A Mormon Liturgy for Remembrance Sunday

Remembrance Sunday is the second Sunday in November, the Sunday closest to Remembrance Day, which falls on November 11 every year. Each year my ward celebrates Remembrance Sunday with a peculiarly Mormon liturgy that is wonderful to experience.

That is not to say that the same readings, poems and/or stories are told each year in the same order, or the same hymns sung; rather, a liturgy for this day is prepared in advance along themes appropriate for the day. There are no talks but rather the meeting flows as printed on the program, with one reading or story or hymn following after another. Also, participation is not exclusive to subjects of the Queen — Americans and others from without the Commonwealth follow or precede Africans, Brits, New Zealanders, Canadians and others to give the readings. Our Remembrance Sunday this year proceeded as follows :

Conducting: Bishop K.T.

Opening Hymn: 78, God of Our Fathers, Whose Almighty Hand

Invocation: By Invitation

Stake/Ward Business: Bishop K.T. / Confirmation of Brother B.B.O.

Sacrament Hymn: 190, In Memory of the Crucified

Reading: Brother B.B.: Winston Churchill Exerpt

Reading: Sister C (Sister Missionary 1): Matthew 22:35-40

Reading: J.O. (Primary child): Articles of Faith 1:12

Reading: A.B. (YM): Matthew 24:3-8

Reading: Brother E.O.: 1 Nephi 12:12-15

Hymn: 193, I Stand All Amazed

Reading: Sister S.A.: Revelation 12:7-9

Reading: Brother A.M.: Alma 48:14

Reading: Elder D. (Elder Missionary 1): “The Soldier”

Reading: Brother P.S.: Doctrine & Covenants 45:4

Hymn: 194, There is a Green Hill Far Away

Reading: M.F. (Primary child): Mosiah 2:17 (memorized before church, read from pulpit due to slight jitters)

Reading: Brother C.B.: Alma 3:45-47

Reading: Sister F. (Sister Missionary 2): Doctrine & Covenants 138:31-35

Reading: Brother D.T.: Alma 46:12-13

Hymn: 341, God Save the Queen

Reading: Sister J.T.: Ether 12:12

Reading: Elder D. (Elder Missionary 2): “In Flanders Fields”

Reading: Sister L.S.: Articles of Faith 1:11

Closing Remarks: Bishop K.T.

Two minutes of silence

Closing Hymn: 152, God Be With You Till We Meet Again

Benediction: By Invitation

I look forward to Remembrance Sunday every year because I know our ward celebrates it in this way. The “liturgy” is a refreshing break from Sunday talks, even though the talks are usually enjoyable and uplifting. I think we should have a readings-based Sacrament Meeting about once a quarter. It mixes things up a little bit, allows us to dig into the scriptures and provides an opportunity for a greater number of people to participate in the Sacrament services.

We also have a readings-based “liturgical” Sacrament meeting the Sunday before Christmas. Easter would be the next logical choice and probably July 24 (I’m guessing many might at first think this isn’t a good idea but it seems like a good way for Latter-day Saints around the world to “remember how great things [God] has done for [their spiritual forebears]; for they were in bondage, and he has delivered them” (Mosiah 27:16) — this would be a Mormon-focused July 24, i.e. acknowledging and remembering the conclusion of the trek and finding shelter and security, and not a celebration of Utah). That would make four in a calendar year even though not strictly spaced out by quarters.

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