The Rubrics of the 1962 Roman Missal
Having vested, the priest and server bow to the crucifix, bless themselves with holy water and leave the sacristy. The priest carries the chalice in his left hand, the burse held in place by the right.
On arrival at the altar, the priest and server stand before the lowest step. lf the priest is wearing a biretta, he hands it to the server. lf the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in the tabernacle, the priest genuflects; otherwise he makes a profound bow to the crucifix. The server always genuflects. lf there is only one server, he kneels on the side opposite to the Missal throughout the Mass.
The priest then ascends the altar steps, traditionally with his right foot first. This practice calls to mind the battle between good and evil, symbolised by right and left, dextra and sinistra.
At the centre of the altar, the priest places the chalice on his left (the Gospel side), removes the corporal from the burse and unfolds it in the centre of the altar. The burse is also stood on the Gospel side, and the veiled chalice positioned in the centre of the corporal.
The priest then turns and moves to the Epistle side, his hands joined. The correct position for joined hands is at the level of the breast, palm to palm, ringers straight and slightly pointing upwards, with the right thumb over the left, in the form of a cross. The priest opens the Missal at the Introit, then turns and walks back to the centre of the altar.
At the centre, he makes a medium bow to the crucifix; then, turning by the Epistle side with hands joined and eyes lowered, he descends to floor level to begin Mass. Every time the priest turns during Mass - except at the Oráte fratres and the final blessing - he turns and returns the same way, by the Epistle side.
Standing at the centre with hands joined, the priest genuflects on the first step while the server kneels below the step. The priest makes the Sign of the Cross, saying aloud the In nómine Patris, with his left hand flat under his breast and touching his forehead, breast, left and right shoulders with his right fingertips.
The 1962 Missal permits the congregation to make the responses with the server, though this practice is not the custom in some countries. But, even in a dialogue Mass, the Amen at the end of the Sign of the Cross is said only by the priest. In the earliest days, the Mass opened with the Introit as a processional psalm, and the prayers at the foot of the altar were the priest's own private preparation for Mass. But for more than four centuries now, the Mass bas begun with the 42nd Psalm as an expression of reverent fear and confidence in God's mercy. (The psalm is not said during Passiontide or in Masses for the Dead.)
The symbol + is used throughout this book at those places where the priest should make the Sign of the Cross.
The priest bows his head to the Cross for the GIória Patri at the end of the psalm - and at any other time the prayer is said during Mass. He stands erect after the word Sancto.
At the Adjutórium nostrum, the priest makes the Sign of the Cross.
In a humble confession of his sins before God and the people, the priest bows profoundly with his hands joined and begins the Confiteor. This prayer recalls the confession of the Jewish priests of the Old Law before they offered sacrifice. At the mea culpa, the priest places his left hand below his breast and strikes his breast three times with the extended and joined fingers of his right hand (in some traditions the fingers are held differently).
The priest remains bowing for the server's Misereátur; then, after replying Amen, he stands erect, his hands joined, while the server bows and recites the Confíetor.
At the end of the prayer, the priest recites the Misereátur; then, while making the Sign of the Cross, he says the Indulgéntiam.
Bowing moderately, he continues with the Deus tu convérsus. At the end of the verses, he stands upright, extends his hands to the width of his shoulders without raising them, and rejoins them at the same time saying Orémus. At this point, the server stands and then kneels on the first step.
The first silent prayer of the Mass, the Aufer a nobis, is said as the priest with joined hands - ascends the steps, the right foot first. This prayer of petition dates back to a seventh century sacramentary and recalls the sacrifices of the Old Law when the Jewish High Priest entered the Holy of Holies.
Bowing moderately, the priest rests his joined hands on the edge of the altar, the tips of his little fingers against the front of the edge, as he says silently the Orámus te, Dómine.
Recalling the saints whose relies are in the altar, he places his hands flat on the altar outside the corporal, and kisses it in the middle.
Continuing the prayer, the priest then moves directly to the Epistle side where, facing the altar, he begins, in an audible voice, the Introit, the first part of the Proper of the Day. The priest begins the Introit with the Sign of the Cross, then joins his hands for the remainder of the prayer. This Sign of the Cross marked the opening of the liturgy at the time of St. Patrick. The Introit was formerly a psalm sung as the priest entered the church - hence its name. At the Gloria Patri, the priest turns slightly and bows towards the crucifix. He does not cross himself when repeating the antiphon.
After the Introit, the priest returns to the centre of the altar. With joined hands and without bowing to the crucifix, he immediately begins the Kyrie, the only surviving Greek prayer in the Mass, taken from a fourth century Byzantine rite.
As soon as the Kyrie is finished, the priest starts the GIória, the canticle of praise to the Trinity, ascribed to Pope Telesphorus 130 years after Christ. (The Gloria is omitted when the vestments are black or violet, and during certain votive Masses.) As the priest begins the prayer, be separates his hands horizontally and raises them to shoulder level before rejoining them and bowing his head at the word Deo. Standing erect, with hands joined, he continues to the end, reading from the centre altar card if necessary.
He bows to the crucifix at the words adorámus te, grátias ágimus, Jesu Christe, súscipe deprecatiónem, and Jesu Christe again.
At the words cum Sancto Spiritu the priest makes the Sign of the Cross, then, without rejoining his hands, after the Amen he places his hands outside the corporal and kisses the centre of the altar.
Rejoining his hands and turning by the Epistle side with downcast eyes, the priest greets the people with the Dóminus vobiscum, while extending his hands to the width of his shoulders horizontally. Rejoining them, he turns back by the Epistle side.
From the centre, the priest moves to the Missal. Facing the altar, he says Orémus, bowing his head to the Cross, extending his hands to shoulder height and width, rejoining them and extending them again. During the reading of the ancient Collects, the priest bows his head to the Cross at the Holy Name and bows his head to the Missal at the name of Mary, the Saint of the day or the Pope. At the end of the prayer, on the words per Dóminum or in unitáte, the priest rejoins his hands for the Amen.
After the Collects comes the first lesson, the Epistle. The priest places the palms of his hands on the Missal during the reading - though he may pick up the book if he wishes. He may give a sign to the server that the reading is over by raising his left hand slightly or laying it on the altar momentarily.
Following the Epistle come the Gradual, Alleluia or Tract and, on five major feast days, the Sequence. These are the remnants of the chants, which separated the original three lessons at Mass. The priest reads them aloud, and bows as during the Collects.
From the Epistle side, the priest moves with joined hands to the centre of the altar where he lifts his eyes to the Cross, then casts them down and bows profoundly - without laying his hands on the altar - to say silently the Munda cor meum, a fourteenth century prayer asking God to purify his lips and heart.
The Missal is moved by the server to the right hand side of the altar (so called because the right hand of the crucifix points to that side) and placed diagonally on the altar. The congregation stands to greet the word of God. Standing before the Missal with joined hands, the priest says aloud the Dóminus vobiscum. At the Sequéntia, the priest lays his left hand on the book, while he makes the Sign of the Cross with the thumb of his open right hand, first at the beginning of the Gospel passage. Then - with his left hand on his breast - he traces the cross with his thumb on his forehead, mouth and breast.
The priest reads the Gospel aloud with his hands joined. lf he needs to bow his head or genuflect, he does so towards the Missal. If he has to turn a page. he uses his right hand, laying the left on the altar.
At the end of the Gospel, the priest lifts the Missal with both hands, and bows to kiss it where he signed the cross, saying the Per evangélica dicta.
Standing erect, the priest replaces the Missal on the stand, which he moves diagonally closer to the middle of the altar, next to the corporal. At this point, the priest may move to the pulpit or lectern to read the Epistle and Gospel in the vernacular and to deliver a sermon. lf so, he removes his maniple and lays it aside.
The Epistle and Gospel readings must be according to the old calendar and not be taken from the new rite of Mass. The homily - in the people's own language - dates back to the Apostles, as we read in the twentieth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles.
Following the homily, the priest moves to the centre of the altar for the Creed and, if necessary, puts his maniple back on. As be says the words Credo in unum Deum, he extends his hands, lifts them to the height of his shoulders anti rejoins them at his breast, bowing at the same time to the Cross.
The Nicene Creed, which dates from the Council of Nicaea in the early fourth century, is a late addition to the liturgy, after people had become used to the declaration of faith as a protest against the heretics.
The priest bows when he mentions the Holy Name. At the words Et incarnátus est, the priest lays his hands on the altar outside the corporal and genuflects slowly on his right knee, without bowing his head. He rises after the words Et homo factus est.
The priest bows his head at the words simul adorátur. At the end of the Credo, with the words et vitam ventúri sæculi, he makes the Sign of the Cross. At the Amen, the priest places his hands flat on the altar outside the corporal and kisses the altar.
This point marks the end of the Mass of the Catechumens, that part of the liturgy which was attended by intending converts. What follows is the Mass of the Faithful, formerly reserved to baptised Catholics alone.
The priest turns by the Epistle side and says Dóminus vobiscum, extending his hands, rejoining them and turning back the same way.
Bowing to the Cross, the priest extends and rejoins his hands in a straight line, saying aloud Orémus and reading the Offertory from the Missal. Formerly, the prayers of the faithful and the offertory procession took place at this stage, but this unduly prolonged the Mass and was gradually replaced from the 10th century on wards by the offering of money.
The priest removes the chalice veil from the chalice with both hands, folding it and placing it on his right, outside the corporal. Laying his left hand on the altar outside the corporal, he takes the chalice by the stem with his right hand and places it outside the corporal on his right.
lf the priest is to consecrate other hosts, he places them on the corporal in an open ciborium or simply lays them on the corporal. He takes the pall from the chalice and lays it on the folded chalice veil. With his right hand, he takes the paten with the altar bread on it and lifts it chest high with the thumb and forefingers of both hands over the corporal.
Looking up to the Cross, then down at the host, he says silently the Súscipe, sancte Pater, offering the host for his sins and those of all faithful Christians. All the Offertory prayers are medieval, arriving in Rome from Northern Europe only in the 14th century.
At the end of this prayer, the priest lowers the paten close to the corporal and traces the Sign of the Cross with it towards himself, then from left to right, before sliding the altar bread off the paten onto the front of the corporal without touching the host.
With his left hand on the altar, he places the paten halfway under the corporal on his right and closes the ciborium if necessary.
With joined hands, the priest moves to the Epistle corner. He takes the chalice by the stem with his left hand and wipes the inside with the purificator, which be then hangs over his left thumb.
With his right hand, he takes the wine cruet and pours almost half the wine into the chalice, saying nothing.
Making the Sign of the Cross over the water cruet, the priest begins the prayer Deus, qui humánæ substántiæ. At the words per hujus aquæ, he takes the cruet and pours a drop or two into the chalice. This custom, mentioned by St. Justin Martyr early in the second century, symbolises the union of Christ's human and divine natures, as well as the union of Christ with the faithful. As the priest says the Holy Name, he bows towards the Cross.
The priest may wipe away drops from the side of the chalice with the purificator before he replaces the chalice next to the corporal and, still holding the purificator, returns to the centre of the altar. There he folds the purificator over that half of the paten still showing. Taking the chalice by the stem with his right hand and holding the base with his left, he lifts it until the rim is level with his eyes and, looking at the Cross, says silently the Offérimus tibi.
At the end of the prayer, he lowers the chalice and makes the Sign of the Cross with it over the centre of the altar (not over the host), he places the chalice in the centre of the corporal and holds the chalice base with his left fingers to prevent it spilling as he replaces the pall on top.
Bowing moderately, he joins his hands and lays his fingers on the front of the altar, saying silently the prayer In spiritu humilitátis, based on the prayer of Azarias before King Nebuchadnezzar.
Standing erect, he looks up to Heaven for a moment, extends and raises his hands, then lowers his eyes and joins his hands, saying the Veni, Sanctificátor - a prayer found in a seventh century Irish sacramentary. At the word bénedic the priest lays his left hand outside the corporal and makes the Sign of the Cross with his right hand over the host and chalice.
As a sign of the purity of heart needed for the sacrifice, the priest now moves with joined hands to the Epistle side for the lavábo. Facing the server, he holds the tips of his thumbs and forefingers together over the dish - in front of, not over, the altar while the server pours water over them.
As the priest says the Lavábo inter innocéntes, he dries his hands on the towel offered by the server, bowing towards the Cross as he says the GIória Patri. (The Glória Patri is omitted in Masses for the Dead.) The priest lays his left hand on the altar as he hands the towel back to the server.
Returning to the centre with hands joined while finishing the prayer, the priest looks up to the Cross, then looks down; and, bowing slightly with his hands joined on the altar, he says silently the Súscipe, sancta Trinitas.
Then, laying his hands palms downwards on the altar outside the corporal, the priest kisses the altar. Joining his hands and with eyes east down, the priest turns to the people for the last time before Communion.
Extending his hands in a straight line and rejoining them and raising his voice a little, he says Oráte fratres, turning back this time by the Gospel side while he completes the prayer silently.
At the end of the server's response, the priest replies Amen silently. Extending his hands, palms facing one another, and - without saying Orémus - he reads the Secret prayers from the Missal. Historically these offertory prayers were said silently (or secretly) while the offertory psalm was being sung.
At the end of the final Secret prayer, the priest pauses, lays his right hand flat on the altar and, with his left hand, finds the Preface in the Missal.
Then, laying his left hand on the altar, he says aloud Per ómnia sæcula sæculórum. With his hands still flat on the altar, the priest says aloud Dáminus vobiscum. Then he raises his hands to shoulder height, palms facing one another, and says aloud the Sursum corda and the Grátias agámus, rejoining his hands as he says these words. At the words Deo nostro, the priest looks up at the Cross, then bows his head.
The Preface or introduction to the Canon is said aloud, the priest standing with hands again extended.
At the end, he joins his hands and bows moderately for the Sanctus, which is said in a slightly quieter voice. The bell is rung once. At the Benedictus, he stands erect and makes the Sign of the Cross.
The priest lays his right hand on the altar and, with his left hand, finds in the Missal the beginning of the Canon of the Mass. The word Canon comes from a Greek word meaning a standard or rule and, since the seventh century, it has been fixed in its present, unchanging form. The Canon is the most solemn part of the liturgy and is said almost entirely silently.
At the opening prayer of the Canon, the Te igitur, the priest looks up at the Cross, extends and lifts his hands, then looks down, joins his hands, bows low and places his fingertips on the edge of the altar. After the words rogámus et pétimus, the priest lays his hands flat on the altar outside the corporal and kisses the altar. Then he stands erect and rejoins his hands.
After the word benedicas, the priest lays his left hand on the altar outside the corporal and with the right makes the Sign of the Cross slowly three times over the host and chalice as he says hæc + dona, hæc + múnera, hæc + sancta sacrificia illibáta.
After the third cross, the priest doesn't rejoin his hands, but holds them extended at shoulder height, palms facing each other and fingers straight. This remains the normal position of the hands for the whole of the Canon. The name of the Pope and local Bishop are added in the ablative case.
At the Meménto, Dómine, the priest raises and joins his hands in front of his face and bows his head for a moment as he recalls those among the living for whom he specially wishes to pray.
Then, standing erect again with the hands extended, he continues et ómnium circumstántium. In the eleventh century, this prayer replaced the prayer over the diptychs - the tablets on which were written the names of those for whom special prayers were offered.
The Communicántes links the sacrifice with the Mother of God, the Apostles and twelve early martyrs. The priest bows his head towards the book at the name Mariæ and towards the Cross at Jesu Christi. At the words per eúndem, be joins his hands.
At the Hanc igitur, the bell is rung once as the priest extends his hands over the chalice, his right thumb over the left and hands opened palms downwards. This gesture was introduced into this early prayer in the 16th century to emphasise the sacrificial nature of the Mass. At the Per Christum, the priest rejoins his hands.
The priest continues with the Quam oblatiónem. After the word quæsumus, the pries rests his left hand on the altar and makes the Sign of the Cross three times over the offerings as he says bene + díctam, ad + scriptam, ra + tam; once over the host as he says Cor + pus; and once over the chalice as he says San + guis. Then be rejoins his hands, bowing his head as he says Jesu Christi.
If the priest wishes to consecrate other hosts, he removes the top from the ciborium with his right hand, holding the base with his left fingers. All the hosts to be consecrated must be on the corporal. Now the priest comes to the high point of the Mass, the Consecration. If necessary, he wipes his thumbs and forefingers on the front corners of the corporal. As he says Qui prídie, he takes the host between the thumb and forefinger of both hands. This is done by pressing on the upper edge of the host with the left forefinger and taking the host with the right forefinger and thumb. The other fingers are extended and joined behind the host, with hands resting on the altar.
As the priest says elevátis óculis, he looks up to Heaven, then immediately looks down and bows his head at the words grátias agens. At the word bene + dixit, the priest makes the Sign of the Cross over the host with his right hand held straight.
As he comes to the actual words of consecration, the priest bows over the altar, leaning his forearms on it and, looking at the host, he slowly and reverently, in a low voice, pronounces Our Lord's own words. Thus - acting in the person of Christ - he changes the substance of the host into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Saviour.
Immediately after the words Hoc est enim Corpus Meum, he stands erect, then genuflects on his right knee, still holding the Host with both hands over the altar. He stands immediately and, looking at the Host, slowiy raises It straight up before him over the corporal, so It may be adored by the people. This practice was instituted by the Irish Bishops in 1219 at Pope Honorius III's direction.
Looking all the time at the Host, the priest replaces It reverently on the corporal and genuflects again, his hands on the corporal. The bell is rung three times as the priest genuflects, shows the Body of Christ to the people, and genuflects again.
From this point until the ablution after Communion out of reverence for any fragments of the Body of Christ which might adhere to his fingers the priest holds together the thumb and forefinger of each hand and doesn't separate them, even to turn the pages of the Missal. He also places his hands on the corporal - rather than outside it - during any genuflection, until his fingers have been purified after Communion.
Rising from the second genuflection, the priest removes the pall from the chalice and lays it on the Epistle side. As always, he steadies the foot of the chalice with his left hand. He may rub his fingers and thumbs over the chalice to allow any fragments of the consecrated Host to fall into the wine.
Standing erect, he takes the chalice by the stem in both hands, and, saying Simili modo postquam cænátum est, he lifts it a little and replaces it on the corporal, still holding it. The priest bows at the words grátias agens and, at the word bene + dixit, he makes the Sign of the Cross over the chalice with his right hand, his finger and thumb still together.
Holding the stem with his right hand and the foot of the chalice with the left, he says tledftque discipufis suis, dicens: Accipite, et bibite ex eo omnes. He bends over the altar, leaning his forearms on it, and lifts the chalice a little, with the free fingers of his left hand under the base.
In the same low, attentive voice, he pronounces the words of consecration of the precious Blood. As he says the words in remissiónem peccatórum, he stands upright.
Replacing the chalice on the altar, he lays his hands on the corporal and genuflects.
Standing, he takes the chalice in both hands, the stem between the second and third fingers of his right hand, the left supporting the base, and lifts it slowly over the corporal so the people may worship the Blood of Christ.
Putting it back on the corporal, he covers it with the pall and genuflects again.
Standing erect and holding the hands extended, with fingers and thumbs joined, he continues with the Unde et mémores, the anamnesis or commemoratiiiti of Christ and His mysteries.
At the words de tuis donis, ac datis, the priest joins his hands, then place, his left hand on the corporal and, with the right hand, slowly makes the Sign of the Cross three times over the Host and chalice as he says hóstiam + puram, hóstiam + sanctam, hóstiam + immaculátam.
At the words Panem + sanctum, he makes the Sign of the Cross over the Host and at the words cálicem + salútis, over the chalice.
He extends his hands as before and continues with the Supra quce, which prayer owees its present form to pope St. Leo 1, who added the final four words in condemnation of the Manichean heresy.
Bowing low, the priest begins the Súpplices te rogámus with his joined hands on the front edge of the altar. This prayer replaces the epiklesis, or invocation of the Holy Ghost, which formerly existed in the Roman liturgy.
At the words ex hac altáris, the priest places his hands flat on the corporal and kisses the altar.
Standing erect, he rejoins his hands.
At the word Cor + pus, he places his left hand on the corporal and makes the Sign of the Cross over the Host, and at the word Sán + guinem, he makes a similar Sign of the Cross over the chalice.
Holding his left hand at his breast, he signs himself with the cross at the words omni benedictióne, then rejoins his hands.
For the commemoration of the dead, the priest extends his hands again, joining tem before his face at the words in somno pacis.
Bowing slightly and looking at the Body of Christ, he prays silently for the faithful departed he wishes to commemorate.
Standing erect again with hands apart, he continues with the Ipsis, Dómine. At the end of the prayer, he bows his head at the word Christum the only time this happens in the Mass. It was formerly a sign to other clergy to bow their heads at the opening of the following prayer, the Nobis quoque peccatáribus.
The priest raises his voice for the three words Nobis quoque peccatóribus and laying his left hand on the corporal, he strikes his breast with the tips of the third, forth and fifth fingers of his right hand. He avoids touching his vestments with his thumb or forefinger.
Continuing with hands extended, he bows slightly towards the Missal if the Saint of the day is mentioned. Tradition says that St. Gregory, noticing that no women were mentioned in the Canon, added the names of seven women martyrs to this prayer.
At the concluding words of the Canon, Per Christum Dóminum nostrum, the priest rejoins his hands, without saying Amen.
Laying his left hand on the corporal, the priest makes the Sign of the Cross with his right hand over the Host and chalice as he says sancti + ficas, vivi + ficas, bene + dicis.
With his right hand, he removes the pall from the chalice, laying it on his right, places his hands on the corporal and genuflects.
Taking the Host with the right thumb and forefinger and the stem of the chalice with the left hand, the priest makes the Sign of the Cross three times with the Host over the bowl of the chalice as he says Per ip + sum, et cum ip + so, et in ip + so, then he makes the Sign of the Cross twice more over the corporal between himself and the chalice as he says Deo Patri + omnipoténti, in unitáte Spiritus + Sancti.
Lifting the chalice slightly, with the right fingers resting on the rim and the Host held upright, the priest says omnis honor, et glória. Until the 13th century, this was the only elevation of the chalice.
The priest puts the chalice back on the corporal, the Host in front of it, rubs the fingers of both hands over the chalice and replaces the pall, before placing his hands on the corporal and genuflecting. With his hands still on the corporal, the priest stands erect and concludes the Canon aloud with the words:
When the server has answered, the priest rejoins his hands and bows his head to the Body of Christ, saying Orémus. Standing erect, be begins the preparation for Communion with the introduction to the Lord's Prayer, spoken aloud.
As he begins the Paternoster, the priest extends his hands and looks at the host. This prayer is a sacramental and may obtain pardon for venial sins.
The priest responds to the server with a silent Amen.
With his left hand on the corporal, the priest takes the paten from under the corporal and wipes it with the purificator, which he then lays on the Epistle side.
The priest holds the paten on its side on the altar outside the corporal, facing inwards, between his forefinger and second finger while he says silently the embolism, the Libera nos. At the words da propicius pacem, the priest places his left hand on his breast and makes the Sign of the Cross on himself with the paten, kissing the upper edge.
With his left forefinger, he presses the top edge of the Host and slips the paten under It, arranging the Host in the centre with his left forefinger. Holding the base of the chalice with his left hand, he uncovers it and genuflects with his hands on the corporal.
Standing up, be takes the Host in his right hand, holds it over the chalice and, using his left hand, breaks It evenly in two as he says the per éundem Dóminum.
He bows his head at Jesum Christum and puts the right half of the Host on to the paten. With his right hand, he breaks a small fraction off the half in his left hand, saying qui tecum vivit et regnat. Holding the fragment over the chalice, he lays the left half next to the right on the paten, saying in unitáte Spiritus Sancti Deus. The per ómnia is said aloud.
Holding the stem of the chalice with the left hand, the priest makes the Sign of Ihe Cross with the fragment three times over the chalice as he says aloud Pax + Dómini sit + semper vobis + cum.
When the server has responded, the priest drops the fragment of Host into the clalice, saying silently Hæc commixtio and bowing his head at Jesu Christi.
The priest purifles his fingers over the chalice, covers it with the pall and genuflects. Standing up, he bows moderately to the Host and joins his hands to say aloud the Agnus Dei, a prayer of petition introduced by Pope Sergius l in the seventh century.
As be says miserére nobis, the priest places his left hand on the corporal and strikes his breast with the third, fourth and fifth fingers of the right hand. He keeps his left hand on the corporal until the end of the prayer and strikes his breast again with his right hand at the second misérere nobis, and the dona nobis pacem.
Still bowing moderately, the priest joins his hands, rests them on the edge of the altar and, fixing his eyes on the Host, says silently the three prayers before Commuion.
These are a remnant of the personal prayers said by Holy Communion and were known as early as the eighth century.
At the end of the Pércéptio Córporis tui, the priest stands upright, places his hands on the corporal and genuflects, saying the Panem cæléstem accipiam.
Bowling slightly, the priest picks up the two halves of the Host in his left hand. The best way to do this is to push the two halves together to the top of the paten with the left thumb and forefinger, remove them from the paten with the right thumb and forefinger and place them into the left hand.
The paten is picked up with the right hand and placed between the forefinger and second finger of the left hand, which is held just above the altar. The priest strikes his breast with his right hand as he raises his voice slightly to say the words Dómine, non sum dignus. He continues the prayer of the Centurion silenfly, saying the invocation three times in the same way.
Standing up straight, he places the right half of the Host on top of the left half, takes the two pieces together between his right thumb and forefinger and makes the Sign of the Cross in front of himself over the paten as he says silently the Corpus Dómini nostri, bowing his head at the Holy Name. To receive Communion, he leans forward with his forearms on the altar and, with the paten under his chin, reverently puts the Host into his mouth, saying:
Laying the paten on the corporal, he purifies his fingers over it and stands up straight with his hands joined before his face. With eyes closed, he meditates for a moment on the Blessed Sacrament. Then, with his left hand on the base of the chalice, he removes the pall and genuflects, meanwhile saying the Quid retribuam silently.
Standing up, he takes the paten and gathers together any particles of the Host from the corporal. Holding the paten in his left hand, he wipes the crumbs into the chalice with his right thumb and forefinger.
After purifying his forefinger and thumb over the chalice, he picks it up by the stern with his right hand and, holding the paten under it, makes the Sign of the Cross in front of himself with the chalice, saying quietly Sanguis Dámini nostri and bowing his head at the Holy Name. With the paten beneath his chin, he drinks the Precious Blood.
From the thirteenth century onwards, the server recited the Confiteor at this point on behalf of the people. But this practice was dropped in 1961.
The priest covers the chalice with the pall and places it towards the Gospel side of the corporal. He genuflects and puts any Hosts he has consecrated on to the paten. If They are in the ciborium, he uncovers it, then genuflects again.
lf he is using Hosts from the tabernacle, he lays aside the altar card, unlocks the tabernacle, genuflects and places the ciborium in the middle of the corporal with his right hand. Then he shuts the tabernacle doors, uncovers the ciborium while holding the base and genuflects again.
Taking the ciborium by the stem (or the paten) in his left hand, the priest takes one Host with the forefinger and thumb of his right hand and holds it upright over the paten or ciborium. Turning by his right towards the people and looking at the Host, he says aloud the Ecce, Agnus Dei, He should be careful to use the word tollit, not tollis, in this prayer.
After the third Dómine, non sum dignus, the priest gives Communion first to the server. As he says the words Corpus Dómini nostri Jesu Christi, he makes the Sign of the Cross with the Host over the paten or ciborium in front of each communicant and puts the Host on the person's tongue. The priest recites the entire formula, including the Amen, the communicants should make no response.
Normally at a public Mass, the server will assist the priest at the Communion rail by preceding him with the Communion plate which he holds under the chin of each communicant, starting at the Epistle side.
After the distribution of Communion, the priest takes the Communion plate from the server in his right hand and returns directly to the centre of the altar. Placing the Communion plate on the corporal, he covers the ciborium and puts it back in the tabernacle. With the door still open, he genuflects, then closes and locks the door and replaces the altar card.
Be puts the chalice back in the middle of the corporal and, if there are any fragments on the Communion plate, he wipes them with his forefinger info the chalice and places the plate on the Epistle side. If there have been Hosts on the corporal, he gathers up any fragments with the paten and wipes them info the chalice.
The priest takes the paten between his left forefinger and second finger, resting his hand on the corporal. With his right hand, he holds out the chalice over the altar to the server on the Epistle side while saying, in silence, the Quod ore súmpsimus.
The server pours wine into the chalice. The priest raises the chalice a little to indicate that enough has been poured, then gently turns the chalice so the wine gathers up any drops of the Precious Blood or fragments of the Host. Holding the paten under the chalice, he drinks the ablution.
Placing the paten on the Gospel side of the corporal, the priest takes the chalice bowl in both hands, with the thumbs and forefingers over the cup, and goes to the Epistle side. He rests the chalice on the altar as the servers pour first wine, then a greater quantity of water, into the chalice over his fingers while the priest silently says the Corpus tuum, Dómine.
Returning to the centre of the altar, the priest puts the chalice down next to the corporal on the Epistle side, rubs his fingers together over it and dries them with the purificator. From this moment on, he no longer needs to hold his thumbs and forefingers together.
Folding the purificator over his left hand and holding it against his chin, he lifts the chalice with his right hand and drinks the ablution, saying nothing.
Replacing the chalice on the altar, he takes the bowl in his left hand and wipes it out thoroughly with the purificator.
He puts the chalice near the corporal on the Gospel side, folds the purificator and lays it over the chalice, as at the beginning of Mass. The paten and pall are placed on top.
With both hands, the priest folds the corporal - starting with the fold nearest him - and replaces it in the burse.
He puts the chalice in the middle of the altar and covers it with the veil - which the server has moved to the Gospel side. The Cross is towards the front and the veil is arranged with the front folds at an angle. He lays the burse on top, with the opening towards the rear.
With joined hands, he goes to the Missal, which the server has carried to the Epistle side. There he reads aloud the Communion antiphon. This was originally a psalm sung during Communion, and was mentioned by St. Augustine as early as the fifth century.
Returning to the centre, the priest kisses the altar and turns to say Dóminus vobíscum in the usual way.
Turning back the same way, he goes again to the Missal. Bowing to the Cross, he extends his hands, says aloud Orémus and rejoins his hands to say aloud the Postcommunion prayers, which are almost as old as the Mass itself.
When he has finished, he closes the Missal, with the opening towards the centre of the altar. At the end of the first and last prayer, the server answers:
Returning to the centre with hands joined, the priest lays his hands flat on the altar and kisses it, turns and says Dóminus vobíscum in the usual way.
Without turning back to the altar after the Et cum spiritu tuo, he says the Ite, Missa est.
On certain occasions, the priest says instead:
Turning back by the Epistle side, he bows his head with his hands joined on the altar and says the Pláceat tibi.
Then he lays his hands palms flat on the altar, kisses it, stands up straight, looks up at the Cross, lifts, extends and rejoins his hands, and says Benedicat vos omnípotens Deus.
On the last word, he bows to the Cross, turns by the Epistle side and, with his left hand on his breast, makes the Sign of the Cross over the people, saying the blessing.
Rejoining his hands, he turns for the second time by the Gospel side and goes straight to the alter card at the Gospel side. The People stand.
Facing the card, at an angle to the people, the priest says the Dóminum vobiscum.
Then he lays his left hand on the altar and with the right thumb makes the Sign of the Cross, first on the altar, then on his forehead, mouth and breast, saying the Initium Sancti and moving his left hand to his breast.
He reads the Last Gospel with joined hands and, at the words Et Verbum caro factum est, he lays his hands on the altar and genuflects.
After the Deo gratias, the priest goes directly and kneels on the bottom step to say the prayers after Low Mass.
Adapted/shortened from book by Southwell Books