The sacristan is the minister who has overall responsibility for the sacristy. The primary responsibility of the sacristan is to prepare the worship space before each Mass in preparation for the Eucharist. He or she also ensures that all participants of the Mass from the servers to the lectors to the Eucharistic Ministers are present and prepared to participate.
Through all the centuries, every local church entrusted its keys to a minister called the sacristan. Sacristans were mentioned by many church writers, one being St. Jerome. Church councils referred to sacristans as “ministers of God,” taking great care to stress the holy nature of the work of sacristans. St. Isidore (7th century) described the ministry as the care of security, access, vestments, sacred vessels, oil, candles, etc. Before Christians ever began to use Tabernacles in the main worship space, the Eucharist was reserved in the sacristy and it was the sacristan who maintained the dignity of the space.
Coordinator: Lisa Wellik