During the mass an acolyte bore the thurible (Ordo VI.) and three assisted at the washing of the hands.
This office of bearing the sacrament is an ancient one, and is mentioned in the legend of Tarcisius, the Roman acolyte, who was martyred on the Appian Way while carrying the Hosts from the catacombs.
7 At ordinations they were used, as is shown by the 6th canon of the council of Carthage (398), which decrees that the acolyte is to hand to the newly ordained deacon ceroferarium cum cereo.
At most pontifical functions, moreover, the bishop - as the representative of Christ - is preceded by an acolyte with a burning candle (bugia) on a candlestick.
All these clerical preferments Wykeham held when he was a simple clerk, who had no doubt undergone the "first tonsure," but was not even ordained an acolyte till the 5th of December of this golden year.
In 1538 he obtained a dispensation permitting him to hold a benefice, notwithstanding his being a natural son, and in June 1546 he was made an acolyte in the cathedral church of Aberdeen, of which he was afterwards appointed a canon and prebendary.
When the pope rode in procession to the station an acolyte, on foot, preceded him, bearing the holy chrism; and at the church seven regionary acolytes with candles went before him in the procession to the altar, while two others, bearing the vessel that contained a pre-consecrated Host, presented it for his adoration.
The official dress of the acolyte, according to Ordo V., was a close-fitting linen garment (camisia) girt about him, a napkin hanging from the left side, a white tunic, a stole (orarium) and a chasuble (planeta) which he took off when he sang on the steps of the ambone.
Cap. 17 d.r.), the acolyte, while remaining an order, has ceased to be essentially a clerical office, since the duties are now performed, almost everywhere, by laymen.
He was then, at Sarum, censed by the deacon, and an acolyte censed the choir; at Bangor the Sinistrum Cornu of the altar and the relics were censed instead.
ACOLYTE (Gr.bc6XovOos, follower), the last of the four minor orders in the Roman Church.
(which is not earlier than the 7th century) that we find the very simple form for admitting an acolyte to his office.
The evidence available, therefore, points to the fact that the acolyte was only a local office and was not a necessary step or order for every candidate.
The conclusion, then, which seems warranted by the evidence, is that the acolyte was an office only at Rome, and, becoming an order in the Gallican Church, found its way as such into the Roman books at some period before the fusion of the two rites under Charlemagne.
The duties of the acolyte, as given in the Roman Pontifical, are identical with those mentioned in the Statuta Ecclesiae Antigua of Arles: "It is the duty of acolytes to carry the candlesticks, to light the lamps of the church, to administer wine and water for the Eucharist."