MC in a Pontifical Mass


Do you have anything to share about MCing a Mass with bishop or even in episcopal masses, any reply will do, though i prefer pdf files about it :slight_smile:


Generally a Bishop’s Master of Ceremonies is a priest, usually his secretary. It is also not uncommon for these priests to have their Licenses in Liturgy (which requires a full seminary formation, plus an additional year of study in the specific discipline of Liturgy). Because of this, there are not many books about it readily available.

You can occasionally grab something like the Ceremonial for Bishops, which is more or less rubrics for Pontifical Liturgies, but many of the know-how is best learned by training under a Pontifical MC.

The only .pdf resource I’ve ever seen is a pamphlet put out by the Diocese of Davenport, Policies Relating to the Bishop in the Liturgy, but you should realize that some of the policies in that pamphlet are particular to the Diocese of Davenport.


The MC is by the Bishop and directs the sacred (deacons and concelebrants) and inferior (acolytes) ministers.

At the entrance procession, if incense is used it is imposed prior to the procession.

Before the Bishop reverences the altar, the Miter and crosier are handed to the MC and given to the servers deputed to bear them. The altar is reverenced with a kiss and if incense is used the cross, relics, paschal candle, special images and altar are incensed.

The Bishop begins the Liturgy at the chair. The Book bearer holds the book until the opening prayer. When the Bishop is seated he is given the Miter to wear. At the Gospel incense is imposed at the chair if used, the Deacon or other concelebrant deputed to proclaim the Gospel is blessed, the miter is removed and all stand. After the Bishop signs himself he holds the crosier. After the proclomation the Bishop reverences the Gospels with a kiss. For the homily he may wear the miter and carry the crosier.

The Creed is intoned at the chair as well as the universal prayers.

The Offertory and Communion is the same as at any High Mass. Remove the zuchetto after the prayer over the gifts. Wash the Bishop's hands after Communion has been administered. Replace the zuchetto as well. After the post communion prayer give the miter and crosier to the bishop for the Blessing and recessional.

Order of Processions:

(2nd MC)

(Boat Bearer) Thurifer

Acolyte Crucifer Acolyte

Additional Acolytes

Lectors and Petition Leaders

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

Deacon with the Book of the Gospels

(Priests, Monisgnori, Deans, Episcopal Vicars)

Bishop Celebrant flanked by MC and Deacons

Miter Bearer Crosier Bearer

Book Bearer


Thanks for replying, This was really helpful for me. How about the outfit of a MC? is there anything in particular?


If the Master of Ceremonies is a cleric, he should wear his appropriate choir dress (that is: a black wool rabat, the collar, a cassock with appropriately colored fascia and piping, and surplice, with the stole when receiving communion).

If the Master of Ceremonies is a layman, he should wear either an alb, or a cassock and surplice, depending on what the local tradition is (generally basing this off the garb of an altar server).

It is generally preferred that any Master of Ceremonies is at least an Instituted Acolyte, but this seems to have been abandoned in some areas, although I don’t believe it’s ever been suppressed or abrogated.


In are diocese it the bishops secretary who MCs and he wears a purple cassock with a square neck pleated lace surplice


In our diocese, if the Seminarians are MC's they wear cassock and surplice, if they are Deacons they are fully vested, if they are a Priest they wear only an Alb.


Dosnt your dioceses have a diocesan vestments or a matching vestments for when a bishop comes


Yes we do. I am not sure what that has to do with the topic.


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