Zwingli prevailed on the council to forbid his entrance into Zurich; and even then the pope argued that, so long as the preacher was still receiving a papal pension, he could not be a formidable adversary, and he gave him a further sop in the form of an acolyte chaplaincy.
The conclusion, then, which seems warranted by the evidence, is that the acolyte was an office only at Rome, and, becoming an order in the Gallican Church, found its way as such into the Roman books at some period before the fusion of the two rites under Charlemagne.
At most pontifical functions, moreover, the bishop - as the representative of Christ - is preceded by an acolyte with a burning candle (bugia) on a candlestick.
The evidence available, therefore, points to the fact that the acolyte was only a local office and was not a necessary step or order for every candidate.
During the mass an acolyte bore the thurible (Ordo VI.) and three assisted at the washing of the hands.
He was then, at Sarum, censed by the deacon, and an acolyte censed the choir; at Bangor the Sinistrum Cornu of the altar and the relics were censed instead.
In 1538 he obtained a dispensation permitting him to hold a benefice, notwithstanding his being a natural son, and in June 1546 he was made an acolyte in the cathedral church of Aberdeen, of which he was afterwards appointed a canon and prebendary.
The office of acolyte may have been suggested by the attendant assigned to heathen priests.