Thurifer Notes

1. Arrive early (before 09. 45) and put out thurible stand in the Sanctuary (on the top step about 2 metres from the north wall). Make sure there are enough matches/lighters, charcoal and incense on the tray in the flower vestry. (The code for the door to clear it is C and then *****).

2. About 10 minutes before the Service, go into the flower vestry and, using a candle, light two charcoals and place in the thurible with the dished side up (to take the incense). Make sure the charcoal is lit by checking that it is sparking and starting to glow. Be careful as sometimes it bursts into life and can burn. Two briquettes are usually enough, but if you want to be sure then place a third unlit charcoal briquette on top of one of the ones already burning. This is to ensure that there is still a live charcoal in the thurible later. Keep the charcoal and the sparks away from your robes.

3. Before leaving the vestry make sure that the Thurible chains are not tangled and that the keeper ring and thurible lid will all operate properly. Do not lower the keeper ring until the incense has been added. Go to the Sacristy, with the boat person, if there is one.

4. Lead the procession up the aisle, followed by Crucifer, Acolytes, MC. At the end of the aisle, go to the left of the lectern, up to the Altar Rail and turn left and stand facing the Altar, leaving room for an acolyte next to you and the MC and the Deacon beyond them. When all are in a line, at a cue from the Deacon, all except the Crucifer and Acolytes, and including the President, who is standing facing east in front of the Lectern, will genuflect.

5. The Deacon then Places the Gospel Book on the Altar, the MC goes to stand in front of the seats on the south side, the Crucifer puts the Cross in the holder at the end of the Choir stalls, 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. Enter the Sanctuary after the acolytes, place the Thurible and Boat on the stand and go to a seat on the north side and join in the hymn.

6. As soon as the Gradual hymn starts, bring the Thurible and Boat in front of the Screen to the President. There is no need to acknowledge the altar as you leave the sanctuary, but try and walk at right angles. Hand the boat to the President, open the thurible and offer it to the President who will put incense on the lit charcoal and bless it. When the thurible has been loaded stand back to the south side, but be ready to hand the Thurible to the President.

7. The Gospel Procession will come through the Choir and stop just short of the front pew. Hand the thurible to the President, who censes the Gospel book, then the Crucifer will then lead the Gospel Procession, followed by the Acolytes, MC and Deacon to the centre of the church. As the Gospel Procession leaves, move back to the south side.

8. As the Gospel Procession returns to the Sanctuary, go to the back of the church and sit to listen to the sermon. During the intercessions, return to the flower vestry and add two more lumps of charcoal to the thurible. Keep the door shut while doing this, and when you come out to wait for the peace try and keep the thurible still. As the congregation stands for the Peace, walk down the north aisle and rejoin the altar party in an arc around the President.

9. At the Peace, exchange the Peace with the other Servers and then go and stand just inside the Screen facing East. The crucifer and acolytes will be behind you. At a word from the MC the Procession moves to the Altar rail.

10. At the Altar rail, step well to the left as before. At the signal from the President all except acolytes and crucifer genuflect. Wait for the President, Deacon. MC and communion assistants to enter the sanctuary then go into the Sanctuary, place the thurible and boat on the stand and then stand with your back to north wall for the Offertory. Keep an eye on the preparation of the table.

11. When you see the Deacon start to deal with the wafers in the Ciborium, bring the thurible, to the president, hand the boat to the President and open the thurible. The Priest will put the incense onto the lighted charcoal and bless it. Close the lid of the Thurible and lower the ring. Give the thurible to the Priest and put the boat down somewhere. After the Priest has censed the Altar, he will return the Thurible to you and the Thurifer censes the Priest. (Two swings each side and two in the middle. If the bishop is presiding, then three swings each time)

12. Take the thurible as far as the Screen, and face the choir and Altar party. Bow to them and cense them (2 to the right, 2 to the left and 2 to the centre). Incense can be detrimental to the voice, so censing the choir should be a token gesture only. Then bow again.

13. Go to a position in front of the front pew, bow to the congregation and cense them (Repeat as choir, but with considerably more vigour), bow, turn and return to sanctuary, and hang the thurible on the stand. Return to the sanctuary, hang the Thurible back on the stand and stand by it below the bottom step. Remain standing, and when the sacrament is raised at the end of the Eucharistic Prayer, cense the sacrament 3 x 3 only (ie don’t wait for the bell to ring).

14. After the invitation to communion and on cue from the MC move to the centre in one line, heaping the kneelers out of the way of the step; 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 return to seat on the south side. Again, all sit on cue from the MC. Please do not chat. Be alert after you have received communion whether Sandy needs to be helped down the step, though the Deacon will usually do this.

15. Assist the MC with ablutions – moving washed vessels to the credence table.

16. On cue from the Deacon or MC, collect the thurible and move promptly out of the gate and down to the altar end of the choir stalls, allowing enough space for the rest of the altar party behind you. Turn to face the Altar, genuflect on the cue from the MC or Deacon and then process under the Screen to stand under the pulpit, and wait for the final blessing.

17. After the blessing, as the organ voluntary begins, lead the procession down the aisle to the sacristy. After the sacristy prayers take the thurible back to the flower vestry and empty the charcoal into the recycling tin.
When there is a boat person they should always be on your left side. When turning round with the Boat person, always turn clockwise and, in order to keep them on your left, wheel right as a pair, rather than both pivoting. When there is a boat person, they offer the boat to the president rather than handing it to them. Otherwise all actions are the same but done by both people.

Thurifer Notes v2013