Directly behind the predella, is the choir space. The space is defined by a rood screen made of wood and forged iron . The location of the choir is intended to express that the music ministers are not separate from the worshippers, but an important part of the assembly.
Sacristies are places where the special objects used to facilitate liturgical prayer are stored, prepared and maintained. Our church has two sacristy areas; a working sacristy and a vesting sacristy.
Adjacent to the choir is the working sacristy where ministers called sacristans assist the clergy in preparing for the Mass. This is the room where the books, vessels, linens, candles and other liturgical appointments are stored. The close proximity to the altar contributes to the smooth function of the liturgy.
There is a sacrarium, located in each sacristy. A sacrarium is “the special sink used for the reverent disposal of sacred substances. The sink has a cover, a basin and a special pipe that drains directly into the earth, rather than into the sewer system. After Mass, when the vessels are rinsed and cleansed, the water is poured into the sacrarium so that any remaining particles will.go directly into the earth..The sacrarium can also be used to discard the old baptismal water, leftover ashes, and the previous year’s oils, if they are not burned” (Built of Living Stones, #236). This is done so that sacred and holy substances are returned to the earth, and not disposed of without care.
The vesting sacristy is located off the narthex of the church, near the main entrance to the building. The liturgical vestments are stored in this room. The processional cross and candles are also stored in the vesting sacristy.
The vesting sacristy is located near the main entrance so that the “entrance procession can proceed directly from the sacristy to the gathering space and down the aisle to the altar” (Built of Living Stones, #234).