Offertory and Altar Preparation with Lavabo

Following the sermon, the subdeacon and server lead into the chancel, genuflecting at its gate, and the celebrant/preacher follows, also genuflecting at the chancel gate. During and following the Offertory, the Offering is collected as the Altar is prepared.

The Western Rite provides for the cutting of the wine with water, but my practice is not to do this.

It is imperative that clearly discernable wine be used. Mogan David and Manischewitz are hardly fit for use in churches which confess the bodily presence of the Blood of Christ, and should not be tolerated. Non-alcoholic wines and grapejuice are strictly forbidden.

The practice of using individual communion glasses is a sad and nearly ubiquitous reality Lutherans face, though through patient catechesis perhaps one day it can be discontinued. In the meantime, at the very least the vessels ought to be of glass, and not cheap plastic. Altar guild members should be carefully trained with regard to the preparation and washing of all communionware.

The preparation at St. Paul's is as follows: The subdeacon distributes the offering plates to the ushers and receives them back. The celebrant does not concern himself at all with the collection of the offerings unless there are no attendants. Meanwhile the server takes the items from the credence to the celebrant. First he takes the veiled chalice to the celebrant. The celebrant, upon receiving the chalice, places it just to the left of center. He carefully uncovers the chalice, folds the veil (ninefold), and places it on the altar to the right of the corporal. He removes the pall and places it on the folded veil. He removes the paten (which has the celebrant’s host on it) and places it just to the right of the chalice (so that together, chalice and paten are in the center), and removes the purificators, placing one of them directly beside the corporal on the right, beside the pall and veil. With the other he wipes the inside of the chalice to ensure that it contains no dust particles. He then places the second purificator beside the first. Meanwhile the server takes the tray containing the silver paten with hosts to the celebrant. The celebrant removes the cover and takes the silver paten, thereupon replacing the cover. The server returns the tray to the credence. The celebrant places the silver paten with hosts to the right of and slightly behind the gold paten. One of the two purificators is then unfolded lengthwise and placed across both patens, covering most of the celebrant’s host and the communicant hosts. The flagon and spoon are brought to him next, and he places the flagon on the left toward the rear, and the spoon on the far right toward the rear. The empty cruet is brought next, and he places this also on the right, beside and to the left of the spoon. Next the server carries the cruet with wine to the celebrant, with a plain purificator on his left arm. The celebrant takes the purificator from the server’s arm to use when pouring wine from the cruet (He should not use the two purificators already on the altar, as these are used only for consecrated Species). He carefully pours wine into the chalice (two-thirds full) and into the flagon, using this purificator to keep drops from falling or running down the side of the cruet. He then returns this cruet and purificator to the server. He then places the pall atop the chalice. The server then brings him the large tray with cups, which the celebrant places at the left side of the corporal.

Last of all, the server holds the lavabo dish out for the celebrant, who turns toward the server and extends his forefingers and thumbs over it. The server pours a little water over his fingers and thumbs, after which the celebrant dries them on the towel which is draped over the server's left arm. During this action he may also softly pray the lavabo (Psalm 26) as provided in the missal. He then subtly, and without turning toward them, motions the congregation to rise for the prayer of the church.

1 comment:

Father Eckardt said...

I would like to see a recovery / retention of the Lavabo and the ablutions, for confessional reasons. We hereby affirm, if only subtly, that we believe these Elements to be the most precious in the world.

Fr. BF Eckardt, Editor-in-chief, Gottesdienst