What do Mormons do at church? Latter-day Saint sacrament meetings allow visitors to worship in powerful yet comfortable ways.
Most Latter-day Saint meetinghouses have a sign in front engraved with the words “visitors welcome.” But visiting somewhere new can be awkward, especially when it comes to religion.
MormonNewsroom.org has published a brief description of the LDS worship service to help visitors feel comfortable. The article answers several important questions:
Where do these meetings take place?
Who attends the services?
What happens during the service?
Do visitors need to participate?
What do people wear?
What happens after the sacrament service?
The 70-minute Sunday service begins and ends with a hymn (sung by the congregation) and a prayer (offered by one individual). Two or three members also offer brief sermons. Most people come dressed in their Sunday best, with women wearing skirts or dresses and men wearing white shirts and ties. No collection plate is passed around.
The highlight of these meetings comes before the sermons. Known simply as the sacrament, this observance is similar to the Holy Communion or the Lord’s Supper. Bread and water, symbolizing the body and blood of Jesus Christ, are blessed and passed to the congregation. When participants take the sacramental bread and water, they are pledging to remember him and follow his teachings. Visitors are not obligated to take the sacrament but are welcome to do so.
Visitors to LDS worship services can expect a warm welcome—but also a private worship experience. Members of the congregation usually mingle before and after the service, and they may want to greet an unfamiliar face. But the purpose of sacrament meeting is to worship God and remember Jesus Christ. Visitors who share that goal can sit comfortably and have a personal, spiritual experience.
Read “What to Expect at Church Services” and see a short video on MormonNewsroom.org.
Source: Mormon Newsroom
—Jonathan Jibson, Mormon Insights