Acolytes are part of a very old tradition that dates back into the Third Century. Since the year 250 A.D acolytes have been people who served at the altar of God. The word “acolyte” itself comes from the Greek word “akolouthos” meaning “a follower” or “one who helps”.
In the Roman Church, acolytes were once a minor ordained order, one of the so-called “Ministeria”. The Fourth Council of Carthage prescribed by canon (church law) their form of ordination: “When any acolyte is ordained, the bishop shall inform him how he is to behave in office; and he shall receive a candlestick with a taper in it from the archdeacon, that he may understand that he is appointed to light the candles of the church. He shall also receive an empty pitcher to furnish wine for the Eucharist of the Blood of Christ.”
Hence the earliest duties of acolytes involved living a life of ministry and service, as well as lighting the candles of the church, and assisting the Celebrant at the altar during the liturgy. The Acolytes of Saint Mark’s continue in this ancient tradition. Acolytes play a significant role in our worship services.
Acolytes serve on Sundays at the 10:30 a.m. service and for other special services. Acolytes must be between 9 and 18 years of age. Volunteer opportunities include crucifer, torch bearers, altar servers, and banner carriers.
We have suspended the service of acolytes while we are in the Covid-19 pandemic, but we will resume once we are able to fully engage our full worship services.