For as long as I can remember, our sacrament service has included organ music that is played at the conclusion of the sacrament, during the time that the deacons and priests are returning to their seats. I don’t know how wide-spread this practice has been, and I never even knew what it was called, until this past Sunday when the practice was abruptly discontinued, apparently due to a change in the CHI, which now prohibits it.
The bishop announced the change, calling the music “sacrament postlude music.” He professed a certain lack of understanding about the reason for the prohibition, but said that the ward was discontinuing the practice anyway, out of obedience to the clear requirements of the CHI. He speculated that possibly the music was seen as an interruption of congregants’ ability to continue to feel the spirit of the sacrament, by unnecessarily marking a conclusion to the ordinance where none was necessary or intended. But that was only speculation as no reason for the change has been announced or is likely to be forthcoming.
Is this a big deal? No, not really. You would have to be a pretty observant participant in our worship services to really notice the change, but it’s significant to me and, more importantly, I don’t like it. I don’t know if my dissatisfaction is based on the fact that I will miss the little musical interlude or because I really don’t like mandated changes that are unexplained, but whatever the reason, I find myself irritated by this.
What are your thoughts? Did your wards have this practice and, if so, has it been eliminated? Have you heard, or do you have any additional explanation beyond what I have stated above? What’s going on here?