What is an acolyte?

An acolyte is the person responsible for the lighting and extinguishing of the candles on the communion table. The light, or fire, represents the light of Christ. Here at First Presbyterian Church, Hastings, 4th through 8th graders serve as acolytes.

Why do we have acolytes?

The word acolyte is from an ancient Greek word that means attendant, or “follower”. Light and fire remind us that God is here with us. When you bring the light (fire) into the sanctuary where people are gathering to worship, and when you light the candles, you are reminding the people that God is with us at home, at school, and at work as well as in the worship service. When you light the torch again, before extinguishing the candles, and then walk out with your torch lit, you remind the people that when we scatter out into the world, God will be there with us. Lit candles also remind us that Jesus Christ is the light of the world.

First Presbyterian Church Acolyte Scheduling Information

  • A rotating schedule of 4th-8th graders is created and distributed by the Director of Education for Children & Youth.
  • Two acolytes will serve at the 10:30am worship service each Sunday.
  • If you cannot serve as an acolyte on your assigned date, please switch with another person from your grade. Please make changes at least a week in advance. Report any changes to the Director of Education for Children & Youth so that the bulletin will be printed correctly.

First Presbyterian Church Acolyte Instructions

  1. On Sunday, go to the closet on the south side of the narthex where the robes are hanging and put on a robe.
  2. Get a candle lighter and check the taper to see if it is long enough. If you need a new taper have an usher or parent help you put in a new taper.
  3. Wait in narthex for worship to begin.
  4. When it is time, an usher will help light the candle.
  5. When the congregation begins the first verse of the first hymn, begin walking down the center isle side by side with your partner in an unhurried manner.
  6. Once the candle is lit, extinguish the flame on the candle lighter by lowering the taper with the knob by the handle.
  7. Lay the candle lighter on the front pew and sit in the second pew or with your family.
  8. Participate in worship. When the congregation starts singing the final hymn, go up to the candle and light the candle lighter. Extinguish the candle with the bell on the candle lighter.
  9. Walk out of the sanctuary side by side with your partner. When you are in the narthex, extinguish the flame on the candle lighter.
  10. Hang up your robe and candle lighter in the closet.