The Rite of Preparation

The Table of PreparationThe preparation of the Gifts is performed by the deacon.  If there is no deacon it is performed by a priest.  Leavened bread is always to be used and sweet red wine is to be preferred.

Fully vested and standing at the Table of Preparation, the deacon says:

Deacon: In the name of the + Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

For to us a Child is born; to us a Son is given, and his name shall be called wonderful Counsellor, mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace; and of his Kingdom there shall be no end.

Through the prayers of the Mother of God, O Saviour, have mercy on us.

He takes the bread in his left hand, saying:

Deacon: Blessed are those who are called to the wedding-feast of the Lamb.  Behold the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world.

With his right hand, making the sign of the Cross three times over the bread:

Deacon: The Lamb has been + sacrificed.  He has + redeemed us from all the nations; He has made us + kings and priests for our God, and we shall reign with Him on the earth.

He sets the bread on the paten, and pours wine into the chalice.

Deacon: The soldier pierced his side and there poured out blood and water.  By his wounds we have been healed.  Come, and I shall show you the Bride who has the Lamb for her Spouse.

He pours a little water into the chalice in the form of a Cross.

Deacon: O God, Who wonderfully created and yet more wonderfully restored the dignity of our human nature, grant that, by the mystery of this water and wine, we may come to share in the divine life of Him Who humbled Himself to share in our humanity.

After perfuming the tower in the rising incense, he places it over the paten.

Deacon: First in the Virgin's womb, then in the cave, then in the tomb You have rested, O Creator of heaven and earth.  Now condescend to abide in us, O Saviour of humankind.

He covers the paten and the chalice each with its own veil, then covers both with a larger veil (the palla sirica), each veil first being perfumed in the rising incense.

If he places the paten on top of the chalice, only two veils are used: one for the chalice & paten together, then the palla sirica over the top.

Deacon: The Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.  Let us rejoice and be glad, and give Him glory.  For the wedding-feast of the Lamb approaches, and his Bride, the Church, has made Herself ready; She is adorned in fine linen, dazzling and pure, and bedecked in the glory of the saints.

Through their prayers, O Lord, especially those of St Melangell, the Holy Myrrhbearers, and of Saint N. whose memory we keep today, be mindful of your servant, our bishop N., our priest N., of your servants N. & N. (here are commemorated the living and departed for whom prayers have been asked) and all your people, and me, your unworthy servant N.

He censes the Gifts, saying:

Deacon: O Lord, may our offerings rise before your face as a pleasing fragrance for the salvation of the whole world, through your love and mercy for humankind, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, our God, Who are blessed, and Who live and reign in triumph to the ages of ages.  Amen.

The deacon then performs a great censing of the sanctuary and the whole church.