Loyola University Chicago

Campus Ministry

Division of Student Development


 ‌‌Photo Credit: Zrweddings

The sacristan diligently arranges the liturgical books, the vestments, and other things that are necessary for the celebration of Mass (General Instruction to the Roman Missal 105a).


Often working behind the scenes, sacristans enable the priests and lay ministers to fully exercise their specific roles in the liturgy by devoutly preparing the liturgical books, the sacred vessels, and the vestments for mass. Since their work is guided by the liturgical year and liturgical documents, sacristans grow in their personal appreciation of the seasons of the liturgical year and the sacramental basis of Catholic liturgy.


  • Set out the sacred vessels, vestments, linens, and the bread and wine for mass.
  • Mark the liturgical books at the proper place for each liturgy.
  • Clean the sacred vessels after Mass.
  • Take a weekly inventory of supplies.
  • Care for the altar and vigil candles.
  • Set up seasonal decorations.


After completing the training program and with the ongoing guidance of the Coordinator of Liturgy, sacristans will:

  1. Arrange the items in preparation for each Mass according to the General Instruction to the Roman Missal and the Chapel’s Sacristan Manual.
  2. Organize and maintain the items in the sacristy by completing the weekly inventory and checklist of duties which are posted in the sacristy.
  3. Evaluate the condition of the items needed for the liturgy and correct any problems with them.


Sacristans will be trained by the Liturgy Coordinator and must work with an experienced sacristan for at least one weekday Mass and one Sunday Mass before they serve by themselves.


Sacristans arrive one hour before Sunday Masses and thirty minutes before weekday Masses, and they stay about thirty minutes after each Mass. There are also other specific duties to be completed on each day of the week (e.g., taking inventory of supplies, etc.) as well as mandatory monthly meetings throughout each semester and summer session.


  • Superior organizational skills.
  • An eye for detail.
  • Interest in the liturgy.

For more information contact Dr. John Paul Salay, Coordinator of Liturgy and RCIA.