Cross Bearer in depth training
- Crucifix - symbol of our faith - carried like a flag.
- We follow Christ both literally and spiritually.
- By that symbol we have hope and faith that we will go to heaven.
- It is by the suffering of Christ, on the cross, that our sins are wiped away.
- It is because of that suffering that we can go to heaven - our redemption is through the cross.
- The cross leads everyone to the sanctuary - the place where heaven comes down from earth, the place where Jesus IS.
- It is a great honor to carry the cross.
Ringing the bells
- The bells are rung to bring everyone attention to what is going on. This is the most important moment of the whole mass. The Holy Spirit is coming down on the gifts with the Epiclesis (when the priest puts his hands over the gifts). That is a very important moment. The other is when the body and blood of Christ are lifted up - so that everyone can see them and adore Jesus Christ our King. You will be ringing the bells at these times.
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
- *Remember if Deacon Ed is assisting at Mass you need to lead everyone up the ramp at the beginning and down the ramp at the end!.
Ringing the bells -
- Ring them loudly
- Ring them so that they have a nice tone - solemn - not clangy
- Ring them for as long as you need to - do not be afraid if this is more than a few seconds
- Walk slowly - the Cross Bearer sets the pace for everyone - even the bishop!
- up straight
- perpendicular to the floor
- hands spaced well
- pause at foot of sanctuary - no bow
- place the cross in the holder
- sit - next to the bells
Hold the Cross
After the intentions and when priest sits down -
- Take cross to back of church via a side isle.
- When leaving, at foot of sanctuary, face altar, and pause (no bow).
- Go to back of church.
- Wait until collection is complete.
- Then lead the people carrying gifts to altar -
- Pause again at foot of sanctuary (no bow).
- Then take the cross back to stand
- After you put the cross in its stand help bring the gifts to the altar if needed
- Return to your seats.
- After you kneel, quietly pick up bells -
- Watch for the priests hands - when he begins to move them both over the cup, with the palms down - ring the bells - even while he is speaking - ring them for as long as it takes to say '1 - 1000, 2 - 1000, 3 - 1000', slowly. (Usually you will need to ring them soon after everyone kneels down. But if the priest is using Eucharistic Prayer 1 (usually for very solemn occasions) you will be kneeling for a while before he moves his hands over the Chalice. You must pay attention!)
- Wait until the priest raises the Host - Usually he ends the last sentence with the word 'YOU'. Ring the bells all the while he has the host raised. When he begins to bring it down stop ringing the bells.
- Wait until the priest raises the Chalice. Usually he ends he last sentence with the word 'ME'. Ring the bells all the while he has the Chalice raised. When he begins to bring it down stop ringing the bells.
- Quietly set down the bells.
- 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) get the cross and walk in front of everyone down the steps - turn around and face the altar and wait until the priest comes down the steps - after he bows you turn and lead everyone out to the lobby. Don't forget if a priest or deacon is in a wheelchair use the ramp - don't use the stairs. Then wait for everyone at the bottom of the steps and wait for the priest - when he bows you turn around and lead everyone out.