Lighting the Candles
As you approach the altar be sure your wick is adjusted to give you enough flame. The wick burns rapidly so you need to adjust it frequently. Reach up with the lighter and touch the flame to the candle. The candles are oil candles which light very easily. Once the candles are lit, pull the wick into the lighter to extinguish the flame using the adjusting lever. Immediately after the flame is out, slide the wick back out a little bit. Failure to do this hardens the melted wax and the wick will jam in the tube.
After lighting the candles, you should turn and follow your same path back down to the front of the alter area. Bow once again and take a seat for the start of the worship service. The lighter can be placed under the pew until needed at the close of the service.
Acolytes also assist with Holy Communion when it is celebrated. When the pastors and lay assistants come forward at the start of Holy Communion, the acolyte should also step foward with them on the right side at the front edge of the altar area. If you are prepared to receive Holy Communion yourself, you may do so at this time. If not, remain standing with hands folded or crossed in front of you.
At the cue of the pastor(s), the acolyte should step up to the right side of the altar, turn and face the congregation. Your role is to return empty trays to the Altar Guild room.
As wine trays become empty from communion distribution, the Lay minister will bring them to you. As this happens, your responsibility is to take the empty trays back to the counter in the Altar Guild room. This is located through the door behind you next to the organ.
Depending on the size of the communion attendance, you may have to make several trips back and forth. Return to your post each time and wait to be excused by the pastor(s) to go back to your seat.
Close of Service
During the last verse of the closing hymn, the acolyte extinguishes the candles. As the pastor(s) turn to leave the church, proceed with the lighter to the front edge of the altar area; bow, then walk up to the altar. Using the bell-shaped side, the snuffer, gently come down squarely over the top of each candle. Hold the snuffer in place for several seconds until the flame goes out. Repeat this step for the second candle. When the candles are out, proceed to the front of the altar area, turn and face the altar, and bow.
Proceed back along the outer edge of the altar area and through the door on the left closest to the altar (where you entered at the beginning of service). Return the lighter and the wooden cross to their proper place in the Sacristy. Put your robe back on a hanger with the snaps buttoned and place it neatly in the closet along with the cincture (rope belt). You are then free to leave.