Church announces Sunday second-hour meetings are to open with a prayer

Beginning immediately, Sunday School, elders quorum, Relief Society, Aaronic Priesthood quorum and Young Women are to start with opening prayer

Sunday School classes and Sunday meetings for elders quorums, Relief Society, Aaronic Priesthood quorums and Young Women should begin with a prayer.

A Dec. 21 notice sent from the Priesthood and Family Department to stake, mission and district presidencies; bishoprics and branch presidencies; and stake and ward councils said the practice of opening the second-hour Sunday meetings with prayer should begin immediately.

Citing the Church’s “General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” the notice also reminded recipients of the language and length for prayers in Church meetings as well as who may offer prayers.

Under the heading “Prayers in Church Meetings,” section 29.6 states: “Prayers in Church meetings should be brief, simple, and directed by the Spirit. Any baptized Church member may offer an opening or closing prayer. …

“Members should pray using words that express love and respect for Heavenly Father. In English, this includes the pronouns Thee, Thy, Thine, and Thou when addressing Him.”

When the Church announced a change to the Sunday meeting schedule in October 2018, direction was given that Sunday School, elders quorum, Relief Society, Aaronic Priesthood quorum and Young Women “will not begin with an opening hymn or prayer but will conclude with a closing prayer” (see enclosure to the First Presidency letter dated Oct. 6, 2018).

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