In many Christian denominations, an acolyte is anyone who performs ceremonial duties such as lighting altar candles. In others, the term is used for one who has been inducted into a particular liturgical ministry, even when not performing those duties.
The acolyte ministry began in Old Testament times. The Holy Scriptures tell of Samuel assisting the priest and of Elijah being assisted by Elisha. The term “acolyte” referring to one of the minor orders of ministry in the Church was mentioned in A.D. 251 by Cornelius, Bishop of Rome, in a letter to Fabius of Antioch, and the ministry of acolyte has continued to the present day.
Acolytes assist the priest in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist and in the conduct of other sacraments and rites of the Church. Acolytes fulfill many roles and their capable service greatly enriches our worship.
At St. James we encourage all young people to serve in the Acolyte ministry. Participation in the service through this ministry is an excellent way to immerse a youth in the the richness of Church tradition while allowing them to meaningfully contribute to the worship experience shared by all. Many youth have more fun with this active role in the service and enjoy spending time with other youth and the clergy.
Members of the guild serve on a monthly basis and significant training opportunities are offered several times a year as needed to develop new skills and knowledge of the services. All school-age youth are welcome to join the Guild. To learn more contact the church office or speak to Brett Durbin, our Guild Director.
For the Acolyte Manual, click here.