Acolytes were first mentioned as a minor order of the church (along with porters, lectors, and exorcists) in a letter from Pope Cornelius to Fabian of Antioch in 252 a.d. *
*Armentrout and Slocum. An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church.
[Acolyte] Lay person who assists in worship by carrying the processional cross or crucifix, lighting and extinguishing candles, holding a torch at the reading of the gospel, helping with the presentation of the bread, wine, and gifts of the people, and assisting the deacon or priest in the preparation of the altar for communion. **
**Wall. A Dictionary for Episcopalians.
The Acolytes at The Church of The Epiphany-Tempe are an essential part of our services. During 2012, nineteen members of Epiphany served as Acolytes at the 10:00 a.m. Choral Eurharist (three to four at a time) performing the tasks described above. Epiphany’s Acolytes include youngsters from the fifth grade up and adults of any age, male and female. Additional adults assist with the 5:00 p.m. Saturday and 8:00 a.m. Sunday services (usually one adult at each).
Training is provided on any Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. To schedule a training, please contact Epiphany and ask for either Acolyte Master Vince Anderson or Dave Bauer.
Our late alcolyte master, Colonel Wiltz Bethancourt, was a dedicated acolyte and teacher. We honor him in our duties and responsibilities as acolytes. Each year the Wiltz Bethancourt Award is presented to a junior or senior acolyte who best displayed the qualities that honor Wiltz.
Special Ministers are parishioners who wish to vest for a service, read, and administer the chalice. Applicants should be a member in good standing and be able to assist at the Saturday and Sunday services as needed.
In addition to greeting celebrants as they enter the church and distributing the order of service, ushers work to ensure a smooth flow of people during communion and assist any celebrant, as well as parishioner, in need of a little help. Ushers also pass the plate during the offertory and perform other functions as needed.
The Altar Guild exists specifically to assist the clergy with all the celebrations within the church. They set up and assist with Holy Eucharists, baptisms, marriages, funerals, Christmas, and all Holy Week services. The members are responsible for the set up, cleaning, and securing of liturgical vestments and vessels for all services.
The Altar Guild members at The Church of The Epiphany-Tempe are wonderful people who work quietly in the background taking care of our church’s service needs. We have a delightful group that enjoys working together and serving God.
The Altar Guild at The Church of The Epiphany-Tempe is set up in teams of two to three people. The teams rotate their duties so each team is only responsible for one week per month. Twice a year the Altar Guild holds a special meeting to discuss upcoming holidays, special needs, and/or requests of the rector and Guild members. In addition, they do a “spring cleaning” twice a year to help prepare for special holiday celebrations.
The Flower Guild is comprised of volunteers who create and maintain floral decorations for the sanctuary. This includes all regular Sunday services (except during Advent and Lent), and special services such as Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, the Great Vigil of Easter, Easter Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas and The Epiphany. This committee sometimes also helps provide floral decorations for weddings and funerals.
The flowers are funded by donations from parishioners. An “altar flowers” sign up chart is located inside Burkhardt Hall. Flowers are given to remember loved ones or to celebrate special occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries, or for any kind of occasion you’d like to give thanks for. A special thank you to all who gave generously this past year to help make our sanctuary floral decorations beautiful additions to our worship services.
New volunteers for the Flower Guild are always welcome.
The Wedding Guild provides assistance in the planning of weddings and receptions at The Church of The Epiphany-Tempe. We work with the wedding couple (mostly the brides and their moms) in coordinating all those little details that make a wedding fabulous. We assist Father Ron with the wedding rehearsal and wedding set-up. On the day of the wedding, the Wedding Guild is actively keeping everyone in place, pinning corsages, helping guests and getting the wedding party happily down the aisle.
Receptions at The Church of The Epiphany-Tempe are usually coordinated by the Wedding Guild along with the wedding party families.