The primary responsibility of the Sacristans is to ready the altar at each Mass in preparation for the Eucharist. They also ensure that all participants of the Mass from the Servers, to the Lectors, to the Host Family is present and prepared to participate. Members rotate this responsibility on a three-month schedule. New members are always welcome to provide this ministry.



Be at church at least 20 minutes before our assigned Mass. If you are unable to be present at your assigned Mass, PLEASE get a substitute and make sure they show up.

Set-up procedure for Mass

  • The Chalice and Paten for the priest are prepared. The chalice is normally prepared with a purificater (the cloth used to clean or purify it), a paten (host plate), a pall (the decorated cardboard cover) and a corporal (the square white cloth) – is normally already on the altar here at St. Elizabeth’s.  The purificater (rectangular cloth folded in half or in thirds) is always put on or with the priest’s chalice. The corporal (large square cloth on top of the altar cloth and the rectangular white cloth for the chalices) should be replaced with a clean one, if it is dirty or stained. The clean ones are in the top right hand drawer by the vestment closet
  • Communion cups – the gold Cups are placed on the shelf behind the altar, the number of Cups for Mass is noted below.
  • The water cruet and dish with a terry towel are placed on the shelf behind the altar. Two(2) small water cruets are to be placed on the side tables. One on each side of the altar.
  • The Carafe of wine and the saborium with the hosts in them that are to be consecrated at the Mass should be place on the small table by the Baptismal Font in the back of church.

The amount of hosts and cups for Mass:


5 p.m.
7 a.m.
8:15 a.m. 10:00 a.m. 12:00 noon
Hosts 4 3 4 4 4
Tubes 3 or 4 3 3 4 or 5 3 or 4
Cups 6 4 6 6 4


Tubes: Use your own judgment here, especially if the tabernacle is full. One tube holds 100 hosts.

Wine: The amount of wine is determined by the number of cups you need.

The decanter of wine and the hosts are placed on the table for the presentation of the gifts.

  • The Book of Gospels should be in the sacristy for the lector to carry in the entrance procession. Be sure that all the lights are on. Check to see if microphone system is on.
  • The sacristan should light and extinguish the candles (leave candles lit after7:00am).
  • The altar servers can help extinguish the candles only if they use the brass candle snuffer, otherwise we’ll have wax everywhere. Please find a family or a group of people to present the bread, wine and collection to the priest. Explain to them that they should go to the table after the ushers have passed them with the collection. They should then wait at the table until you give them the cue to bring the gifts to the priest. (You should go back to the table also, to help assist the family and to cue them).
  • The Eucharistic ministers, the lectors, the ushers, and the servers are supposed to sigh in by checking their names on the list in the sacristy. If you can, Please make sure that all positions are accounted for. Try to get substitutes when needed – especially servers and lectors. (Let the priest know if anyone is missing.)

Clean- up Procedure 

  • The cups, wine decanter, Chalice and paten must be purified. Only the sacristan can do this (the servers can help bring the vessels to the sacristy). The cruet and water dish and towel are cleaned – the servers can do this. Any remains of the precious blood or crumbs of the precious body should be consumed with the water used to purify the vessel.
  • If the baptismal font water is dirty please replace it (ask Father to bless the water – or leave a note on the sacristy counter). After the 12 noon Mass on the first and third Sundays of the month the baptismal font water should be replaced with HOT water in preparation for baptism. The Easter Candle should be lit. The baptism priest will help set up the baptism. It is nice to have the baptismal water as hot as the tap allows.

On the Sunday the yellow bag- it is returned fix a small bag of the items to be offered and include it with the communion procession.

If one of Eucharistic Ministers comes and tells you they have spilt the Precious Blood, you should assist them in cleaning it up. To clean up a Precious Blood spill take a clean damp purificator to the spot and dab it until the stain is gone. Then take the soiled purificator to the sink and rinse it out. (The sink on the left is for disposal of the Precious Blood and the Precious Body that cannot be used.)

The First Sunday of Advent we will make a change of the placement of the Corporal. We will place it folded on the shelf behind the altar for the servers to place on the altar during Mass. We will need to make sure it is folded neatly for the next Mass. Just a reminder, We all need to be aware of the reverence we show before and after Mass while we are preparing the altar. When passing in front of the altar from side to side a reverent bow is appropriate in center of the altar.

When checking the amount of Precious Body in the tabernacle:

Place key in door, then genuflect, check patens, then close and lock door and genuflect again.