Sacristan Procedures

Sacristan Procedures 2016-17

  • If you are unable to serve as scheduled, please request a substitute through the ministry scheduling program at least 2 days in advance. If you are unable to serve at the last minute, please call/text Shari, 515-509-6851.
  • Arrive thirty minutes early.
  • ***Put out Parking Ramp Validation machine on table in gathering space and plug it in.
  • Know where the two keys are.
    • Unmarked key to the cabinet marked “CHALICE AND PITCHER” in the far left drawer, in the glass dish.
    • Once you have opened the cabinet, the tabernacle key is on the left.
  • Put tabernacle key in lock of tabernacle. Estimate the number of hosts in the bowl.
  • Open glass doors to the chapel at 4:45 & 7:00
  • Put the Roman Missal on the table beside the presider’s chair.
  • Church teaching on liturgy speaks of the ideal of people receiving Communion consecrated at the Mass at which they attend.
  • Sacristans should assess how many people are at Mass, and plan the count and tabernacle leftover accordingly. If we can get to the point where only fifty hosts or fewer remain, that would be a good goal for which to aim. Err on the side of generosity, but please avoid 2 ciboria in tabernacle.

Put out bread according to count guidelines. Please check the tabernacle for how much consecrated bread is there. If there is a large quantity, take this into account when preparing hosts. For special Masses and during the summer, ask the priest or liturgist how many hosts to prepare. Be aware of significant community events: ISU sports, blizzards, etc.

1 ounce of wine for every 15 people

                                      Bread               Wine                            On break

      Sat 4:45                  300                   20 ounces                     150-200, 18-20

      Sun 8:30                 350                  24 ounces                      300, 20-24

      Sun 10:30               600-plus         36-40 ounces                400, 32-36

      Sun 7:00 pm          350                   20 ounces

 BREAD: Altar bread is kept in lower left cupboard. Count out the hosts and include one 5.5-inch bread (24 pieces).

LOW-GLUTEN BREAD: is kept in the credence cabinet. Gluten-intolerant communicants will be briefed on procedures for this.

WINE: Wine is kept in the lower left cupboard. Measure wine and put into the appropriate pitcher. Empty jugs go under the sink.

  • Place both bread and wine on the top of the credence cabinet in the Gathering Space.
  • Place the empty small ciborium with the bread and wine and monitor if/when gluten-intolerant people place their bread there.
  • Put 3 ciboria (pewter bowls) and the tray with 8 chalices and 9 clean purificators in the cabinet.
  • 4:45 & 7 pm – Check with Mass Coordinator to see if they are going with 6 or 8 cups, or even 4. Perhaps they will also reduce distributors of Hosts to 3 or 2.

  • Cruet, towel and bowl for washing hands are set on the lowest shelf in the credence cabinet. Refill the cruet with sink water, if needed.
  • Check with the music leader on Communion for the music ministry.
  • If they are not turned on, turn on Story Wall lights. The switch: 2nd floor, base of the stairs at the end of the Processional Pathway.
  • Light two candles at altar and ambo about ten minutes before Mass starts.
  • At Mass time, check the ciborium for low-gluten hosts. If it is empty, remove to the interior of the cabinet. Check with the Mass coordinator whether or not a Low-Gluten CM will be needed at Mass.
  • Easter candle is lit during the Easter season through Pentecost and during November until Advent, plus anytime we have a baptism at Mass.


During Mass

  1. Sit close to the front so that you may be ready to assist the priest if called upon.
  2. If the attendance at Mass seems unusually light or heavy, adjust the amount of hosts and wine set out on the gift table. You can do this anytime before the gift procession.
  3. Immediately after the prayers of the faithful are done and everyone is seated, bring the tray of cups and purificators to the altar.
  4. ***Remove gospel book holder from altar and place on or in the credence cabinet.
  5. Return immediately to the credence cabinet and remove stopper from water cruet. Bring water cruet, bowl, and towel to the altar and leave them on a corner of the altar.
  6. By this time, the gifts may have arrived at the altar. The priest will hand you the pitcher of wine. Pour the chalices at this time, filling them evenly, half to 2/3rd full. Use a purificator to handle drips. Priest will move cups from tray to altar.
  7. Retrieve the bowl, towel, and water cruet, presenting to the priest the cruet’s handle first.
  8. Pour the water for the handwashing. Place cruet, bowl, and towel on tray and return inside credence cabinet.
  9. Take the metal dispenser for hand sanitizer and place it on the credence cabinet.
  10. Go to Communion early.
  11. Go to the tabernacle to retrieve the bowl of hosts. Come with the bowl and go to each bread minister and give them extra hosts if needed.
  12. Distribute the Body of Christ to the choir, unless other arrangements have been made.
  13. Set the bowl on the altar and watch to make sure the Communion Ministers don’t run out.
  14. After Communion return the bowl with lid to the tabernacle.

After Mass

  1. Immediately empty money into the safe. Always be accompanied by another person—preferably a non-staff member and someone you do not know. Double check the closure on the safe—make sure the money has dropped—the money must be in small enough bags so that it doesn't "clog." Return basket to front row under the chair.
  2. Extinguish candles with candle snuffer. Always extinguish Easter candle and wall candles when used. Be careful not to crush or bend the wick of the candle.
  3. ***Return gospel book holder to center of altar.
  4. Empty the crumbs out of communion bowls into a chalice and consume. Use water if needed. Put bowls away. Make sure you do NOT wrap up the felt for separating the bowls with the bowls. The felt should be stacked separately from the bowls.
  5. Return tabernacle key to cabinet (but not after 8:30 Mass!) to their correct hook.
  6. Clean chalices and pitcher in the sacristy. Consume first, wipe with purificator, then wash with hot water and soap. Rinse. Dry, but avoid using the solid white towels. Hang towel on bar inside of cabinet below the sink.
  7. ***Return parking ramp validation machine and instructions to sacristy cabinet.
  8. Turn lights to “Night” setting after an evening liturgy. Turn them off after a morning liturgy. And except for 8:30 Mass, turn off Story Wall lights.
  9. Close glass doors to the chapel after 7PM Mass

*** Indicates a newer procedure.


Getting a Substitute

Your service to our community is essential. If you cannot serve when scheduled, please request a substitute at least 2 days in advance. In an emergency, call/text Shari, 515-509-6851. Thank you for your service. Preparing our worship space is an important ministry in our community. Please feel free to call with any questions or concerns you may have.