Sancta Missa


By Rev. William A. O'Brien, M.A.

Previous | Index | Next


1. The Holy Water Pot and Sprinkler. (Illustration No. 1.)

This vessel should be filled with Holy Water only as circumstances demand. Otherwise it, as well as the sprinkler, should be kept dry. Care should be taken lest the vessel corrode and the perforations in the sprinkler become blocked.

1. Holy Water Pot. 2. Patent Sprinkler. 3. Thurible. 3A. Incense Boat. 4. Processional Cross. 5. Baldacchino. 6. Umbraculum. 7. Torch. 8. Lantern. 9. Acolyte’s Candlestick. 10. Paschal Candlestick. 11. Triangular Candlestick. 12. Triple candle and candlestick. 13. Bobache. 14. Patent candle-burner. 15. Candle Lighter and Extinguisher. 16. Missal Stand.

2. The Thurible (Censer) and Incense Boat. (Illustrations Nos., 3a.) After use, the fire in the thurible should be extinguished and the thurible thoroughly cleaned. Care should be taken to see that the chains are always in good condition and in proper position. The incense boat should be kept in a convenient place, well filled, ready for use.

3. The Processional Cross. (Illustration No. 4.) This is a crucifix that is attached to a staff about 6 feet long. The staff is usually separable from the crucifix so that the latter may be used without the staff, e.g., at the funeral of a child.

4. The Processional Canopy or Baldacchino. (Illustration No. 5.) This is an oblong piece of rich cloth supported by staves and held over the Blessed Sacrament when it is carried in processions.

5. The Umbraculum. (Illustration No. 6.) This is a small canopy having the shape of a large umbrella. It is sometimes called "Ombrellino." It is used for short processions within the church or to hold over the Blessed Sacrament until the priest is met at the sanctuary entrance by the bearers of the large canopy. Where circumstances permit, the umbraculum is used when the priest carries the Blessed Sacrament on sick calls.

6. The Paschal Candlestick (Illustration No. 10) and the "Triple Candle" Candlestick (Illustration No. 12). These are used only at Easter time. After their use they should be cleaned and covered and stored to be ready for the following year.

7. The Triangular Candlestick (Illustration No. 11) This candlestick is necessary only when Tenebrae services are held, once a year, in Holy Week. Outside of that time it should be stored away carefully.

8. Acolytes' Candlesticks (Illustration No. 9), Altar boys’ Torches (Illustration No. 7) and Processional Lanterns (Illustration No. 8). Acolytes' candlesticks are a pair of candlesticks usually 30-36 inches high with tall wax candles, which are carried by the two acolytes at a Solemn Mass and other solemn services. A torch is a short lighted candle affixed to a long staff. These are usually four to eight in number and are carried by the altar boys from the Sanctus until after Communion during High and Solemn Masses.

A processional lantern is similar in type to a torch, except that the lighted candle is enclosed in a glass lantern. These are usually carried by altar boys in processions of the Blessed Sacrament, as on Corpus Christi. In outdoor processions they are particularly useful. Sacristies should contain racks specially fitted to hold torches and lanterns when not in use and they ought to be covered with a cloth to protect them from dust, etc.

9. Candles, Candle lighters, Incense, Charcoal and other Sacristy Supplies. Candles should be stored in a cool place. The sacristan should see that a sufficient supply of Mass candles, votive candles, etc., is always on hand.

The candle-lighters (Illustration No. 15) should always be ready for instant use, having a taper in place. The candle extinguisher whether separate or part of the candle lighter should be cleaned frequently, otherwise the wax accumulates and drips upon the altar linens, causing black grease spots. So-called bobaches, (Illustration No. 13) which are metal or glass discs with a concave inner surface, will be found very useful when placed on candlesticks, to catch the wax drippings from the burning candles. In like manner candle-burners, (Illustration No. 14) which are conelike metal caps, if placed on wax candles, will keep wax candles burning straight and even, and prevent dripping.

When candles are prepared for the various liturgical functions, it should be seen to that they are firmly fitted into the candle sockets so that there will be no danger of toppling over and of causing fire. Never permit them to burn down into the candle socket. The quality of candles for use at Mass and other functions is determined by the Reverend Pastor.

The number of candles to be burnt on divers occasions is indicated in the following chapters under the heading "Things to Be Prepared."

In regard to incense, charcoal, lighting tapers, and other sacristy supplies, the sacristan should see to it that there is always a reasonable quantity on hand.

All this material should be stored in an orderly manner and preferably in a steel sacristy cabinet, especially and practically arranged for this purpose.

10. The Missal Stand (Illustration No. 16). The missal stand, made of metal or wood in various styles, is used on the altar table, to hold the missal. It is proper that the missal stand should be covered with a cloth made of silk, velvet or other material, hanging over its sides, the color of which should be that of the feast or office of the day. When not in use the missal stand, of which there are generally several in every sacristy, should be carefully stored, and if of wood, preferably in a cool place, as otherwise heat affects the glued parts.




Copyright © 2008. Biretta Books, Ltd. Chicago, IL. All Rights Reserved.

For the Sacristan

Cantius Web Store has a comprehensive collection of resources just for the sacristan! We offer exclusive products for the Traditional Latin Mass. We may have just what you are looking for!
Click the link below to shop or just take a look!
Tutoriel pour la Messe Tridentine en Latin (Français) | Tutorial on the Tridentine Latin Mass (English)
Online Tutorial for Priests | Rubrics of the 1962 Roman Missal | Learning to Serve at the Altar

Spirituality of the Tridentine Mass | Liturgical Books and Resources | Sacred Music of the Liturgy
From Sacristy to Altar | The Liturgical Year

What's New | Frequently Asked Questions
Letter from the SuperiorSite Dedication | Contact Us | How You Can Help

Copyright © 2010. Canons Regular of St. John Cantius. All Rights Reserved.