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Bernard Gui

What? No authority needed to pass the sacrament?

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In the thread discussing women passing the sacrament in the mother’s lounge, Rivers said,

Quote

Dr. Daniel Peterson talked about this in his blog:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeterson/2018/10/in-which-i-endorse-the-ordination-of-women.html

He makes the point that passing the sacrament is not even a priestly ordinance.  Only the blessing of the bread and water is.  

Reading in 3 Nephi 18 today, I came across this passage:

Quote

5 And when the multitude had eaten and were filled, he said unto the disciples: Behold there shall one be ordained among you, and to him will I give power that he shall break bread and bless it and give it unto the people of my church, unto all those who shall believe and be baptized in my name.
6 And this shall ye always observe to do, even as I have done, even as I have broken bread and blessed it and given it unto you.
7 And this shall ye do in remembrance of my body, which I have shown unto you. And it shall be a testimony unto the Father that ye do always remember me. And if ye do always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you.
8 And it came to pass that when he said these words, he commanded his disciples that they should take of the wine of the cup and drink of it, and that they should also give unto the multitude that they might drink of it.
9 And it came to pass that they did so, and did drink of it and were filled; and they gave unto the multitude, and they did drink, and they were filled.
10 And when the disciples had done this, Jesus said unto them: Blessed are ye for this thing which ye have done, for this is fulfilling my commandments, and this doth witness unto the Father that ye are willing to do that which I have commanded you.
11 And this shall ye always do to those who repent and are baptized in my name; and ye shall do it in remembrance of my blood, which I have shed for you, that ye may witness unto the Father that ye do always remember me. And if ye do always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you.
12 And I give unto you a commandment that ye shall do these things. And if ye shall always do these things blessed are ye, for ye are built upon my rock.

It would appear that at least among the Nephites, passing (giving) the sacrament was done by disciples ordained by Jesus with specified authority and instructions.

In our time those who are ordained to pass (give) it to the members are called deacons. This seems to contradict that claim that passing the sacrament is not a priestly ordinance.

Comments?

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I am just plain old folk who has been out of the church for over 10 years after 40 in....but think about it....what kind of authority is necessary to pass bread and water? 

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14 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

3 Nephi doesn't really go into the authority and minutae of what was done. If you're following 3 Nephi then the deacons aren't allowed to pass the sacrament either - only priests who both bless and pass.

The argument for deacons not having special authority to pass the sacrament is because there's no revelation stating that. Likewise the fact is we as a practical matter pass the sacrament to each other. So if only deacons or higher can pass the sacrament then we've been doing it wrong for more than a century. This isn't a trivial matter. In Protestantism there were big debates over whether the bread and water could only be given to individuals by priests or it they could pass a tray to each other. Mormons went with the priest not needing to do it from very early.

Exactly what I was thinking.

D&C 20 goes in to quite a bit of detail about the priesthood duties of the various priesthood offices. Nowhere does it state that a priesthood holder must pass the sacrament. This isn't totally surprising since priesthood has evolved over time, but there really isn't any kind of revelation or scriptural mandate requiring a deacon pass the sacrament. The passage from 3rd Nephi doesn't state otherwise.

I think it's interesting that in other churches (some but I'm sure not all) those who receive communion take a more active role in participating. They literally leave their seat and go to receive instead of having it brought to them passively. I think it's a beautiful thing to watch people purposely go to partake, instead of picking a piece of bread from a tray that happens to be passed in front of them while they may, or may not, be thinking about the ordinance. It could be done the same way in our church if leadership wanted to. Members would receive the sacrament directly from the priests who administer it.

But in our system of passing it around the congregation, there really isn't any requirement about who passes to who. We have a tradition of deacons passing it to the person at the end of the row and then taking it to a new row, but there's nothing doctrinal about that.

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37 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

3 Nephi doesn't really go into the authority and minutae of what was done. If you're following 3 Nephi then the deacons aren't allowed to pass the sacrament either - only priests who both bless and pass.

The argument for deacons not having special authority to pass the sacrament is because there's no revelation stating that. Likewise the fact is we as a practical matter pass the sacrament to each other. So if only deacons or higher can pass the sacrament then we've been doing it wrong for more than a century. This isn't a trivial matter. In Protestantism there were big debates over whether the bread and water could only be given to individuals by priests or it they could pass a tray to each other. Mormons went with the priest not needing to do it from very early.

My argument is that at least among the Nephites passing the sacrament was an ordained priestly duty.  This is clear scriptural evidence that one must be ordained with authority in order to distribute the sacrament. This was under the explicit instruction and authority of Jesus. I noted that in our time deacons do this. Whether or not there is specific revelation about deacons, it is clear that one must be ordained to administer and distribute the sacrament. We are in compliance with the Lord’s words.

Edited by Bernard Gui
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28 minutes ago, Jeanne said:

I am just plain old folk who has been out of the church for over 10 years after 40 in....but think about it....what kind of authority is necessary to pass bread and water? 

The kind Jesus gave the Nephite disciples and commanded they observe forever. Please read the scripture quoted above.

Edited by Bernard Gui

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20 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

But in our system of passing it around the congregation, there really isn't any requirement about who passes to who. We have a tradition of deacons passing it to the person at the end of the row and then taking it to a new row, but there's nothing doctrinal about that.

Our system conforms with that established by Jesus among the Nephites as described in the quoted scripture. That we call the passers deacons is irrelevant.

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57 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

Whether or not there is specific revelation about deacons, it is clear that one must be ordained to administer and distribute the sacrament. We are in compliance with the Lord’s words.

I think you're trying to have it both ways. If distribute is passing it to rows, then no priesthood is necessary. If distribute is to individually hand it to people, then we've been doing it wrong. The reality is that what the deacon does now and what you do when you pass it to the person beside you is exactly the same. If one requires priesthood then the other does as well. The issue is whether the sacrament is presented to any individual by the priest or not.

Again I'd note that this was still a very much live debate in the 19th century. Some faiths only let the priest distribute it to each individual. (Often they come up to the priest) As with all doctrinal debates in Protestantism the dispute became somewhat nasty at times. So I don't think one can dismiss the D&C here in context although I'll grant you that the way 3 Nephi is phrased sounds more Catholic.

Edited by clarkgoble
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It falls under deacons assisting with the ordinance as part of their Priesthood duties to assist priests in their duties but they are not explicitly the only ones who can touch a tray.

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2 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

In the thread discussing women passing the sacrament in the mother’s lounge, Rivers said,

Reading in 3 Nephi 18 today, I came across this passage:

It would appear that at least among the Nephites, passing (giving) the sacrament was done by disciples ordained by Jesus with specified authority and instructions.

In our time those who are ordained to pass (give) it to the members are called deacons. This seems to contradict that claim that passing the sacrament is not a priestly ordinance.

Comments?

Giving and passing in this passage and our current usage are not necessarily synonymous. I (and just about every member in the congregation) participate in passing the sacrament every sunday. General policy focused on deacons passing from row to row. But all of us pass it from person to person. Giving in this case (tied with both breaking and blessing it) is done by ordained disciples today as well when they give the broken and blessed bread to the deacons who then start the process of passing it. 

 

With luv,

BD

Edited by BlueDreams
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This whole issue is odd to me.

If someone without the aaronic priesthood passes me the sacrament, does that invalidate the sacrament for me?  I don’t think so.

Also, what does it mean to pass the sacrament?  Is the Aaronic Priesthood required to move the bread and water from row to row, but not required to pass the sacrament from one person to another within that pew (as is most commonly done)?

I think passing the sacrament has nothing to do with priesthood authority, and more to do with priesthood service.

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It is the same thing with preparing the sacrament. It is Priesthood service but there is nothing special about being a teacher and doing it.

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I go to a traditional Catholic parish that celebrates the Tridentine Mass (traditional Latin Mass). The Eucharist Host is delivered by the priest directly to my tongue. The altar boy carries a paten to catch any crumbs or slip-ups.

Eucaristia-giovane-latin-mass.jpg

In the new Mass, sometimes "extraordinary" ministers of Holy Communion are used: these are lay people who have been asked to help with communion and almost exclusively distribute the wine. Also, in the new Mass, some parishioners accept the Host with their hands and then place it in their mouth. This is being strongly discouraged in my diocese lately.

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7 minutes ago, BlueDreams said:

Giving and passing in this passage and our current usage are not necessarily synonymous. I (and just about every member in the congregation) participate in passing the sacrament every sunday. General policy focused on deacons passing from row to row. But all of us pass it from person to person. Giving in this case (tied with both breaking and blessing it) is done by ordained disciples today as well when they give the broken and blessed bread to the deacons who then start the process of passing it. 

 

With luv,

BD

They may or may not be synonymous. I am pointing out that this was the instructions that Jesus gave to the Nephites and our current practice is in full compliance with those instructions.

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19 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

It falls under deacons assisting with the ordinance as part of their Priesthood duties to assist priests in their duties but they are not explicitly the only ones who can touch a tray.

Jesus himself ordained disciples with the explicit instructions that they were to give it to the members just as he had set the example by what he did. That’s what we do today and we call the passers deacons. Here is the scriptural evidence that this activity is part of the priestly ordinance.

Edited by Bernard Gui

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10 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

I go to a traditional Catholic parish that celebrates the Tridentine Mass (traditional Latin Mass). The Eucharist Host is delivered by the priest directly to my tongue. The altar boy carries a paten to catch any crumbs or slip-ups.

Eucaristia-giovane-latin-mass.jpg

In the new Mass, sometimes "extraordinary" ministers of Holy Communion are used: these are lay people who have been asked to help with communion and almost exclusively distribute the wine. Also, in the new Mass, some parishioners accept the Host with their hands and then place it in their mouth. This is being strongly discouraged in my diocese lately.

Thank you. We all have our ways of participating in this sacred ordinance. The traditional Mass is similar to the instructions Jesus gave the Nephites, except, IIUC, only the priest takes the wine in the place of the congregants.

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9 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

They may or may not be synonymous. I am pointing out that this was the instructions that Jesus gave to the Nephites and our current practice is in full compliance with those instructions.

I'm pointing a change, exception, or correction in the policy that allows women to, say, pass the sacrament to women in the nursing room or pass the sacrament in general....wouldn't be in contradiction with that scripture because we already pass the sacrament in church as is. 

If we were given the sacrament like MisereiNobis is given eucharist, I could see the point more. We're not.

With luv,

BD

Edited by BlueDreams
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1 hour ago, Bernard Gui said:

Our system conforms with that established by Jesus among the Nephites as described in the quoted scripture. That we call the passers deacons is irrelevant.

You quote this scripture...

Quote

5 And when the multitude had eaten and were filled, he said unto the disciples: Behold there shall one be ordained among you, and to him will I give power that he shall break bread and bless it and give it unto the people of my church, unto all those who shall believe and be baptized in my name.
6 And this shall ye always observe to do, even as I have done, even as I have broken bread and blessed it and given it unto you.

If anything, I believe this would more accurately reflect the need for "one" who holds keys to authorize the administration of the sacrament. This would be about the bishop, not about a general priesthood requirement for passing

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13 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

Jesus himself ordained disciples with the explicit instructions that they were to give it to the members just as he had set the example by what he did. That’s what we do today and we call the passers deacons. Here is the scriptural evidence that this activity is part of the priestly ordinance.

I do not agree with your interpretation. It was given to the multitude by the people who blessed it. I interpret that as a general giving to them to eat and not that there are specific people distributing it from person to person.

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15 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

This whole issue is odd to me.

If someone without the aaronic priesthood passes me the sacrament, does that invalidate the sacrament for me?  I don’t think so.

Also, what does it mean to pass the sacrament?  Is the Aaronic Priesthood required to move the bread and water from row to row, but not required to pass the sacrament from one person to another within that pew (as is most commonly done)?

I think passing the sacrament has nothing to do with priesthood authority, and more to do with priesthood service.

Why do you think 3 Nephi 18 has nothing to with authority? The issue was significant enough to the Savior (in whose memory it is done and with whom the covenants are made) that he gave explicit instructions both ancient lyrics and in modern times on how it must be done. Accoding to Him, the Priesthood stand in his place and follow his example. He did not take it lightly or consider it strange.

We pass row by row because of the physical structure of our places of worship. If we were not sitting in narrow rows but in broad open configurations, it would be possible for the Aaronic Priesthood to pass to each person individually, or if the congregation came up individually to the altar as in some other churches, there would be no need for the deacons to do it.

In any case, it is only ordained Priesthood bearers who administer the ordinance...authorized just like those who administer the ordinance of baptism and confirmation.... laying on of hands.... to renew those covenants, as instructed by Jesus, and done as a priestly ordinance by ordained disciples.

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17 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

They may or may not be synonymous. I am pointing out that this was the instructions that Jesus gave to the Nephites and our current practice is in full compliance with those instructions.

Are you saying that the Nephite disciples only had the Aaronic priesthood.  Because it seems like, if they had the Melchizedek, that our current practice does not match what was happening in 3rd Nephi.

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10 minutes ago, BlueDreams said:

I'm pointing a change, exception, or correction in the policy that allows women to, say, pass the sacrament to women in the nursing room or pass the sacrament in general....wouldn't be in contradiction with that scripture because we already pass the sacrament in church as is. 

With luv,

BD

Which has been discussed on another thread, and is a non-issue, AFAIAC.

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1 minute ago, bluebell said:

Are you saying that the Nephite disciples only had the Aaronic priesthood.  Because it seems like, if they had the Melchizedek, that our current practice does not match what was happening in 3rd Nephi.

It is quite possible they did not even have a separate Aaronic Priesthood. They probably did not have any Levites or Priests except maybe a few who came with the Mulekites and they were the only ones we know of who were authorized to hold the limited Aaronic power until Jesus Christ’s resurrection. Jesus May have reintroduced it but maybe not. It is also possible they had the Aaronic Priesthood under different instructions before Christ.

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2 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

Which has been discussed on another thread, and is a non-issue, AFAIAC.

Not if you're trying to make the point that only those ordained to a priesthood office should be passing the sacrament. 

 

With luv,

BD

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1 minute ago, bluebell said:

Are you saying that the Nephite disciples only had the Aaronic priesthood.  Because it seems like, if they had the Melchizedek, that our current practice does not match what was happening in 3rd Nephi.

I an saying what it says in 3 Nephi 18: by command of Jesus, administering the sacrament is a priestly ordinance...preparation and distribution. In the OP someone said there is no evidence that passing (giving) it to the members requires ordination. IMO, this scripture explicitly says it does.

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