[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Küster

Günther Böhm GHBoehm at ish.de
Sun Feb 24 03:32:29 PST 2013

Am 24.02.2013 05:30, schrieb Richard Benert:
> My dictionaries tell me that “Küster” can be defined either as “sexton” or “sacristan.”  Can anyone tell me which of these two would best fit the Küster in the German villages in Russia?
> Dick Benert

Hello Richard,
Küster is as well a sacristan as a sexton and in my experience he is a *protestant* (in catholic regions of Germany and 
Austria people call him a Mesner or Messner).
The word Küster derives from Latin custos = guardian, the word Mesner from Latin manionarius = houskeeper. Small 
parishes couldnot afford different employees for worship assistance and houskeeping services and he (and his wife) open 
and lock the church gate, collect the offering, deal out the hymn books, clean and prepare the chalice, ring the bells, 
scrub the church floor etc.

Wishing a pleasant sunday,

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