The University has two Sacrists:
- Stan Jack - based at King's College (email@example.com)
- Raymond Keenon - based at Foresterhill (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Today the position of Sacrist forms part of the Estates Section under the management of the Assistant Estates Director Support Services.
The day to day role of the Sacrist is to supervise and manage all of the Attendant/Drivers and Car Park Attendants to ensure the provision of a comprehensive logistics and mailing service throughout the University's campuses and facilities, a position which often requires them to adopt the role of "Mr Fix-it".
On a daily basis the Sacrist liaises with the University Colleges, Schools and Departments, Outside Agencies and Visitors regarding the arrangements required for lectures, examinations, presentations, functions, conferences and meetings.
These events require preparation and planning and, in recent years, the development of closer communication between our disciplines has improved the service provided. The Sacrist also takes an active role within the planning teams to prepare events such as the BSc and MA Applicant Days and the Open Day.
Similarly, regular weekly meetings are held with the Conference and Events team to ensure that everything is in place for the forthcoming weeks events.
Perhaps most people relate more clearly with the Sacrist's role during graduation ceremonies, a very important time for both the University and students and is one of the major family events of our Academic year.
This year, 100 couples will be married in the Chapel with the Sacrist or his deputies officiating at each ceremony and leading the bridal party through the rehearsal. The Sacrist ensures that the formalities run smoothly on the day, often providing a calming influence for the happy couple and their families.
The custody, care and presentation of the University's maces, together with the silverware, rests with the Sacrist.
The Sacrist: Background History
The office of Sacrist goes back to the early days of founding of the University in 1495.
The title "Sacrist" is a diminutive of "Sacristan" who was the officer of the church in charge of the sacristy which was the room where the sacred utensils, vestments and other movables were kept. The modern word in Scotland for the sacristy is the vestry.
Sacrists in those days looked after the fabric of the church and contents, rang the bell, dug graves and so on. We are pleased to say that the practice of digging graves has ceased but the other duties remain to this day.
We now see the mace replacing the sacramental utensils; the gowns and hoods replacing the vestments.