The following also exercise a liturgical function: The sacristan, who carefully arranges the liturgical books, the vestments, and other things necessary in the celebration of Mass.General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 105)
Sacristans assist the pastor in preparing for and cleanup after of the Mass. At first glance this role is very simple, but can be adapted to fit the interests and capabilities of an individual. One of the greatest benefits of being a sacristan is that the tasks are carried out around the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle – an opportunity that offers a unique closeness to the Lord in both the tasks and time spent in ministry.
In accepting the responsibilities of sacristan, one should expect to be prompt, responsible, and discrete – working in an important support role that, though practically invisible during liturgies, helps keep things moving smoothly. Planning, basic shared routines, and careful attention to details – relayed through some simple training – help ensure that every sacristan is up to the task! Those interested in this ministry can rest assured that they will be trained to a level of comfort and offered resources along the way.
In general, sacristans are responsible for the following:
- Before-Mass setup & building opening
- Unlocking the church
- Preparing the building (lights, unlocking rooms, etc)
- Check the Lectionary for the readings of the day
- Assemble the sacred vessels for Mass
- Prepare the proper amount of bread & wine for Mass
- Lighting the candles to be used at Mass
- After-Mass cleanup & building lock-up
- Extinguish the candles after Mass
- Clear, clean & secure the sacred vessels
- Secure the tabernacle key
- Stage materials for upcoming Mass (if applicable)
- Lock interior rooms & exterior doors
In order to be a sacristan, one must be:
- a baptized and confirmed Catholic in good standing with the Church
- a member of the Saint Mark parish
- have successfully completed a background check via the Archdiocesan Virtus volunteer portal
- have completed the Protecting God’s Children for Adults program via the Archdiocesan Virtus volunteer portal
- amenable to kitchen-like tasks (less the cooking!)
- be willing to commit to regular ministry (at least twice monthly)
Would you like to explore further, without expectation of commitment? Please use the contact form below and our head sacristan (Russ Foisy) will get back to you.
Prayer of Blessings for Sacristans– from the ‘Order of Blessing Altar Servers, Sacristans, Musicians, and Ushers’
God of Glory, your beloved Son has shown us that
true worship comes from humble and contrite hearts.
Bless our brothers and sisters, who have responded
to the needs of our parish, and wish to commit themselves
to your service as sacristans. Grant that their ministry
may be fruitful and our worship pleasing in your sight.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen