American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A room in or attached to a church where the clergy put on their vestments and where these robes and other sacred objects are stored; a sacristy.
- n. A room in a church used for meetings and classes.
- n. A committee of members elected to administer the temporal affairs of a parish.
- n. A business meeting of parishioners in a parish.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A room, or sometimes a separate building, attached to a church, where the vestments of the clergy, and sometimes the sacred vessels and other treasures of the church, are kept. Such an apartment is also called
sacristyor vestry-room. It is now, in Anglican churches, generally under the same roof with the church, and is usually placed at one side of the chancel.
- n. In non-liturgical churches, a room or building attached to a church, and used for the Sabbath-school, the weekly prayer-meetings, religious services, etc.; a chapel.
- n. In English ecclesiastical law, and in American colonial law: A meeting of the inhabitants or ratepayers of a parish for the despatch of the official business of the parish.
- n. A meeting or a board consisting of representatives of the ratepayers at large, all of whom are entitled to vote in their election. It is not essential to the validity of the meeting that it be held in the vestry, or even in connection with the church-building. The general charge of the church property is intrusted to the vestry, together with certain administrative duties respecting the parish, such as the care of the poor, and sometimes the paving and lighting of the streets, etc.
- n. In the Prot. Epis. Ch. in the United States of America, a committee (chosen annually by the members of the congregation) who, in conjunction with the churchwardens, manage its temporal affairs. The time and manner of electing the vestrymen, and their rights and duties, are different in different dioceses, being determined by diocesan regulations. The vestry has a general charge of the temporalities of the church, and, in the case of a vacancy in the pastorate, is the official representative of the parish; but it exercises no ecclesiastical control over the rector, either in his administration of the spiritual affairs of the church or in the conduct of its services. It nominates the rector of the parish, subject to the approval of the bishop.
- n. A room in a church where the clergy put on their vestments and where these are stored; also used for meetings and classes; a sacristy
- n. A committee of parishioners elected to administer the temporal affairs of a parish
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A room appendant to a church, in which sacerdotal vestments and sacred utensils are sometimes kept, and where meetings for worship or parish business are held; a sacristy; -- formerly called
- n. (Ch. of Eng.) A parochial assembly; an assembly of persons who manage parochial affairs; -- so called because usually held in a vestry.
- n. (Prot. Epis. Ch.) A body, composed of wardens and vestrymen, chosen annually by a parish to manage its temporal concerns.
- n. in the Protestant Episcopal Church: a committee elected by the congregation to work with the churchwardens in managing the temporal affairs of the church
- n. a room in a church where sacred vessels and vestments are kept or meetings are held
- Middle English vestrie, probably from Anglo-Norman *vesterie, alteration of Old French vestiarie; see vestiary. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“At last he dropped asleep in the middle of a story about a vestry he worked for that hadn't acted fair and square by him like he had by them, or it (I don't know if vestry is singular or plural), and we went home.”
“I suppose they thought the neighbourhood of the vestry was the last place in the world where anybody would think of looking after them, but, however that may be, there they were.”
“And we swear to you, (under correction from the parish vestry, which is entitled to half-a-crown an oath,) that the circulating libraries would make a driveler of Seneca!”
“No" said the man "Mr. Roberts who is sorting surplices in the vestry is the parson.”
“Tradition places the entrance at the opposite end, by means of an external staircase; an arrangement which would have been more convenient for the members of the Chapter, as they could have approached it through their vestry, which is on the south side of the choir.”
“Their duties were primarily to take care of the church property, assess the rates, and call the vestry-meetings.”
“Virginia parishes; the vestry was a close corporation”
“So I said, in a by-the-by way, to my churchwarden, "We must call a vestry before long, and have this looked to.”
“But Mr Brownrigg, who, I must say, had taken more pains than might have been expected of him to make himself acquainted with the legalities of his office, did not fail to call a vestry, to which, as usual, no one had responded; whereupon he imposed a rate according to his own unaided judgment.”
“The truth was, that between Lady Price's economies, and the unwillingness to call vestry meetings, moneys intended for one purpose had been used for another, and articles not within the denomination of charities had been charged on funds raised for that exclusive object.”
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