Acolytes have been part of the church in one form or another for nearly 2,000 years.
The word acolyte comes from the Greek word akolouthos, meaning follower, a helper or assistant. In the early church, acolytes were a clerical order. Acolytes carry into worship the light, processional cross, banners or Bible and assist the pastor with communion, baptism and other duties. Children and youth often serve as acolytes, but adults can serve as well.