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Carlisle, Pa 17013  (717) 243-4220


  Acolytes



Acolyte Festival, National Cathedral, 2009

O God, Gracious Father:
Bless the acolytes of your church
That they may so serve before your earthly altar
In reverence and holiness,
and that they may attain,
with all your saints and angels,
the joy of serving you
before your heavenly altar;
through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Amen



Purpose of the Ministry:

Acolytes are the young people of our congregation in grades 8 through 12 who help with the worship service. They serve as examples for worshippers, leaders of the congregation during the service, and assistants for the clergy and lay ministers. Acolytes participate in most of the ceremonies of the Church. This Ministry gives our young people an opportunity to assume a leadership position in the Parish, learn our traditions, and to actively participate in its services in a very unique and memorable way.  Our young people become eligible during confirmation and if not confirmed in 9th grade and up with the intention of being confirmed during the year.

Remember:

Participate in ALL of worship -- you are a model leading the congregation: Be attentive. Say the prayers and sing the hymns.

Put yourself in background -- Keep your focus and attention on God, not self.

Keep it simple -- Every action has a necessary function. Minimize distractions: no gum chewing, no flashy jewelry, no fidgeting or distracting gestures with hands, face, or posture. Position yourself for a balanced picture: even spacing, graceful movements. Do things naturally, move naturally and directly from one place to another.

Don't rush - When mistakes happen (and they will), don't panic: Continue with grace or repeat as required. If "lost," look to the priest. Follow the lead of the priest. Turn to him/her for directions. Remember God loves you and all the gathered people.

Please always remember:  Punctuality – it is important to be on time as everything flows more smoothly when you aren’t rushed. Pay Attention – be aware of where you are in the service so that you will be prepared.  Participate – many parishioners will look to you for guidance and direction. Take an active part in the worship service and assist each other.


Always dress neat and comfortably -- hair should be neat regardless of length or style.

You will soon find that by being prompt and alert, you will have no problems. Learn to stay on top of things and anticipate any last minute changes.

But most of all, enjoy the experience of serving.

Procession Order:

  • Verger
  • Thurifer
  • Boat
  • First Crucifer, Sr & Jr Servers
  • Banner
  • Choir
  • Second Crucifer & Torch bearers
  • Lay Eucharistic Servers
  • Clergy

THURIFER is the acolyte that  carries the incense on certain special feast days. The censer or “thruible” is used to burn the incense, which is gums and resins from certain trees, small pieces of certain woods, and even spices. It was common Old Testament and early Christian practice to have incense regularly during worship. The thurifer always has an assistant to carry the incense; this person is called the “boat bearer.” Directions for this are more technical and specific to the service, and are done on a one-to-one basis.

Boat Acolyte carries the incense vessel for the Thurifer.

The First Crucifercarries the Gold Cross in the procession, taking their place behind the Verger or the Thurifer.  First Crucifer should be between and a step in front of the Sr and Jr Servers during the procession. The First Crucifer must always remember to “lift high the cross”. The cross is a major focal point for the congregation during the service, so the cross should be high enough to be clearly seen over the procession and recession. The cross is to be carried to the Altar then after bowing, place the cross back into the chapel in its holder then take your assigned seat at the right hand side of the altar by the credence table.

During the Gospel procession the First Crucifer leads the torch bearers and deacon to the center of the congregation and holds the Gospel book for the Deacon while the Holy Gospel is read.  The First Crucifer then carries the Gospel book back to the altar remembering to always stay in center of the 4 torches bearers or right behind the 2 torches depending on the qty used in during the service.

First Crucifer collects the Elements with the Sr Server at the appropriate time (after announcements) and assists in the washing of the priests hands (during Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow).  

After the recession it is the First Crucifer's job to ensure the Altar candles are extinguished signaling the Congregation of dismissal.  

SR Servercarries a torch on the right hand side of the First Crucifer during the Procession and Recession remembering to always stay one step behind the First Crucifer.  During the Procession, once arriving at the altar, bow and place your torch on the right hand side of the altar closest to the altar and take your seat next to the First Crucifer at the right hand side of the Altar. The SR Server  will also carry a torch for the Gospel procession remembering to keep the Gospel surrounded by the torches (light) if there are 4 torches.  SR Server collects the Elements with the First Crucifer at the appropriate time (after announcements) and assists in the washing of the priests hands (during Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow).   As soon as the Priest begins the Eucharist the SR Server will take their place at the step directly in front of the High Altar.  After receiving communion the SR Server will take their position back at their seat until the recessional.

JR Servercarries a torch on the left hand side of the First Crucifer during the Procession and Recession remembering to always stay one step behind the First Crucifer.  During the Procession, once arriving at the altar, bow and place your torch on the left hand side of the altar closest to the altar and take their seat next to the Second Crucifer at the left hand side of the Altar. The JR Server  will also carry a torch for the Gospel procession remembering to keep the Gospel surrounded by the torches (light) if there are 4 torches.   As soon as the Priest begins the Eucharist the SR Server will take their place at the step directly in front of the High Altar.  After receiving communion the JR Server take their seat at until the recessional.

The Second Crucifer carries the black wrought iron cross which is located in the cloister right outside the nave. In the processional, the Second Crucifer follows the choir. The Second Crucifer stands between and one step in front of the two back torch bearers (if there are any) approaches the altar, bows at the Altar and then places the cross back in it's position in the cloister.   After receiving communion the Second Crucifer will carry the Wine Vessel and stand on the step between the Choir pews to refill chalices if needed.  After communion the Second Crucifer will place the Wine Vessel back on the Altar and go back at their seat until the recessional.

Back Torch Bearer processes and recesses one step behind and on either side of the Second Crucifer.  The back torch bearers carry the torches during the procession, once arriving at the altar bow and place your torch on the right or left hand side of the alter in the holder closest to the choir pew.  Take your seat in one of the chairs in front of the choir.  Carry your torch for the Gospel Procession remembering to keep the Gospel surrounded by the torches.  As soon as the Priest begins the Eucharist, the back torch bearer will take their place next to the crucifer.  After receiving communion, return to your seat until the recession.

Vestments

  • Cassocks
  • Cotta
  • Red Cross (Senior Acolyte)
  • Green Cross (Junior Acolyte)