Acolyte Instructions


 Arrive at church at least 15 minutes before the service begins and go to the robing room (sacristy) behind the altar.

Put on a robe with the best length for you, button or snap front, tie a rope belt (cincture) around your waist and put on the neck cord cross. DO NOT keep any items like a phone with you during the service.

Take a candle lighter (taper). Make sure it has a long enough wick. Go to the rear of the church. When the Processional is ready to start, you should have your taper lighted (from burning candles on globe, or a match). You will walk down the aisle behind the cross-bearer (crucifer).

Walk up to light the candles on the altar and floor-standing ones by the pulpit. Face them, don’t go behind. On special days or evenings there may be other candles. The pastor will tell you which ones to light.

To snuff (put out) the burning wick, pull it in with the metal tab and push it out again. This is very important. Don’t leave the wick in the tube because it will become plugged with hard wax.

Walk back to the sacristy and hang up the taper.

Take your seat and use the bulletin and hymnbook to participate in the worship service.

Holy Communion - When the offering and Communion elements are brought up to the pastor by the ushers, go and stand behind the altar with the other assistants. The pastor will serve you Communion from the “common cup.” When serving of the congregation begins, take an empty tray and follow the person distributing the wine. Collect the used glasses by letting each person put their glass in your tray. When your tray is full of empty glasses, get another one from the crucifer (Confirmation student) standing by the altar.

Return to your seat after Communion and be ready to put out the candles when worship ends. As worship leaders go out, get the candle lighter from the sacristy and use the snuffer to carefully put out each candle. Walk back to the sacristy, disrobe, and hang up the robe, rope, and cross.

Baptisms, festivals, evening services - Sometimes the acolytes have other roles such as carrying the floor candles down the aisle in a procession, pouring water into the baptismal font at the back, holding items for the pastor like a baptismal candle or oil vessel. The pastor or assistant will prepare you and ask if you have questions.

THANK YOU ALL for your service to the people of God! Also, watch for sign-up posters if you can acolyte for times that are not on the Sunday schedule such as Christmas Eve or Good Friday.

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