Christ the Redeemer is filled with spaces that are both sacred and common. The sanctuary and the baptistery are two areas where the two come into beautiful contact with each other; places where we worship our Lord and receive his presence and blessings in our life.
Access to the altar area is limited because this is a sacred space, a place that communicates the awe, reverence, and majesty of the God we worship. This is not a place to hang out and relax, but a place of teaching, healing, and mercy; a place where heaven and earth connect.
In order for teaching, healing, and mercy to take place we need a place to prepare for that to happen. That place is the sacristy. The sacristy is a small room located behind the altar. Here we store all the linens, vestments, and sacred vessels that contribute to our distinctly Anglican style of worship. Entering into the room you are greeted with several large closets, dozens of drawers and cabinets, a table, and two sinks (one is very special).
In our closets we hang the robes, vestments, and linens that are used throughout the church year. We are currently in “ordinary time” (a season in which there are no major feast days) which means green vestments for the celebrant, deacon, and sub-deacon. Soon we will move into Advent and will change over to purple. We use colors to designate the types of services we are celebrating: white is for feast days and special celebrations; purple is for penitential seasons where we focus on preparing ourselves for coming into a deeper relationship with God; red is to remember martyrs, the Holy Spirt, and ordinations; rose and black vestments are for special occasions.
We have drawers of linens for our services and use an average of 15-20 linens per week for all of our services. We have supplies of Holy Oils used in confirmations, baptisms, and healing ministry. We have a variety of candles and a supply of water from the Jordan River that is added to our baptismal water. There is a special cabinet for incense and even blow torches for readying the coals quickly!
The area that is used to empty and clean sacred vessels after each service has two sinks. One sink is for washing, just like in your home. The other sink is called a piscina and is a special sink that drains directly into the earth. The piscina is used only for the disposal of Holy Water or consecrated wine.
The sacristy is a staging area for each service and is a place where we enter, leaving the common and preparing ourselves to step into the sacred. As you can imagine, it takes a small team to take care of all the things used during the service; keeping linens clean, robes and vestments in order, incense stocked and dishes polished. The Altar Guild invites you to join them and become part of making Sunday worship happen in our distinctly Anglican way.
Interested in joining the Altar Guild? Please contact Fr Scott Donis for more information: email@example.com