The ministry of sacristan involves the preparation of the sacred vessels for use in Mass, and the cleaning and safe storage after Mass. To prepare the vestments and missals for use in Mass. To ensure the ciborium and chalices are prepared for the celebration of the Eucharist. To check the provision of Eucharistic ministers, readers and a team for the offertory procession. To ensure the Church is prepared for the celebration of all the sacraments.
The sacristans undertake much of the preparation for our liturgical celebrations, including providing all the things that are necessary for special days such as Ash Wednesday (ashes) and Palm Sunday (palms), weddings, baptisms and funerals and of course the busy seasons of Christmas and Easter.
They mark up the liturgical books needed for each celebration, lay out the appropriate vestments and arrange everything else that is needed such as cruets, chalices, ciboria, linens, oils, the processional cross, candles, the thurible and the acolytes’ torches. They also ensure that the vestments, church furnishings, liturgical vessels and other artefacts are kept clean and in good condition. Elaine orders the hosts and the wine and makes sure that there is a supply of clean purificators, corporals, hand towels, incense and charcoal. They wash the altar linens reverently and undertakes the burning of old linens and other objects no longer suitable for liturgical use. They also makes sure that the sanctuary lamp candle is kept burning, that the altar cloths are changed regularly, and that the holy water stoups are always clean and replenished with holy water frequently. They ensure that everything is prepared for the priest and the Mass.