Master of Ceremonies

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The person in charge of the direction of a liturgical function. The responsibility of the master of ceremonies is to instruct the ministers before liturgical functions and direct them during the functions. The origins of this role can be traced to the deacons whom early documents portray as quasimasters of ceremonies. Though ceremonial directives had already become very explicit in the 7th-century Ordo Romanus Primus, the first mention of the title of master of ceremonies appears in the 17thcentury ceremonial of bishops.

[j. w. kavanagh/eds.]