It is the bishop's prerogative, when present, to be the principal
celebrant at the Lord's Table, and to preach the Gospel.
At all celebrations of the Liturgy, it is fitting that the principal
celebrant, whether bishop or priest, be assisted by other priests, and
by deacons and lay persons.
It is appropriate that the other priests present stand with the celebrant at
the Altar, and join in the consecration of the gifts, in breaking the Bread,
and in distributing Communion.
A deacon should read the Gospel and may lead the Prayers of the People.
Deacons should also serve at the Lord's Table, preparing and placing on it
the offerings of bread and wine, and assisting in the ministration of the
sacrament to the people. In the absence of a deacon, these duties may be
performed by an assisting priest.
Lay persons appointed by the celebrant should normally be assigned the
reading of the Lessons which precede the Gospel, and may lead the
Prayers of the People.
Morning or Evening Prayer may be used in place of all that precedes the
Peace and the Offertory, provided that a lesson from the Gospel is always
included, and that the intercessions conform to the directions given for
the Prayers of the People.
Additional Directions are on page 406.
322 Holy Eucharist I