A sacristan is an officer charged with care of the sacristy, the church, and their contents. The
sacristan, who diligently arranges the liturgical books, the vestments, and other
things that are necessary for the celebration of Mass. The holy preparations in
which Sacristans are entrusted are the basic framework for the beautiful and sacred
objects that are used and carried out before, during, and after the Mass.
The Sacristan usually arrives about thirty minutes before Mass begins. He or she makes
sure the priest has the required collections for the altar. This includes the chalice, cruets,
linens, oils, crosses, candles, and celebration bells. All must be kept in pristine condition.
The Sacristan also ensures all lamps and candles have sufficient light to last for the
entire Mass. At the priest’s discretion, the Sacristan may also be responsible for
ensuring that there are sufficient fresh hosts and the proper amount of duly authorized
wine for the communion procession.