St. Paul's Episcopal Church Groups

  • Acolytes

     From the opening procession through the liturgy to the dismissal, the acolytes help set the tone of our time together, lighting and extinguishing altar candles, carrying the cross, flying a dove decked with ribbons, and bearing lit torches. Each week the acolytes serve the people and the clergy, facilitating worship, distributing offering plates, and preparing the communion rail. In the role of servants the acolytes attend to the ordinary details that enable worship.

     During every season but Lent, the preferred number of acolytes for the 10 a.m. Sunday service is four. During Lent and for other special services such as Evensong, three acolytes are plenty. For Thanksgiving Day and Tenebrae, one acolyte is all that is needed, but there are other special services (e.g. Bishop’s visitation, and occasions when incense is used) where five or six acolytes are necessary. The acolyte coordinator provides a calendar of all services three months in advance, and acolytes are expected to schedule themselves in the available spaces. The acolyte coordinator sends reminder notes and tries to ensure that each service is adequately staffed.

     If you are nine years old or older (there is no upper age limit), you are invited to join this ministry. You will learn to serve at the heart of our Eucharist celebrations and other worship services. Adult and older youth acolytes are expected to guide younger acolytes as they deepen their own experience of being in church while they learn to serve. The acolyte team will welcome anyone who is willing to help serve, whether you are able to serve only once a year or as regularly as twice a month, and whether you are an adult willing to mentor or a child eager to learn. Join us!

Contact:  Nancy Grear at (585) 305-5727 or send an e-mail to