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Sacrament meeting is the weekly worship service held on Sunday in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Sacrament meetings are held in individual wards or branches in the chapel of the meetinghouse. The bishop or branch president of the ward or branch presides. Anyone is invited to attend, whether they are a member of the church or not. Sacrament meetings are not held during stake or district conferences, or during the semi-annual general conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Attendees of sacrament meetings generally wear "Sunday formal" dress. Men wear suits and ties, and women wear modest dresses or skirts. Children are encouraged to attend, but when they become unruly, the parents generally escort them into the lobby.
Sacrament meetings usually proceed in this manner.
First, the conducting officer (usually a member of the bishopric or branch presidency ) welcomes the members to the meeting.
Following this, church business is conducted. This includes the announcement of assignments and callings, the call for consent on various issues and assignments, and performance of various ordinances such as baby blessings and the Gift of the Holy Ghost .
Next, a sacrament hymn is sung by the congregation. After this, the priests of the Aaronic Priesthood bless the bread. The bread is distributed to the congregation by deacons of the Aaronic Priesthood. After this, the priests bless the water, which is distributed in like manner. The prayers used in the blessings are exact.
Following the administration of the sacrament, various sermons are delivered by assigned members of the congregation, visiting officials such as stake high council members or member of the stake presidency. If it is fast sunday , then the congregation is asked to bear their testimonies as they feel inspired.
The meeting closes with another hymn, sung usually by the congregation, and a benediction, or closing prayer.
Sacrament meetings usually last about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Significance of Sacrament meeting
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints believe that the ordinance of the sacrament allows them to renew all of their covenants, such as the covenants they have made in baptism or the priesthood or in the temple. They generally attend seeking to be forgiven for their shortcomings during the week and to begin anew with renewed conviction.
Members that are elderly or are unable to attend for the three long hours of Sunday worship services generally attend only the sacrament meeting, as this is the most spiritual. The other meetings held on Sunday include Sunday School and Relief Society or Priesthood meetings.
Members that are unable to attend sacrament meeting due to health or other factors are brought the sacrament by the priests of the Aaronic Priesthood if they desire. The ordinance is performed in their home or hospital room.
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