I’ve enjoyed watching the deacons pass the sacrament in our ward. My youngest son is 14 now, so he often does not pass anymore. On a good week, the deacons quorum can do all the passing themselves without help from the teachers’ quorum.
Our deacons are deacon-reverent: they aren’t particularly quiet on the bench, but they are pretty serious about passing efficiently and reverently. Occasionally there’s an issue of whether that half-row of congregants should pass the tray to the other end or pass it back to the deacon, but the boys take those things in stride.
Our deacons are not overly formal. Some wear jackets, all wear white shirts and ties. Some sleeves are rolled up, most shirt-tales are tucked in. And only a few of the shirts look the deacons themselves are doing the ironing. (My son irons his white shirt each week, by the way.) They do line up and wait for the priests to stand before returning to the sacrament table.
We have tall and short deacons; interestingly our newest deacon is a head taller than some of the 13-year olds. And some of the teachers seem to be close to their adult height, so the row of passers at the sacrament table reveals a real diversity of height. Hair also ranges a pretty normal deacon spectrum, from mother-brushed to cow-licked to wake-up-on-Sunday-after-washing-it-Saturday.
These are nice kids. We know most of them pretty well. I used to be bishop to mmany of them (before they were baptized), and they will actually say hello and shake my hand. I am pleased to see them handle the bread and water as they learn their role in providing priesthood service. They know this is not about them. And they know (despite my noticing them from time to time) that they are not there to be noticed.
When a new boy joins the quorum, one patiently teaches him where to stand, when to walk and when to stay. And gently reminds him in hushed tones if needed.
Sister Beck said it well this weekend (or whenever her comments were recorded): “The Lord loves beginners.” I think He does love these boys who serve Him and the rest of us. May they feel His spirit as they do so.