Question About Sitting with Family/congregation After Blessing/Passing the Sacrament

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elderliyinkan
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Question About Sitting with Family/congregation After Blessing/Passing the Sacrament

Postby elderliyinkan » Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:32 am

I am not a ward clerk, but an elders quorum president of a local ward in Hong Kong. The question I want to ask is can priesthood holders sit with their family/congregation after administrating the sacrament? Or if there is any church policy that requires them to be remained at the appointed seat?

Here's the situation: The ward that I belong to is lacking Aaronic priesthood holders, so basically all the priesthood holders who administrate the sacrament are either Elder or High Priest. And most of them have their own family (including young children).

Please let me know what's the latest church policy (with reference would be most appreciate) about that because I heard different opinions in the last PEC.

Thank you so much!!

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Re: Question About Sitting with Family/congregation After Blessing/Passing the Sacrament

Postby sbradshaw » Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:34 am

In all the wards I've been in (as far as I can remember), it's standard practice for the people passing the sacrament to sit with their families after the sacrament finishes. I don't think there's a policy one way or the other, though.
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Re: Question About Sitting with Family/congregation After Blessing/Passing the Sacrament

Postby lajackson » Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:49 am

elderliyinkan wrote:The question I want to ask is can priesthood holders sit with their family/congregation after administrating the sacrament? Or if there is any church policy that requires them to be remained at the appointed seat?

Handbook 2, 20.4.3 says that after the deacons or other priesthood holders have returned to the sacrament table after having passed the water to the congregation, they wait for the officiators to cover the trays, then reverently take their seats. The Handbook does not specify which seats.

I have lived in wards where those who officiated and passed the sacrament remained in place during the meeting. I have also lived in many wards where those who passed the sacrament returned to their families, and in other wards where those who officiated also sat with their families after the ordinance was completed.

I think the bishop, who normally presides and is responsible for the meeting, including reverence, may determine what is best for his ward. I also know that in wards where those who administered the sacrament remained in place, any father who was needed to help his family was expected to reverently leave and do so.

But I do not believe there is anything in writing, other than that they "reverently take their seats", that provides further direction.

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Re: Question About Sitting with Family/congregation After Blessing/Passing the Sacrament

Postby davesudweeks » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:24 am

When we moved into our current location in 1999, it was practice in our Stake to have the Aaronic Priesthood "remain at their post" through the entire meeting. I was soon called on the high council and learned the reason why, which was a specific decision for a specific purpose by the then stake president for all the wards in his stake. Fast forward a couple of Stake Presidents and we now have the Aaronic Priesthood sit in place after the sacrament, then the conducting officer stands and invites them to go sit with their families before announcing the speakers. I have seen many wards where they just leave without being invited after the Sacrament cloth is in place.

I believe this is under the bishop's responsibility, perhaps consulting with the stake president if he feels the need.

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Re: Question About Sitting with Family/congregation After Blessing/Passing the Sacrament

Postby drepouille » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:58 am

One visiting authority instructed our former stake presidency that the priesthood should be dismissed from their posts, but not thanked for their service, because it was their priesthood responsibility. Now that we have a new stake presidency, we no longer hear that counsel.
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elderliyinkan
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Re: Question About Sitting with Family/congregation After Blessing/Passing the Sacrament

Postby elderliyinkan » Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:45 pm

drepouille wrote:One visiting authority instructed our former stake presidency that the priesthood should be dismissed from their posts, but not thanked for their service, because it was their priesthood responsibility. Now that we have a new stake presidency, we no longer hear that counsel.


When I was in the married ward in BYUH, I heard of the exact instruction.

And thanks for all your information!

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Re: Question About Sitting with Family/congregation After Blessing/Passing the Sacrament

Postby Rictersmith » Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:21 pm

drepouille wrote:One visiting authority instructed our former stake presidency that the priesthood should be dismissed from their posts, but not thanked for their service, because it was their priesthood responsibility. Now that we have a new stake presidency, we no longer hear that counsel.


I'm not sure an instruction not to show gratitude towards the service others gives is exactly in line with what the gospel teachers or encouraging an attitude of gratitude. One thought that quickly would come to mind is a conflict would be when one Apostle speaks at General Conference and then thanks the prophet for wise counsel. It could be argued that giving wise counsel is his own priesthood responsibility. Since I have not found a designation in the handbook to refrain from thanking anyone for fulfilling a responsibility, my assumption is this is probably more a propagated opinion and preference that often works it's way into 'mormon culture'. Another example comes to mind would be when a member of the bishopric or stake releases someone from their calling. Do we not show by a raise of the hand our gratitude in thanking them for their service?

To the initial question. I've never seen the Aaronic Priesthood forced to remain seating in the same area, but have always seen them be excused by the person conducting the meeting to join their families.

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Re: Question About Sitting with Family/congregation After Blessing/Passing the Sacrament

Postby sbradshaw » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:09 am

In my current ward, we just go back to our seats in the congregation after all the trays are back on the table and the cloth is folded over – no need for anything to be said at all. But if something is said, I agree with Rictersmith, that gratitude is appropriate and, if given sincerely, can provide strengthening validation for the deacons and priests. If it's just a rote habit to "thank the priesthood," without any meaning, you may as well not say anything at all. Of course, your current priesthood leaders have the final voice on what should be done in your ward.
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