The weekly sacrament ritual is the focal point in LDS sabbath worship. In it we renew our baptismal covenants with Christ. These covenants include promises to God, to ourselves, and to others. The ritual also has layers of meaning in how it is prepared, blessed, and passed by the Aaronic priesthood holders in the ward.
In LDS sabbath meetings, the priesthood generally only passes the sacrament between pews. Once the sacrament is passed to a pew, the people sitting in the pew pass it to each other before passing it back to a priesthood holder to pass to the next pew. Often when Mormons speak of passing the sacrament, they are only referring to the passing that goes on from the sacrament table to the outer edge of the pews. But if you pay attention, you’ll see that there’s an even more powerful and intimate meaning in how the sacrament is passed within the pews. This is what happened when I saw my daughter pass the sacrament to me.
The act of passing the sacrament is profound. The sacrament represents the emblems of Christ: His blood and body shed for us. It becomes a physical representation of our baptismal covenants and the atonement. The act of passing it, offering it, to someone is deeply symbolic.
How do we offer the atonement to others? Do we extend a hand of forgiveness and repentance? Do we avoid passing judgement on another? Do we offer to heal broken hearts and bodies? Do we extend faith and trust to one another? And do we offer the Spirit of God to those around us? This is some of what it can mean to pass or offer the sacrament to someone.