New Acolyte Question


I’m not sure if this is the correct place for this topic, but here goes.

I need some advice. I’m a new acloyte at our church, and have only served as such for three masses.

Our team leader is pushing me to do more and more when I’m not ready. Next service he wants me to be ther crossbearer and hold the prayer book. I’ve only watched that position one time, and I am not ready or clear with my responsibilities. I push back and tell him I need more training, but he is insisting.

By the way, I’m a new Catholic and was confirmed through RCIA this past Easter.

Any suggestions?


Be honest with him but don’t try to get into a “pushing back” fight with your team leader.
My sons have altar served a long time. When they were first starting, they ended being the only servers at a Mass. it went well and the priest was grateful that they served. Sometimes God calls us to push ourselves to go beyond. Maybe you don’t feel ready because you have only seen it once but maybe they are short and need the help and the team leader might seen you as very capable even if you don’t think so. Usually the tallest Altar server leads in with the cross. When you are doing something you might not feel ready, say a quick prayer for help and confidence and I think you will surprise yourself. The more you “push” back the more likely you will be seen as obstinate and might be asked to step aside for someone who is more willing to try.


My only suggestion is to remember that God is pleased with service and he does not expect perfection. He is the one bringing perfection to the Mass.


Are you an acolyte or an altar server?

To be an acolyte requires institution by the Bishop and training is usually done at the diocesan level. If you feel unprepared, you should go back to whoever did your training there.

If you mean altar server, many smaller parishes do “on the job” training. Carrying the processional cross is one of the first jobs. But again, if you don’t feel prepared, ask for more training.



You are most likely an Altar Server (AS). Next time you are at Mass, pay attention as to the way others do each “job” as AS. If there are three of them, when they do any “turning”, do they give their back to the cross bearer or do they turn in a way that each faces the cross? How about to the Tabernacle? Pay attention to these details. If you are serving before you have a chance to pay attention to these details, ask your team leader.

What Cristiano said is right on target. And do not worry! People are not paying so much attention to you. :ehh:

I am sacristan, Extraordinary Minister, and “trained” as AS only so that I may help others. It is all a team effort to help the Priest. If you are a “young one”, the adults are there to help. In any case, we all try to help each other. We are all doing “it” for Him!

Thank you for your willingness to help!:clapping: God will reward you. You have my prayers.


How did you do?


How did you do?


Being me and very quick to say ‘no’ when really I should be saying yes, my own advice would be to just do it. The more you put it off the harder it may feel. Serving, the only way to learn is by doing it for real. Even if you did something different to previous, use it to learn by it. I am not a confident person at all and hence why am quick to say no then regret the missed opportunity. Far better that you learn the role when you someone there to help guide you. I been serving nearly two year at our services when we received the current priest. His third service I discovered that would be totally on my own and I had done it a few times at said services with the priest who had been looking after us, but not on a Sunday Morning. I was very much on my own and didn’t know how to tell him what I knew and didn’t know. But I managed it and did it and a few more times since then and now can manage to serve visiting priests’ just about though not keen on my own with those. Now am okay with current priest because he knows me but that first time…

My advice would be to grab the opportunity and use it as a learning thing in itself. Hopefully they won’t let you go very wrong. We have a deacon very new to it and me one sunday morning suggested he could do thruible. The second the bell donged he was at around the church and at the altar jack flash. No one commented because they all know.

Everyone has to learn sometime and I am being very honest with you the best way of learning those roles is doing it for real. All the prep before hand might help you feel more comfortable but doing it and you have the others there to guide you, unlike my one time of not even knowing the priest at that time to know how to say, ‘i don’t know’. He knows me now plenty.

My advice is beat your fears and go for it as it truelly is best way to learn it - trust me :thumbsup:


actually your religion says Christian don’t it? Whilst it may be that Catholic Christians need Bishops Licence to be acolyting in the Anglican Churches this is not as so. It all part of serving to us and whilst some anglicans may organise it all differently depending on large teams etc in ours its who turns up that day etc… I spend most of my time being an ‘acolyte’ as the term is in anglican world. Though no more different to any altar server that is ‘hired’ at the approval of the Priest. Some churches may have in house reward schemes etc but thats upto the way that church organises it.


That is correct.

A acolyte is a pre-deacon. I just attended an acolyte ceremony by our bishop. The men will be ordained as permanent deacons next year.

OP does not sound like a acolyte who has gone through 6 years of deacon studies.


It is allowed for the diocesan bishop to institute acolytes with no intention of being deacons. Our diocese is one of them. Yes, training is required by a diocesan guideline, and in a communal celebration, Mass, they would be duly instituted by the bishop.

You are correct in saying the acolyte office is one used on the way to being an ordained deacon, yes but not only.


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