1. Religion & Spirituality
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Worship with Us in Our Sacrament Meeting

What to Expect at Mormon Church Services

By

LDS Church Meetinghouse; Public Domain

LDS Church Meetinghouse with Edmonton Alberta Canada Temple in Background

Public Domain
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meet together every Sunday to participate in sacrament meeting (by partaking of the sacrament) and other church services. Visitors are always welcome to worship with us, but what should you expect when you attend an LDS church service?

Local Sunday Services
The Church of Jesus Christ is organized in wards (or branches) which work under a stake unit. The bishopric (comprised of a bishop and his two counselors) are over the ward and work under the stake presidency. These men are volunteers who've been called to these positions of service.

Sunday Meetings
Sunday services consist of a three hour block as follows:
  1. Sacrament Meeting

  2. Sunday School:
    • Gospel Doctrine (adults)
    • Gospel Principles (adult investigators and new members)
    • Youth (ages 13-17)
    • Primary (children 3-12)
    • Nursery (children 18 months-3)
  3. Other Auxiliaries:
Most wards/branches hold Sacrament meeting during the first hour of the block although some hold their sacrament service at the end of the block.

Worship With Us
Visitors are always welcome to attend any of our Sunday church services. Search for your local ward/branch with this map and then come worship with us at any time. Please feel free to introduce yourself (to anyone) and let them know you are investigating the church. This way they will know you are an investigator (not a baptized member of the Church) and are unfamiliar with our services and where meetings are held. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ are very friendly and always happy to welcome you to one of our church services. If you'd like, they would be willing to introduce you to other members, the bishopric, and the missionaries. They will also be able to direct you to the appropriate Sunday School class for investigators called Gospel Principles, as well as help you take any children you might have to nursery, primary, or youth classes.

What to Expect During Sacrament Meeting
Our sacrament service includes singing hymns, saying prayers, the ordinance of the sacrament (similar to communion), and the sharing of talks and testimonies. A member of the bishopric (or branch presidency) will conduct the meeting, welcome visitors, direct ward business (sustaining of church callings), confirmation of new members, the naming and blessing of babies) and announce the order of the program.

Worshiping God With Hymns
In the LDS Church we sing hymns to worship our Father in Heaven and His son, Jesus Christ. You are invited to join us in singing our hymns but you don't have to. During sacrament meeting the ward chorister directs the congregation in singing an opening, sacramental, and closing hymn. We also sing hymns during our other services.

At any point after the ordinance of the sacrament, there might be a choir performance, a rest hymn (in which the chorister might have the congregation stand), or other musical number.

Worshiping God in Prayer
We believe that prayer is an important part of our worship because it is how we communicate with our Father. When saying prayers we bow our heads, close our eyes, and remain reverent until the person praying concludes in the name of Jesus Christ. When they say "amen" the congregation also says "amen" in acceptance of the prayer. Learn how to pray and feel free to join us in our prayers, including saying "amen" with us.

In sacrament meeting a member of the congregation will say the opening prayer (called the invocation) and later the closing prayer (called the benediction). We also say prayers in our other meetings.

Ordinance of the Sacrament
The ordinance of the sacrament is the most important part of our worship services. Members partake of bread and water in remembrance of Jesus Christ's atonement (the bread symbolizes His body and the water His blood). This ordinance is how we remember the covenants we made when we were baptized.

As the congregation sings a sacramental hymn, the priesthood brethren prepare the sacrament by breaking the bread. After the hymn the bread is blessed (with a prayer, see D&C 20:77) and then is passed to each member of the congregation who eats a piece of bread and passes the tray to the person next to them. The water is then blessed (also with a prayer, see D&C 20:79) and is passed to each member of the congregation who takes one of the little cups of water, drinks it, and disposes of the cup in one of the center openings of the tray.

Only members of the Church of Jesus Christ should partake of the sacrament. When worshiping with us just pass the tray to the person next to you. If you are not seated near anyone you may shake your head (or hold up your hand) in refusal of the sacrament. Please note that if you did partake of the bread or water it would not be considered a problem.

Talks and Testimonies
Usually two or three talks are given after the ordinance of the sacrament. Members of the Church are asked by the bishopric to speak about an assigned topic for a specific amount of time, anywhere from 5-20 minutes. Assigned topics include basic gospel principles, ordinances, and other restored truths. Speakers often read verses of scriptures and quotes from church leaders.

On a fast Sunday, usually held on the first Sunday of the month, the congregation is invited to share a brief, heart felt testimony. Sharing a testimony is to declare one's knowledge of those things that are true, such as the:Please note that a plate is not passed during our worship services requesting donations, although members of the Church do pay a tithing.

Sunday Clothing
Most members wear their "Sunday best" when they attend church. Men wear suits or sport coats and a tie while women wear dresses or skirts.

Other Worship Services
There are a few times during the year when regular Sunday Services are not held, such as during the weekends of General Conference, and Stake Conference. Visitors are also welcome to attend these services with us. Stake Conference, individually scheduled for each stake, is held in the stake center for two hours, usually from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Please feel free to come and worship with us at any time, we would be happy to have you join us.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.