People choose to become acolytes for many different reasons. For children, serving as acolytes can give them an active role in a liturgy that can otherwise feel like a long period of time alternating between sitting still and standing up. Cate Christman, a nine-year-old acolyte at The Church of the Holy Family in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, says, “It’s not as boring as sitting. I kind of like walking and holding the gospel. I think it’s kind of fun.” As they become engaged with the service, participating as acolytes can also teach children about the liturgy. “I’m learning about what church is doing. What church does,” says Cate.
Both children and adults who serve as acolytes take a service role in the liturgy — one that allows them to participate and even lead without requiring them to draw much attention to themselves. They can learn, serve, and participate behind the scenes. In this class, Sharon Ely Pearson, a Christian Education specialist, discusses the history of acolytes in the church, explains what kinds of people choose to become acolytes and why people engage this ministry, and discusses how being an acolyte can help Christians discern their vocations in the church.
This is the first class in our Ministry of Acolytes series. The other four courses in this series will be forthcoming through the summer of 2019. Participants who you complete all five courses can earn a ChurchNext certificate in Acolyte Leadership.
This class is designed for people who wish to become acolytes, people who work with acolytes, and people who are simply interested in different kinds of church ministries. If you would like to watch a preview, please click here.