The Ministry of acolytes has a long and honored history in the Church. A letter written in A. D. 251 by Cornelius, bishop of Rome, tells us that at that time there were 42 acolytes in the city of Rome alone. By the 6th century, the ministry of acolytes had become so important in the life of the Church that acolytes were actually “ordained” to their ministry following a period of instruction by a bishop.
Acolytes are well named. The word acolyte comes from the Greek word akolouthos, which means:
follower, attendant, companion; one who serves, assists or helps. In our time, acolytes are in most congregations usually (and unfortunately) looked upon as assistants who simply light and extinguish candles. However, their ministry is, or should be, much more than that. They assist in processions, in the distribution of communion, at baptisms, at other rites of the Church, at the offering, and in a variety of other ways. They help to give dignity and order to the worship of God’s people. The fact that acolytes are vested (robed) and are highly visible in public worship helps everyone in the congregation to see and understand that “ministry” is the work of all of God’s people, using their gifts of time and talent in service to the Lord.
We welcome all who serve as acolytes to this honored ministry in the life of Christ’s Church and we are grateful for their willingness to minister to the people of God at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. Your ministry is important to us all and we pray that God will give you the grace and strength to perform it well and faithfully.
Acolyte Training Classes are held as needed. If you have a son or daughter who is interested in becoming an acolyte, please see Pastor Reep.