See what the First Presidency’s Sunday meeting schedule adjustments are for Easter, Christmas

Directive for 2024 and going forward: Sacrament meetings only on Easter Sundays and a Sunday before or after Christmas

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has directed adjustments to services and meetings to be held on Easter Sundays and Sundays near Christmas.

In a Jan. 26, 2024, letter sent to general authorities and officers; Area Seventies; stake, district and mission presidencies; and bishoprics and branch presidencies; the First Presidency — President Russell M. Nelson and his counselors, President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring — wrote that services and meetings should be limited to just sacrament meeting on Easter Sunday and on a Sunday either before or after Christmas.

When Christmas doesn’t fall on a Sunday, stake and district presidencies can determine if the sacrament-meeting-only adjustments will be for the Sunday before or after Christmas Day.

Also, stake and district leaders are allowed to consult with their bishops and branch presidents to determine if starting times for these Easter and Christmastime sacrament meetings should be adjusted to better accommodate the needs of members or of multiple units attending the same meetinghouse.

In recent years, the First Presidency has sent out instructions for each Easter Sunday and a designated Sunday near Christmas to direct that sacrament meetings be the sole meetings for those days. This latest letter is seen as giving similar directives for Easters and Christmases in coming years, not requiring First Presidency correspondence before each of the holidays, as well as allowing local leaders to make adjustments early as part of their annual planning and scheduling.

What the letter says

The letter in its entirety reads:

January 26, 2024

To: General Authorities; General Officers; Area Seventies; Stake, District, and Mission Presidencies; Bishoprics; and Branch Presidencies

Meeting Schedule: Easter Sunday and a Sunday near Christmas Day

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

Each year, Church services and meetings should be limited to sacrament meeting only on Easter Sunday and on a Sunday before or after Christmas Day. If Christmas is not on a Sunday, stake and district presidencies decide whether to hold this sacrament meeting before or after Christmas.

In addition, stake and district presidencies may consult with bishops and branch presidents to determine if there is a need to adjust start times for sacrament meetings in order to best accommodate the needs of members.

Please know of our love and appreciation to you for your dedicated service.

Sincerely yours,

Russell M. Nelson
Dallin H. Oaks
Henry B. Eyring
The First Presidency

2024 dates and looking back at 2023 directives

For 2024, in the United States and other countries following Western Christianity and Gregorian calendar dates, Easter Sunday will be March 31. Christmas Day, Dec. 25, falls on a Wednesday.

In a Feb. 15, 2023, letter directing schedule adjustments and focus for Easter Sunday last year, the First Presidency wrote: “Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will celebrate Easter on Sunday, April 9, 2023, in commemoration of the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Sacrament meeting that day provides an opportunity to feature Christ-centered messages and sacred music. All other Sunday meetings should be canceled that day. Stake conferences will not be scheduled on Easter Sunday.

“During the Easter season we can strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ and share His gospel with others as we consider His life and mission. We may appropriately invite friends and family to join us that day to receive messages of hope, peace, the reality of immortality, and the possibility of eternal life through the Savior’s atoning sacrifice.”

And in an Oct. 11, 2023, letter, the First Presidency announced that for Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 2023, meetings on that day should be limited to sacrament meeting in each ward and branch.

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