|Worship Assistant Schedules
ACOLYTE SCHEDULE 2018
No acolyte schedule for 2018 because there are only three acolytes available at this point.
If we get more and can make a schedule, we will. Otherwise this will remain blank on the
* In these months only one acolyte is needed. If you are able to attend,
please consider volunteering to acolyte so the responsibility is shared
It is important that you attend church on your designated month in both
Sunday and any weekday service (i.e. Christmas, Ash Wednesday, etc.)
that may occur during your month.
If you are unable to attend, please try to find a replacement or let
Gillian Scott know.
If you have any questions concerning the acolytes please contact Gillian Scott.
Some Sundays I will not be at church, if that is the case, then ask Pastor
Lee what needs to be done during the service and he will help you.
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NOTES FOR THE ACOLYTES OF:
ST. MARY'S EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH
"Let Your Light So Shine..." Matthew 5:16
I. The word "acolyte" comes from the Greek verb, "to follow", to
accompany, to escort". In the early church various functions and offices
were established. Thus, the word "acolyte means "follower" or
"attendant". At first there were only the major offices of bishop,
presbyter, and deacon. By the 3rd century minor orders had become
established to assist the major offices. There were porters who stood
at the door of the church and admitted the faithful, readers who read the
scriptures, subdeacons who helped the deacons, and acolytes who
assisted during processions, the liturgy, and other rites of the church.
In the middle of the 16th century, the minor orders of the church were
abolished, and the office of acolyte as an ordained ministry was no longer
maintained. Gradually, however, the functions of this office were taken
over by laymen. The function of the acolyte today is still to assist the
Pastor with the liturgy. The acolyte can assist the Pastor with vesting, by
running errands, helping ready the chancel for the service, and by
performing other special duties in the worship service, such as assisting
with Holy Communion.
II. Altar lights have played an important role in Christian worship both
practically and symbolically. Lamps were a necessity for the early church
because most of the services were held at night or in dark places such as
the catacombs in Rome. This was due to the need for secrecy during
persecution, and the fact that Sunday was a working day and meetings
had to be finished before dawn. It was only natural that the altar lights
eventually became associated with Christ, for He spoke of Himself as the
Light of the World. (John 8:12) Today the altar lights are less utilitarian
and more symbolic and decorative. The Lutheran use of two lights on the
altar-table can be seen as symbolizing  the two natures of Christ--the
Human and the Divine--or  the two elements of the light of the "Good
News"--the Gospels and the Epistles. These two main candles are called
the "Greater Lights". The candle on the right when facing the altar is
referred to as the "Epistle Candle", and the candle on the left is referred
to as the "Gospel Candle". Any candles in addition to these two are
called the "Lesser Lights".
III. Duties - An acolyte lights the candles which are symbolic of Jesus
Christ, the Light of the world. Carrying the cross and Lectionary for
processions, helping with Holy Communion, and assisting the pastor in
other ways. This is a service to the Lord and should be approached with
reverence and dignity. This, an acolyte serves as an example to the entire
congregation by his/her actions, attitude, conduct, and appearance. Being
an acolyte is a very important part of St. Mary's. We appreciate your
faithful service very much! Thank you for serving God and your church
in this special way.
BEFORE THE SERVICE
1. You will receive a schedule of times that you are to serve as acolyte. If
for some reason you cannot serve at the appointed time, contact the
person responsible for scheduling or find another acolyte who will
substitute for you.
2. You should arrive at Church at least 15 minutes before the service
and vest. Make sure your robe and hair are straight.
3. Check with Pastor Lee for any special duties he may need to assign you.
4. The candles should be lit during the playing of the Prelude before the
beginning of the Service.
a. You should pause and bow reverently before the altar (you may
want to offer a brief silent prayer) and then light the candles. Example of
prayer: "Jesus Christ, you are the light of the world. Amen."
b. Order for lighting the candles. (Shown at right)
They should be extinguished in reverse order.
c. Paschal Candle or Easter Candle - This candle symbolizes the light
of the risen Christ. It is lighted beginning on Easter Eve and burned at all
services throughout the Easter Season. At the services during the Easter
season this candle is lit before the altar candles and extinguished last at
the end of the service. When there is a Baptism or Funeral this candle is
lit as a reminder of the relationship between Christ's death and
resurrection and our own dying to sin and rising to newness of life
d. Advent Wreath - The candle for each new Sunday is lit normally
during the reading of the First Lesson (Old Testament). The candles for
the previous Sundays are lit before the service immediately after you
have finished lighting the altar candles. All candles on the Advent Wreath
should be extinguished first at the end of the service, before you
extinguish the altar candles.
5. Using the candle lighter:
a. Your candle lighter should not be extinguished at the altar, but in
the sacristy. To extinguish the wick, blow out rather than lowering wick
into candle lighter.
b. To light candles, tilt your candle lighter to the candle wick. If you
have trouble lighting a candle, turn your candlelight to the side and light.
If you are still unable to get a candle lit, tell the pastor, after you've
returned to the sacristy.
c. You should keep not more than an inch of wick out burning at any
6. On festival Sundays, we may have a processional and a recessional.
As an acolyte, you may be asked to carry the processional cross or the
Lectionary. The person who carries the cross is called the "crucifer"
while the Bible carrier is called the "book bearer"
a. Prior to lighting the candles, the acolytes who will be serving as
crucifer and book bearer place the processional cross and lectionary
in the nursery.
b. Following the lighting of the candles, both crucifer and book bearer
proceed to the nursery to line-up in the following order from first to last:
crucifer, book bearer, choir, pastor.
c When the congregation begins to sing the first verse of the
processional hymn, start down the aisle. The crucifer proceeds into the
chancel and stands on the top of the chancel before the altar and faces
the congregation. The book bearer waits before the Baptismal fount
until the crucifer has turned, then bows to the cross, and proceeds
behind the crucifer, putting the Lectionary on the lectern; then exits
by the sacristy door.
d. Once the pastor reaches the chancel, he will bow, at which time
the crucifer places the processional cross in its holder.
a. As the choir sings the first verse of the recessional hymn, the
crucifer gets the processional cross and stands at the chancel facing the
congregation. At the same time the book-bearer picks up the lectionary
and faces the processional cross from the lectern.
b. As the choir starts leaving the choir loft, the crucifer, followed by
the book bearer, proceeds down the center aisle. When the choir does
not recess the pastor will let you know when to leave (usually at the end
of the second stanza of the recessional hymn).
c. Once the procession is completed, leave the cross and Bible in the
nursery and extinguish the candles. Be sure to return the processional
cross and Bible to their places in the chancel following the service.
DURING THE SERVICE
1. At the Communion services, if you are communing, you will receive
Communion along with those who are assisting with the communion.
During Communion, you may have additional responsibilities at
distributing or collecting communion glasses.
2. When there is a Baptism, it is your job to light the Pascal Candle.
This is normally done at the beginning of the service after the altar
candles have been lit.
3. At the conclusion of the singing of the recessional hymn, you are to
extinguish all candles in the reverse order which they were lit.
AFTER THE SERVICE
1. Please hang your robe neatly away.
2. Make sure your wick is ready for the following week.
3. If you are unable to serve on a Sunday for which you have been
scheduled, it is your responsibility to find a person to serve in your place.
4. At the end of your scheduled month, PLEASE take robe home to
launder. Warm water, no bleach. Iron if necessary.