Restriction on Christmas Sacrament Meeting

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Gerald
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Restriction on Christmas Sacrament Meeting

Post by Gerald » 10 Nov 2019, 06:11

I'm in the ward choir (don't really enjoy it but I always feel so sorry for ward choir directors which is a thankless calling in our ward). The choir director recently told us that our Christmas sacrament program had to be a regular sacrament meeting (though Christmas themed) with (seemingly) a minimum of musical numbers (our bishop interprets this as "one".) This came down from our area authority. I looked through the handbook and could only find that "pageants" are not permitted and any musical program should have at least one speaker. But it seems the door is open to still having a primarily musical sacrament meeting around Christmas time. Is this just an overinterpretation by an overzealous area authority (or perhaps our overzealous bishop)? Or is this the experience that the rest of you have? Just wondering.
So through the dusk of dead, blank-legended And unremunerative years we search to get where life begins, and still we groan because we do not find the living spark where no spark ever was; and thus we die, still searching, like poor old astronomers who totter off to bed and go to sleep, to dream of untriangulated stars.
---Edwin Arlington Robinson---

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Restriction on Christmas Sacrament Meeting

Post by Curt Sunshine » 10 Nov 2019, 10:45

There is no such counsel or directive from the Church itself. This is your Area Presidency being . . . unique.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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DarkJedi
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Re: Restriction on Christmas Sacrament Meeting

Post by DarkJedi » 10 Nov 2019, 15:08

I agree with Curt. It seems to be an overzealous AA.

We just had a new choir director called in our ward today, and it is similar to yours in that it is a thankless job and it's hard to get people to participate sometimes. We have actually not had a real ward choir in about two years (her predecessor was pretty ineffective, but also in over her head). I am going to participate, at least partly taking pity on the poor girl who was just called but also somewhat eager to do something with music in our ward. I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

That said, having been on the bishopric side in the past sometimes there is an overwhelming request to do music. The Primary wants to sing, the YW/YM want to sing, sometimes RS or EQ want to sing and then there's the actual ward choir. Since I favor SM, especially Christmas and Easter, being more like Music and the Spoken Word, I'm good with that but not everyone agrees. Another solution is to have the various groups sing in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Ann
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Re: Restriction on Christmas Sacrament Meeting

Post by Ann » 10 Nov 2019, 23:32

Gerald wrote:
10 Nov 2019, 06:11
I'm in the ward choir (don't really enjoy it but I always feel so sorry for ward choir directors which is a thankless calling in our ward). The choir director recently told us that our Christmas sacrament program had to be a regular sacrament meeting (though Christmas themed) with (seemingly) a minimum of musical numbers (our bishop interprets this as "one".) This came down from our area authority. I looked through the handbook and could only find that "pageants" are not permitted and any musical program should have at least one speaker. But it seems the door is open to still having a primarily musical sacrament meeting around Christmas time. Is this just an overinterpretation by an overzealous area authority (or perhaps our overzealous bishop)? Or is this the experience that the rest of you have? Just wondering.
Same here. They also got rid of rest hymns in regular sacrament meetings.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

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DarkJedi
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Re: Restriction on Christmas Sacrament Meeting

Post by DarkJedi » 11 Nov 2019, 05:36

Ann wrote:
10 Nov 2019, 23:32
Gerald wrote:
10 Nov 2019, 06:11
I'm in the ward choir (don't really enjoy it but I always feel so sorry for ward choir directors which is a thankless calling in our ward). The choir director recently told us that our Christmas sacrament program had to be a regular sacrament meeting (though Christmas themed) with (seemingly) a minimum of musical numbers (our bishop interprets this as "one".) This came down from our area authority. I looked through the handbook and could only find that "pageants" are not permitted and any musical program should have at least one speaker. But it seems the door is open to still having a primarily musical sacrament meeting around Christmas time. Is this just an overinterpretation by an overzealous area authority (or perhaps our overzealous bishop)? Or is this the experience that the rest of you have? Just wondering.
Same here. They also got rid of rest hymns in regular sacrament meetings.
I think the rest hymn thing is where there is some misunderstanding. The policy is that you don't have to have rest hymns, not that you can't have a rest hymn. That seems to be misinterpreted by some leaders.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Restriction on Christmas Sacrament Meeting

Post by Curt Sunshine » 11 Nov 2019, 08:58

The missionaries came over for dinner last night. Their spiritual message was to share a clip of the new Church Christmas video. It looks excellent. (in the original language, no subtitles, very realistic) They also mentioned that December 22nd is supposed to be strictly a Christmas worship service - perhaps even without the sacrament. They said it isn't supposed to look like a typical Mormon Sacrament Meeting; instead, people of other denominations and religions are supposed to feel totally comfortable that day being in a more standard Christian worship service.

I have no idea if that means no music or only one hymn. It might, but it might not. We'll see. It sounds like there might be some misinterpretation in your area.

For what it's worth, I love what they described for a Christmas service. I have wanted that for a long time.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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DarkJedi
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Re: Restriction on Christmas Sacrament Meeting

Post by DarkJedi » 11 Nov 2019, 09:32

Curt Sunshine wrote:
11 Nov 2019, 08:58
The missionaries came over for dinner last night. Their spiritual message was to share a clip of the new Church Christmas video. It looks excellent. (in the original language, no subtitles, very realistic) They also mentioned that December 22nd is supposed to be strictly a Christmas worship service - perhaps even without the sacrament. They said it isn't supposed to look like a typical Mormon Sacrament Meeting; instead, people of other denominations and religions are supposed to feel totally comfortable that day being in a more standard Christian worship service.

I have no idea if that means no music or only one hymn. It might, but it might not. We'll see. It sounds like there might be some misinterpretation in your area.

For what it's worth, I love what they described for a Christmas service. I have wanted that for a long time.
As I recall, last year they used the "Christmas worship service" (or similar) terminology as well. While I think it's sort of sad the central leadership needs to remind local leaders that's what it's supposed to be, I also totally buy in. I do hope they have the sacrament, though. The emphasis on Sabbath worship/keeping the Sabbath has not gone away, as is evidenced by the new TR question. Our visiting GA at stake conference said it's still one of the top three priorities. I would think the sacrament itself is important to that priority. And, c=for those who might be visiting and are used to weekly communion/Eucharist it might be weird if we don't have it.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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Gerald
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Re: Restriction on Christmas Sacrament Meeting

Post by Gerald » 11 Nov 2019, 19:00

The missionaries came over for dinner last night. Their spiritual message was to share a clip of the new Church Christmas video. It looks excellent. (in the original language, no subtitles, very realistic) They also mentioned that December 22nd is supposed to be strictly a Christmas worship service - perhaps even without the sacrament. They said it isn't supposed to look like a typical Mormon Sacrament Meeting; instead, people of other denominations and religions are supposed to feel totally comfortable that day being in a more standard Christian worship service.

I have no idea if that means no music or only one hymn. It might, but it might not. We'll see. It sounds like there might be some misinterpretation in your area.

For what it's worth, I love what they described for a Christmas service. I have wanted that for a long time.
That does sound nice. However, I don't think that idea has trickled to where I'm at yet. I guess we'll see come Dec 22nd.
So through the dusk of dead, blank-legended And unremunerative years we search to get where life begins, and still we groan because we do not find the living spark where no spark ever was; and thus we die, still searching, like poor old astronomers who totter off to bed and go to sleep, to dream of untriangulated stars.
---Edwin Arlington Robinson---

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desertghost93
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Re: Restriction on Christmas Sacrament Meeting

Post by desertghost93 » 11 Nov 2019, 23:57

Over zealous. I know in my Stake every ward would have their sacrament meeting following a Christmas program. This is often the time for many members to invite non-members to church seeing as it is not a regular sacrament meeting and they might enjoy it and not be bored, and understand that Mormons are also Christians. lol

Roy
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Re: Restriction on Christmas Sacrament Meeting

Post by Roy » 12 Nov 2019, 10:53

Gerald wrote:
11 Nov 2019, 19:00
That does sound nice. However, I don't think that idea has trickled to where I'm at yet. I guess we'll see come Dec 22nd.
In my neck of the woods, this meeting was also announced. It was highlighted that we would only have SM on that date (only one hour) and we were encouraged to invite people. I did not get the impression that the actual content of the SM would be much different than a typical SM.

I have somewhat low expectations so maybe I will be pleasantly surprised.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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