A special class of young people known as Acolytes participate in the worship of many American Protestant churches today, including the Episcopalians, Lutherans and Congregationalists. But, whereas the roots of American Protestantism are in Roman Catholicism, our roots are in our Armenian Apostolic Church. Even as the European reformers of the 16th Century believed that they were seeking to bring the Catholic Church back to its apostolic first century roots, so our Armenian reformers of the 19th Century believed that they were bringing our beloved Mother Church back to its apostolic roots and to the teaching of the Apostles Thaddeus and Bartholomew, and the Evangelist, the Illuminator, Krikor Loosavoritch.
Today the presence of Acolytes in our worship, as well as the use of sacred sharagans and the Creed, reminds us that we are reformers, not rebellers. The Acolytes purpose is to help the congregation in the "focusing" of worship of God Almighty.
There are three ranks of office in the class: Stolebearers, Senior Acolytes and Junior Acolytes based on leadership ability, participation, responsibility, dependability and completion of requirements.
The Stolebearers supervise the week-to-week activities of the Class. They will read Scripture, lead us in any Confession of Faith, present the offering and perform any of the duties of the Class, including the preparation of the Chancel area.
The Senior Acolytes bear the cross in processionals, recessionals, and at baptisms, present the offering and perform any of the duties of the Junior Acolytes as necessary.