MC Notes


1. The MC has overall responsibility for ensuring that the serving team’s work runs smoothly. Arrive in good time to prepare for the service, about 0930, and in the event that someone is absent, find a replacement, as the arrangements don’t allow very easily for doubling up.

2. Before the service:
• Put out 2 chairs for the President and Deacon at an angle in front of the Screen on the north side of the aisle and put a service book and hymn book on the Deacon’s chair.
• Check all the servers have their belts tied with knots on the left side, that their albs are long enough and that their back pleats are tidy.
• Check that the altar candles have been lit; during the Christmas season, the ring of five candles; during the Easter season, the Paschal Candle.
• Ensure acolytes know which of them is doing water and which wine.
• Put hymn books and service sheets for the servers in the Sanctuary.
• Check that the Thurible stand is brought from the Choir vestry and put in the Sanctuary.
• Check the Red Gospel book is in Sacristy for Deacon to carry and check whether the Gospel has a page turn in it.

3. Provide hymn books for self and President for procession and ensure the procession is in order, with Thurifer, Crucifer, Acolytes then MC. Deacon has the Gospel Book to carry, but see note at end re Sandy as Deacon. When arriving at the Altar Rail, move to the left of the Deacon who will give the cue for all except Crucifer and Acolytes to genuflect. The Deacon and MC move into the sanctuary followed by the acolytes. The Deacon puts the Gospel Book on the Altar and returns to the lectern. The MC goes to stand in front of the seats on the south side and the Acolytes put their candles on the junction of the black tiles and the top step and go to stand in front of their seats either side. The Crucifer puts the Cross in the holder at the end of the Choir stalls and follows the Thurifer into the Sanctuary and to stand in front of their respective seats, the thurible and boat having been put on the stand.

4. Servers stand for the Confession and sit for the Intercessions

5. At the beginning of the Gradual hymn, ensure that the Thurifer has set off at the start of the hymn to take the thurible to the President. The MC then gives the cue for the Gospel procession to set off at the appropriate point in the hymn to reach the centre of the Nave at the end of the hymn, having paused for the Gospel to be censed. (This will sometimes be almost immediately after the Thurifer has gone, if it is a short hymn.) The crucifer goes and collects the cross and leads off, followed by the acolytes. The MC collects the Gospel Book, opens it at the correct page and follows at the back of the precession.

6. The Crucifer and Acolytes form a line one pace in front of the front pew and face East, while the MC takes the Gospel book to the President to be censed. This done, the MC cues the Cross and Lights to turn and the Procession continues to the centre of the Nave. Try to make sure that you and the acolytes end up close to the Crucifer in a cluster before turning. MC holds the Gospel book for the reading, then gives it to the Deacon for the acclamation at the end, and takes it back. The MC and Deacon then stand aside to the north to allow the crucifer and acolytes to pass, follow them to the screen where you place the Gospel book on the Eagle lectern, wait to bow briefly with the crucifer and acolytes (taking your cue from the crucifer) then take a seat on the front pews.

7. At the end of the intercessions, move to form an arc either side of the President and Deacon for the Peace. After exchanging the peace, ensure the other servers form up at the Chancel entrance as indicated in their notes and, when the hymn starts, MC gives the cue for the Procession to move to the Altar rail.

8. At the Altar rail move to the right to allow the President, deacon, other clergy and communion assistants space to come through the middle. At the signal from the President all except acolytes and crucifer genuflect. MC follows clergy and communion assistants into the Sanctuary, with other Servers following. (See other notes) Take up your position at the Deacon’s left.

9. At the Offertory, Deacon and MC receive the ciborium and wine respectively from the sidespersons and move directly to the altar, MC going round to its right. (See also note ii below) Place one of the wine carafes on the saucer for the reserve and place the other for the deacon to use in filling the chalices. Then organise acolytes to offer wine first and then water to the Deacon. Then take the additional bread to the Deacon, who will calculate whether more or less than the 140 in the ciborium are needed, based on the note brought up with the bread and wine.

10. As the Deacon prepares the bread make sure the Thurifer has come across to the President, and cue if not. Whilst altar is censed ensure one acolyte is ready to wash celebrant’s fingers and that the other has returned to their place on the north side. Make sure that you and the other servers are facing the Thurifer when they turn at the end of the choir to cense the choir and altar party, and bow accordingly.

11. Ensure all servers line up at the altar step and that the Crucifer has shut the sanctuary gate. Remain standing until after the invitation to communion. When the President starts to communicate the altar party give the cue for servers to move to the centre in one line; genuflect and then move up one step and kneel together in front of the Altar. All receive communion or a blessing, then stand, bow heads briefly and take up seats either side of the altar moving together outside the acolytes’ candles if possible. MC gives the cue to sit. Please do not chat.

12. At the end of communion distribution, make sure all servers are doing their allocated tasks (see other notes) and take up your position east of the altar to assist the Deacon with the ablutions. The Thurifer will usually assist you with clearing altar items to credence table. Ideally the credence table should look reasonably orderly when clearing has finished.

13. During the last hymn, cue the party to leave the Sanctuary to arrive in an arc behind the President in time for the Blessing. The party should form up facing the Altar with Thurifer and Boat first, then Acolytes, MC, Deacon and any other clergy. After the party has genuflected, all turn and, followed by the Crucifer, go to form an arc behind the President. When blessing and dismissal completed, cue the Thurifer to lead the procession back to the sacristy.

14. After the service, ensure all the items are brought back to the sacristy, books are put away and all is tidy.

Notes (i )If Sandy is Deacon then be ready to take the Gospel book from her as you arrive at the lectern, carry it through to the altar rail, cue the genuflection and place the Gospel book on the altar near the left hand (gospel) candle.
(ii) One of the Eucharistic prayers requires the deacon to hold both elements up together. In this case he/she will not hand you the ciborium of wafers, but you will need to take one or both of the wine carafes. With the new liturgy this year I am not sure how often this will be used, if at all.

 
MC notes V2013