Adults, youth, and children in at least the fourth grade are invited to serve as acolytes. An acolyte’s job may include:
- lighting and extinguishing the candles near or on the altar during worship services
- carrying a processional cross
- distributing offering plates to ushers
- assisting the pastor during baptisms, communion, and other ceremonial services
Acolytes wear a black cassock and a white alb during the worship service and sit in a designated spot during the worship service. They participate in all parts of worship (singing hymns, reading prayers, listening to the sermon), serving as an example and a reminder to the congregation that worship requires reverent, but active, participation.
Churches have had acolytes–a word that means servant, or helper–since ancient times. The earliest record we have tells us that in AD 251 there were 42 acolytes helping in the churches in the city of Rome. From the beginning of Christian history, light and fire have been a symbol of God. So when an acolyte processes into the sanctuary with a lighted candlelighter, he is, in effect, bringing in Jesus, the light of the world, and reminding people of God’s presence. When an acolyte carries the lighted candlelighter out at the end of the worship service, it is a reminder that as we leave to go out into the world, God will be there with us.
If you are interested in serving your church as an acolyte, you will receive complete training on how to perform thes sacred and special duties. Please contact Laura Gould, head usher Ronnie Hunter, or the church office for information about training and service availability.