Acolytes are members of our congregation, both adults and youth, who have been trained to play a leadership role in our worship service. Wearing vestments and serving up front throughout the liturgy, they serve as visible examples. The way they carry out the rites and ceremonies makes them leaders of the congregation and collaborators with the clergy, lectors, and chalice bearers. Acolytes participate in all phases of the rites and ceremonies at Emmanuel.
Serving at the altar is a valuable experience for young people in particular. It builds discipline, the ability to pay attention, poise in a public setting, and teamwork. It also gives our youth an opportunity to assume a leadership position in the Parish, absorb Episcopal traditions, and to actively participate in doing those things Christ told us to do.
Scripture plays a vital role in every Episcopal service. Lectors participate in bringing the Word of God to the congregation by reading aloud appointed selections from the Bible. Lectors proclaim material from both the Old and New Testaments and at some services also lead the congregation in prayer. These parts of the liturgy belong to the laity, as do the spoken responses and hymns, making our Sunday service less clergy-oriented and more participatory than some denominations' services.
Lay Chalice Bearers are specially licensed and trained members of Emmanuel who serve at the altar during Holy Communion. They administer the cup (chalice) of wine after the priest and/or deacon has administered the bread, helping unite as as members of Christ's Body as we receive him in the consecrated elements