The Q & A in September provides a good discussion starter on this historic, yet often misunderstood, practice. I partake of the Sacrament first, so that I, freshly strengthened by it, can thus offer it to the gentleman who assists me in the chancel. He and I both, in turn, again having been strengthened ourselves, may offer it to the communicants.
An illustration from the secular world–realizing that these only go so far–as an airline passenger on a reoccurring basis, I’ve heard the flight attendant’s instruction more times than I can enumerate concerning oxygen masks, “Secure your own mask before assisting others.” Likewise, while self-communing certainly isn’t the only legitimate way, I recognize that, strengthened by the Sacrament, I am thus better prepared to then offer it to those of the congregation I serve.
Rev. Paul E. Gramit
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