They made it a point to announce from the pulpit (at the end of sacrament meeting so that anyone who was late could hear) that we would be having all three hours of chuch on Christmas eve. Starting time is 12:30PM. I’m thinking that one hour sounds about right.
Our ward (in Salt Lake City) = Sacrament Only. Your Bishop or SP should have received a letter from the First Presidency letting him know that it was up to his discretion whether or not to have SS and RS/PH on Christmas Eve. Our SP decided on having only Sacrament mtg throughout the stake.
No announcement in my ward, but if my youth Sunday School class hopes to get the Christmas cookies I’m going to bring and the Christmas lesson I’m going to prepare (more the cookies than the lesson, of course), they’d better pray for three hours.
Otherwise the cookies are all mine. (And my wife’s and daughter’s and sister’s and bil’s, etc.)
Funny, when people find out how much time bishoprics spend at the church on Sundays they usually get the sympathy response, not the “look how righteous you are” response. Or do you just condescend to them when they’re not looking?
All three hours. The branch president said, Christmas day = 1 hour; Christmas Eve = 3 hours! And the primary is in charge of Sacrament meeting. Last week the primary presidency gave my 7-year old daughter a 2 and a half page (typed) story to READ to the congregation. I said, “You’ve got to be kidding!” So, even though we are attending all three hours, it will probably feel like 4 or 5.
The letter that Capt. Obsidian talks of is a myth. There’s no such thing. I just reviewed the archive of letters from Church headquarters, and there’s nothing about services on Christmas eve.
There is a general letter, sent back in August 2006, addressed to Stake Presidents, that says
No reductions in or changes to the three-hour meeting schedule have been approved.
Obviously there are common-sense exceptions–you don’t stay for three hours of church when the blizzard of the century is wreaking havoc–but it appears that cancelling Sunday school on a whim is not one of those exceptions.
On the other hand, since this letter was not addressed to mission or district presidents, it seems that there’s total flexibility in meeting schedules in districts.
There are some great housing deals in Williamsburg and Greenpoint, and a great church experience (at 1.5 hours per Sunday??) awaits!
No. 5: “Your Bishop or SP should have received a letter from the First Presidency letting him know that it was up to his discretion whether or not to have SS and RS/PH on Christmas Eve.”
Sorry, there simply was no such letter. Our ward is having all 3 hours, as are all wards in our stake except the student ward. But I think the one ward with an afternoon schedule is changing times or consolidating with another ward for the day.
Isn’t this interesting. Anytime there is discussion or rumor of any change in reducing the length of church meetings, the blogs and message boards all go nuts over this topic. Could there be a trend here – that the membership in general may start voting with their feet if the 3 hour block continues? Perhaps permanently reducing time obligations on members would do wonders for activity and desire to attend church.
The Bishop typically spends about two hours at church prior to the 3 hour block, and then about 1 hour after… usually. Sometimes it’s more. Then you’ve usually got at least an extra 2 hours at church sometime during the week for interviews and such. This doesn’t even count the extra hours spent with the Stake Presidency during the month.
And that’s just the bare minimum of time commitment.
We’re having a 1.5-hour sacrament meeting only, jointly with the other ward that meets in our building, and lot of it will be a choir presentation. That sounds appropriate to me.
Comment by Montanan — December 20, 2006 @ 11:17 pm
As was discussed in a thread on Mormon Mentality a few months ago (“War Meeting Schedules”), some wards meet for 4.5 hours on a regular basis due to being bilingual–they both start and end the block with a sacrament meeting in each of the languages.
It doesn’t have anything to do with righteousness, just meeting everyone’s needs (bad pun!) and allowing everyone to worship.
So the 4.5 hours is just time spent in general meetings, not the before and after meetings and interviews.
That said, we don’t always hold both sacrament services. For example, we all want to meet together for ward conference, the children’s sacrament meeting, and last week’s Christmas presentation by the choir. In those cases, some of the prayers and music is in Spanish.
Comment by Naismith — December 21, 2006 @ 11:25 am
Just sacrament. And we’re combining that with the other ward that meets in the building. If there was more, I’d end up skipping.
Ours was three and I had to teach in RS so I had to be there. I guess our Bishop received information that he could shorten it to only 1 hour, but he didn’t get the information until late in the week and wasn’t sure if the other wards we share a building with got the information….so he decided to go ahead and have all three hours. Wasn’t a huge deal, but we go to my mom’s church for her Christmas Eve candle light services as well so it makes for a long day. I did however opt out of going to her morning service (1 hour)along with our afternoon service (3 hours) and her evening service (1 hour). So it could have been longer.