I looked for the answer on the site but couldn’t find it. As an Aaronic Priesthood kid I was always told that if someone didn’t hear the whole prayer I shouldn’t take the sacrament. Through the years I’ve received varying answers and just want to know what information you have or can find about it.
It seems to Gramps that if you’re making or renewing a covenant, it doesn’t make much sense to miss part of the covenant pronouncement and then go ahead with the covenant form anyway. Can you imagine walking into the baptismal font halfway through the prayer, or joining a temple session after they’ve already begun? The sacrament is a covenant ordinance, and should be approached with the same reverence and gravity we feel with other such ordinances. The fact that it takes place every week should not change how we treat that sacred ordinance.
An article in the October 1985 edition of the Liahona addresses a similar topic. You might find it informative.
For myself, if I am not present for the sacrament prayer, I do not take the sacrament. If I miss the bread, I don’t take the water, either, since they are both part of the same covenant ordinance.