Book of Common Prayer (ECUSA)/The Holy Eucharist/Additional Directions

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 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.

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; 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.

When a portion of the congregation is composed of persons whose native tongue is other than English, a reader appointed by the celebrant may read the Gospel in the language of the people, either in place of, or in addition to, the Gospel in English.

If there is no Communion, all that is appointed through the Prayers of the People may be said. (If it is desired to include a Confession of Sin, the service begins with the Penitential Order.) A hymn or anthem may then be sung, and the offerings of the people received. The service may then conclude with the Lord’s Prayer; and with either the Grace or a blessing, or with the exchange of the Peace.

In the absence of a priest, all that is described above, except for the blessing, may be said by a deacon, or, if there is no deacon, by a lay reader.

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 cup of wine. It is customary to add a little water to the wine. The deacon may be assisted by other ministers.

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

The following anthem may be used at the Breaking of the Bread:

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world:   
have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world:   
have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world:   
grant us peace.

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.

Opportunity is always to be given to every communicant to receive the consecrated Bread and Wine separately. But the Sacrament may be received in both kinds 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. When several deacons or priests are present, some may administer the Bread and others the Wine. In the absence of sufficient deacons and priests, lay persons licensed by the bishop according to the canon may administer the Chalice.

If the consecrated Bread or Wine does not suffice for the number of communicants, the celebrant is to return to the Holy Table, and consecrate more of either or both, by saying

Hear us, O heavenly Father, and with thy (your) Word and Holy Spirit bless and sanctify this bread (wine) that it, also, may be the Sacrament of the precious Body (Blood) of thy (your) Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who took bread (the cup) and said, “This is my Body (Blood).”  Amen.

or else the celebrant may consecrate more of both kinds, saying again the words of the Eucharistic Prayer, beginning with the words which follow the Sanctus, and ending with the Invocation (in the case of Eucharistic Prayer C, ending with the narrative of the Institution).

When the services of a priest cannot be obtained, the bishop may, at discretion, authorize a deacon to distribute Holy Communion to the congregation from the reserved Sacrament in the following manner:

1.  After the Liturgy of the Word (and the receiving of the people’s offering), the deacon reverently places the consecrated Sacrament on the Altar, during which time a communion hymn may be sung.

2.  The Lord’s Prayer is then said, the deacon first saying, “Let us pray in the words our Savior Christ hath (has) taught us.”

3.  And then, omitting the breaking of the Bread, the deacon proceeds with what follows in the liturgy as far as the end of the postcommunion prayer, and then dismisses the people.

If any of the consecrated Bread or Wine remain, apart from any which may be required for the Communion of the sick, or of others who for weighty cause could not be present at the celebration, or for the administration of Communion by a deacon to a congregation when no priest is available, the celebrant or deacon, and other communicants, reverently eat and drink it, either after the Communion of the people or after the Dismissal.

A hymn may be sung before or after the postcommunion prayer.

Disciplinary Rubics

If the priest knows that a person who is living a notoriously evil life intends to come to Communion, the priest shall speak to that person privately, and tell him that he may not come to the Holy Table until he has given clear proof of repentance and amendment of life.

The priest shall follow the same procedure with those who have done wrong to their neighbors and are a scandal to the other members of the congregation, not allowing such persons to receive Communion until they have made restitution for the wrong they have done, or have at least promised to do so.

When the priest sees that there is hatred between members of the congregation, he shall speak privately to each of them, telling them that they may not receive Communion until they have forgiven each other. And if the person or persons on one side truly forgive the others and desire and promise to make up for their faults, but those on the other side refuse to forgive, the priest shall allow those who are penitent to come to Communion, but not those who are stubborn.

In all such cases, the priest is required to notify the bishop, within fourteen days at the most, giving the reasons for refusing Communion.