Lesson 6: The Sacristy

Sacristy and sacrarium

The sacristy is a special room in the church, usually next to or behind the sanctuary, which many of the faithful never see. The sacristy is where the priest vests for Mass, and in the sacristy there are closets for vestments, shelves for storing the various liturgical ornaments used in the Mass (candles, thurible, cruets, bells, bread, wine, etc.) and a safe for the sacred vessels (chalice, ciborium, and monstrance). Often in the sacristy there will be a special sink for cleansing and polishing the sacred vessels, as well as a sacrarium. A sacrarium is a sink that drains directly into the ground and is only used for washing sacred vessels and the sacred linens.

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