Being a sacristan is a very beneficial way to serve your church community, and an active way to participate in Mass.
The starting point for all sacristans is a deep love for the Eucharist. Under the general direction of the clergy, the sacristan undertakes the overall preparation for liturgical celebrations. Specific duties include:
- Preparing the Holy Eucharist for the celebration of the Mass. This includes readying the wine, water and bread and putting them in place before the start of Mass.
- Setting up the altar. Sacristans may also arrange the Lectionary and lector notebooks.
- Assisting the altar servers and other liturgical ministers with directions or questions. Sacristans ensure that all liturgical positions are filled for the Mass.
- Cleaning the holy materials after Mass. The holy containers for the water, body and blood are cleaned and stored in the sacristy. Everything is set back in place before sacristans leave the church.
For a detailed explanation of the duties of a sacristan, please read Sacristan Duties and Handbook for Sacristans.
To become a sacristan, you need not already be a liturgical minister, but some experience with liturgical service is helpful. General requirements for all liturgical ministers at Saint Bridget are discussed here.
In addition, sacristans should:
- Have the following spiritual dispositions and/or willingness to work to develop them: humility, radical hospitality, gratitude and reverence.
- Have 1.5 to 2 hours to give to the celebration of each assigned Eucharist. Be able to allow a longer time if the set-up is for a special liturgy such as Christmas, Holy Thursday, Easter, etc.
- Prepare to celebrate the Mass by reading the scriptures and by praying.
- While a sacristan will not be scheduled to serve at more than one Mass per weekend, a willingness to be scheduled at more than one Mass time (e.g. 9:00 or 11:00) is necessary.
- Be open to preparing for special liturgical celebrations such as July 4, Thanksgiving, Confirmation or First Eucharist.
Sacristans who are not already liturgical ministers are required to attend two sessions of Ministry Matters.
The second session of Ministry Matters is hands-on, practical training in the sacristy and on the altar for new sacristans. This session will be scheduled based on the availability of the new ministers after they have completed part 1 of Ministry Matters, usually within two weeks. After completion of Part 2 new ministers can be added to the liturgical schedule.
If you have already been a sacristan at another parish and would like to serve at Saint Bridget, please contact Charlie Giovannetti.
After formation and training, you will be assigned a mentor who is an experienced minister. Your mentor will be available to answer questions or provide additional training until you are completely comfortable in your new role.
To grow in your ministry, you will be required to participate in one of the gathered additional formation opportunities that are offered throughout the year. Some formation opportunities will be self-guided, while other opportunities will be offered to all lay liturgical ministers or specifically for sacristans through the Liturgy Committee.
Duties for weekday Masses are not as formal and are done on a much smaller scale. However, this is an extremely important ministry at Saint Bridget. If you are interested in becoming a sacristan for weekday Mass only, please contact Charlie Giovannetti, who will train you and assign a mentor to you.
Terms of Service
Liturgical Ministry at Saint Bridget is carried out in three year terms, renewable once. After a maximum of six years of service, ministers are asked to take a Sabbath, a rest, from the work. Ministers at Saint Bridget are asked to serve in one ministry only.
Please contact Charlie Giovannetti or Don Delaney with any questions.