Last Sunday a gay excommunicated member passed the Sacrament in my ward. He was sitting next to me, and as the Sacrament tray came down the row, he reverently held the tray while I took the bread, and then a few minutes later the water.
This was not the first time he has passed me the sacrament. About 25 years ago he passed me the sacrament as a 12 year old Deacon. While it did not mean much to me 25 years ago, it was much more meaningful this last Sunday. He is close friend of my daughter, and just recently started to attend church again. I’ve sat by him a few Sundays since he has started to return. I don’t fully know his reasons for returning, but I feel his spirit as I sit next to him. He is a wonderful man.
This has got me to wondering about the authority to pass the sacrament. If my friend had been at the end of a row, and no deacon was there when he got the tray, could he have handed the tray to the row behind him? Could he have stood up and passed the tray across the aisle? What authority is needs to “pass the sacrament”? Everybody passes the tray in a row, from non-members to little children. But does it take priesthood to pass it between rows? To carry it down the aisle? Where is the line?
Or is passing the Sacrament just an assignment given to the Deacons, and could it just as easily be given to the Young Women? I could not find any scriptural basis for the Deacons or any Priesthood holder to pass the sacrament. Nothing in the D&C anyplace. The only place I found it was in the Church Handbook of Instructions, where it says “After the prayer, deacons or other priesthood holders pass the bread (water)……..”. What do you think?