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Acolytes

I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go into the house of the Lord!" ~ Psalm 122:1

"If we walk in the light, we have fellowship one with another." 1 John 1:7

If you're interested in serving as an acolyte, please contact Lyn Shoffstall at lshoffstall@dos.state.fl.us.

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 Paschal candle 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 service.  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 Acolytes ministry provides children with a meaningful opportunity to be involved and serve in the Lord's House as helpers and attendants in the Worship service.  Some churches use children and adults as acolytes and crucifers.  Remember we said:  Acolyte means helper or attendant, but does not designate an age that is usually church specific.   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 the duties.

Saint Paul's Acolytes:  Our acolytes serve by lighting altar candles, carry the processional cross, and assist in the sacrament of communion.  Acolytes serve from 4th grade to about 8th grade.

Our acolytes wear a colored collar and skirt, and white robe to match the altar or liturgical color of the season or just white on Communion Sundays.
At our 8:30AM services we usually have one acolyte, but two for Communion Sundays.  At 11AM we have a Crucifer and one or two Acolytes.  The crucifer carries the cross in and places it in its stand in front of the altar.  The acolyte lights the candles on the altar and the Paschal candle during Lent/Easter.

Candles are lit from top to bottom (start at the cross).  The acolytes then sit to the left side of the chancel area and are seated behind the pastor and assist with the service as needed such as Baptism, Communion, or other duties as needed

Offering--- they help collect the offering and receive the offering plates from the ushers presenting the plates at the altar as they look toward the cross holding up the plates during the Doxology.

At the close of the service, during the singing of the final hymn, the Acolytes return to the altar table and extinguish the candles.  
Candles are extinguished bottom to top (stop at the cross). They light their candle lighter from the top candle before they extinguish the top candle.  
Then they wait with the ministers to lead the processional out of the church   

In summary, Acolytes:
    Carry the cross into the service, reminding us of Jesus' sacrifice for us
    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 children or adults 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.

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  Saint Paul's United Methodist Church | 1700 North Meridian Road | Tallahassee, FL 32303
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