Definitions

gospel-side

Epistle side

In the liturgical traditions of Western Christianity, the Epistle side is the term used to designate the side of a church on which the Epistle is read during the Mass or Eucharist. Facing the altar, it is the right-hand side.

The Gospel side is the other side of the church, where the Gospel is read. Facing the altar, it is the left-hand side. In some places, especially if a comment is based on a romance language source, the Gospel side will be cited as the Evangelist side.

In the Tridentine Mass and the old Book of Common Prayer, the lectern holding the Missal was moved from the Epistle side of the altar to the Gospel side after the reading of the Epistle. This is still practiced in the Extraordinary form of the Roman Rite and in some Anglo-Catholic parishes.

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