1. Why do we use candles in the church?
The candles were the only light in the tabernacle, which symbolized the dwelling of God with His people. The candles symbolize the presence of God (Exodus 27:20-21; Leviticus 24:1-4). They also symbolize that Jesus is the light of the world, and that we are to reflect His light to the world (Matt. 5:14-16; John 8:12). The left candle (nearer the Pulpit) is called the “Christ candle”, reminding us that Jesus Christ is the light of the world. This candle is lit first, and extinguished last. The right candle is called the “Apostle/Gospel candle”, reminding us that like the Apostles, we are to represent Jesus as lights to the world by sharing the Gospel.
2. Why do we ask people to serve as Acolytes?
The term “Acolyte” means “attendant.” In the early church, these attendants often carried letters and gifts on behalf of church leaders. Later, they took on the duty of being candlebearers in worship services. We also notice that it was one of the duties of the Levites in the tabernacle, to attend to the candles, and keep them burning. Today we ask Acolytes to attend to the duty of lighting the candles in God’s house (the church). It is also a good way to involve the children in the worship service.
3. How do I light the candle before Service?
– Light the candles using the candlelighter.
– Make sure there is enough waxed candlewick in the candlelighter in the Vestry.
– Push out about 2 cm. of wick from the tip of the candlelighter, and use a match or a lighter to light the wick.
– Make sure that you ask your mom or dad to help you.
– Walk out slowly from the Vestry, and try to keep the flame from being blown out by the air-con. If it is blown out, quickly ask your mom or dad to help you light it up again. Be sure not to touch the flame.
– When you reach the foot of the Altar, at the door of the Altar rail, stand facing the Altar, with your back facing the pews.
– Bow your head, and quietly say a little prayer like this: “Dear God, let your light shine in the Service, and in our lives each day. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
– Step up to the Altar, and light the candle nearer the Pulpit first (the candle to your left). Then pull the candlelighter back towards you first, before continuing to light the candle to your right. This should be in one smooth motion.
– After lighting both candles, bow your heads in honour of God, and then step backwards down the Altar steps. Keep your eyes open, and head bowed, so that you can see the steps, and not trip and fall.
– Then walk slowly back to the Vestry, and place the candlelighter there.
4. What do I wear?
Wear the white Acolyte robe by looping it over your clothes. Wear proper shoes, and not slippers or sandals. You will also wear this robe when you extinguish the candles.
5. What time do I light the candles?
Light the candles just before 8.45 a.m. and gather for prayer with Pastor. After that you may go for your Sunday School Children’s Worship. So arrive in church by 8.30 a.m. to get ready.
6. How do I extinguish the candles?
You extinguish the candles by using the candlelighter as well.
– Put on your robe and stand ready in the Narthex just before the closing hymn begins. Make sure that the candlelighter is in hand, and the wick is extended to around 2 cm.
– Begin walking up from the Narthex towards the Altar via the center aisle once the congregation begins singing the closing hymn. Please be sure that mom or dad is around to help with the timing.
– When you reach the Altar, bow your head once to honour the Lord, before stepping up to the Altar.
– Step up to the Altar and extinguish the candle to your right first with the ‘bell’ end of the candlelighter.
– Then light up the candlelighter wick with the flame from the candle on your left.
– Next, extinguish the candles on your left by covering the flame with the “bell” end of the candlelighter.
– After the candles are extinguished, bow your head to honour the Lord, and then step backwards down the Altar steps. Keep your head bowed, but eyes open to watch your steps.
– Remain in front of the Altar, and face the Altar. Wait for the Pastor and the Liturgist to join you in front of the Altar.
– Process out down the aisle to the Parish Hall together with the Pastor and Liturgist. The Acolyte goes first, but wait for the Pastor’s cue before moving out. Hold the candlelighter high, with the flame facing away from you. Note: This action symbolizes that we are to go out to be lights of the world as Jesus called us to be.
– Extinguish the flame on the candlelighter once you reach the back of the Parish Hall.
– Then proceed back to the Vestry to replace the candlelighter and the robe into the wardrobe with a hanger. Do not leave the robe outside the wardrobe.
7. What time do I come up to get ready to extinguish the candles?
Come up at 10.15 a.m. Please ask mom or dad to remember to call you. They can also go down to call you earlier if the service is going to end earlier. Once they have received Holy Communion (or during the Prayers of the Church, if there is no Holy Communion), they can go down to the Sunday School to call you.