Pardon me, I’m new to this web site so bare with me pls. Does anyone have knowledge of and/or a source/link on the responsibilities of a Mass MC? Thx
A Master of Ceremonies is used in more complex or solemn Masses to direct the clergy and laity in rituals they may be unfamiliar with.
Forgive me if some of my sentences make no sense, it’s been a long day:
The/A MC(s) help the clergy, laity, and servers in more complex masses and liturgies. I MC at my cathedral every Sunday, as well as ordinations, holy week, and many other diocesan Masses. When the bishop is not there, I am the MC, but when he is, I’m just the assistant MC.
What they do…
At ordinations, one big MC job is guiding all of the concelebrants where they need to go for the procession, laying of on hands, kiss of peace, and the recession. Another big one is making sure servers get where they need to go, with what they need to have, so that the bishop isn’t left waiting for something. Luckily, for big Masses, we have several MCs so things go soothly. As part of MCing, I almost always help setup before Mass, and take down after, but this could be done by someone else, such as a sacristan.
On a normal Sunday Mass, when I’m the lone MC, before Mass, I setup everything where it needs to go (I guess I’m the sacristan too), give out “jobs” (Thurafur, boat, Crucifer, Candle bearer, lavabo…) to our 12-15 servers. During Mass, I just watch to make sure everything goes smoothly. If someone messes up, and needs to be fixed, I gently (and discreetly) try to fix it. This isn’t universal, but part of my “job description” is also keeping an eye on the servers for goofing around (I’m 15, and the oldest one by far :D), especially when they are in the sacristy. Most people won’t have to deal with that last last thing though…
Really, in a parish setting (or really any setting, for that matter) it depends on what your priest wants. I know in the old rite, it was all very prescribed, and every part was written out what to do. In the new rite, it’s less standardized, so if you’re the perspective MC, talk to your pastor. Sometimes, the MC doesn’t “do” very much, but is simply there to make sure things run smoothly. Other times, he needs to run around like a headless chicken, and trying to keep an appearence of sanity during the whole thing!!
One last thing. It is an art. It is a science. It’s not easy at first. I’ve been doing it for around 3 years, and I’m still learning how to do it better, and I still mess up. Don’t feel bad if you mess up. The first Mass I MCed, I did a horrible job! Don’t get stressed about it!
Thanks Spirithound and TheMc. Is anyone out there aware of a Catholic M.C. guide book/pamphlet that may be avaliable for us ‘newbees’? Peace
" How to Serve Low Mass& Benediction" Rev. O’Brien Angelus Press 1-800-966-7337
Most welcome. Your chief resource is probably going to be the rubrics of the Mass you will be MC for.
The Roman Ritual, the Ceremonial of Bishops, the Roman Missal, the GIRM are documents, one of which will contain the liturgy you are looking for.
usually they drop dope rhymes and get everyone moving
Sorry, but this book won’t be much help for an MC. I have it, and is is really only for how to serve a low mass for the two servers.
I’d follow SpiritHound’s advise. It’s pretty much what you have to do, unless someone else knows a better way. Again, ask your pastor, and he will help you.
Thank you, gone for now. Peace
I’d just like to add: the above mentioned book, How to Serve Low Mass& Benediction, is for learning how to serve the extraordinary form (latin Mass) with one or two servers, not the ordinary form.
While the book details the Extraordinary form, it is very detailed regarding the ordinary!
page24&25: the offertory roles( the cruets)
page26: the lavabo( washing the hands)
page30&31: the bells( when to ring)
page33: credence table, minus the wine just the water( purification)
page46: Servering at Benediction with a Master of ceremonies plus 4 servers.
I have served Mass in both forms and continue to serve. I find this book a valuable tool to teach others the proper way of serving.
I am absolutely dismayed at the irreverance and poor training of the servers that I saw at mass Sunday, and at mass Friday night at a all- night vigil. One server was 70+ and one was 20. Both are experienced.I prepared a booklet for the young man, the elder would not want any help. I am friends of both.
Our Bishop provides a Deacon when a Master of Ceromonies is needed at his masses.
There can be two seperate M.C.'s (Deacon & server)
This book will help.
Thank you. The post this AM was most helpful. Peace