What is an acolyte?

The ministry of the acolyte is one of the oldest ministries in the church and one of the most well known beside that of bishop, priests and deacons.  The word “acolyte” comes from a Greek word meaning, “to follow.” Acolytes are the assistants of the deacons who in turn are the assistants of the bishop or priest.

What do acolytes do?

The acolytes carry the cross and torches, leading the way for the celebrant and others into the church at the beginning of the Eucharist.  The acolyte assists the deacon or celebrant in setting the table for the Eucharist, and sometimes holds the Gospel book. The acolyte may receive the offerings of the people in the place of the deacon.  Acolytes provide assistance to the celebrant in the washing of hands and sometimes in the cleaning up of the table after the Eucharist.  When the service is over, the acolytes, with the verger, lead the procession from the sanctuary out of the church.  While doing all of this, the acolyte is also part of the worshiping people- praying, responding and performing the liturgy of the Eucharist. Their presence, and their actions, help to lead others into worship.

Who can be an acolyte?

Our acolytes are typically children and young people, ages 8-18.


Is training provided?

Absolutely. Anyone who would like to be an acolyte is trained by one of our vergers (an adult who is experienced in teaching acolytes how to perform their duties), and our Rector and Dean, Rev. Peet Dickinson.

Learn more about serving as an acolyte?