Book Bearer in depth training
Holding the book
- The book is not so much as important as the prayers that the priest says. The first prayer is called the collect - because the priest 'collects' all the intentions of the people that they hold in their hearts and offers them up to God.
- The last prayer is called the prayer after communion and in it the priest prays for the fruits of the mystery just celebrated.
Preparing the Altar
- The altar is where the most important part of the Mass takes place. The altar itself is a symbol for Christ. It is where the sacrifice of the Mass will take place. It is how we are saved from our sins. It is where the bread and wine are transubstantiated into the flesh and blood of God. It is a great honor to be so close to this blessed place.
Make sure you:
- Fold your hands correctly at all times when not carrying something
- When walking in the sanctuary don't hurry - but don't stroll - walk purposefully with dignity
- With your feet flat on the floor
- Up straight
- With your hands on your knees or with your hands folded as if you were standing
When holding the book
- If you are shorter than the priest hold it in your hands out in front of you with the back of the book resting against your chest.
- If you are taller than the priest - stand off to the side and hold the book in front of the priest.
- Rest your elbow on your hip or side.
- Do not move the book - hold it steady.
- Do not move your body - stay still.
- If you know the page - open the book. If you do not know it - do not worry - the priest will find it. Be careful and do not mess with the ribbons, keep them where they are.
- Walk slowly - follow the Torch Bearers.
- Fold your hands correctly
- Pause at foot of sanctuary - bow
- Sit down next to the book
The book should be taken to the priest when the Gloria is finished. Do not wait for the priest to say 'Let us pray'. As soon as the choir begins to say 'Amen', take the book to the priest and wait there for him.
When he is done he will nod or close the book that is your cue to go back to your seat.
After the intentions are read (the prayer of the faithful), the priest will sit. Immediately you set up the altar.
- 1. First take the book and place it on the left side of the altar. (Open to green tab if you can remember)
- 2. From the credence table, take the Chalice with the corporals to the altar, using both hands, one on top one on the stem of the Chalice. Set the Chalice off to the right side. Place the first corporal in the center of the altar and always, always, always unfold it outward. It is better if the cross is at the front edge of the altar but it really does not matter. Always unfold the corporal outward and never pick it up once it is unfolded. There are probably little pieces of the Holy Body of Christ in the corporal from the previous Mass and we do not want to spill them out on to the altar.
- 3. Place the Chalice on the unfolded corporal and unfold the second corporal the same way as the first.
- 4. Return to the credence table and carry the cups with wine to the altar two at a time. Place the first two in the back, then the next two in the middle, then the last two in front. Leave room for the purificators. You can leave the purificators stacked in front or on the side of the cups.
- 5. Return to the credence table and take the curette with water and place it next to the cups.
- 6. Do a mental check to make sure everything is there. Book, corporals, chalice, cups, purificators, water. 6 things.
Return to your seat.
- Take and set the glass bowls on the altar.
- Return to your place and watch for when the priest begins pouring out the Eucharist into the bowls. When he starts - go stand close to the altar and wait until he is done. He will need to hand you the large empty bowl. Take it to the credence table. Return to your place.
- As soon as the Eucharistic Ministers leave the sanctuary reset the altar.
- Take the book from the altar and set it next to your seat.
- Place the water curette on the altar.
- If possible remove one of the corporals (the far right).
- If there are any empty glass bowls, take them to the credence table.
- Once the priest has purified the Chalice, take the water curette and place it on the credence table.
- The priest will fold the corporals and place them on the chalice. Once both corporals are folded take them and the Chalice to the credence table. Before you sit down the altar should be completely cleared.
- The book should be taken to the priest when it looks like he is going to stands up after communion. By the time he is standing you need to be there. Do not wait for the priest to say 'Let us pray'. As soon as it looks like he is going to get up, take the book to the priest. If you need to wait while he is sitting there for a while it is ok. Just wait for him.
- When he is done he will nod or close the book that is your cue to go back to your seat.
- After the deacon dismisses everyone, (He is the last one to speak), The choir will begin to sing - Watch the priest as soon as he begins to move to the altar - quickly (with dignity) start moving towards and down the steps - turn around and face the altar and wait until the priest comes down the steps - after he bows you turn and slowly walk out to the lobby behind the Torch Bearers.