"The word acolyte is derived from the Greek word akolouthos, meaning companion, attendant, or helper. The Acolyte ministry has its roots in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible, where the prophet Samuel is seen assisting Eli, the Levite priest, and Elisha is seen assisting Elijah the Prophet.
In Anglican churches such as the Episcopal Church of the United States or the Church of England, altar servers are called acolytes and can be of either sex and any age (although usually no younger than ten).
An acolyte can assist in worship by carrying a processional cross, lighting candles, holding the Gospel book, holding candles, assisting a deacon or priest set up and clean up at the altar, swinging incense or carrying the incense boat, handing the offering plates to ushers, and many other tasks as seen fit by the priest or acolyte warden.
An acolyte commonly wears a cassock-alb with girdle. A girdle is usually a twisted rope with knots on the ends which is secured round the waist; it may be white or of the liturgical color. Wearing crosses or other special pins or symbols is the prerogative of the individual church."