A person who assists in the worship service. Normally the acolyte serves by lighting and extinguishing the candles on the communion or altar table and distributing and collecting the offering plates. At the discretion of the pastor, the acolyte may also assist in other portions of the worship service. It is the custom in most local churches for the acolytes to be young persons, giving them an early opportunity to be participants in the service. Adults, however, also may serve as acolytes.
Source: A Dictionary for United Methodist, Alan K. Waltz, Copyright 1991, Abingdon Press. Used by Permission.