One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A person in charge of a sacristy and its contents.
- ‘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.’
- ‘The Churches did not signify the hierarchy through money; there was no difference in salary between a sacristan and a pastor.’
- ‘And he was dressed like a sacristan in a Catholic seminary, and he held a bible.’
- ‘Others will leave the amount to your discretion, but the priest is normally paid €150 and the sacristan, €50.’
- ‘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 rather showed it to her than to the sacristan.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘While Mother rises virtuously early for sacristan duties at Little Saint Mary's church, we heathens opt for an indolent morning with the papers.’
- ‘In a given year, in 1824, for example, there were 34,095 priests and archpriests, 15,081 deacons, and 59,740 sacristans in Russia.’
- ‘Thanks was extended to the choir, readers, also to the sacristans Paddy McEvoy and Eileen McEvoy and all who helped out in any way.’
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.’
- ‘She was also church sacristan at the Ursuline Convent for five years.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘My father worked in the church, so he was the sacristan, which means, he kind of cleaned the place up.’
Middle English: from medieval Latin sacristanus, based on Latin sacer, sacr- ‘sacred’.
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