Do you want to be an acolyte and assist at Grace Church’s services?  If so, please read these guidelines and contact the Acolyte Coordinator.

Acolytes are part of the Worship Ministry Team which includes the clergy, vergers, lay readers, ushers, and the choir and other musicians.  Being an acolyte provides children and young adults with the unique opportunity to more fully participate in the worship service.

Grace Church has an active acolyte program that goes back many years.  Generally, acolytes come from the children of church members.  Young people going into Grades 4 – 12 are encouraged to apply.  Many acolytes end up serving many years in a row.  The lower age limit has been set owing to the fact that the acolyte must have the physical ability to successfully carry the cross or a torch.

During the school year, acolytes are needed for the 10:30 am service every Sunday and for special services such as Christmas, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday and special services.  Most services will have six acolytes scheduled.  It is our hope that we will get enough acolytes to accomplish this.  Each acolyte will be asked to indicate how often they would like to serve.  Most serve every three weeks.  Emergencies and sickness will likely disturb our schedule somewhat.  Acolytes are also needed for the 9:30am service during summer months.

Here are some key concepts that need to be considered when thinking about becoming an Acolyte:

Commitment:  Acolytes understand and agree that they are expected to perform the duties of this ministry faithfully as a personal commitment of their time and talent in the service of the Lord.  This includes not only serving on the day they are scheduled but also learning about being an acolyte through reading and training.

Attendance and Punctuality:  Acolytes serve when they are scheduled unless special circumstances (sickness, family emergency, etc.) prevent them from doing so. The acolyte needs to be at the church and in full vestment before the time the service begins.  If an acolyte cannot perform their scheduled duties they MUST inform the Acolyte Coordinator so other arrangements can be made.  It is possible, but unlikely, that an acolyte might get a call on Saturday night or Sunday morning to see if they can fill in.  Please understand that the Worship Ministry Team needs acolytes to serve at these services.

Appearance: Acolytes wear appropriate “church clothes”.  Do not wear open toed shoes or shoes with high heels.  Please wear socks.  Do not wear a shirt with writing on it since the words will show through the robe.  Do not wear a sweatshirt with a hood.  Do not wear a hat or a scarf.  Please do not wear a lot of jewelry.  Choose a vestment robe that hangs just below your ankles after the rope belt has been tied.  Please strive to keep the vestments clean and hang them up nicely after the service.

Conduct:  An acolyte is a minister in the service he/she is serving.  As such, they are expected to fully participate in the liturgy by responding to the prayers, reciting any creeds, listening to the readings, and singing the hymns.  Other worshipers can see you at all times so please act accordingly.  No gum chewing or snacks are allowed during the service.  Avoid laughing, whispering, and any unnecessary body movements that will distract from the service.  Nothing should take away from the message of the service.