Our Sacristan's preparations for the celebration of the Liturgy may remind us also to prepare our hearts for worship.
It is the Sacristan’s role to see to the consistent and proper handling of certain aspects of parish liturgy. In so doing, the Sacristan helps to create a prayerful liturgy for the St. James Community, and frees the priest to give his attention to the prayer and to the pastoral care of the people.
The Sacristan arranges the books needed for the celebration, marking all of the divisions. He or she lays out the vestments and anything else needed for the celebration, such as cruets, chalices, ciboria, linens, oils, processional crosses, candles, etc. As ministers at the Altar of the Lord, they are witnesses to the true presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist and in the proclamation of God’s Word. Serving in this way implies a personal commitment to the Eucharist which includes weekly attendance at Sunday Mass.
This ministry is open to adults who have celebrated Confirmation, and who are free of any impediments to participating in the sacramental life of the Church. A good sacristan is a boon to any parish and, as the GIRM (General Instructions for the Roman Catholic Missal) says, the post fulfills a true liturgical function.
As the Ceremonial of Bishops states: “The adornment and décor of a church should be such as to make the church a visible sign of love and reverence toward God.”