As you grow in maturity, your congregation looks to you more and more to be an active participant in worship, including serving in worship leadership. Acolytes offer an important service to God and the worshipping community.
Before worship begins
Lighting the candles
- Go to the pulpit-side sacristy (small preparation room) by 10:20 am.
- Find your robe and cincture (rope belt), and put them on.
- Find your cross necklace (in the basket on the counter), and put it on.
- Make sure there are bulletins for you in your seats.
- Check the candlelighter to make sure there is enough wick in it. If not, look for an Altar Guild member in the organ-side sacristy to help you.
- At 10:25 am you and your partner should be robed and ready; one in the pulpit-side sacristy and one in the organ-side sacristy.
- When the prelude music begins, go through the doors facing the altar and walk out to light the candles.
- Before you light the first candle, stop and bow toward the altar; offer a short prayer in your mind: “Jesus Christ is the light of the world.”
- When the Christ Candle is present, light it first. The taller acolyte should do this. Then both acolytes light the festival and/or altar candles.
- When the Festival Lights are present, light them next. (If there is no Christ candle, light the Festival Lights first.) Start at the outside candle and work your way in, trying to work together with your partner to light the candles at the same time.
- The Altar candles are the last ones lit. If you are the only acolyte, light the altar candle closest to you first, then the other one.
- There isn’t anything special you need to do during a baptism, except pay attention.
- During the offering, the Pastor and Assisting Minister will go into the pulpit-side sacristy. If you have questions, this is a good time to go into the sacristy with them and ask. If not, just stay in your seat.
- When the Pastor and Assisting Minister walk toward the altar, follow them.
- Stand inside the archway on the pulpit side, facing the altar.
- After you have received communion, go to the pulpit-side sacristy to get the empty trays.
- When communion begins, follow the servers and collect empty glasses. The Communion Steward, who stands at the altar, will help you trade full trays for empty ones.
- When communion is done, take your trays to the organ-side sacristy and give them to the Altar Guild members.
- Go to your sacristy (one of you should go to each sacristy) to get ready to extinguish the candles.
- When you hear the words, “Go in peace; serve the Lord,” come out and extinguish the candles in the same order you lit them.
- Be sure to hang up your robe and cincture neatly before you leave.
- If you noticed that your candlewick is getting short, leave it with an Altar Guild member.
- If you notice a stain on your robe, give the robe to an Altar Guild member to be laundered. Accidents happen so don’t be afraid to tell someone—the sooner the robe is washed, the more likely the stain is to come right out.
Processions will always use the center of the railing to enter and leave. If the railing is “closed,” go down the steps outside the railing. Use the steps closest to where you are (i.e., for torches use the pulpit-side steps).
Remember the order is always Cross, Torches, Bible—whether coming in or going out. For the Gospel Procession, we go to the place in aisle where the cut-out pews are. The torch bearers should face each other across the aisle. If there is room, the torch bearers should steps back a bit and be right beside the Bible.
Remember: you don’t do this work alone. God is helping you, and the whole congregation is supporting you. Enjoy it, smile, and know that all of us say, "Thank you!"