Customary for Lay Eucharistic Ministers in the Traditional Service
Crucifer (Carries the Cross)
Gospeler (Carries the Gospel Book)
Thurifer (Carries the Thurible)
Vest by 8:45. All LEMs should wear a cassock, surplice, and cross.
The Thurifer or Gospeler will light the candles on the altar six minutes before service begins. Light the candlelighter, walk slowly to the altar, reverence at the altar, light the epistle candle first (right side facing the altar) then the gospel candle (left side facing the altar), reverence at the altar again, and return to the back.
Gather with the clergy at 8:55 to pray in back of the church.
The Crucifer should hold the cross so that his or her top hand is about nose height to ensure the cross is elevated while processing. Do not let the cross rest of the ground.
The Gospeler should hold the Gospel Book slightly in front of his or her face and straight up while processing. When waiting to process hold it at chest level.
If present the Thurifer will lead the procession when the Celebrant signals by walking reverently to the altar followed by the Crucifer, the Gospeler, the Deacon, and then the Celebrant. Without a Thurifer the Crucifer will lead the procession at the Celebrant’s signal following the same order. Upon reaching the altar the Thurifer will step to the left of the center, the Crucifer will walk to the right end of the center stairs, the Gospeler will walk to the left end of the center stairs, the Deacon will step to the right, and the Celebrant will stand in the center.
Gospeler Thurifer Celebrant Deacon Crucifer
The Crucifer and Gospeler should not reverence at the altar when holding the Gospel Book or Cross. The Celebrant, Deacon, and Thurifer will reverence at the Altar. The Crucifer will then bring the cross to its holder at the right side of the room and the Gospeler will place the gospel book on the seat next to them in the front left row. When turning, always turn to the right. The Celebrant, Deacon, and Thurifer will then proceed to cense the altar and people.
The Liturgy of the Word
During the reading of the lessons, if one of the lectors is absent, a LEM should be prepared to substitute as a reader.
At the beginning of the sequence hymn the Crucifer will take the cross and stand before the altar. When the Gospel Reader (Deacon or Priest) signals, the Crucifer will step to the right and the Gospeler will take the Gospel Book and stand center left, leaving room for the Gospel Reader. The Gospel Reader will come and stand between the LEMs and reverence at the altar. The Crucifer will lead the processional to the middle of the sanctuary with the Gospeler following. At least half way down the aisle the Crucifer will stop and turn around toward the altar. When the Crucifer stops, the Gospeler stops and turns toward the Gospel Reader. The Gospeler will hold the Gospel Book open towards the Reader. The Reader will elevate the book and then return it to the Gospeler’s hands. The Gospeler will hold the book for the Reader to read, then the Reader will elevate the book again and return it to the Gospeler’s hands.
After the reading of the gospel, the Crucifer will wait for the Gospel Reader and Gospeler to turn aside, then he or she will process back to the altar and wait for the Gospel Reader and Gospeler to arrive as before. After the Gospel Reader reverences the altar, the Crucifer will put the cross back in its holder and bring the music stand to the middle area just above the front row for the preacher and then sit down. The Gospeler will return to his or her seat with the gospel after the Gospel Reader reverences the altar.
The LEMs will remain in their seats during the sermon.
At the beginning of the offertory both Clergy and LEMs should follow the Celebrant to the altar, remaining on their respective sides (Deacon at the Celebrant’s right hand, Crucifer on stage left, Gospeler on stage right).
Gospeler Thurifer Crucifer
When giving or receiving things from the Celebrant come to the left side of the Celebrant and bow your head. The Crucifer should receive the burse, veil, pall, and small chalice and take them to the credence table and then the Gospeler brings the larger chalice to the Celebrant. Next both LEMs should proceed to the front of the altar to receive the Eucharistic elements. The Crucifer will receive the bread and bring it to the Celebrant. The Gospeler will receive the water and wine and bring them to the credence table.
The Gospeler will remove the tops from the cruets and then bring them to the Celebrant. Hold them so that the handles face towards the Celebrant with the wine in your right hand and the water in your left hand. The Celebrant will take the wine first. Then the Celebrant will bless the water and take it from the Gospeler. When the priest is finished with the water, he will hand it back to the Gospeler. The Gospeler will then return the water to the credence table.
The Crucifer will place the lavabo towel over his or her left arm and the lavabo in his or her left hand. When the Gospeler returns to the credence table, the Crucifer will take the water cruet from the Gospeler in his or her right hand. With lavabo, towel, and water in hand, the Crucifer will go to the Celebrant and pour water over his hands. The Celebrant will take the lavabo towel from the Crucifer to dry his hands. Then the Celebrant will replace it. The Celebrant and Crucifer will bow to each other. Repeat this with the Deacon or second Priest if present. The Crucifer will then return the lavabo, the towel, and the water to the credence table. While the Celebrant and Deacons hands are cleansed the Gospeler will take the boat from the credence table and give it to the thurifer.
Both LEMs should stand a foot behind the Celebrant on opposite ends of the altar.
The Celebrant will cense the altar and then the Thurifer will cense the people. After censing the people the Thurifer should return the thurible to its stand and wait at the front row to receive communion.
When the Doxology begins, the Gospeler will go in front of the altar and wait for the offering. Upon receiving the offering, he or she will hand it over the altar so that the Celebrant can bless and receive the offering and then return to his or her position. The Crucifer will receive the offering from the Celebrant after he has blessed it and place it on the credence table and then return to his or her position.
Prayer of Consecration
Remain standing throughout. Cross yourself when we sing, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,” and when the Celebrant says, “Sanctify us also that we may worthily receive this Holy Sacrament.”
When the Celebrant announces the fraction the Crucifer will go to the credence table, pick up the second chalice, and place it on the altar. Then return to your place behind the altar. The celebrant will distribute the elements to clergy first and then the LEMs. After receiving the wine, the Celebrant will hand each LEM a chalice of wine and a purificator. Hold the chalice in your right hand and the purificator in your left.
Distribution of Communion
Each LEM will distribute wine to the people lined up on their respective side of the altar. Begin distributing the wine once the Celebrant has distributed bread to people on your side. Keep at least an arms length away from the Celebrant and watch for cables.
Do not give the chalice to anyone, but always hold it while the communicants consume the wine. Wipe the rim of the chalice with the purificator after each person consumes and rotate the chalice about ¼ turn. You will say to each person as you distribute the wine, “The blood of Christ, the cup of salvation.”
If the communicant holds the bread in his or her palm, pick it up, dip it into the wine, and place it in his or her open mouth, saying, “The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ keep you in everlasting life.”
If the communicant intincts say the words, “The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ keep you in everlasting life.”
If you run out of wine, go to the altar and pour wine from the cruet on the corporal into the chalice. Do not use wine that has not been consecrated. If there is no wine in the cruet, tell the Celebrant and he will consecrate more wine.
At the conclusion of the distribution of the elements, take the chalice to the credence table. The Crucifer will receive the paten from the Celebrant as well as any linens. The celebrant may ask both LEMs will consume the remaining wine in the chalices and bread. When finished, add water to the chalice, consume it, and wipe it with a purificator. Rinse the wine cruet and paten with water, pour the water into a chalice and consume it. Wipe the chalice with a purificator and keep it in the chalice.
Both LEMs will return to their places behind the altar as the Celebrant leads the people in the final communion prayer and blesses the people. When the Celebrant descends the stairs both LEMs will join him to bow together before the altar.
The Crucifer will get the cross and go to the front of the altar at the base of the stairs during the closing hymn. The Thurifer will take the thurible from its stand and wait for the Celebrant’s signal.
When the Celebrant indicates, the Gospeler will take the gospel book to the altar and stand on the left side, the Thurifer will stand to the right of the Gospeler, the Celebrant to the right of the Thurifer, and the Crucifer to the right of the Celebrant. The Thurifer will lead the recessional after the Celebrant and Thurifer bow.