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Intermediate Hymn in the new meeting format?

Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:33 pm
by adavidw
Just curious, now that we're a few weeks in to the 2 hour block, is anyone's ward doing anything differently regarding the intermediate hymn?

We may have to wait for a handbook update to clarify everything, but the October 6 Frequently Asked Questions seems to be as authoritative a document as anything. Under "Format for Sacrament Meetings", it says:

Sacrament meetings last 60 minutes and are focused on deepening conversion to Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthening faith in Them. Allowing the ordinance of the sacrament to be the sacred center of members’ worship on the Sabbath requires careful planning, including minimal announcements and consideration of speakers, hymns, and musical numbers. Ward choirs may participate as local circumstances allow. Sacrament meetings begin and end with a hymn and prayer. A hymn also precedes the blessing of the sacrament.


There's no intermediate hymn mentioned, but there are specific mentions of opening, closing, and sacrament hymns. I would interpret this to mean that as a general rule, there is no intermediate hymn in the new format. Further, I would interpret this to say that if the bishopric decides that a congregational hymn would support the topic of the meeting enough to take that time away from the speakers, that's certainly their right to plan one, but it should only be done after "careful planning... and consideration".

That's just my interpretation, of course. I could be misreading, or the text here could be contradicted by something in the next handbook update. But, I was wondering if anyone else's ward has looked at this and decided specifically not to do intermediate hymns, or alternatively decided that it specifically supports their decision to do an intermediate hymn. Or is it just that every ward's still doing an intermediate hymn because we always have, and no one locally has rethought it yet (the most likely case)?

Again, I don't feel strongly enough about my interpretation to start telling people they aren't supposed to have an intermediate hymn. Of course, if you tell me we're always supposed to stand, or that the music director is the one to tell us whether or not to stand (14.4.3), or call it a "rest hymn", I'll fight you on all of those things. :D

Re: Intermediate Hymn in the new meeting format?

Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:51 pm
by russellhltn
In my ward, I think the intermediate hymn disappeared - at least for now. It may come back in once everyone has a good feel and has adjusted to to the 60 minute sacrament.

Re: Intermediate Hymn in the new meeting format?

Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:49 pm
by davesudweeks
We still have the intermediate hymn in our ward. Last Sunday, it was shortened to the first verse only to keep the meeting on time.

Re: Intermediate Hymn in the new meeting format?

Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:53 pm
by drepouille
davesudweeks wrote:We still have the intermediate hymn in our ward. Last Sunday, it was shortened to the first verse only to keep the meeting on time.

DITTO!

Re: Intermediate Hymn in the new meeting format?

Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 8:30 pm
by lajackson
If the ward choir gets to sing, I think the congregation should be able to sing on other Sundays. Just my own personal opinion. (Full disclosure: I sing in the ward choir.)

Our music director has been choosing shorter hymns these past few weeks. But I was in a different ward Sunday that sang a whopping 5-minute closing hymn and still left one minute for the closing prayer.

Re: Intermediate Hymn in the new meeting format?

Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:41 am
by aebrown
adavidw wrote:There's no intermediate hymn mentioned, but there are specific mentions of opening, closing, and sacrament hymns. I would interpret this to mean that as a general rule, there is no intermediate hymn in the new format.

I don't see any change in the policy at all. The truth is that "as a general rule, there is no intermediate hymn" in the old format or the new format. An intermediate hymn was always optional (meaning not required, but allowed) and that is still the case.

adavidw wrote:Further, I would interpret this to say that if the bishopric decides that a congregational hymn would support the topic of the meeting enough to take that time away from the speakers, that's certainly their right to plan one, but it should only be done after "careful planning... and consideration".

I would mostly agree with this; I would take issue, however, with the characterization that a hymn would "take time away from the speakers." You could just as easily say that speakers take time away from the music. As the First Presidency has stated, "Inspirational music is an essential part of our church meetings. The hymns invite the Spirit of the Lord, create a feeling of reverence, unify us as members, and provide a way for us to offer praises to the Lord." In addition to the prescribed hymns, the presiding authority may well be inspired to have additional music, including an intermediate hymn -- or not. Both speakers and music can be inspiring and instructional.

Re: Intermediate Hymn in the new meeting format?

Posted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 2:57 pm
by waynecooke
In our two regular Sacrament Meetings since the change (we had a special Stake Conference), we still had the Intermediate Hymn, and this week we had a youth speaker as well, but in both meetings the last speaker had to cut his talk short. I was going to talk with the Bishop about it this week, but he was in interviews all day, and I didn't.

Ever notice how we have speakers who give talks, not talkers who give speeches?

Re: Intermediate Hymn in the new meeting format?

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:37 pm
by cloyd
In my ward, an intermediate hymn is usually performed between two speakers, and having only two speakers speak. That seems to work

Re: Intermediate Hymn in the new meeting format?

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:17 am
by ksgentry
cloyd wrote:In my ward, an intermediate hymn is usually performed between two speakers, and having only two speakers speak. That seems to work


This is an approach our ward leadership has been taking. Some weeks the Ward Choir sings instead.

Re: Intermediate Hymn in the new meeting format?

Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:57 am
by jsorens6
We have 3 speakers each week and an intermediate hymn. The speakers are 1 youth and 2 adults. We have enjoyed having shorter, more focused messages presented in Sacrament Meeting.