Acolyte Customary
POHICK CHURCH

(Revised July, 2010)

Table of Contents

Introduction

The Tradition. Welcome to the Acolyte Ministry of Pohick Church. We appreciate the commitment to God and His service that you have shown by following the tradition of acolytes. However, we will expect you to extend that commitment, by committing yourself to doing your duties properly and by assisting your fellow acolytes to so the same. This means that you must know the services, know your roles, dress properly, arrive on time and mentally prepared, and to act as if you would in the presence of Jesus Christ.

The tradition of serving as an acolyte, from the Greek word, akólothos for “follower” or “attendant”, is a long-standing one. In the Old Testament, the Prophet Samuel assisted the Priest Eli, and Elijah was assisted by Elisha. In the New Testament, the disciples assisted Jesus, and in turn, were assisted in their ministries by other loyal Christians. In the days , the penalty for being discovered in a serving role was death. Today, we face a different adversary, not death by the Romans for your belief and service, but now we face indifference, peer pressure and too many activities. Your role is very important; we appreciate your being here; please give your service a 100 percent effort!

The Schedule. Before you are asked to perform any duties, you will be trained for them. Normally this will require a 2 hour period in the summer and fall. Additional trainings will be held has the need arises. You may ask for, or be directed to take, additional training on a case-by-case basis. All Head acolytes will be scheduled to serve all services in rotation and all other acolytes will be scheduled for the last two services by rotation. You will not have to serve two services on any particular Sunday. Please take note of your assignments, and if there is conflict, please find someone to take your place. An Acolyte Roster is available by contacting the Acolyte Director. Remember if you don’t show, you have left your team in a bind and they will need to do your job. The Acolyte Schedule is posted on the Church Website and is updated monthly.

Who’s Who

Rector: The Rev’d Donald D. Binder, Ph.D.
Assistant to the Rector: The Rev'd Lyn Youll Marshall marshall@pohick.org
Acolyte Director: Col Thomas Buckner t.buckner@sbcglobal.net
Assistant Acolyte Director: Robert McNeal

Responsibilities of the Acolytes

All Acolytes

Head Acolytes

Specific Instructions – 7:45 am Service (8:00 am, Summer)

I. Before the Service

A. Normally, there is only one acolyte at this service, the crucifer.
B. The Acolyte arrives at 7:25 am (7:40, Summer) and puts on his/her vestments: the white alb, rope belt and cross.
C. At 7:30 (7:45, Summer), light the candles (Epistle 1ST, Gospel 2nd).

1. During Advent, light the Advent Wreath candles, one for each week in Advent (the pink candle is lit on the 3rd Sunday of Advent).
2. Light the Paschal candle from Easter through Pentecost and if there is a baptism at the service.

D. Check for the center kneeler cushion: it should be placed
off to the side.
E. At 7:40 (7:55, Summer), be in line in Parish Hall with the small cross, ready to join the Celebrant in a prayer of preparation.
F. Lead the procession through the South door (near the courtyard) and wait at the intersection of the entryway and the South aisle, facing the baptismal font.

II. The Opening Procession

A. When the Priest gives the signal. lead the procession up the South aisle, turn left and then go to the end of the Altar rail and turn around, facing the clergy and Lay Eucharistic
Ministers (LEMs).
B. After they have bowed and entered into the sanctuary, go past the altar, turn left and then place the cross in the holder by the altar rail.
C. Sit in pew #1, participating in the service as usual.

III. After the Peace

A. Enter the sanctuary after the Peace is exchanged.
B. When the two Oblationers bring the elements forward, first accept the Bread Box and then the Wine cruet and hand them to the Priest.
C. Right after the Oblationers have left, bring the Cruet of water from the Credence table and place it on the North side of Altar.
D. As soon as the Ushers begin to bring forward the offering, get the large alms plate from the LEMs and await the ushers with the collection.
E. Turn and present alms to the Celebrant.
F. Then go immediately to the Credence Table to prepare the Lavabo bowl.

1. Place the Lavabo bowl in your left hand.
2. Place the Lavabo towel over the same forearm.
3. Take in your right hand the water cruet from the Altar.
4. Pour water on the Celebrant’s fingers as directed.
5. Wait for him to dry hands: replace all on credence table.
6. Return to the North end of Altar and stand facing it.

G. After the Celebrant says, “The Gift of God for the People of God,” bring the second chalice from the Credence Table and place it on the North End of the Altar.

IV During Communion

A. Unwrap any rolls of Hosts, placing them in a pile in the center of the altar. Place the wrapper paper inside the Bread Box.
B. Refill the Chalices of the LEMs from the cruet, as needed.

V. After Communion

A. After all have received communion (the Ushers are last), bring the water cruet to the altar, return the communion vessels to the credence table as instructed by the clergy.
B. After the blessing, extinguish the Altar candles (Gospel, then Epistle) and any other candles (Advent, Paschal), using the candle extinguisher that the LEM will hand you.
Hand it back to the LEM when finished.

VI. The Closing Procession

A. Retrieve the small cross, turn and face the clergy and LEMs while they bow, and then lead the procession through the South door.
B. Return the cross to its place, and hang up your vestments.

Specific Instructions – 9:00 am Service (10:00 am, Summer)

I. Before the Service

A. Arrive at 8:40 am (9:40 Summer) and put on your vestments.

1. The Head Crucifer wears a white alb, rope belt and cross.
2. The 2nd Crucifer, Torch Bearers, and Banner Bearers wear a red cassock, white cotta and cross.

B. At 8:45, (9:45 Summer) the Head Crucifer lights the candles (Epistle 1ST, Gospel 2nd).

1. During Advent, light the Advent Wreath candles, one for each week in Advent (the pink candle is lit on the 3rd Sunday of Advent).
2. Light the Paschal candle from Easter through Pentecost and if there is a baptism at the service.

C. Check for the center kneeler cushion: it should be placed off to the side.
D. At 8:55, (9:55 Summer) be in line in Parish Hall with crosses, torches and banners ready to join the Celebrant in a prayer of preparation.
E. The acolytes lead the procession through the South door (near the courtyard) and line up as follows:

1. Large Cross, torches and banner: in the South aisle crossing in front of the choir.
2. The Small Cross: stands at the intersection of the entryway and the South aisle, facing the baptismal font.

F. The Torch Bearers should light their torches.

II. The Opening Procession

A. At the start of the Second Verse of the Hymn, the Head Crucifer leads the procession up the South aisle, past the Altar, and around to the North Aisle.

1. After the choir passes (or Banner, if no choir), the 2nd Crucifer follows, leading in the LEMs and clergy.
2. The Small Cross, Torch Bearers and Banner Bearers stop at the rear of the Church and place their implements in the holders. They then sit quietly in
the reserved pew box.

B. The Head Crucifer goes back up the south aisle and places
the cross in its holder by the altar rail.
C. The Head Crucifer then bows and enters the Sanctuary, standing in front of the chair near the credence Table on the Gospel side.

1. If that chair is taken by another minister, sit in pew #1 or #11, whichever is open, participating in the service as usual.

III At the Gospel Procession

A. When everyone begins singing the first verse of the hymn, the Small Cross and both Torches process down the North aisle, picking up the Gospeler either from the Pew Box or the Altar.

1. They need to pause briefly while the minister falls in behind them.

B. The Acolytes move past the Altar, down the South Aisle to the Font.

1. They then stand in front of the Font, facing the Gospeler, as the Gospel is read.

C. After the Gospel is read, the acolytes wait for the singing to again begin, then go back up past the Altar, pausing slightly while the Gospel book is replaced, and then down the North Aisle.

1. They replace their appointments in their holders and sit quietly in the reserved pew box.

IV. After the Peace

A. The Small Cross leads the Sunday School Children from the South door, past the altar and down the North Aisle. He/She then replaces the cross in it’s holder.
B. If the Head Crucifer isn’t already there, he/she enters the sanctuary after the Peace is exchanged.
C. When the two Oblationers bring the elements forward, first accept the Bread Box and then the Wine cruet and hand them to the Priest.
D . Right after the Oblationers have left, bring the Cruet of water from the Credence table and place it on the North side of Altar.
E . As soon as the Ushers begin to bring forward the offering, get the large alms plate from the LEMs and await the Ushers with the collection.
F . Turn and present alms to the Celebrant.

G. Then go immediately to the Credence Table to prepare the Lavabo bowl.

1. Place the Lavabo bowl in your left hand.
2. Place the Lavabo towel over the same forearm.
3. Take in your right hand the water cruet from the Altar.
4. Pour water on the Celebrant’s fingers as directed.
5. Wait for him to dry hands: replace all on credence table.
6. Return to the North end of Altar and stand facing it.

H. After the Celebrant says, “The Gift of God for the People of God,” bring the second chalice from the Credence Table and place it on the North End of the Altar.

V. During Communion

A. Unwrap any rolls of Hosts, placing them in a pile in the center of the altar. Place the wrapper paper inside the Bread Box.
B. Refill the Chalices of the LEMs from the cruet or large tankard, as needed.

VI. After Communion

A. After all have received communion (the Ushers are last), bring the water cruet to the altar, return the communion vessels to the credence table as instructed by the clergy.
B. After the blessing, extinguish the Altar candles (Gospel, then Epistle) and any other candles (Advent, Paschal), using the candle extinguisher that the LEM will hand you.
Hand it back to the LEM when finished.

VII. The Closing Procession

A. Just prior to the closing prayer, the Torch Bearers and Banner Bearers and 2nd Crucifer Retrieve their appointments, light their torches and stand at the back of
the North Aisle as the final prayer and blessing are prayed.
B. When the hymn begins, the Torch Bearers and the Banner Bearer process down the North Aisle stopping at the center aisle.
C. The Head Crucifer retrieves the large cross, processes down the North Aisle, turns and stands in front of the torchbearers.

1. After the second verse begins, (or as soon as you arrive, if it has already begun), process down the North Aisle, past the Altar, down the South Aisle and then out the South door.

D. The 2nd Crucifer falls in behind the Choir (if any) and follows along, but stops at the end of the Altar rail, until the clergy and LEMs bow, he/she then leads the end of the procession through the South door.
E. Acolytes return their appointments to their places in the Parish House and then neatly hang up their vestments in the correct place.

Specific Instructions – 11:15 am Service

I. Before the Service

A. Arrive at 11:00 am and put on your vestments.

1. The Head Crucifer wears a white alb, rope belt and cross.
2. The 2nd Crucifer, Torch Bearers, and Banner Bearers wear a red cassock, white cotta and cross.

B. At 11:05, the Head Crucifer lights the candles (Epistle 1ST, Gospel 2nd).

1. During Advent, light the Advent Wreath candles, one for each week in Advent (the pink candle is lit on the 3rd Sunday of Advent).
2. Light the Paschal candle from Easter through Pentecost and if there is a baptism at the service.

C. Check for the center kneeler cushion: it should be placed off to the side.
D. At 11:10, be in line in Parish Hall with crosses, torches and banners ready to join the Celebrant in a prayer of preparation.
E. The acolytes lead the procession through the South door (near the courtyard) and line up as follows:

1. Large Cross, torches and banner: in the South aisle crossing in front of the choir.
2. The Small Cross: stands at the intersection of the entryway and the South aisle, facing the baptismal font.

F. The Torch Bearers should light their torches.

II. The Opening Procession

A. At the start of the Second Verse of the Hymn, the Head Crucifer leads the procession up the South aisle, past the Altar, and around to the North Aisle.

1. After the choir passes (or Banner, if no choir), the 2nd Crucifer follows, leading in the LEMs and clergy.
2. The Small Cross, Torch Bearers and Banner Bearers stop at the rear of the Church and place their implements in the holders. They then sit quietly in the reserved pew box.

B. The Head Crucifer goes back up the South aisle and places the cross in its holder by the altar rail
C. The Head Crucifer then bows and enters the Sanctuary, standing in front of the chair near the credence Table on the Gospel side.

1. If that chair is taken by another minister, sit in pew #1 or #11, whichever is open, participating in the service as usual.

III At the Gospel Procession

A. When everyone begins singing the first verse of the hymn, the Small Cross and both Torches process down the North aisle, picking up the Gospeler either from the Pew Box or the Altar.

1. They need to pause briefly while the minister falls in behind them.

B. The Acolytes move past the Altar, down the South Aisle to the Font.

1. They then stand in front of the Font, facing the Gospeler, as the Gospel is read.

C. After the Gospel is read, the acolytes wait for the singing to again begin, then go back up past the Altar, pausing slightly while the Gospel book is replaced, and then down the North Aisle.

1. They replace their appointments in their holders and sit quietly in the reserved pew box.

IV. After the Peace

A. The Head Crucifer enters the sanctuary after the Peace is exchanged if he/she isn’t already there.
B. When the two Oblationers bring the elements forward, first accept the Bread Box and then the Wine cruet and hand them to the Priest.
C. Right after the Oblationers have left, bring the Cruet of water from the Credence table and place it on the North side of Altar.
D. As soon as the Ushers begin to bring forward the offering, get the large alms plate from the LEMs and await the ushers with the collection.
E. Turn and present alms to the Celebrant.
F. Then go immediately to the Credence Table to prepare the Lavabo bowl.

1. Place the Lavabo bowl in your left hand.
2. Place the Lavabo towel over the same forearm.
3. Take in your right hand the water cruet from the Altar.
4. Pour water on the Celebrant’s fingers as directed.
5. Wait for him to dry hands: replace all on credence table.
6. Return to the North end of Altar and stand facing it.

G. After the Celebrant says, “The Gift of God for the People of God,” bring the second chalice from the Credence Table and place it on the North End of the Altar.

V. During Communion

A. Unwrap any rolls of Hosts, placing them in a pile in the center of the altar. Place the wrapper paper inside the Bread Box.
B. Refill the Chalices of the LEMs from the cruet or large tankard, as needed.

VI. After Communion

A. After all have received communion (the Ushers are last), bring the water cruet to the altar, return the communion vessels to the credence table as instructed by the clergy.
B. After the blessing, extinguish the Altar candles (Gospel, then Epistle) and any other candles (Advent, Paschal), using the candle extinguisher that the LEM will hand you.
Hand it back to the LEM when finished.

VII. The Closing Procession

A. Just prior to the closing prayer, the Torch Bearers and Banner Bearers and 2nd Crucifer Retrieve their appointments, light their torches and stand at the back of
the North Aisle as the final prayer and blessing are prayed.
B. When the hymn begins, the Torch Bearers and the Banner Bearer process down the North Aisle stopping at the center aisle.
C. The Head Crucifer retrieves the large cross, processes down the South Aisle, crosses at the Font and stands in front of the torchbearers.

1. After the second verse begins, (or as soon as you arrive, if it has already begun), process down the North Aisle, past the Altar, down the South Aisle and then out the South door.

D. The 2nd Crucifer falls in behind the Choir (if any) and follows along, but stops at the end of the Altar rail, until the clergy and LEMs bow, he/she then leads the end of the procession through the South door.
E. Acolytes return their appointments to their places in the Parish House and then neatly hang up their vestments in the correct place.

Glossary

Advent Wreath. A wreath with four candles (three purple, one rose) around the outside, representing the four Sundays of Advent (the rose candle is lit on the 3rd Sunday). A white center candle is also lit throughout the twelve days of Christmas (Christmas day through Epiphany or Dec. 25-Jan 6).

Alb. See Cassock-Alb, below.

Aumbry. A small cabinet for storing consecrated bread and wine (and holy oil). Normally, there is a candle nearby, signifying the presence of Christ in the sacrament. When this cabinet is physically attached to an altar, it is referred to as a tabernacle.

Breadbox. A box containing the communion bread.

Burse. A top-piece to the veiled chalice. It contains extra purificators inside (as well as the corporal, if it is not already set-up).

Cassock. Black vestment used by Assistants in a worship service (as well as by the Officiant in the Daily Office). Usually worn with a surplice over top.

Cassock-Alb. White vestment worn by the celebrant and the lead acolyte.

Celebrant. The priest or bishop leading the service of Holy Communion. When there is more than one celebrant (concelebrants), there is always one chief celebrant, who prays all the words of the Eucharistic Prayer.

Chalice. The communion cup.

Chancel. In gothic churches, the area between the nave and the sanctuary, where the choir normally sits, as well as the clergy for the first part of the service. Colonial churches have no chancel, though sometimes the sanctuary is (mistakenly) referred to with this term.

Chasuble. Outer vestment worn by the celebrant (and concelebrants) at communion. Its color matches that of the liturgical season or day.

Ciborium. A vessel containing consecrated bread. It looks like a chalice with a lid.

Cincture. Belt worn around the cassock-alb; often made of white rope.

Communicant. Baptized Christian who receives communion.

Concelebrant. A clergy person who celebrates the communion service with the chief celebrant.

Cope. Festival vestment worn by clergy at special celebrations.

Corporal. A white linen laid out underneath the chalice and paten on the altar.

Crozier. Bishop's staff, representing the bishop's role as shepherd of a diocese.

Cruet. A small flagon.

Dean. Overseer of a region. Addressed as "The Very Reverend . . .".

Diocese. An administrative area of the church overseen by a bishop.

Epistle Side. The right side, facing the altar.

Font. A large basin used for baptisms.

Flagon. A vessel containing either wine or water in a communion service.

Gospel Side. The left side, facing the altar.

Intinction. Receiving communion by dipping the host in the wine.

Lavabo bowl. Bowl used to wash the celebrant's hands.

Lectionary. A series of assigned readings for the Church year. There is a Sunday lectionary, for Sunday communion readings (see BCP p. 888ff), and a Daily Office lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer services (see BCP p. 934ff).

Liturgical Colors. Colors reflecting the church calendar: Purple (penitence) for Lent and Advent (the latter might instead be Light Blue (for Mary)); White (purity, splendor) for Christmas, Easter, Saints' Days, Baptisms and other Holy Days; Red (fire, blood) for Holy Week, Pentecost, Ordinations and Martyrs Days; Green (growth) for "Normal time," i.e., the Sundays in Epiphany and Pentecost seasons.

Mitre. Pointed hat worn by bishops. Signifies the "tongues of fire" of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2).

Nave. The main body of the church where the congregation sits.

NRSV. New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.

Officiant. The leader of a non-eucharistic worship service.

Pall. The square cover placed on top of the chalice. It keeps insects from the communion wine. Also, the covering placed over a casket during a funeral.

Paschal Candle. Large Candle lit during Easter Season, Baptisms and Funerals. It represents of light of Christ.

Paten. The communion plate holding the bread.

Piscina. A special sink going straight into the ground. Excess consecrated wine is poured into it.

Proanaphora. Part of the communion service prior to the Eucharistic Prayer.

Purificator. A linen used for wiping the chalice during the administration of communion.

Pyx. A small container holding (usually consecrated) communion bread.

Region. In the Diocese of Virginia, a smaller area of the diocese overseen by a Dean.

Sacristy. Room where communion vessels and supplies are stored.

Sanctuary. The area inside the altar rail. In colonial churches, sometimes (mistakenly) called a chancel.

Stole. Narrow strip of fabric worn by clergy. Deacons wear theirs across the left shoulder, while priests and bishops wear theirs draped around their necks. When more than one clergy person is celebrating communion, sometimes the chief celebrant crosses the stole in the front. Stoles match the liturgical color of the season or day.

Surplice. Top, white vestment worn over a cassock by assistants in worship services (as well as by the Officiant in the Daily Office).

Synod. A gathering of bishops.

Tankard. Large flagon containing extra consecrated or unconsecrated communion wine.

Veiled Chalice. The communion set-up, which includes the chalice, purificator, paten, pall, covering veil and burse (in that order).

Words of Administration. Word spoken to communicants when given communion.