New Church music handbook now available

A new Church Music Handbook has been published and is available for local Church units to order, according to Michael F. Moody, chairman of the general Church Music Committee.

The 16-page handbook is for the use of priesthood leaders responsible for music, stake and ward music chairmen and those who hold stake and ward music positions.It contains instructions and guidelines on the purpose of Church music; appropriate music for Church meetings and choirs; obtaining and using music; appropriate musical instruments for Church meetings; music callings; music training; and Church music materials.

Here are a few selections from the new handbook:

"Music in Church meetings should help members worship and feel the sacred spirit of the Sabbath and the spirit of revelation. It should not draw attention to itself. Some religiously oriented music in a popular style should not be used in sacrament meetings. Also, much sacred music suitable for concerts and recitals is not appropriate for a Latter-day Saint worship service." (page 2)

"Most Church meetings will be enhanced by the singing of hymns. Hymn singing invites the Spirit of the Lord into a meeting; allows members to join together in unified expressions of prayer, praise, and thanksgiving; adds beauty and interest; and teaches the doctrines of the gospel. (For additional information, see Hymns, pp. 380-81.)

"Priesthood leaders should encourage all members to participate actively in congregational singing." (page 3)

"Stake, regional, and multiregional choirs may be organized with priesthood approval for stake and regional conferences and other occasions such as community events. Generally auditions should not be conducted when organizing Church choirs. After the performance, the choir should be disbanded until other occasions arise. These choirs should not interfere with members' participation in ward choirs." (page 6)

"Using the piano and organ at the same time is not standard for Church meetings, but these instruments may be used together occasionally as appropriate, especially for selections written with both piano and organ parts.

"A portable electronic music keyboard may be used when a piano or organ is not available." (page 7)

Handbooks may be ordered free of charge for local Church units from the Distribution Center, 1999 W. 1700 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84104-4233. They also may be ordered by telephone, 240-5274 in the Salt Lake metropolitan area, or 1-800-537-5950 in the United States and Canada. Hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. MST Mondays through Fridays. There is a handling charge for telephone orders. The stock number is 34574.

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