What are the Sacristan’s roles within the community?


Oftentimes, when students think of Sacristans, they picture four or five seniors carrying the Eucharist out of Mass after communion. But what other duties come with the job title, “Sacristan”?

Sacristans can be classified into two groups, encounter Sacristans and Mass Sacristans.

Although seniors are chosen by the Campus Ministry department to become a Sacristan, the only unwavering requirement throughout the entire process is that Mass Sacristans must be Catholic.

However, the jobs and duties that encounter Sacristans and Mass Sacristans hold, while they have some similar crossovers, are fairly different.

“Our jobs are all about coordinating the encounters directly before one leaves,” senior Gaby Reiten said. “The five of us are each assigned one or two encounters with which we go to every meeting and make sure everything’s running smoothly before the bus leaves for St. Benny’s.”

Unknown to some, all of the Sacristans have a class, broken down into several periods, titled, “campus ministry aid,” which is similar to a prep where it does not count for a grade.

Compared to the encounter Sacristans, Mass Sacristans set their focus surrounding the Friday liturgies.

“Mass Sacristans start preparing for weekly mass starting Monday even though liturgies are on Friday,” senior Mandy Mitchell said. “We start organizing readings, going to classrooms to select readers and servers, break bread and make sure we have all the other equipment we need for mass as early as possible.”

Although some may confuse Eucharistic ministers with the Sacristans, as there is some crossover, there is a difference during the mass of what jobs they complete.

“Eucharistic ministers serve the bread and wine to students and faculty at mass,” senior Mandy Mitchell said. “The reason why Sacristans don’t always serve as Eucharistic ministers at every mass is because our job after communion is to place all the consecrated hosts in ciboriums, and then walk out them with the candle. This is a chaotic job towards the end of communion that requires help from as many Sacristans as possible while the Eucharistic ministers distribute the bread and wine.”

The Mass Sacristans are not designated to specific jobs during Mass, although many of them complete the same jobs every week to help stay organized.

Rising seniors are often notified during the spring of their junior year if they have been chosen to be a sacristan.

“Basically, Sacristans are chosen from recommendations from students that were Sacristans the year before and I will also recommend a few names of juniors that I have seen pay particular great attention at mass,” Mr. Don Clarke said.

Combining Mass Sacristans and encounter Sacristans, Mr. Clarke stated that “Sacristans take care of Mass at Jesuit, the liturgical things, have helped with funerals that have been outside of school and Masses outside of school for the Society of Jesus-their jobs just aren’t only on Fridays.”