The meaning of acolytes: The word acolyte is taken from an ancient Greek word meaning companion, attendant, or helper. Acolytes work closely with the pastors and take part in church services to help people worship God. The acolytes light and extinguish the candles on the altar and the large Paschal candle next to the Altar when it is used.
A crucifer is a person who carries the church's processional cross, which is a cross with a long staff, during processions at the beginning and end of the special festival services. The term "crucifer" comes from the Latin meaning "cross-bearer."
The Acolyte Ministry originated from Old Testament times. Since ancient times, light and fire have reminded people that God is here with us. Remember your Old Testament verses such as God in the burning bush, etc. When the acolytes bring the light (fire) into the sanctuary, they are reminding people that God is with us in our worship service.
When the acolytes extinguish the candles and walk out of the sanctuary with their candle lighters, they are reminding people that we take the light and scatter it out into the world remembering that God is with us.
The Acolyte Ministry provides youth with a meaningful opportunity to be involved and serve helpers and attendants in the worship service. The acolytes’ duties include lighting and extinguishing the altar candles and in assisting with the offering and other duties during the services. The acolyte youth develops responsibility to be on time and fulfill his/her obligations. It takes a little courage initially to stand up before the congregation and perform these duties.
Saint Timothy’s Acolytes: Our acolytes serve by lighting altar candles and assisting with receiving offering, and in the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion. Acolytes serve from 5th grade to about 9th grade. Service may continue for longer if desired.
At the Traditional, 8:30 a.m. service and other traditional services, acolytes wear a white robe. These robes are found in the cabinet in the music room. At the 11:00 a.m. contemporary service, acolytes are to wear slacks, skirts, or dresses. Shorts, sweatshirts and t-shirts are not appropriate attire for leading worship.
At both services, the acolyte lights the candles by the altar and the Paschal candle during the Easter season.
Candles are lit from right to left (as you face the cross) at the beginning of the service. The acolytes then sit to the right side of the sanctuary on the first row and will assist with the service as needed such as Baptism, Communion, or other duties as needed.
Offering- Acolytes help collect the offering by giving the two offering plates to the ushers at the beginning of the collection. At the end of the offering, the acolyte stands on the top step and receives the offering plates from the pastor after they were presented at the altar.
At the close of the service, during the singing of the final hymn, the acolyte returns to the altar table and extinguishes the candles. At the traditional service, the acolyte waits until the choir begins to move before they begin the extinguish the candles.
Candles are extinguished left to right (as you face the cross). They light their candle from the top candle before they extinguish the candle on the right. The acolyte then leads the pastor out of the church.
In summary, acolytes:
• Bring the light of Christ to light the candles on the altar, and take that light back out into the world after worship
• Assist with serving of communion, Baptism and other service during the service as needed by the ministers
• By carrying the symbols of our faith they are an important part of our worship services in the sanctuary
The acolytes serve the minister and the other leaders at worship. These youth have an opportunity to be part of the worship service. They are witnesses for Christ by standing in front of the congregation and lighting the candles. Their acts signify the presence of the Lord in His house. Thank you to all those who serve as acolytes and assist us all in worshiping our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!