Blessing & Passing
updated 09/09/15
2010 Handbook 2: Administering the Church
Sacrament - Blessing and Passing the Sacrament (20.4.3)

The Lord admonished, 'Let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence'. This handbook is a guide for members of ward and stake councils. It provides a doctrinal foundation for the work of the Church, as well as instructions for administering priesthood quorums and auxiliaries.

Priests and Melchizedek Priesthood holders may bless the sacrament. Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood holders may pass the sacrament.

As the congregation sings the sacrament hymn, the priesthood holders who will bless the sacrament reverently stand, remove the cloth that covers the bread trays, and break the bread into bite-sized pieces. When they finish breaking the bread, they sit down and join in singing the hymn. Vocal solos or instrumental music may not replace this hymn.

Following the hymn, the person who blesses the bread kneels and offers the sacrament prayer for the bread. The sacrament prayers were revealed by the Lord in the 20th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants, 'Bread' 'Water'. The bishop makes sure they are spoken clearly, accurately, and with dignity. If the person who blesses the sacrament makes an error in the wording but corrects it himself, no further correction is required. If the person does not correct an error, the bishop indicates that he should repeat the prayer correctly. In doing so, the bishop should be careful to avoid causing embarrassment or distracting from the sacred nature of the ordinance.

After the prayer, deacons or other priesthood holders pass the bread to the congregation in a reverent and orderly manner. The presiding officer receives the sacrament first. The bishop (or a counselor in his absence) presides at the sacrament meeting unless a member of the stake presidency, an Area Seventy, or a General Authority is sitting on the stand. A high councilor does not preside and does not receive the sacrament first.

While the presiding officer is receiving the sacrament, others who are passing the sacrament may walk to their designated places.

After a priesthood holder hands a sacrament tray to a member, others may pass the tray from one to another for convenience.

When brethren finish passing the bread, they return the trays to the sacrament table. Those officiating at the sacrament table place the cloth over the bread trays and uncover the water trays. The person who blesses the water then kneels and offers the sacrament prayer for the water, substituting the word water for wine.

After the prayer, deacons or other priesthood holders pass the water to the congregation. When they finish, they return the trays to the sacrament table, wait for the officiators to cover the trays, then reverently take their seats.

Everyone who attends the meeting should be reverent during the entire ordinance of blessing and passing the sacrament.

No music should be played during the prayer, while the sacrament is being passed, or as a postlude after the sacrament is passed.