Monday, May 9, 2011

On This Day of Joy and Gladness

I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormons. Each Sunday, I discuss some things related to my faith and what I believe. Regardless of your own beliefs, I hope this gives you a chance to get to know me and my religion a little better. For previous installments, click here.

While we've talked about the importance of the Sabbath as well as that of meeting together regularly, we haven't discussed exactly what it is we do at church for three hours every week.

Our current meeting schedule looks like this:

Hour 1 - Sacrament meeting
Hour 2 - Sunday School
Hour 3 - Auxiliary meetings

Sacrament meeting is a general meeting for the whole congregation. There are congregational hymns and other music, two or three talks given by members of the congregation (they're usually asked a week or two in advance), prayers, and, most importantly, the passing and partaking of the Sacrament - bread and water to symbolize the Atonement and Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, much like Catholic communion.

Sunday School is broken up by age group from ages 18 months to 18 or, depending on the size of the congregation, two or three classes for the adults to choose from. Ages 18 months to 11 is called Primary and 12-17 is Young Men and Young Women. Classes are taught on gospel topics from the scriptures, appropriate to the age group.

The auxiliaries of the Church are Priesthood (men) and Relief Society (women), who generally meet separately. The youth and children are still in their various Primary and Young Men/Women classes. Currently, the Priesthood and Relief Society classes are taught from teachings of the presidents of the church.

I realize this is a really brief synopsis, but hopefully it provides a basic idea of our meeting structure. In between and after classes, we have plenty of time for socializing and ministering to each other. I know I've said this before, but I do enjoy meeting with other members and worshiping and serving together, and if you ever want more details than I provide about our meetings and their content, visitors are always welcome.

P.S. Happy Mother's Day!!

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