This is NOT a complete set of acolyte procedures, but addresses procedures that have changed between November 2022 and January 2023. Note that I’m rolling back the change that had us processing out during the postlude.
Setting the Table
The updates around setting the table are slightly more complicated because of the introduction of the communion cups. The bread and wine now are brought to the table by the Eucharistic ministers. So here’s what I need you to bring me:
- Trip 1: Water and the Small Basket with Paper Towel
- Trip 2: Large Communion Cups trays (I’ll hand you back the lid.)
I’ll give you back several things, including some linens, and I’ll give you the water back. I need your help for a ritual hand washing. To do that, put a small towel over your left forearm, hold the “lavabo” (Latin for “I wash”) bowl in your left hand, and pour water over my fingers into the bowl. I’ll be mumbling a Latin prayer, “Lavabo inter innocentes manus meas et circumdabo altare tuum Domine,” which means “I will wash my hands in innocence, O LORD, that I may go in procession round your altar.” (Psalm 26:6)
Processing Out and Extinguishing Candles
Effective immediately, I’m rolling asking that we return to the practice of processing out during the hymn following the blessing at the altar. (I don’t like the term “recessional,” because the cross doesn’t “recess” or “retreat.” Instead, we process out into the world.) I do, however, want to continue NOT having the choir bow to the cross before processing out.
As we had previously done, the acolyte should then move up the side aisle, replace the cross on the wall mount, and extinguish the candles while the Organ Voluntary (Postlude) that follows the dismissal.
I’m still not 100% sure these changes are a good idea, but they are intended to remedy other problems, and I want to give this a try. Your feedback is very helpful.
Thank you for all you do at St. Paul’s!