Sacristy
Overview
 
A sacristy is a room for keeping vestments (such as the alb
Alb
The alb , one of the liturgical vestments of the Roman Catholic, Anglican and many Protestant churches, is an ample white garment coming down to the ankles and usually girdled with a cincture. It is simply the long linen tunic used by the Romans...

 and chasuble
Chasuble
The chasuble is the outermost liturgical vestment worn by clergy for the celebration of the Eucharist in Western-tradition Christian Churches that use full vestments, primarily in the Roman Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran churches, as well as in some parts of the United Methodist Church...

) and other church furnishings, sacred vessels, and parish records.

The sacristy is usually located inside the church, but in some cases it is an annex or separate building (as in some monasteries
Monastery
Monastery denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer as well as the domestic quarters and workplace of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone .Monasteries may vary greatly in size – a small dwelling accommodating only...

). In most older churches the sacristy is near one of the side altar
Altar
An altar is any structure upon which offerings such as sacrifices are made for religious purposes. Altars are usually found at shrines, and they can be located in temples, churches and other places of worship...

s or more usually behind or to the side the main altar. In newer churches the sacristy is often in another location, such as near the entrances to the church.
Encyclopedia
A sacristy is a room for keeping vestments (such as the alb
Alb
The alb , one of the liturgical vestments of the Roman Catholic, Anglican and many Protestant churches, is an ample white garment coming down to the ankles and usually girdled with a cincture. It is simply the long linen tunic used by the Romans...

 and chasuble
Chasuble
The chasuble is the outermost liturgical vestment worn by clergy for the celebration of the Eucharist in Western-tradition Christian Churches that use full vestments, primarily in the Roman Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran churches, as well as in some parts of the United Methodist Church...

) and other church furnishings, sacred vessels, and parish records.

The sacristy is usually located inside the church, but in some cases it is an annex or separate building (as in some monasteries
Monastery
Monastery denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer as well as the domestic quarters and workplace of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone .Monasteries may vary greatly in size – a small dwelling accommodating only...

). In most older churches the sacristy is near one of the side altar
Altar
An altar is any structure upon which offerings such as sacrifices are made for religious purposes. Altars are usually found at shrines, and they can be located in temples, churches and other places of worship...

s or more usually behind or to the side the main altar. In newer churches the sacristy is often in another location, such as near the entrances to the church. Some churches have more than one sacristy, each of which will have a specific function. Often additional sacristies are used for maintaining the church and its items - such as candles and other materials.

The sacristy is also where the priest
Priest
A priest is a person authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities...

 and attendant
Attendant
Attendant may refer to:* Car attendant, a railroad employee* Flight attendant, flight crew employed to ensure the safety and comfort of the passengers* Museum attendant* Toilet attendant, maintains standards in a toilet and collects any usage fees...

s vest and prepare before the service
Church service
In Christianity, a church service is a term used to describe a formalized period of communal worship, often but not exclusively occurring on Sunday, or Saturday in the case of those churches practicing seventh-day Sabbatarianism. The church service is the gathering together of Christians to be...

. They will return there at the end of the service to remove their vestments and put away any of the vessels used during the service. The hangings and altar linens
Altar cloth
An ' is used by various religious groups to cover an altar. Christianity, ancient Judaism, and Buddhism are among the world religions that use altar cloths....

 are stored there as well. The Parish register
Parish register
A parish register is a handwritten volume, normally kept in a parish church or deposited within a county record office or alternative archive repository, in which details of baptisms, marriages and burials are recorded.-History:...

s may be kept in the sacristy and are administered by the parish clerk.

Sacristies usually contain a special wash basin, called a piscina
Piscina
A piscina is a shallow basin placed near the altar of a church, used for washing the communion vessels. The sacrarium is the drain itself. Anglicans usually refer to the basin, calling it a piscina. Roman Catholics usually refer to the drain, and by extension, the basin, as the sacrarium...

, the drain of which is properly called a "sacrarium" in which the drain flows directly into the ground to prevent sacred items such as used baptismal water from being washed into the sewers or septic tanks. The sacrarium is used to wash linens used during the celebration of the Mass
Mass
Mass can be defined as a quantitive measure of the resistance an object has to change in its velocity.In physics, mass commonly refers to any of the following three properties of matter, which have been shown experimentally to be equivalent:...

 and purificators used during Holy Communion. The cruet
Cruet
A cruet , also called a caster, is a small flat-bottomed vessel with a narrow neck. Cruets often have an integral lip or spout, and may also have a handle. Unlike a small carafe, a cruet has a stopper, lid, or phoedelia...

s, chalice
Chalice (cup)
A chalice is a goblet or footed cup intended to hold a drink. In general religious terms, it is intended for drinking during a ceremony.-Christian:...

, ciborium, paten
Paten
A paten, or diskos, is a small plate, usually made of silver or gold, used to hold Eucharistic bread which is to be consecrated. It is generally used during the service itself, while the reserved hosts are stored in the Tabernacle in a ciborium....

, altar linens and sometimes the Holy Oils are kept inside the sacristy. Sacristies are usually off limits to the general public. The word "sacristy" derives from the Latin sacristia, sometimes spelled sacrastia.

A person in charge of the sacristy and its contents is called a sacrist or a sacristan
Sacristan
A sacristan is an officer who is charged with the care of the sacristy, the church, and their contents.In ancient times many duties of the sacristan were performed by the doorkeepers , later by the treasurers and mansionarii...

. The latter name was formerly given to the sexton
Sexton (office)
A sexton is a church, congregation or synagogue officer charged with the maintenance of its buildings and/or the surrounding graveyard. In smaller places of worship, this office is often combined with that of verger...

 of a parish church
Parish church
A parish church , in Christianity, is the church which acts as the religious centre of a parish, the basic administrative unit of episcopal churches....

, where he would have cared for these things, the fabric of the building and the grounds.

In Eastern Christianity
Eastern Christianity
Eastern Christianity comprises the Christian traditions and churches that developed in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Northeastern Africa, India and parts of the Far East over several centuries of religious antiquity. The term is generally used in Western Christianity to...

, the functions of the sacristy are fulfilled by the Diaconicon
Diaconicon
The Diaconicon is, in the Eastern Orthodox and Greek-Catholic Churches, the name given to a chamber on the south side of the central apse of the church, where the vestments, books, etc, that are used in the Divine Services of the church are kept .The Diaconicon contains the thalassidion...

 and the Prothesis, two rooms or areas adjacent to the Holy Table (Altar).

Work on finding the so-called 'lost medieval sacristy of Henry III' at Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

 during an episode of the Time Team
Time Team
Time Team is a British television series which has been aired on Channel 4 since 1994. Created by television producer Tim Taylor and presented by actor Tony Robinson, each episode features a team of specialists carrying out an archaeological dig over a period of three days, with Robinson explaining...

 television programme revealed that the abbey originally had two separate sacristies. As well as a conventional sacristy for storage of ceremonial vessels such as the chalice and paten, the second, described in a 15th century document as the 'galilee of the sacristy' was determined to have been used for the robing and formation of the procession
Procession
A procession is an organized body of people advancing in a formal or ceremonial manner.-Procession elements:...


See also

  • Sexton
    Sexton (office)
    A sexton is a church, congregation or synagogue officer charged with the maintenance of its buildings and/or the surrounding graveyard. In smaller places of worship, this office is often combined with that of verger...

  • Antependium
  • Altar cloth
    Altar cloth
    An ' is used by various religious groups to cover an altar. Christianity, ancient Judaism, and Buddhism are among the world religions that use altar cloths....

  • Vestry
    Vestry
    A vestry is a room in or attached to a church or synagogue in which the vestments, vessels, records, etc., are kept , and in which the clergy and choir robe or don their vestments for divine service....

  • Diaconicon
    Diaconicon
    The Diaconicon is, in the Eastern Orthodox and Greek-Catholic Churches, the name given to a chamber on the south side of the central apse of the church, where the vestments, books, etc, that are used in the Divine Services of the church are kept .The Diaconicon contains the thalassidion...

  • Savilahti Stone Sacristy
    Savilahti Stone Sacristy
    The Stone Sacristy is located in Savilahti, Mikkeli, Finland and is the sacristy of the old church. It is considered to be one of Savonia's oldest buildings and one of the most famous symbols of Mikkeli. No one is sure of the date it was built...


External links

  • "Sacristy" article from Catholic Encyclopedia
    Catholic Encyclopedia
    The Catholic Encyclopedia, also referred to as the Old Catholic Encyclopedia and the Original Catholic Encyclopedia, is an English-language encyclopedia published in the United States. The first volume appeared in March 1907 and the last three volumes appeared in 1912, followed by a master index...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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