Deacon Notes


Before the Service
Take the reserved sacrament out of the aumbry. Consume any remaining wafers and refill the ciborium from the heart shaped box on the credence table. Put the ciborium near the other vessels at the centre of the altar, but put the wine carafe separately, nearer the side of the altar, leaving the cloth on it.

During the Service there are 12 points for the Deacon to act on:
1. Carry the Gospel Book into Church
2. Say the invitation to Confession and start the Confession
3. Announce the Gradual Hymn
4. Cense and read the Gospel
5. Invite people to exchange the peace
6. Accept the Gifts of Bread and Wine
7. Set the table
8. Turn the pages of the Altar Book for the President
9. Say the acclamation in the middle of the Eucharistic Prayer
10. Put the new reserved sacrament away
11. Supervise the washing up
12. Give the final dismissal

The Rector (or celebrant) brings in the Choir, welcomes the people and gives the notices.
1. The Deacon, carrying the Gospel book, and President come in with the altar party. At the front, move to the right of the President to genuflect, taking the cue from the crucifer and then go to the right hand chair (i.e. on the President’s left). Put the Gospel book on the eagle lectern tucked under the readings. (On the 2nd Sunday the chairs will be behind the altar)
After the Introit hymn, Deacon and Priest remain standing by their chairs for:
The Greeting
Prayer of Preparation
Prayers of Penitence
2. The Deacon invites everyone to make their confession, using the words in the Book that the MC is holding.
The people make their confession; the President then gives the absolution.
Then follows the Gloria or Kyrie Eleison depending on the time of year. Continue to stand facing the congregation).
The President says the Collect and then Deacon, President and MC sit down for the Old and New Testament readings.
3. The Deacon announces the Gradual Hymn. During the hymn the thurifer will come to the Deacon who puts three spoons of incense on the charcoal, and the incense is then blessed by the President. Towards the end of the hymn, on the MC’s signal, the Gospel procession forms and moves to the middle of the aisle. (On the 2nd Sunday there is still a Gospel procession but no incense)
4. The Deacon censes and reads the Gospel
Announce the Gospel first, then turn to the Thurifer behind you, take the thurible, bowing, cense the Gospel book 3 x 3 times and return thurible to the Thurifer, bowing.
The preacher for the day will move to the foot of the pulpit steps during the reading and will mount the steps when the Acolytes have replaced the candles at the screen.
If the Deacon is preaching, s/he will read the Gospel as well as preach.
After the sermon the President and Deacon remain at their chairs for
The Creed – stand facing the congregation
The Intercessions – prepared by a lay person for that day
For the Peace the Deacon and the rest of the altar party all step forward, with the President in the centre.
5. The Deacon invites everyone to exchange the Peace. After the exchange of the Peace, the Deacon and President, administers of the sacrament and servers all move to the High Altar on the MC’s instruction, unless it is the second Sunday.
6. The President says the Offertory prayers over the gifts while the Deacon first holds up the bread, then hands it to the MC for the day, and holds up the wine, facing the MC*. The Priest then moves to a seat. The Deacon and MC move together towards the altar and the Deacon goes round to the left of the altar to prepare the gifts.
7. The Deacon sets the table. One of the carafes of wine is poured into the two chalices. The other is placed near the other vessels with the stopper taken out. The chalices are topped up from the decanter brought by the servers and a small amount of water added.
The number of wafers is checked against the estimated number in the congregation and more added if necessary from the silver box. The wafers are placed on the two patens. The lid is taken off the small ciborium for the reserved sacrament.
When the table is laid, the Deacon bows to the President and moves to the left hand side (moving between the wall and the table). The President censes the altar and, after s/he is censed, and the Thurifer has moved away, the President washes their hands and moves behind the altar, in the centre, with the Deacon at their left hand.
8. The Deacon turns the pages of the Altar Book for the Priest.
9. The Deacon says the acclamation in the middle of the Eucharistic Prayer (e.g. Great is the mystery of faith; “Christ is the bread of life; or whatever is the acclamation for the time of year.) After which the congregation responds with the appropriate words for the season.
During the Agnus Dei the Deacon assists with breaking the wafers into the ciboria, and then steps back to receive communion.
10. The Communion follows and the Deacon places the newly consecrated reserved sacrament in the aumbry, and puts the carafe of former reserved wine near the front of the altar to be used as necessary during the Communion.
11. When everyone who has come to the altar has been communicated, the Deacon remains at the altar to supervise the washing up while the President and another administer Communion to those in the body of the church. (On the 2nd Sunday the washing up takes place in the Lady Chapel.)
The President goes back to the Chancel step, where s/he is joined by the MC for
The post-communion Collect
The post-communion Prayer
The post-communion Hymn
The Blessing
12. During the last verse of the post-communion hymn, the altar party moves from the High Altar to join the President at the Chancel step. The Deacon stands to the left of the President and after the Blessing gives the final Dismissal. E.g. “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord; Go in the peace of Christ; or whatever is appropriate for the season. It needs to be done well with a strong voice.

Dress. If a Priest or ordained Deacon is the liturgical Deacon, s/he will wear their stole as they usually would.
If a Reader is the Deacon, s/he will wear the Reader’s robes and blue scarf
If a lay person is the Deacon, s/he will wear a server’s alb with a white girdle.

What to do when not on rota for duty. It is important that the Curates are around when not on the rota for duty. They can either sit in their usual stalls, if they are not taken up by those who are on duty, or, if that is the case, in the front seats at the far end of the Choir. (Next to the crucifer’s seat or the second curate’s stall)

Baptisms. The Deacon will assist the Priest on the occasion of Baptisms.

22nd May 2010