Sacristans' Duties

Before the Service

Arrive at church about 9:30 am. You will need to wash in hot water in the vestry sink, rinse and dry:

  • the flagons - the two wine vessels (one glass; one clear);
  • the paten - the plate for the wafers; and
  • the chalices - the two cups for the wine.

(You can usually find these on the desk in the Vestry. The Wardens will remove them from the safe.)

  • the small, plain glass water jug; and
  • the lavabo set - the small black water jug and bowl used by the priest to wash his or her fingers before the Eucharistic Prayer.

(These are usually on the Credence Table - the table in the Sanctuary.)

  • Put two and a half large wafers on the paten and cover with a cloth. Check whether or not someone has donated wine for today’s service and if they have use that. Wine which has been donated for a particular day is usually on the desk and marked with the donor’s name. If there is no donated wine first check to see if there is a partly used bottle of fortified wine on the shelf above the desk. If there is this can be used. If there is none use a fresh bottle from the wine rack which is in the cupboard on top of the safe.
  • Fill the glass flagon with wine and take the filled wine vessel and the paten which holds the wafers and place them on the table at the back of church.
  • Half fill the other flagon and place it on the Credence Table in the Sanctuary. This wine is used as a top up when there is a larger number of Communicants and the other vessel holds insufficient on its own.
  • Put fresh water in the black lavabo jug and put it on the table in the sanctuary. Also make sure there is a clean towel under the bowl.

How to set up the Altar and Credence Table

After the Service

The vessels should be rinsed in hot water, dried and put back into the safe which will be open. The wardens are most likely to be in one of the Vestries. Any used purificators can be left on the desk in the glass bowl for taking by the person who washes them.

Many thanks for your help!

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