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Church of Jesus Christ Reinstates Prayer Before Sunday Second-Hour Meetings

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is reinstating the practice of opening the second hour of Sunday meetings with a prayer, effective immediately.

The direction is given in a December 21 notice from the Church’s Priesthood and Family Department to stake, mission and district presidencies; bishoprics and branch presidencies; and stake and ward councils.

Beginning immediately, Sunday School classes and Sunday elders quorum, Relief Society, Aaronic Priesthood quorum, and Young Women meetings should begin with a prayer. 

“Prayers in Church meetings should be brief, simple, and directed by the Spirit,” as taught in the General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “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 using the pronouns Thee, Thy, Thine, and Thou when addressing Him” (29.6).

It reverses a change announced in 2018, when the Church implemented a new and simplified Sunday meeting schedule. At the time, direction was given that Sunday School, elders quorum, Relief Society, Aaronic Priesthood quorum and Young Women classes would no longer open with a hymn and prayer but would continue to conclude with a closing prayer (see enclosure to the First Presidency letter dated October 6, 2018).


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