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Following the Collect, the priest (who should already be at the epistle side of the altar) announces and begins to read the epistle. (Which should technically be called the “Lection” or “Lesson,” since, after all, it isn’t always one of the Epistles). Afterward, he moves to the center of the altar, prays a few preparatory prayers while the Gradual and Alleluia are chanted (at a High Mass; at a Low Mass, he would have already spoken them aloud before moving to the center), and then proceeds to the Gospel side of the altar to pray the Gospel; at a Solemn High Mass, the deacon will proceed to the left of the altar altogether, sometimes to a separate altar, and proclaim the Gospel facing to the left, as pictured below.
It’s opportune to reflect here on the idea of “epistle” and “Gospel” sides of the altar. If you’re sitting in…
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