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Evensong & Benediction

Grace Church Customary


The Priest

The Master of Ceremonies

The Thurifer



1.    The priest vests in alb, stole, and cope.

2.    A corporal is spread on the Blessed Sacrament altar.

3.    A monstrance is placed sideways on the gospel side of the Blessed Sacrament altar and veiled.

4.    The lunette host, in the lunette, enclosed in a pyx, is placed inside the tabernacle at the Blessed Sacrament altar.

5.    A humeral veil is placed on the credence table on the epistle side of the Blessed Sacrament altar.

6.    Fourteen candles (in the two seven-candle candelabras) are placed and lighted on the Blessed Sacrament altar.

7.    The tabernacle key is placed in the tabernacle keyhole


8.    Incense is put on and blessed in All Saints’ Chapel, as before Mass.

9.    Near the end of the organ voluntary or during an organ improvisation that follows it, the ministers enter and proceed to the Blessed Sacrament Altar in the following order: thurifer, MC, priest.

10. The thurifer waits at the bottom of the steps on the south side of the altar, while the MC waits on the north side.

11. Priest, thurifer and MC genuflect together, then remain on the pavement.

12. At the conclusion of the organ music, the priest intones, “O God, make speed to save us.”  All make the sign of the cross.  The MC holds the book.

13. When the Phos hilaron begins, the priest ascends the steps and kisses the altar.

14. The thurifer approaches the priest and gives him the censer.

15. The priest censes the altar, then gives the thurifer the censer.


16. The priest goes to his chair, led by the MC.


17. After the priest has reached his chair, the thurifer censes the ministers, then the people, as at Mass, and returns to his place.


18. The ministers and people sit after the Phos hilaron and before the psalm.


19. The first lesson is read.


20. All stand for the Magnificat.

21. The second lesson is read.

22. All stand for the Nunc dimittis.

23. All stand for the Apostles’ Creed, which is sung to a simple inflection.

24. All remain standing for the salutation, Lord’s Prayer, suffrages, and collects.  The MC holds the book for the priest.

25. A hymn and homily may follow.


26. The priest sings, “Let us bless the Lord.  + Thanks be to God.”




27. The MC and priest approach the altar and genuflect together.  

28. The priest opens the tabernacle [genuflects again, ad libitum] and takes out the pyx containing the lunette host, closes the tabernacle, places the lunette in the monstrance, and places the monstrance on the corporal.

29. The priest and MC genuflect, then descend to the altar step and kneel.

30. O salutaris hostia begins.  After a moment of silent adoration, the priest stands, the thurifer approaches, the MC stands to hold the boat, and the priest puts on incense (without blessing it).  The three kneel.  The priest censes the sacrament and passes the censer back to the MC.

31. Silent adoration is observed for a time.


32. Tantum ergo is sung.   All, while kneeling, bow profoundly at the words, “Therefore we, before him bending, this great sacrament revere,” after which the priest, thurifer, and MC stand for a moment, and the priest puts on more incense (without blessing it).   They kneel again.  At the words, “Glory let us give and blessing...” the priest censes the sacrament.

33. The priest, still kneeling sings, “You gave them bread from heaven.  + Containing within itself all sweetness” and then, standing, sings the collect, “O God, who in a wonderful sacrament left us a memorial of your passion.” The MC holds the book.

34. The priest kneels again for a moment.  The MC and thurifer, meanwhile, bring the humeral veil from the cope stand and place it on the priest’s shoulders.

35. The priest and MC ascend the steps.

36. The priest takes the monstrance with the MC’s help.

37. The MC immediately kneels on the edge of the predella.

38.  The priest makes the sign of the cross over the people with the monstrance, saying nothing.

39. The priest turns back to the altar.

40. The MC and thurifer rise while the priest places the monstrance on the corporal, then remove the humeral veil from the priest’s shoulders and place it aside.

41. The priest, thurifer and MC kneel for the Divine Praises.

42. The priest and MC approach the altar, while Psalm 117 is sung with the antiphon, Adoremus in aeternum.  All stand when the antiphon is intoned.

43. The priest removes the lunette from the monstrance, replaces it in the pyx, removes the monstrance from the corporal.  The MC veils the monstrance, while the priest opens the tabernacle, places the pyx inside, and locks the tabernacle.

44. The priest and MC genuflect and stand facing the altar until the organ voluntary begins.

45. All three genuflect and then go out the usual way. 

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