Immediately before a sitting commences, a ceremonial procession known as the Speaker’s Parade makes its way from the Speaker’s chambers along the Hall of Honour to the House of Commons Chamber. The procession is led by the Sergeant-at-Arms or his or her designate bearing the Mace; he or she is followed by the Speaker, a page carrying the prayer for the Speaker’s use prior to the opening of the sitting, the Clerk of the House, and other Table Officers.
As the parade enters the Chamber, Members rise while the Speaker makes his or her way to the Chair. The Sergeant-at-Arms pauses until the Speaker has taken the Chair, then places the Mace on the end of the Clerk’s Table, bows and takes his or her seat at the Bar of the House. Once satisfied that a quorum is present, the Speaker reads the prayer, presides over a moment of silence and then opens the sitting.
In the absence of the Speaker, the Presiding Officer for the sitting takes the Speaker’s place in the parade.
At the end of a sitting, the Speaker adjourns the House and then exits the Chamber, this time through the doors behind the Chair, preceded only by the Sergeant-at-Arms or his or her designate bearing the Mace.