The acolyte program at Good Shepherd allows a unique opportunity for the youth of the church to be involved in the worship service. Responsibilities range from carrying a torch, banner, flag or cross in the processional/recessional to carrying the Gospel book and helping with the preparation for communion and baptisms. The acolyte program is designed to instill a connection to the service that may not be present otherwise. This is developed through years of being involved in the actual church service.
The acolytes range in age from 8-18. Responsibilities are earned through graduating through our four guilds. During the summer months the younger acolytes are given the opportunity to try roles that are usually reserved for the higher ranking acolytes in order to groom them for graduation into a higher guild.
- Peterkin Guild (white ribbon/wooden cross) The Peterkin Guild is the guild in which an acolyte is initially installed. In this guild you can expect to learn the basics of being an acolyte such as: sitting still, participating in the prayers, being quiet throughout the service and respect for the service and fellow acolytes. The jobs that are often performed by acolytes in this guild are but not limited to: carrying a torch or banner.
- Senior Peterkin Guild (green ribbon/wooden cross) The Senior Peterkin Guild is the highest guild an unconfirmed acolyte can reach. In this guild an acolyte begins to collect more responsibility such as; lighting the alter candles, working with Peterkin guild acolytes and will begin to sit on the alter during the service. In this guild an acolyte is expected to be able to sit quietly through the service, participate in the prayers and be able to perform any role that is necessary. The jobs that are often performed by acolytes in the guild are: carrying a torch, banner, flag or cross.
- Fancies and Claire Guild (silver chain and cross) The Fancies and Claire Guild is reserved for acolytes that demonstrate mastery of all the responsibilities of an acolyte and have been confirmed. In this guild an acolyte is expected to serve as a role model by example for the younger acolytes. Acolytes in this guild are put into a regular rotation of being "captain" in the scheduling. As captain the acolyte will carry the 1st or lead cross in the processional/recessional. The jobs that are often performed in the guild are: carrying a banner, flag, cross, being captain and assisting the priest in preparation for communion and baptism.
- Canterbury Guild (gold chain and cross) The Canterbury Guild is the highest guild an acolyte can obtain. This guild is reserved for the most senior acolytes. Acolytes in this guild are expected to be model acolytes, demonstrating mastery of all responsibilities and model behavior. Canterbury Guild acolytes work with younger acolytes by explaining the jobs, helping during vesting and filling in when an Acolyte Director is not able to be present. Also, the Canterbury Guild acolytes serve as captain for the midnight Christmas Eve, Easter and Good Friday services. Upon graduating from this guild, the acolyte is given a $500 scholarship toward college in memory of Mary Lou Hague, a former acolyte who was killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.