Acolytes are an integral part of the three services at Saint Andrew’s. They are volunteers of both sexes and all ages, although most are at least eight years old. Serving as an acolyte gives children and teens a chance to learn leadership skills that will help them later in life. It also creates a supportive base for long term attendance and involvement in the church.
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. Acolytes are the assistants during the service and aide in a variety of tasks the priest or bishop assigns to them. These include carrying the cross and torches as they lead the procession during worship and holding the Gospel book for the clergy to read. Acolytes provide assistance to the celebrant during the Eucharist by helping to set the table, in the washing of hands, and cleaning up the table after the Eucharist. When the service is over, the acolyte leads the procession from the sanctuary. While helping in these ways, the acolyte is also a part of the congregation, participating in the liturgy as they pray, sing and listen to the Word.
Acolytes typically arrive one half-hour before the service for which they are scheduled. This gives them time to vest in an alb and check with the verger, the manager of the service personnel, for special instructions. They light the altar candles shortly before the service and extinguish the candles once the Eucharist is complete. The Sunday time commitment equates to about 2 ½ hours for a service, and each acolyte is typically scheduled once or twice a month. In addition, there are two training sessions during the year, normally on a Saturday morning or afternoon.
On the lighter side, The Acolytes also have special social functions such as an annual trip to a service at the Cathedral in Orlando followed by an afternoon at an area theme park.
For more information please contact the Church Office: