sexton-ship

sexton

[sek-stuhn]
noun
1.
an official of a church charged with taking care of the edifice and its contents, ringing the bell, etc., and sometimes with burying the dead.
2.
an official who maintains a synagogue and its religious articles, chants the designated portion of the Torah on prescribed days, and assists the cantor in conducting services on festivals.

Origin:
1275–1325; Middle English sexteyn, sekesteyn, syncopated variant of segerstane, secristeyn < Anglo-French segerstaine sacristan

sextonship, noun
undersexton, noun

sextant, sextet, sexton.
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World English Dictionary
sexton (ˈsɛkstən)
 
n
1.  a person employed to act as caretaker of a church and its contents and graveyard, and often also as bell-ringer, gravedigger, etc
2.  another name for the burying beetle
 
[C14: from Old French secrestein, from Medieval Latin sacristānussacristan]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

sexton
c.1300, sekesteyn, "person in charge of the sacred objects of a church," from O.Fr. segrestien, from M.L. sacristanus (see sacristan). Sense of "custodian of a church" first recorded 1582.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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