As in all Episcopal churches, Acolytes, because of the duties that they perform, and the leadership that they give to the congregation, are an integral and important part of the worship offered to God here at Saint James in the Hills.
It is a ministry in which both girls and boys may participate, but training and preparation are necessary; it is a privilege and honor to serve God at His altar, and is not, therefore, a ministry to be taken lightly, but with reverence, commitment, and devotion. The purpose in this service is to glorify God.
Acolytes assist the celebrant before, during and after the celebration of the Mass, and they are vested for the performance of these duties. They ensure that the Altar candles are lighted in the correct order before service begins, and extinguished at the end, also correctly. They (the crucifer and tapers) lead the procession into the church at the beginning of the service, and as they recess at the conclusion of the Mass. Acolytes assist with the ablutions, in passing the Alms Basins to the Ushers, and are responsible for many other duties, for example, lighting the Advent candles, being the thurifer on high holy days, leading the Gospel procession and holding the Gospel book, carrying and showing the FLAG of the United States of America and lighting the Paschal candle at the Easter season.
Any baptized member of the congregation may be chosen as an Acolyte. Some acolytes are very young, but on occasion, the Acolyte Director may also perform the duties of an Acolyte.
At Saint James, Acolytes are trained and prepared for this sacred duty by Mr. Elisha Clarke, Director, and you should take the opportunity to speak to him if you would like your child to become an Acolyte.