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Concerning the Celebration

From the Book of Divine Worship - The Proper: First Part - The Holy Eucharist

It is the bishop's prerogative, when present, to be the principal celebrant at the Lord's Table, and to preach the Gospel.

At all celebrations of the Liturgy, it is fitting that the principal celebrant, whether bishop or priest, be assisted by other priests, and by deacons and lay persons.

It is appropriate that the other priests present stand with the celebrant at the Altar, and join in the consecration of the gifts, in breaking the Bread, and in distributing Communion.

A deacon should read the Gospel and may lead the Prayers of the People. Deacons should also serve at the Lord's Table, preparing and placing on it the offerings of bread and wine, and assisting in the ministration of the Sacrament to the people. In the absence of a deacon, these duties may be performed by an assisting priest.

Lay persons appointed by the celebrant should normally be assigned the reading of the Lessons which precede the Gospel, and may lead the Prayers of the People.

Morning or Evening Prayer may be used in place of all that precedes the Peace and the Offertory, provided that a lesson from the Gospel is always included, and that the intercessions conform to the directions given for the Prayers of the People.

Additional Directions

The Holy Table is spread with a clean white cloth during the celebration.

When the Great Litany is sung or said immediately before the Eucharist, the Litany concludes with the Kyries, and the Eucharist begins with the Salutation and the Collect of the Day. The Prayers of the People following the Creed may be omitted.

When a psalm is used, it may be concluded with the Gloria Patri. In Rite One services, the following form of the Gloria may be used:

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Ghost:

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, *
world without end. Amen.

The Kyrie eleison (or "Lord, have mercy") may be sung or said in threefold, sixfold, or ninefold form. The Trisagion, "Holy God," may be sung or said three times, or antiphonally.

The Gloria in excelsis, or the hymn used in place of it, is sung or said from Christmas Day through the Feast of the Epiphany; on Sundays from Easter Day through the Day of Pentecost; on all the days of Easter Week; and on Ascension Day; on Solemnities and Feasts; and at other times as desired; but it is not used on the Sundays or ordinary weekdays of Advent or Lent.

It is desirable that the Lessons be read from a lectern or pulpit, and that the Gospel be read from the same lectern, or from the pulpit, or from the midst of the congregation. It is desirable that the Lessons and Gospel be read from a book or books of appropriate size and dignity.

The greeting, "The peace of the Lord be always with you," is addressed to the entire assembly. In the exchange between individuals which may follow, any appropriate words of greeting may be used. If preferred, the exchange of the Peace may take place at the time of the administration of the Sacrament (before or after the sentence of Invitation).

Necessary announcements may be made before the service, after the Creed, before the Offertory, or at the end of the service, as convenient.

It is the function of a deacon to make ready the Table for the celebration, preparing and placing upon it the bread and wine. A little water is added to the wine. The deacon may be assisted by other ministers.

During the Eucharistic Prayer, it is appropriate that there be only one chalice on the Altar, and, if need be, a flagon of wine is to be consecrated, from which additional chalices may be filled after the Breaking of the Bread.

While the people are coming forward to receive Communion, the celebrant receives the Sacrament in both kinds. The bishops, priests, and deacons at the Holy Table then communicate, and after them the people.

The Sacrament may be received in both kinds separately or simultaneously, in a manner approved by the bishop. When the celebrant is assisted by a deacon or another priest, it is customary for the celebrant to administer the consecrated Bread and the assistant the Chalice. In the absence of sufficient deacons and priests, approved lay persons may assist in the administration of Holy Communion.

The Scripture readings are taken from the Roman Lectionary for Mass in the translations approved by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, namely, the Revised Standard Version (Catholic Edition), the New American Bible, and the Jerusalem Bible.

* An asterisk divides a verse of a Psalm in two portions for responsive reading
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