Sacristan Procedures


  1. If you cannot serve as scheduled, please request a substitute before Friday at noon on the scheduling program. Also notify or text/call 515-509-6851, especially if you discover you need a substitute after noon on Friday. Thanks!
  2. Arrive thirty minutes early.
  3. Turn the sanctuary lights to Sunday.
  4. Put out Parking Ramp Validation machine and instructions on table in gathering space and plug it in.
  5. Know where the two keys are.
    • Unmarked key to the cabinet marked “CHALICE AND PITCHER” is in the far left drawer.
    • Once you have opened the cabinet, the tabernacle key is on the left.
  6. Put tabernacle key in lock of tabernacle. Estimate the number of hosts in the ciborium (half full is about 200)
  7. Place Gospel book holder in the center of the altar.
  8. Put the Roman Missal on the table beside the presider’s chair.
  9. 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, and 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                400                  28 ounces                     300, 20-24

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

      Sun 7:00 pm           350                  20 ounces

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.

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 against the wall near the sink.

  1. Place both bread and wine on the top of the credence cabinet in the Gathering Space.
  2. Place the empty small ciborium with the bread and wine and monitor if/when gluten-intolerant people place their bread there.
  3. 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 how many chalice distributors they have. Reduce chalices as needed. They may also reduce distributors of Hosts to 3 or 2.
  4. 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.
  5. If hospitality ministers have not yet done it, ask them to turn on Story Wall lights. The switch: 2nd floor, base of the stairs at the end of the Processional Pathway.
  6. Light candles at altar and ambo about ten minutes before Mass starts.
  7. 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 Communion Minister will be needed at Mass.
  8. 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 chalices and purificators to the altar (You may be able to combine #3 and #5 in one trip).
  4. Remove gospel book holder from altar and place in the credence cabinet.
  5. 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 as evenly as possible, 1/3 - 2/3rd full. Use a purificator to handle drips. Please avoid dripping on the altar cloth, it is hard to wash!!
  7. Retrieve the bowl, towel, and water cruet. Drape towel over your non-dominant arm.
  8. Pour the water for the handwashing with your dominant hand. Place cruet, bowl, and towel on tray and return it to the inside credence cabinet.
  9. Place the hand sanitizer dispenser on top of the credence cabinet.
  10. Go to Communion early.
  11. Go to the tabernacle to retrieve the ciborium of hosts. Go to each host 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 ciborium on the altar and watch to make sure the Communion Ministers don’t run out.
  14. As Communion ministers finish distribution, combine hosts into one ciborium and brush crumbs into one ciborium using a purificator. Place that ciborium on the top of the stack to be purified in the sacristy. Fold the purificator crumb side in, and give ciboria and purificator to “Host Prep” to return to the credence cabinet.
  15. After Communion return the ciborium 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. Use water to empty the crumbs out of ciboria into a chalice and consume. Wash and dry ciboria, wrap in cloths and put away. Stack felt squares between each wrapped ciboria.
  4. Return tabernacle key to cabinet on the correct hook.
  5. Purify chalices using a small amount of water that you consume. Wipe thoroughly with a purificator. Wash chalices and pitcher with hot water and soap. Rinse. Dry with towels. Hang wet towels on bar inside of cabinet below the sink.
  6. Return parking ramp validation machine and instructions to sacristy cabinet except at 8:30 mass.
  7. Turn lights to “Night” setting after an evening liturgy. Turn them off after the last morning liturgy. Turn off Story Wall lights after all liturgies except 8:30 mass.

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.