• WordNet 3.6
    • n sacristan an officer of the church who is in charge of sacred objects
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Sacristan An officer of the church who has the care of the utensils or movables, and of the church in general; a sexton.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n sacristan An officer of a church or monastery who has the charge of the sacristy and all its contents, and acts as custodian of the other vessels, vestments, and valuables of the church. The term sacristan has become corrupted into sexton, and these two names are sometimes used interchangeably. The sacristan, as distinguished from the sexton, however, has a more responsible and elevated office. In the Roman Catholic Church the sacristan during mass attends in a surplice at the credence-table and assists by arranging the chalice, paten, etc.; iu some continental cathedrals he is a dignitary, and in the English cathedrals usually a minor canon.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Sacristan an officer in a church who has charge of the sacred vessels and other movables: a sexton
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. sacristain, LL. sacrista, fr. L. sacer,. See Sacred, and cf. Sexton
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Low L. sacristia, a vestry, sacristanus, sacrista, a sacristan—L. sacer.


In literature:

Next morning the sacristan of the church, who was making his rounds and placing fresh candles on the altar, received a shock.
"Myths & Legends of our New Possessions & Protectorate" by Charles M. Skinner
One of the sacristans was drumming a tattoo upon the bells.
"The Great White Tribe in Filipinia" by Paul T. Gilbert
Four altar-boys escorted him, a fifth carried the holy-water basin, and in the rear came the sacristan.
"Bouvard and Pécuchet" by Gustave Flaubert
The procession was headed by three sacristans carrying silver candlesticks.
"Friars and Filipinos" by Jose Rizal
The door of Giorgio's house is beyond that of the sacristan, in a narrow street, the Contrada S. Gregorio.
"The Shores of the Adriatic" by F. Hamilton Jackson
He decked an altar, or dressed the images as well as any sacristan.
"The Grandee" by Armando Palacio Valdés
On each such occasion the fool's sacristan awoke the carnival in his coffin, lifted up the pall and gave him a drink.
"Pretty Michal" by Mór Jókai
As they passed through the various villages the sacristan was often chaffed by the inhabitants.
"St. Peter's Umbrella" by Kálmán Mikszáth
Then my sacristan will call on you to-morrow.
"The Woodlands Orchids" by Frederick Boyle
The sacristan stands ready with his shovel of earth and stones.
"Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 57, No. 353, March 1845" by Various
Herr Mahok struck the sacristan a good blow on his shoulder.
"Black Diamonds" by Mór Jókai
Wace tells us that a sacristan of Saint-Ouen, in Rouen, fell in love with a lady who lived across the little river Robec.
"Women of Mediæval France" by Pierce Butler
A very different origin, more suited to believers in miracles, is attributed to this church by the present titular sacristan.
"The Pictureque Antiquities of Spain;" by Nathaniel Armstrong Wells
So he and the sacristan have gone up in the tower to see what can be done about it.
"Plashers Mead" by Compton Mackenzie
Only when the sacristan came to tell them to come to the grand altar, did he see her, accompanied by her aunt.
"Maximina" by Armando Palacio Valdés
But neither light nor darkness, morning nor evening, could abate the enthusiasm of the sacristan.
"Glories of Spain" by Charles W. Wood
He sat many hours, even then, with his books, in the sacristan's garden.
"Four Phases of Love" by Paul Heyse
In the town of Filix the pastor was made to take his seat before the altar, with his two sacristans, one on either side of him.
"History of The Reign of Philip The Second King of Spain" by William H. Prescott
He hasn't even a name, and looks like a sacristan who has just been to dine with his parish priest.
"Pride" by Eugène Sue
For assisting at each anniversary mass founded in this church, which the cura says, the sacristan shall ask one peso.
"The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898" by Various

In poetry:

Ah, sir,
My poor tale do n't cruelly shorten.
While the sacristan was blowing . . .
"The Purgatory Of St. Patrick - Act III" by Denis Florence MacCarthy
See, the church empties apace:
Fast they extinguish the lights.
Hallo there, sacristan! Five minutes' grace!
Here's a crank pedal wants setting to rights,
Baulks one of holding the base.
"Master Hugues Of Saxe-Gotha" by Robert Browning
Never did rock or stream or tree lay claim with better right
To all the adorning sympathies of shadow and of light;
And, in that forest petrified, as forester there dwells
Stout Herman, the old sacristan, sole lord of all its bells.
"An Incident Of The Fire At Hamburg" by James Russell Lowell