Brand New Deacon

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SDR
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Brand New Deacon

Postby SDR » Mon 27 Jul, 2009 04:34 pm

My youngest turned 12 in June, his mother had him ordained a deacon before I got custody (heaven forbid I might have the opportunity to confer priesthood to him myself), and then a few days later he came to live with me.

So, even though he was ordained a deacon in his old ward, it happened after sacrament meeting and thus he never had a chance to pass sacrament in that ward. July 19th was his first Sunday in our ward, and he was just a little too nervous to want to pass sacrament that day. After priesthood, all the deacons went back into the chapel and showed him the basics, and while it's not complex, it was a very short demo and it would be a week until he had the opportunity to use the knowledge. So yesterday, July 26th, was his first opportunity to pass the sacrament.

One of the things I made sure he knew about before going to sit with the deacons was to wait for the bishop to take the sacrament before starting to pass to everyone else (he was on the other side of the stand from the bishop). I had mentioned in passing that whoever was presiding is who would go first, but that it will almost always be the bishop.

Well, wouldn't you know we had the entire stake presidency present (the 2nd counselor in our bishopric is being deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan or some such and will be gone for a year or more) to call a new 2nd counselor. Stanley had met the bishop of course, and was prepared for him to be first, but it threw him a little when the stake president took sacrament first (who Stanley had not met). Fortunately he was next to the priests and followed their directions.

He was visibly nervous being up in front of everyone, particularly while passing the bread. He'd relaxed a little by the time the water was being passed, though he was still nervous about spilling the water. He also forgot to stand back with the rest of the deacons and wait for the priests to stand before going back up to the sacrament table, but one of his fellow deacons pointed out where he should be standing.

Nothing of an earth shattering nature, of course, and he did a fine job (and did it without needing to use cargo shorts) for his first time. Now that the first time is behind him, I'm sure he'll be much more comfortable in the future.

I don't really remember a lot about the first time I passed the sacrament. It was in a tiny branch in north east Texas, so there were only two of us passing and the simplest of simple patterns (one deacon down one side, the other down the other). Much less to go 'wrong'. Plus my family was inactive when I was 12, so I was pushing 14 by the time I was ordained a deacon. Not that I was super mature compared to 12 year old deacons, but I think I was just enough further along to not be quite as stressed about it.

Any one have any similar stories of their first time (or witnessing someone's first time) passing the sacrament as a new deacon?

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Postby Momma Snider » Mon 27 Jul, 2009 05:44 pm

Most of the feelings of humilation I've seen have been with those blessing the sacrament, not passing. But when I was a little girl I used to watch very closely to see how it should be passed, so I'd be ready when I had to do it. I don't know how old I was when I figured out it was only boys, but probably not more than four or five. I also used to think it was kind of a race, and I'd feel like it was unfair if we had too many babies on our side, because that took longer.

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Postby AdamOndi » Mon 27 Jul, 2009 07:40 pm

The ward in which I turned 12 and became a deacon had a very organized Deacons' Quorum that was very efficient at teaching new deacons how to pass. They even had a little diagram on a laminated card. So no problems there. However, I have since been in other wards that are not nearly as good at teaching their new deacons how things work.
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Postby WiseNLucky » Tue 28 Jul, 2009 06:20 am

My first time to pass was on my mission in Germany. There were only about six people in the room so it wasn't too stressful.

My first time to bless was the first Sunday after my ordination as Priest. I was 22. I read the prayer at a normal speed, following the punctuation, and I thought it went fine. Several people came up to me afterward and told me I had done a really fine job. I didn't think about it until I watched the following Sundays and found that the vast majority of Priests rush through the prayer, perhaps for fear they will make a mistake. I honestly don't know why. I remember times when I was in the bishopric and wasn't entirely sure they got it right, it having been zoomed through so quickly. Anyway, I always make a point to express my appreciation when someone makes an effort to slow down and speak very clearly.

I have had one really embarrassing sacrament moment. I became the first person to give the prayer in German in my MTC incoming group. It was the first Sunday after our infamous Silent Sunday, which was the term we used for the first day on our missions when we were not permitted to speak English at all. The mission president always let us know far in advance of our selection so we could practice, and practice I did. I was very nervous and very confident by the time I was on. I read the prayer perfectly, just as I had practiced, and at the end looked to the MP for confirmation that it was acceptable. Everyone was sitting with head down. I was perplexed, and time went by, when finally the MP looked at me, saw me looking at him, and calmly came over and told me I had to do it over again because I had forgotted to say Amen at the end. The horror!

I will never, ever again forget to say Amen.
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Postby SDR » Tue 28 Jul, 2009 09:06 am

I've only ever experienced one priest who IMO really *rushed* the prayer. Coincidentally enough, it was the branch president's son. I swear he did it in one breath.

My most nerve wracking time blessing was while visiting a friend in my old ward in Dallas. I never had a problem in my home branch / ward, but major nerves in the much larger Dallas ward. I'd been acting in school for several years, so it wasn't crowds that bothered me. I think maybe it was being myself in front of the large crowd. And maybe the microphone, which was unneeded in my smaller home branch / ward.

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Postby Momma Snider » Tue 28 Jul, 2009 09:35 am

I remember one time when a new priest, an older guy who had recently been baptized, had to read the prayer over and over again, because he kept skipping a word. The bishop finally went over to point the word out, and it turns out someone had just typed up new cards, and they had forgotten the word.

There was a new kid just recently in my home ward who is not a good reader at all, and he kept messing up in the same place. The other priests both obviously noticed every time, but didn't nudge him or help him, so he'd get all the way to the end and have to start over. There's some training that needs to be done.

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Postby iamroch » Tue 28 Jul, 2009 11:15 am

I was nearly 14 when I was baptized, and had been going to church for several months before, so I had become frineds with all the deacons. They all came to my baptism and afterwards, they took me into the chapel and showed me how I was supposed to pass the sacrament.

I think I passed it for the first time the next week. I was just standing there, staring at the poeple as they took the sacrament. One of the boys came hurriedly over to me and told me to stand straight ahead with my hands at my side. I felt dumb, but that passed quickly.

We had a group of about 6 boys who were all within a year of each other in age, so we would take turns blessing the sacrament. It was my turn one time and I wore a bright green shirt to Church, not really thinking about it. The Bishop kind of got after me (and the whole group) and said that we should try to wear white shirts for blessing the sacrament. I realized that I wasn't really thinking about the sacrament and what it meant. So I tried to make it a more real experience and to really understand and feel the significance. That is when I started to really pay attention to the punctuation and to give emphasis to deity in the prayers. I am a little sad when the prayers are read too fast because I think they are missing the point that they are adressing God and asking for his blessing.

I still think it's awesome that a bunch of 13 year old boys thought to do show me the ropes and help incorporate me into the ward. It's because of them that I was able to stay active through my teen years (my family didn't join the Church, just me) and go on a mission, etc. They made me feel welcome and totally part of the group.
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Re: Brand New Deacon

Postby lilcis » Tue 28 Jul, 2009 03:54 pm

SDR wrote:One of the things I made sure he knew about before going to sit with the deacons was to wait for the bishop to take the sacrament before starting to pass to everyone else (he was on the other side of the stand from the bishop). I had mentioned in passing that whoever was presiding is who would go first, but that it will almost always be the bishop.


When I attended a small YSA branch we often had the missionaries help with passing the sacrament. One Sunday I was sitting in one of the first rows, so after the blessing a missionary came straight to me and handed me the tray. I knew that no one had even gotten to the stand yet, so the bishop hadn't received it yet, so I gave the missionary a confused look and while I was deliberating on whether to just take it he moved on to the next row. I was kind of annoyed then because I just got skipped over! I think I grabbed one of the other guys and got it from him instead.
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Postby SDR » Tue 28 Jul, 2009 05:23 pm

Okay, a question for people. I was sharing this story with someone at work, who told me there is no *requirement* that the presiding authority be the first to take the sacrament and that it is not written anywhere that it is that way.

Certainly, there are things in the church that "are" because of tradition, so it is certainly possible that I've always accepted this yet even though there is no actual requirement.

So my question to all of you would be: is it or ain't it?

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Postby Momma Snider » Tue 28 Jul, 2009 06:22 pm

Rocky said it's in the handbook. He said it used to be confusing because sometimes the high councilor is sitting there, so they put it in the handbook that the bishop gets it first, unless there's a member of the stake presidency is there, in which case he's first. Once that first person has taken it, it doesn't matter who is next.

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Postby SDR » Tue 28 Jul, 2009 07:42 pm

Thanks Momma... I suspected it was in the handbook: it's been one of three standard things about the sacrament that I could always count on (the other two being the text of the prayers).

My work friend was telling me what he'd been told by a bishop once upon a time, so maybe that bishop was confused by the handbook.

Thanks again.

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Postby Momma Snider » Tue 28 Jul, 2009 07:45 pm

Or maybe the bishop was really old, and remembered back from when it wasn't in the handbook.

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Postby SDR » Tue 28 Jul, 2009 07:49 pm

Another good possibility.

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Re: Brand New Deacon

Postby WiseNLucky » Wed 29 Jul, 2009 06:07 am

lilcis wrote:When I attended a small YSA branch we often had the missionaries help with passing the sacrament. One Sunday I was sitting in one of the first rows, so after the blessing a missionary came straight to me and handed me the tray. I knew that no one had even gotten to the stand yet, so the bishop hadn't received it yet, so I gave the missionary a confused look and while I was deliberating on whether to just take it he moved on to the next row. I was kind of annoyed then because I just got skipped over! I think I grabbed one of the other guys and got it from him instead.


I would have taken the tray from the missionary and held it until the presiding authority had been served. I would have wrestled him for the tray, if necessary. But that's just me. :D
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Postby Coolboyharrell » Wed 29 Jul, 2009 01:16 pm

Yeah, I passed the sacrament a few weeks ago and totally forgot to give it to the bishop first. The girl I went to in the first row just kind of looked at me quizzically, and a bunch of dudes behind her all started whispering "The bishop first! The bishop first!" and pointing toward the stand. I managed not to say "Oh, yeah!" too audibly, but did manage to look pretty silly overall. Turns out you forget about things when you have done it in a few years. I've done it again since then and didn't screw it up too bad.
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Postby Momma Snider » Wed 29 Jul, 2009 04:00 pm

What I forgot to say in the beginning, SDR, is I'm happy for you. It's a great feeling to watch your son performing his priesthood duties. I love to watch boys pass or bless the sacrament for the first time and think about how their parents are feeling.

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Postby SDR » Wed 29 Jul, 2009 05:54 pm

Thank you, Momma. Exactly how I felt. :)

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Re: Brand New Deacon

Postby Momma Snider » Fri 12 Oct, 2012 03:05 pm

We had kind of an awkward Bishop-first moment a few weeks ago. The bishop's son was blessing the sacrament for the first time, so Bishop sat with him at the sacrament table. So when the deacons got the trays, the first one headed up to where the bishop usually sits. By the time he realized where the bishop was and went over to him, the one doing my row was standing next to me wondering why I wasn't taking it. He was a new deacon, so I'm sure it confused him. I just whispered, "Wait for the bishop to get his," and he looked around and got embarrassed, but I'm sure no one else was looking at him.

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Re: Brand New Deacon

Postby bCurt » Sun 14 Oct, 2012 04:33 am

Sounds like a typical first run for a Deacon! I'm sure he's getting the hang of it now.

I'm the Deacon's Quorum Adviser and pass most Sundays since we have a small YM's group. The presiding authority thing gets confusing at times. We one time had Jeffrey R. Holland in the congregation (we're in the ward he grew up in) and found out shortly before Sacrament meeting, so the YM were a little confused. They passed to him first but only to him in that row and had to come back and finish the row. Steven E. Snow has mixed us up before too. Problem with Elder Snow is I didn't recognize him so I'm glad someone else pointed out to me who he was.


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