Three hours?

When my co-worker inquired about Mormon Sunday services, her response was “3 whole hours?” Yes, 3 hours each Sunday may seem like a lot, but when you break it up into three sections, with socializing in between, it doesn’t seem as daunting.

The first hour of Mormon Sunday services is called Sacrament meeting. It is the main purpose of the entire service. The worship starts with an opening song sung by the congregation, followed by a prayer which is given by a member of the congregation. We then sing another hymn, followed by the passing and taking of the sacrament. During this time, is a moment that I like to take and reflect on the week that has just ended, think of what I did well and what things spiritually I need to improve on. After the sacrament is over, 2-3 members of the congregation who have previously been assigned, give 5-10min talks(aka sermons) about various gospel subjects. In between the talks, there is usually another hymn that is sung, or a musical number performed by members of the congregation. After the last speaker, another hymn is sung, then a prayer is offered.

The second hour is called Sunday School. There are various classes to choose from. Usually a class entitled Gospel Essentials that covers the basic aspects of the church. Another class is Gospel Docterine which usually goes more deeper into the docterine of the church. Some times, depending on the need, there is a class called Temple prep that helps those who are planning to go to the temple for the first time prepare. For children under the age of 2(or 18months I think), there is nursery class, Ages 2-12 go to primary class, and ages 12-18, have their own Sunday school as well. Each year the theme of the classes rotates. One year is Old Testament, next is New Testament, then Book of Mormon and so on.

The third hour of services for adults are classes where the women and men are separated. The men go to Priesthood and the women to Relief Society where another lesson is taught. Children ages 2-12 all stay together and ages 12-18 are split up into classes of young women and young men.

Yes, 3 hours of church each week is not always easy and often does seem long, but I can’t imagine my life without it. By the time Sunday rolls around, I am exhausted from my week. Going to church, learning my about my Savior, worshiping him and being surrounded by an incredible support system of people who believe the same things as I do and struggle with the same things I do is very energizing. It gives me a renewed sense of who am I, my purpose in life, and excitement to move forward in becoming a better citizen, co-worker, sister, daughter, aunt, and friend.

What is your Sunday service like? How long? Do you enjoy it? If you are Mormon, which hour is your favorite?

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