Becoming a Sacristan
If you are interested to join our team please contact Sonja Davids or Fr. Frank. Then we will make a date to meet in the Sacristy and we will train you. You will need to learn the names of all the things we use during Mass, where they are kept and how to tidy up and pack away after Mass.
Training takes about 2 hours.
What Commitment Needed
A Sacristan needs to decide at which Mass he/she would like to help (ie. a week day Mass or a Mass at the weekend).
The Sacristan must be at Church about half an hour before the start of that particular Mass to set up everything reverently and in a dignified way. After Mass, everything must be taken out of the Sanctuary and packed away correctly.
We do not meet formally as a group. Notices are placed on the wall in the Sacristy and our team stays in touch via phone calls.
Washing and Laundry
Patricia Waight washes all Lavabo cloths, Corporals, Purificators and Father's Albs
- Counting the Hosts
- Seeing that there are enough candles - Altar candles, Votive candles, Advent Wreath candles, Christmas and Easter candles
- Changing the Holy water
- Washing all Altar linen, Altar Boy table cloths, Credence table cloths, Offertory table cloths and small Chapel table cloths
- Checking that there is Insence
- Repairing and cleaning the Altar Boys' Robes
- Dry Cleaning Father's Chasubles and Stoles annually
- Washing the Chalices weekly
- Changing the Altar cloth
- Washing the plastic and setting up new candles on the Altar
- Preparing for First Holy Communion, Confirmation, Christmas, Pentecost, Lent and Easter (which is huge and entails many hours of work)
- Repairing Hymn Books
Setting Up For Mass
- The Sacristan must remove the dust covers from the Altar, Altar Boy's table, Credence table, Lecturn and Offertory table
- Light candles on Altar
- Fill small glass bowl with water and place a Lavabo cloth over bowl and place it on Altar Boy's table
For Communion Under One Kind
- Take Chalice and Paten from Safe in Sacristy
- Place Purificator over Chalice
- Place Paten on cloth and place 1 large Host on Paten
- Cover with a Pall and Chalice Veil (of the correct colour, different Veils for different seasons)
- Put Corporal in Bursa (same colour as Chalice Veil) and put on top of Chalice Veil and put on Altar Boy's table
- Fill small glass jug with water, place on silver tray and put on Altar Boy's table
Prepare Offertory Gifts
- Fill other small jug with wine
- Take deep gold Paten from Safe and fill with Hosts from relevant container marked for that Mass
- The wine and Hosts are placed on Offertory table at back of Church and covered with net cover
Communion Under Both Kinds
- as above Plus
- Take a 2nd and 3rd Chalice from Safe
- Put Purificators over each Chalice and a Pall on each Purificator
- 2 large Hosts are placed on Paten of 1st Chalice
- Take extra Paten from Safe and place with Chalices on Altar Boy's table
- Pour wine into Decanter and place on Altar Boy's table
- Place the Tabernacle Key on the shelf in front of the Tabernacle
- Put the Bells in the Santuary on the left near the kneeling rail
- Place 2 or 4 on Crucifixes for Communion Helpers on the altar
- Place the Missal on the the Altar
- Place the Lectionary on the Lectern, both open at the appropriate pages
- Hymn Books and notices are placed on Altar and on Altar Boy's seats
Lay Out Father's Robes
The Sacristans also lay out Fr.'s robes on the table in the Sacristy in the following order:
- The Chasuble
- The Stole
- The Cincture
- The Alb
- and lastly the Amice
A good sacristan is a boon to any parish and, as the post fulfills a true liturgical function. "The adornment and decor of a church should be such as to make the church a visible sign of love and reverence toward God".
Working in our Sacristy is a great privilege and honour. It is wonderful to prepare for Mass and help the priest and celebrants in this meaningful way. Preparing for the many special Masses like First Holy Communion, Confirmation, Christmas and all the exceptional, beautiful, rich Masses at Easter is very enriching. It is very satisfying to be a part of this team of friendly, hard-working, devout men and women.
If you wish to join the team, you are most welcome. Please contact Sonja Davids - Head Sacristan.
Away at the time of photos: Rene Esson, Di Romberg, Annabel Horn
Why I Became a Sacristan
(by Brenda Gibbs, Head Sacristan until 2013)
I have worked in our Sacristy for the last 32 years. Initially, I was gently drawn in by Sister Adeltrude, our Parish Sister. I used to help her several days a week. Through the influence of my daughter, Susan, and Sister I converted on 16 - 8 - 1980. As Sister became more frail, Lynne Gordon and I ensured that the Sacristy "ticked over".
We worked together from 1993. Sister died on 4th January, 1995 so Lynne and I ran the Sacristy together until 1999, when Lynne emmigrated to the USA. Since 2000 I have been responsible for the Sacristy and have managed to oversee the general running of the Sacristy while the wonderful team of Sacristans take care of preparing for the Masses.