Like altar serving, being a sacristan is a very beneficial way to help out your church community, and an active way to participate in a Catholic Mass.

Special talents or gifts needed for this ministry

The sacristan position requires you to be responsible, reliable, and enthusiastic and willing to help out in any situation.

  • Sacristans are usually older than altar servers, and typically having once been one. Being an altar server before sacristan can familiarize you with the "behind-the-scenes" order of the mass.
  • Sacristans must be responsible and mature. Part of this job is respecting the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Sacristans should not fool around with the holy materials or try to be funny; they are there to get the job done
  • Sacristans should be reliable. Depending on the church, you may be asked to do this job anywhere from every week to once a year. Either way, make yourself available every time, and consistently be at church as a viable substitute or fill-in when needed.
  • Sacristans should be quick learners, and very organized. This will further help the order of the mass run smoothly.

· What do Sacristans do?

  • Preparing the Holy Eucharist for the celebration of the mass. This includes readying the wine, water, and bread and putting them in place for the start of mass.
  • Setting up the church. Typically, sacristans arrive at church before anyone else- often even the priest/celebrant. They light the candles, arrange the books, and basically perform a little housekeeping before mass begins.
  • Assisting the altar servers. Sacristans prepare and help the altar servers perform their basics duties before and during mass.
  • Cleaning the holy materials after mass. There is usually a sacristy, a room at the very front or back of the church reserved for this position, where the holy containers for the water, body, and blood are stored and cleaned. Everything is set back in its place in the sacristy before sacristans leave the church.

Duration of the Ministry
This ministry would last as long as one is able to continue or desires to perform this ministry.

Rehearsal times or training sessions
Experienced or past sacristans, or even priests or deacons are willing and happy to train a new sacristan.