Re: [ustav] Instructions for Acolytes
Compiled by Archbishop John
In order to serve in the altar, it is necessary to have the blessing of
the priest, or in the case of a hierarchical service, the bishop .
One must come to church before the beginning of the service.
Upon first entering the altar, one should make the sign of the cross and
three prostrations facing the Altar Table. On Sundays and feastdays of
the Lord the prostrations are replaced by bows from the waist.
.:. Only those who are going to serve are permitted into the altar.
Ties should be taken off before vesting.
After taking off the sticharion, it should be neatly folded or hung in
In the altar there should be no conversation, no laughing; there should
be no running around the church, nor should one eat anything during the
All ordained readers and acolytes are required to wear sticharions. To
take off the sticharion, one should get a blessing from the priest or,
in the case ofa hierarchical service, from the bishop.
When receiving the Holy Mysteries, acolytes should take off their
sticharions, unless they are ordained readers.
.:. One must not touch either the Altar Table or the Table of Oblation.
.:. One must not walk about the church during the reading of the Gospel
or the Epistle, nor between the exclamation "The grace of our Lord Jesus
Christ..." and the exclamation "And may the mercies of our great God and
Saviour Jesus Christ be with you all."
.:. Before putting on the sticharion, one should make sure that one's
hands are clean.
•:. There should be nothing in the altar or the vestry that does not
pertain to the services.
It is not permitted to sit down while wearing a sticharion.
Before going out of the altar with a candle or one of the fans, the
acolyte should cross himself in front of the icon behind the altar and
bow to the hierarch or priest standing in front of the Altar Table. On
coming back into the altar this is repeated.
One should remember that the altar is the holiest place and one should
stand in it with special reverence and close attention to the service.
In passing by the High Place (behind the Altar Table) one should make
the sign of the cross.
During the Creed and the Lord's Prayer, all the acolytes should come out
onto the ambo and join in the congregational singing.
While the clergy commune, the acolytes should stand reverently in the altar.
Before the sermon, the acolytes should come out of the altar onto the
ambo in order to listen.
Those who violate the "Church Rules for Acolytes" will have to stand on
the left kliros until the end of the service.