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(Latin sacrastia, vestry).
A room in the church or attached thereto, where the vestments, church furnishings and the like, sacred vessels, and other treasures are kept, and where the clergy meet and vest for the various ecclesiastical functions. It corresponds to the secretarium or diaconicum of old. At present the almost universal practice is to have the sacristy directly behind the main altar or at either side. The sacristy should contain cases, properly labelled, for the various vestments in all the liturgical colors; a crucifix or other suitable image in a prominent position to which the clergy bow before going to the sanctuary and on returning (Ritus celebrandi missam, II, i); a lavatory, where the officiating clergy may wash their hands (op. cit. I, i); a copy of the Decree of Urban VIII prohibiting certain offices and masses (S. R. C., 460 ad 6; 555 § Et ne); a book containing the obligations of the Church regarding foundations and their fulfillment (Innocent XII, Nuper, § 26, 21 Dec., 1699). It is customary to have a holy water font, and a bell to admonish the congregation of the advent of the clergy, at the door leading to the sanctuary. The sacristy is not blessed or consecrated together with the church, and consequently is not a sacred place in the canonical sense. However, except where penalties are concerned, it enjoys on the whole the same prerogatives as the church. When a sacristy directly behind the sanctuary has two entrances, the clergy enter the sanctuary at the gospel side, and leave by the epistle side (S.R.C., 3029 ad 12). A double sacristy is sometimes provided, one for the clergy, one for the altar boys. Canons too usually have their own sacristy. In cathedrals, where there is no special chapel for this purpose, there should be a separate sacristy (secretarium) with an altar, where the bishop may assist at Terce and prepare for pontifical Mass (Cærem. Episcoporum, I, 137; II, 74; see SACRISTAN).
St. CHARLES BORROMMEO, Instructiones Fabric£ Eccl. 1, 28 in Acta Eccles. Mediol. (Paris, 1645), 206 sq.; Raym. Antonii Instructio Pastoralis, 8, 1, ed. EYST. (1877), 166 sq.
ANDREW B. MEEHAN
A politico-religious sect of the Jews during the late post-Exile and New-Testament period. The old derivation of the name from tsaddiqim, i.e. the righteous; with assumed reference to the adherence of the Sadducees to the letter of the Law as opposed to the pharasaic attention to the superadded "traditions of the elders", is now generally discredited mainly on philological grounds and the term is associated with the proper name "Sadoc", Sadducee being equivalent to Sadokite. They became the dominant priestly party during the Greek and Roman period of Jewish history, and the name, whether bestowed seriously or in irony, originated doubtless in their pretensions to the descendants of Sadoc, the high-priest prominent in the times of David and Solomon (III Kings, I, 8, 26, 32; ii, 35; I Par., xxix, 22; cf. Ezech., xl, 46; xlii, 19; etc.). As a prominent political party they first appear in the reign of John Hyrcanus (135-105 B.C.). They espoused the hellenizing tendencies of the Asmonean princes in which they were strongly opposed by the Pharisees (q.v.), or Separatists, a party evolved from the earlier Assideans, and which abhorred all forms of Greek culture as detrimental to the religious interests of the Jewish nation. Under Aristobulus I and Alexander Jannæus, the immediate successor of John Hyrcanus, the power of the Sadducees was supreme, and though the opposing faction of the Pharisees came into favour during the regency of Alexandra Salome (780-69 B.C.), the Sadducees regained their ascendancy under Aristobulus II (69-63 B.C.) whom they supported in his conflicts with Hyrcanus II, Antipater, and the Romans. When Pompey captured Jerusalem (63 B.C.) he executed many of their leaders, as did also Herod the Idumean on his accession to power (37 B.C.). The Sadducees retained however, their traditional priestly functions and also a varying preponderance in the Sanhedrin, but even in this respect their influence was much diminished through the policy of Herod and later of the Roman procurators of Judea, who, arbitrarily and mainly for political reasons, appointed and removed the high-priests at will.
During this period and down to the destruction of Jerusalem the Sadducees were naturally unpopular with the masses because of their marked tendency to side closely with the ruling power, while the patriotic and exclusive Pharisees became more and more the leaders of the people. Among the religious difference between the two parties may be mentioned the denial on the part of the Sadducees of the resurrection, the immortality of the soul and the existence of angels (Matt., xxii, 23; Mark xii, 18; Acts, xxiii, 8). They rejected likewise the oral traditions which the Pharisees maintained and emphasized as a Divinely ordained supplement to the written law. While the tenacity and exclusiveness and other characteristics of the Pharisees have been indelibly impressed on all subsequent generations of Judaism, the influence of the indifferent and materialistic Sadducees vanished completely as soon as the Jews ceased to be a nation.
James F. Driscoll.