An employee or officer of a church who is responsible for the care and upkeep of church property and sometimes for ringing bells and digging graves.
Origin of sexton
Middle English sexteinfrom Anglo-Latin sextānusprobably from Medieval Latin secristānussacristanvariant ofsacristānussacristan
American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
From Medieval Latin sacristanus, based on Latinsacer (“sacred").
Sexton Sentence Examples
Beecher was sexton as well as preacher.
His father was poor, having to put together a subsistence by uniting the humble offices of sexton, choir-singer and petty schoolmaster.
A burial ground, properly so called, has to be divided into consecrated and unconsecrated portions, and the former really takes the place of the parish churchyard; and the incumbent of the parish church, the clerk, and the sexton continue to receive the same fees upon burials in the consecrated portion as they would have done in the parish churchyard.
Roles within the church also gave rise to a number of occupation-related surnames, including Abbott, Bishop, Cannon, Chaplin, Parson, and Sexton.