Customary for Lay Eucharistic Ministers in the Contemporary Service

Crucifer (Carries the Cross) 
(Carries the Gospel Book) 
(Carries the Thurible)


  • Please be at the church 10 minutes before the service starts.

  • 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 10:40 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.

  • The LEMs will remain in their seats during the sermon.

The Lord’s Table

  • After the Confession, Absolution, and Peace 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).

Credence Table

Band Members

Gospeler   Thurifer         Crucifer
Deacon  Celebrant

  • Both LEMs should stand a foot behind the Celebrant on opposite ends of the altar. Once on stage the Gospeler should immediately get the Boat of incense from the credence table and hand it to the Thurifer.

  • When the Doxology begins, the Gospeler will go in front of the altar, descend the steps, and wait for the offering. Upon receiving the offering, he or she will climb the steps and 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, place it on the credence table, and then return to his or her position.

  • 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 outside the sacristy and wait at the front row to receive communion.

  • 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.


  • When the Celebrant descends the stairs both LEMs will join him. The Crucifer will get the cross and wait in the front right row while the Gospeler will pick up and hold the gospel book. The Thurifer will take the thurible from its stand and wait for the Celebrant.

  • After the final song the Celebrant will lead the people in the Post-Communion Prayer, the Kenyan Blessing, the Benediction, and the Dismissal. After the Dismissal the Celebrant will step back and the Thurifer will lead the Recession followed by the Crucifer, the Gospeler, the Deacon, and the Celebrant. The cross should be returned to its stand at the back of the church, the Gospel book should be placed upright on top of the kneelers’ box, and the thurible should be returned to its stand on the outside of the sacristy.