/ak"euh luyt'/, n.
1. an altar attendant in public worship; altar boy.
2. Rom. Cath. Ch.
a. a member of the highest-ranking of the four minor orders.
b. the order itself. Cf. exorcist (def. 2), lector (def. 2), ostiary (def. 1).
3. any attendant, assistant, or follower.
[1275-1325; ME acolite < ML acolytus < Gk akólouthos follower, attendant, equiv. to a- prefix denoting association + -kolouthos, var. of KÉLEUTHOS road, journey]

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      (from Greek akolouthos, “server,” “companion,” or “follower”), in the Roman Catholic church (Roman Catholicism), a person is installed in a ministry in order to assist the deacon and priest in liturgical celebrations, especially the eucharistic liturgy. The first probable reference to the office dates from the time of Pope Victor I (189–199), and it was mentioned frequently in Roman documents after the 4th century. Acolytes also existed in North Africa but were unknown outside Rome and North Africa until the 10th century, when they were introduced throughout the Western Church. The Council of Trent (Trent, Council of) (1545–63) defined the order and hoped to reactivate it on the pastoral level, but it became only a preparatory rite, or minor order, leading to the priesthood. A directive of Pope Paul VI (effective Jan. 1, 1973) decreed that the office of acolyte should no longer be called a minor order but a ministry and that it should be open to laymen.

      In the Eastern Church, the order of acolytes was not accepted. In Protestant churches, mainly Anglican (Anglican Communion) and Lutheran (Lutheranism), acolytes are generally laypersons who light the candles at church services.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Acolyte — • A cleric promoted to the fourth and highest minor order in the Latin Church, ranking next to a subdeacon Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Acolyte     Acolyte      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Acolyte — Ac o*lyte, n. [LL. acolythus, acoluthus, Gr. ? following, attending: cf. F. acolyte.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Eccl.) One who has received the highest of the four minor orders in the Catholic church, being ordained to carry the wine and water and the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • acolyte — ACOLYTE. s. m. Clerc promeu à l un des quatre Mineurs, dont l office est de porter les cierges, preparer le feu, l encensoir, le vin & l eau, & de servir le Prestre, le Diacre, le Sousdiacre. Faire les fonctions d Acolyte à une grande Messe …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • acolyte — index coactor Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • acolyte — (n.) early 14c., inferior officer in the church, from O.Fr. acolite or directly from M.L. acolytus (L.L. acoluthos), from Gk. akolouthos following, attending on, lit. having one way, from a together with, copulative prefix, + keleuthose a way,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • acolyte — [n] attendant, usually in a church aid, assistant, follower, helper; concept 361 …   New thesaurus

  • acolyte — Acolyte, Acolytus, {{t=g}}akôlutos,{{/t}} qui ipse quidem non peragit mysteria, sed non excluditur cum caeteris, quod ignem aut simile quid ad sacra affert: quasi dicas, non prohibitus, hoc est admissus, ab {{t=g}}a{{/t}} et {{t=g}}kalua{{/t}}… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • acolyte — ► NOUN 1) an assistant or follower. 2) a person assisting a priest in a religious service. ORIGIN Latin acolytus, from Greek akolouthos follower …   English terms dictionary

  • acolyte — [ak′ə līt΄] n. [ME acolit < ML acolytus < Gr akolouthos, follower < a , copulative + keleuthos, a way] 1. in some Christian churches a) one of the four MINOR ORDERS, the special function of which is to serve at the Eucharist b) any… …   English World dictionary

  • Acolyte — NOTOC This article is about religious acolytes. For other uses, see Acolyte (disambiguation). In many Christian denominations, an acolyte is anyone who performs ceremonial duties such as lighting altar candles. In other Christian Churches, the… …   Wikipedia

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