Acolyte Guild “Here am I” The corps of acolytes assists the clergy at the altar—at solemn mass on Sundays, at solemn evensong and benediction, and especially during Holy Week and on feast days. Acolytes set up the altar before mass, lighting candles, laying out the gospel book and missal, and after the mass, they snuff out candles and return vessels and books to the sacristy. During the mass they carry out the duties of subdeacon, thurifer, master of ceremonies, crucifer, server, and torchbearer. The strength of the corps is that it is representative of the parish. A boy or girl may begin serving when as young as six or seven years of age. The corps is healthiest when it is comprised of young children, teenagers, and adults. The oldest serving acolyte is in his seventies. If you are interested in exploring what it means to be an acolyte, please speak with the Rector, the Acolyte Warden, or an usher.