One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A person in charge of a sacristy and its contents.
- ‘He rather showed it to her than to the sacristan.’
- ‘The Churches did not signify the hierarchy through money; there was no difference in salary between a sacristan and a pastor.’
- ‘In a given year, in 1824, for example, there were 34,095 priests and archpriests, 15,081 deacons, and 59,740 sacristans in Russia.’
- ‘While Mother rises virtuously early for sacristan duties at Little Saint Mary's church, we heathens opt for an indolent morning with the papers.’
- ‘Thanks was extended to the choir, readers, also to the sacristans Paddy McEvoy and Eileen McEvoy and all who helped out in any way.’
- ‘Others will leave the amount to your discretion, but the priest is normally paid €150 and the sacristan, €50.’
- ‘On top of all of her other duties she is the sacristan of Duiske Abbey, and that is no small job.’
- ‘The sacristan is grateful for the generous response by all Mass goers to the recent collection at the Masses over last weekend.’
- ‘And he was dressed like a sacristan in a Catholic seminary, and he held a bible.’
- ‘The popular lady, who worked as a sacristan in Portlaw for many years, was surrounded by family and friends for a party at her home.’
- ‘He paid tribute to the concelebrating priests, the choir for the lovely singing, the sacristans, the Eucharistic Ministers, collectors and all others who do such wonderful work in the parish.’
2archaic The sexton of a parish church.
- ‘Some churches require you to use their flowers - remember to ask the church sacristan if this is the case and expect to pay from €200 upwards.’
- ‘My father worked in the church, so he was the sacristan, which means, he kind of cleaned the place up.’
- ‘Barbara Hall, the sacristan, comes in after night shifts at a care home to keep the interior spick-and-span.’
- ‘Alice Burke, sacristan, had the church looking splendid and was further enhanced by the floral arrangements prepared by her daughter Veronica Troy, Lismore.’
- ‘She was also church sacristan at the Ursuline Convent for five years.’
Middle English: from medieval Latin sacristanus, based on Latin sacer, sacr- ‘sacred’.
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