Saturday, 31 July 2010

SERVING AT MISSA CANTATA (The Torchbearers at Missa Cantata)

The Torchbearers at Missa Cantata

Procession to altar

When you are to be a Torchbearer walk with the other Torchbearers, not carrying your candle, immediately behind the Acolytes in the procession to the altar, keeping in pairs.

Preparatory Prayers

When you come before the altar, genuflect with your partner, turn inwards to face him and bow to him. He will also bow to you. Then turn away from him and go to your place at the seat which has been prepared for you. When the Mc kneels down, kneel also.

Incensing of altar

When the Celebrant goes up to the altar after the Preparatory Prayers, stand up.

Introit to Gloria

Remain standing until the Celebrant sits down during the Gloria in excelsis Deo if this is sung, and stand again when the Celebrant does so.

Collect to Alleluia/Tract

Stand for the Collect (1). If there is a Sequence, sit down when the Celebrant does. Sit down during the Epistle.


When the Mc, Thurifer and Acolytes genuflect to go to the place of the Gospel, stand for the Gospel.


If there is a Sermon, sit and listen to it.


Stand while the Celebrant recites the Creed. Genuflect at Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine: et homo factus est when the Celebrant does so. When he has finished the Creed, he goes to sit. Sit also. Bow when Et incarnatus est, etc. is sung if you are sitting, but kneel during them if you are still standing when they are sung. (2). Bow when the words simul adoratur are sung. When the Celebrant stands, stand up at the Offertory.

After the celebrant has sung Dominus vobiscum and Oremus, sit. When the Thurifer comes to cense the Torchbearers, stand. When he bows to you bow back to him, and when he has censed you, bow to him again. Leave your place to stand at the centre of the sanctuary, lined up with the other Torchbearers in pairs ready to go to the sacristy to collect your torch candle. When the Thurifer comes to join you, genuflect to the altar with him and follow him to the sacristy to collect your torch.

Secret to Consecration

At the start of the singing of Sanctus, follow theThurifer, carrying your torch candle, (3) back to thesanctuary, genuflect with him, go to the place where youhave been told to kneel, and kneel there with the otherTorchbearers, making a line across the sanctuary, facing towards the altar and holding your torch candle up straight.

Consecration to Communion

Look up at the Blessed Sacrament when the Celebrant elevates It. Say "My Lord and my God" when you look on the Sacred Host.

When the schola begins to sing Agnus Dei with the other Torchbearers, stand up and form two lines facing each other across the sanctuary, so that, when the Celebrant goes to give communion to the people, you will not have your back to the Blessed Sacrament. When you have done this kneel down again.


If you are to receive communion, remain where you are when the other servers go up to the altar to receive the Blessed Sacrament. When the Celebrant has given communion to them, ne will come and give connunion to you where yui are krieeling with your torch candle (4). Once the Vt ssed Sacrament has been placed in the tabelnacl, uhe ihurifer will give you a sign for you to gt:),t up, turn and face the altar and genuflects with the :ither Torchbearers and follow the Tnurifer, walking in pairs ar.rain, back to the sacristy. Put away your torch and follow the Thurifer, walking in pairs c::ain, back to the sanctuary, genuflect in pairs and turn and bow to your partner as you did at the beginning of Mass, and return to your place.

Ablutions to end of Mass

You may sit down if the Ablutions are still taking place or if the Celebrant is reading the Communion Verse. Stand when he sings Dominus Vobiscum before the Postcommunion (5). Kneel for the Blessing, and stand for the Last Gospel, genuflect at Et Verbum caro factum est.

After Mass

When the Last Gospel is finished, go to stand at the centre, ready to follow the Thurifer and Acolytes back to the sacristy. Genuflect when the Mc does and follow behind the Thurifer and Acolytes back to the sacristy in the same order as at the start of Mass.


Notes for the Torchbearers

(1) At Masses for the Dead and at Ferial Masses in Advent, Lent, Passiontide, the September Ember Days, and Vigils of the II or III class (i.e. when the vestments are black or, on a weekday, but not on a Sunday, violet), kneel for the Collect.

(2) Properly, only those standing at the time when the words Et incarnatus est, etc. are begun kneel for the chanting of them; however, it has long been the custom in England and Wales for all except the Celebrant (and the Sacred Ministers at High Mass) to kneel even after they have sat. Do what the Mc tells you to do.

(3) When you are walking to or from the altar carrying your torch candle hold it in your outside hand, i.e.: the hand on the opposite side to the server who is walking beside you.

(4) This is the present custom. Previously, other servers took the torch candles from the Torchbearers, after they had themselves received communion, so the Torchbearers could go up to the footpace to receive there. It seems to me that the method described in the text is far better than the older form, but do whatever the Mc tells you to do.

(5) At the Masses listed in Note (1) above, kneel for the Postcommunion Prayer.


Post a Comment