Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Holy Gospel

Before the reading of the Gospel, the deacon kneels at the center of the altar and asks for a blessing. The celebrant blesses him saying, The Lord be in your heart and on your lips, that you may worthily and rightly proclaim his holy Gospel, in the name of the Father, and of the Son + , and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The sub-deacon and deacon go to the place where the Gospel is to be read. The deacon carries the book, then gives it to the sub-deacon to hold while he reads. The usual manner of announcing the Gospel is The Holy Gospel according to St. ______, the ____ chapter. As the deacon begins this announcement, he makes the sign of the cross with his right thumb upon the first word of the text. As he continues, he makes the same sign, in the same manner, upon his forehead, his lips and his breast.

Another manner of announcing the Gospel is The Holy Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ according to St. _____. In the historic rite, the gospel is announced as either The beginning of... or The continuation of... the Gospel according to St. ____.

Historically, before the Gospel is announced, the deacon intones The Lord be with you. And the congregation responds And with your Spirit. The Gospel is then announced in the usual manner, to which the congregation responds Glory be to you, O Lord. At the conclusion of the reading, the congregation responds Praise be to you ,O Christ.

It would not be inappropriate to conclude the reading by saying The Gospel of the Lord. (Notice that this phrase is not preceded by This is.)

Historically, when the book is returned to the celebrant, he prays (in a low voice) By the words of the Gospel may our sins be purged away.

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