers about equal to the number of men used in this capacity.

c. Children—one or two—to represent the pauper, orphaned children of martyrs.

2.         Equipment needed

a.         Communion vessels.

            (1) Chalice—one—of the two-handled, loving-cup type, properly silver, and best about 6 inches tall.

            (2) Paten—one or two—circular plates about 8 to 12 inches across, properly silver.

b.         Offertory

(1) Hosts—one for each adult participant—small biscuits, roughly 1 to 1 ½ inches in diameter and about ½ inch thick.

(2) Small bottles—one for each participant, regardless of age.

(3) Bowl.

c.         Vestments—stoles only, one for Bishop, Priests, and Deacons. (These may be improvised easily from inexpensive cloth, but the use of actual stoles, if available, is quite proper.

d.         Furniture

(1) Altar—one—a small table, approximately the size of a card table.

(2) Chairs—one each for Bishop and Priests.

(3) Credence Table—one—small table, large enough to hold the Paten (or Patens) and the Chalice.

(4) Extra Table—one—any type, but large enough to hold Stoles, Altar Cloth, and Scroll.

e.         Miscellaneous

(1) Scroll—one—containing the Plainsong setting of the Prayer. 

(2) Altar cloth—one—any ordinary plain white tablecloth.

(3) Sacrament boxes—one for each participant—about the size of small matchboxes, preferably white.


A. Bishop’s chair

B. Archdeacon’s position (no chair)

C. Deacon’s position (for convenience this deacon will be called the Assisting Deacon) (no chair)

D. Priests’ chairs

E. Altar

F. Credence Table—containing Chalice and Paten

G. Men and Boys will stand here (no chairs)

H. Women and Girls will stand here (no chairs)

J. Remaining Deacons’ positions (no chairs)

K. Extra Table — containing Stoles, Altar Cloth, and the Scroll, should be out of the way, but handy to the Assisting Deacon.

Transcribed by Richard J. Mammana in 2011 from 15 undated mimeographed pages with the citation “Berkeley Missionary Society.”

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