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The Rema in Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 581 notes how the person who leads the Selichos continues with davening. He then notes an additional custom:

ויש מקומות נוהגים שהמתפלל סליחות יתפלל כל היום

And there are places where the one who davens selichos, davens all the day.

The Ba'er Heitev explains that this is because, "שהמתחיל במצוה אומרים לו גמור" - "The one who begins with a mitzvah, we say about him that he completes it", and this is why the one who lead Selichos takes precedence over even someone who is an avel (mourner), mohel (someone who performs a circumcision) and someone who is commemorating a Yahrzeit (the anniversary of a relative's death).

The Midrash Tanchuma on Parshas Eikev explains the reasoning because:

Rabbi Yochanan said, "Anyone who began with a commandment, and afterwards another comes and finishes it, it will be called according to the name of the one who finishes it."

Do we have any other examples in Halacha where we apply this dictum?

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  • related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/7049/170 – msh210 Sep 13 '20 at 15:20
  • Ah thanks @msh210 sorry for not spotting - are there other examples though? – Dov Sep 13 '20 at 15:25
  • The levush gives another reason. Rather interesting. In the olden times the chazan davenned every tfila even on weekdays. Since the one who says selichot also has to fast (something not known today) one cant expect the chazan to fast every day. – interested Sep 15 '20 at 7:13
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Rema Orach Chaim 585:4 writes that it is preferable that the one who blows shofar before musaf also blows during musaf because of this principle.

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  • I never understood which mitzva did the one blowing it start more than anyone else listening to the shofar. It's dochek to me to say he started mitzva of mizache es harabim. – Shlomy Oct 12 '20 at 18:32
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So far I have only comes across the mishnah in Gemara Brochos 42b where it mentions saying grace over meals over a cup of wine. It writes the following:

בָּא לָהֶם יַיִן בְּתוֹךְ הַמָּזוֹן — כׇּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד מְבָרֵךְ לְעַצְמוֹ. אַחַר הַמָּזוֹן — אֶחָד מְבָרֵךְ לְכוּלָּם. וְהוּא אוֹמֵר עַל הַמּוּגְמָר, וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין מְבִיאִין אֶת הַמּוּגְמָר אֶלָּא לְאַחַר סְעוּדָה.

Additionally: If wine came before them during the meal, each and every diner recites a blessing over the wine for himself. If the wine came after the meal, one recites a blessing on behalf of them all. And he, who recited the blessing over the wine, also says the blessing over the incense [mugmar], although they only bring the incense to the diners after the meal. (sefaria translation)

Rashi there writes:

לאחר סעודה – לאחר בהמ"ז שאינו מצרכי סעודה אפי' הכי מי שברך על היין שהתחיל בברכות אחרונות גומרן

After the meal - after birkat hamazaon / bensching (Grace after meals) which is not for the needs of the meal, even so, the one who blesses over the wine at the start completes with the after blessings.

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